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Professor’s tourism expertise earns international recognition

February 06, 2008

For 17 of his 24 years at ASU, Victor Teye has had a job that many would envy. As a tourism professor in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development, he designs, implements and directs international study abroad and exchange programs for hundreds of college students who are eager to explore some of the tourism industry’s most attractive destinations.

Though seeing students develop global awareness has been rewarding, Teye’s recent international recognition in Krems, Austria, also was just as sweet.

Teye was honored by the IMC University of Applied Sciences with its Visiting Professor Award, in acknowledgment of the productive exchange agreement he developed with that Austrian university eight years ago. The agreement has enabled 16 Austrian students and faculty to study tourism at ASU annually, and more than 100 ASU students to study abroad in Austria.

Teye’s expertise also was tapped by IMC for annual lectures and the development of a master’s degree in tourism.

Heinz Boyer, IMC’s chief executive officer, made the formal presentation of the award to Teye at a ceremony in Austria.

Max Schachner, the head of practical training and overseas progams at IMC, cited Teye’s “great personal support” of the university and his gratitude for ASU’s institutional support.

Rhonda Phillips, director of the School of Community Resources and Development at ASU, calls Teye’s appointment “another major milestone in the institutional relationship between the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems and Arizona State University.”

Maximilian Schachner, an IMC professor, spent a semester at ASU on a Fulbright grant, and Carlton Yoshioka, professor in the ASU School of Community Resources and Development, has lectured in Austria as part of the partnership.

Teye founded two summer and one winter study abroad programs, and he continues to lead the school’s opportunities for students to travel and study in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Holland and the Caribbean. The opportunities include field work on mini-semester-at sea programs with different cruise lines, including Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL). The lasting impression these programs and Teye have had on tourism students is nearly legendary, according to current students and alumni.

Jessica Wood, a student in the program, notes that her study abroad experience in Krems convinced her to attend graduate school, and she will pursue a master’s degree in tourism development and management.

She credits Teye with “providing a different perspective on what can be researched in the field of tourism.”

Abigail Hartman, who just graduated from ASU with an interdisciplinary degree combining tourism and communication, says she discovered her tolerance and respect for other cultures during the program in Austria. Teye also inspired her to attend graduate school and to pursue a career related to tourism.

“I could go on for hours about how it was beneficial to me: independence, knowledge, discovering my truest passions, personal bonds, cultural immersion,” she says. “Dr. Teye made me love my college experience and, even more importantly, tourism. It was the first time I actually interacted and wanted to be involved in a class. He has also been a mentor outside the classroom. My college experience would not have been the same without his wisdom and encouragement, which students fondly call ‘Teyeisms.’”