Dr. Deborah T. Curtis, director of the Hospitality Training & Research Center at Niagara University, received the National Statler Center's Leadership Toward Excellence Award during a ceremony held on Sept. 15.
Conceived by the Olmsted Center for Sight, the Statler Center is a national program that trains individuals who are blind, visually impaired and otherwise physically disabled for careers in the hospitality and contact center industry.
Curtis has served as an adjunct professor with the National Statler Center for Careers in Hospitality Service since its inception in 1998. In that role, she has taught sales and marketing techniques to every class that has graduated from the program.
"Dr. Curtis has made herself available to all of the Statler Center students and is able to adapt her lessons and projects to meet the needs of our blind students," said Renee DiFlavio, senior vice president of the Olmsted & Statler Center. "The sales and marketing course that Dr. Curtis teaches is always marked as a favorite by all of the students. She is an engaging and caring professor, and the National Statler Center is a better program because of her involvement."
The Leadership Toward Excellence Award is presented to a community partner of the National Statler Center who demonstrates excellence in education and provides leadership to the Statler Center's students and graduates.
"We are extremely proud of Dr. Curtis and her work with the Statler Center," said Dr. Gary Praetzel, dean of Niagara University's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. "She is a true professional and a valued faculty member who has truly adopted Niagara's mission of assisting those in the community who most need our help."
A New York state-certified business school, the Statler Center offers both a hospitality training program and a customer service training program. Graduates of the programs are computer literate and job-ready, equipped with a thorough knowledge of industry standards.