Deborah Breiter Terry
What is your current job title and responsibilities (please make sure we know your College, Department, etc.)?
Professor, Tourism, Events, and Attractions department; Rosen College of Hospitality Management. I teach graduate and undergraduate classes about conventions and trade shows.
What is your history at UCF and before UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
Prior to working in higher education, I spent about 12 years working in hotels & restaurants. Career highlights include being a convention services manager at a Hyatt resort in Indian Wells, CA and GM of a property in San Francisco. Before UCF, I taught at 2 community colleges and 2 universities. I was department chair for Hospitality & Tourism at New Mexico State University. I was hired by UCF in 2000 as an associate professor with the title of the CFHLA Professorship in Convention and Conference Management. In 2003 I became interim department chair for the Tourism, Events, and Attractions Department. I received tenure and promotion that year as well. I became the permanent chair in 2005 and stayed in that position until 2011. I was promoted to full professor in 2008. In 2006 I helped with the introduction of the Bachelor of Science in Event Management which now has more than 1000 majors.
What is your academic background?
I have a BA from Bennington College in Vermont, an MPS degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
The opening of the Rosen College of Hospitality Management campus in 2004.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
Build a true conference center on the main campus that would include spaces for faculty to socialize and collaborate.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
A lot of teaching goes on outside of the classroom. Be accessible to and approachable by students.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
A scholarship for students interested in conventions and trade shows. People don’t understand how important these events are for creating communities and driving the economy.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
Deborah German. Her leadership in establishing the College of Medicine and developing key relationships within the healthcare industry is very admirable and inspiring.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
Rick Shell in particular. All of my colleagues at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management that are dedicated to our students and our industry.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Miss (no Ms. back then) Louise LeJeune, my third grade teacher, was amazing. She created a challenging yet fun learning environment in the classroom. I fondly remember our math drills and spelling bees.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
My undergraduate experience at Bennington taught me how to read critically, question the status quo, and believe in the power of creativity.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Eddie V’s is my favorite restaurant. Love the atmosphere as well as the food.
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
Favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz.
What is your favorite vacation destination?
Any cruise because it is total relaxation. Travel is different and some of my favorite places are Switzerland and New Zealand.