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PCMA honors rising stars at Michigan State University

The awards just keep coming for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) chapter in The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University (MSU).

For the second year in a row, the chapter was named one of two Student Chapters of the Year by the national PCMA, and more than 20 of its executive board and members plan to attend the Convening Leaders Annual Convention in January in Chicago.

Lisa Malinowski
Lisa Malinowski

Two student leaders in the chapter have also earned accolades. Chapter President Lisa Malinowski (B.A. ‘15) earned one of five nationwide Convening Leaders Student Scholarships, and Director of Membership Carlie Smith (B.A. ’15) was awarded one of only two prestigious PCMA Chairman’s Convening Leaders Scholarships.  Both scholarships include complimentary registration for Convening Leaders as well as four nights’ accommodation and round-trip airfare. Smith also received $2,500.

In addition to her leadership in PCMA, Smith is the convention services intern at the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau in Lansing, Mich.  Malinowski, who interned with Morley Companies as part of its travel staff and as assistant event coordinator at The Captain’s Club in Grand Blanc, Mich., will begin her career at The Waldorf Astoria in its Management Development Program after graduation.

Both chapter officers felt honored when they were notified of the Chapter of the Year award.

“I am proud of our chapter and the things we accomplish for our members,” stated Malinowski.  “Winning this award again reflects well on our club, and on The School and MSU.”

Carlie agreed, saying, “I’m very grateful for the leadership opportunities I’ve had with PCMA, and to win the Chairman’s Convening Scholarship is truly an honor.”

Carlie Smith
Carlie Smith

The PCMA student chapter is known as one of the most active and energetic of the seven other hospitality industry-related clubs in The School.  Club Advisor Dr. Jeff Beck said, “Lisa and Carlie and the other board members are continuing a long tradition of excellence in PCMA.”

The group hosts guest speakers and networking events throughout the year as well as site tours at popular convention centers and resorts.  In addition, the club has worked with community groups, setting up and running the hospitality suite for the annual East Lansing Film Festival, for example.

On Dec. 3 and 5, PCMA student chapter members joined with other volunteers to help host a number of events at the Governor’s Residence in Lansing.

According to Smith, who was one of those volunteers, “Guests included friends and family, along with Governor Snyder’s team and members of his administration.”

And, of course, the club will send members to the annual Convening Leaders Convention, which offers the students plenty of educational sessions, the latest trends in event planning and convention management, and opportunities to connect with leaders in that segment of the hospitality industry.

“Essentially, the students who are active in PCMA get exposure to the industry in many ways that complement their classroom learning,” said Dr. Beck.  “The School is also helpful in connecting them with meaningful internships.  All of this combined creates well-prepared, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic future leaders.”

Congratulations to Malinowski and Smith, and to the award-winning PCMA Student Chapter of the Year.

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