September 25, 2019

Faculty spotlight: Dr. Frederic Mayo

In this faculty spotlight, we interview Dr. Mayo, who has taught at the Tisch Center for over 17 years. Dr. Mayo looks back at how the program has changed, and what he has most enjoyed about during his extensive career.

How did you begin your career at the Tisch Center? 

It was about 17 years ago, I was running my own consulting business, Mayo Consulting Services, and I knew some of the people at the Tisch Center. At the time, the Center was called The Preston Robert Tisch Center, named after Jonathan M. Tisch’s father. I taught some Orientation Workshops for graduate students in Critical Thinking and Communication. There were other workshops about the industry including finance, accounting, and the overview of the industry. After I had taught the Critical Thinking and Communication workshops for a few years, I got a call asking if I was interested in serving as a visiting professor. I was offered the position and started full-time as an Associate Professor in September 2002.

How has the program evolved since you first started teaching here? 

When I first started, there were five programs: a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management, a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management, and three graduate degrees:Master of Science in Hospitality Industries Studies, Master of Science in Travel and Tourism Management, and lastly, Master of Science in Sports Business. I taught a wide variety of courses such as Human Resources Management, Customer Relationship Management, a Leadership course in sports, Applied Research Methods (for both undergraduates and graduates in different courses), and the Advanced Research Seminar. The Applied Research Methods course was the first course that graduate students took to prepare them for graduate level research. I was delighted to teach it because it was a challenge to make it fun and interesting for people. There was no good textbook for the course, so students begged me to write a textbook for the course that focused on our industries. I am pleased that the textbook - Planning an Applied Research Project in Hospitality, Tourism and Sports - is still being used today at the Tisch Center. It’s also used in most of the hospitality programs in the country and abroad as well.    

Professor Mayo then

Professor Mayo now

What are your best memories of teaching at the Tisch Center? 

The excitement among students when they realize they learn something is amazing. Students come to realize that they are a lot smarter than they thought they were and it truly is like magic. I try to be there for my students, so I give them my mobile number to contact me at anytime. Many of them come from foreign countries but they really are eager to learn this industry, and I love to see that. At the end of the program, they do presentations for other students, faculty and industry leaders, and it’s a wonderful feeling when you see the quality of the work they do; it makes me smile inside. 

What are you teaching this semester and what topics do you explore in those courses? 

I am teaching Research and Data Analytics this term for students in the Master of Science in Event Management. Some of the topics include how to conduct a research interview, how to design and administer a questionnaire, how to run a focus group and expert panel among other things. Students learn how to gather data and analyze data to ultimately have credible research results.

I also wrote a book on Modern American Manners. One night in the fall of 2013 when I officially retired from the Tisch Center, I was having dinner with a friend of mine who is a photographer. We glanced around the restaurant and saw people doing things that were appalling, such as talking with their mouth open and blowing their nose in their table napkin. I looked at him and said, “If you take the pictures, I’ll write the book.” It is designed to be a friendly advice book for students and junior professionals who need to know good table manners in order to succeed in their professional careers. So far, we’ve sold over 1,000 copies. I now give speeches and workshops on etiquette and table manners at NYU, SUNY Delhi and other colleges.

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