HFT4294: Senior Seminar in Hospitality Management: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

Professor Information

Instructor Profile Picture


Brian Barker 






(305) 919-4505

Office Hours

Tuesday 1-2pm


Course Description and Purpose

Student groups identify and research a major DEI problem or opportunity area of a hospitality enterprise. Discussions will focus on problems and solutions. Final report required. Seniors only.

Through their time in this class, students will develop critical thinking capabilities, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills through analyzing and creatively solving fundamental challenges faced in the hospitality industry. They will also be able to professionally communicate the research process as well as the solutions conducted on hospitality issues. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of fundamental leadership principles and apply them to their lives.

This Senior Seminar will specifically focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)—examining concepts related to under-represented groups in the leadership of the hospitality and restaurant industries, with an emphasis on navigating challenges and creating opportunities for career advancement for aspiring leaders. The importance of diversity and inclusion efforts and the benefits that a diverse workforce provides organizations will be highlighted and discussed.

 The topics for the class were identified in collaboration with hospitality executives and academic experts with expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students will be able to: 

1. Define, discuss, and apply leadership principles in the hospitality industry. 

2. Relate leadership principles to your personal experiences.

3. Develop a personal leadership philosophy.

4. Explore and dene challenges faced by the hospitality industry. 

5. Analyze a specific hospitality company through a variety of business lenses.

6. Identify and propose creative solutions to the challenges faced by a specific hospitality company. 

7. Use academic resources to find, evaluate, cite, and document sources.

8. Effectively communicate in both written and oral formats.

9. Collaborate effectively to solve problems. 

10. Create a personal brand for self-marketing to the industry. Important Information 

Weekly Module Objectives

  1. Define diversity, equity, inclusion, and other related terms.
  2. Discuss the concept of unconscious bias.
  3. Identify the role of diversity and inclusion in organizational advancement, employee retention, and creating competitive advantage in a global business environment.
  4. Recognize and discuss what qualifies as a microaggression.
  5. Explain the various attributes that make an individual an ally.
  6. Examine and explore one’s identity and privilege.
  7. Describe and discuss the relationship between emotional intelligence and cultural competence.
  8. Discuss the intersection between leadership and marginalized identities.  
  9. Illustrate advocacy and allyship.

Important Information


Please review the FIU's Policies webpage. The policies webpage contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU, as well as additional information about acceptable netiquette for online courses. For additional information, please visit FIU's Policy and Procedure Library.

As a member of the FIU community you are expected to be knowledgeable about the behavioral expectations set forth in the FIU Student Conduct and Honor Code.

Covid-19 FAQ Here

Accessibility and Accommodation

The Disability Resource Center collaborates with students, faculty, staff, and community members to create diverse learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable. The DRC provides FIU students with disabilities the necessary support to successfully complete their education and participate in activities available to all students. If you have a diagnosed disability and plan to utilize academic accommodations, please contact the Center at 305-348-3532 or visit them at the Graham Center GC 190.

For additional assistance please contact FIU's Disability Resource Center.

Web Accessibility Statements for Partners and Vendors 

Please visit our ADA Compliance webpage for additional information about accessibility involving the tools used in this course.

Academic Misconduct Statement

Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of ideas, and community service. All students should respect the right of others to have an equitable opportunity to learn and honestly demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the educational mission of the University. All students are deemed by the University to understand that if they are found responsible for academic misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and sanctions, as outlined in the Student Conduct and Honor Code. Academic Misconduct includes:


  • The unauthorized use of any materials, information, study aids or assistance from another person on any academic assignment or exercise, unless explicitly authorized by the course Instructor; 
  • Assisting another student in the unauthorized use of any materials, information, study aids, unless explicitly authorized by the Instructor; and 
  • Having a substitute complete any academic assignment or completing an academic assignment for someone else, either paid or unpaid; and


  • The deliberate use and appropriation of another are work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the Student's own.
  • Assisting another student in the deliberate use and appropriation of another’s work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the student’s own. 

Learn more about the academic integrity policies and procedures as well as student resources that can help you prepare for a successful semester.

Panthers Care & Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

If you are looking for help for yourself or a fellow classmate, Panthers Care encourages you to express any concerns you may come across as it relates to any personal behavior concerns or worries you have, for the classmate’s well-being or yours; you are encouraged to share your concerns with FIU’s Panthers Care website.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free and confidential help for anxiety, depression, stress, and other concerns that life brings. Professional counselors are available for same-day appointments. Don’t wait to call (305) 348-2277 to set up a time to talk or visit the online self-help portal.

Inclusivity Statement

This course will serve to embrace the diversity and inclusivity found within Florida International University. We appreciate and respect diversity, equality, equity, cooperativeness, community, and sustainability within our online courses. We are committed to the ongoing education of our students and their participation within the course regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, geographical location, religion, and disability. We strive in encouraging collaboration by preparing our students to value the differences in others. At the core of our intentions is the encouragement of acceptance and appreciation of differences within our student population and community.

Copyright Statement

The following conduct is prohibited by the Student Conduct and Honor Code. Lack of familiarity with University policy is not a defense to a violation of this Code. Unless specifically noted, the intent is not a required element to establish a policy violation. The following conduct violation or any attempt to violate the Code will be used in charging all Students or Student Organizations;

Section 5 | Conduct Violations - g. Computer Misuse

  • vii. Unauthorized distribution or downloading of copyrighted materials, including but not limited to, unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing. This is a violation whether the user is using their own personal computer or the University’s information technology system for unauthorized distributions.

Copyright Statement: The materials and content in this online course are provided solely for student use during the course. Course materials may not be shared outside of the course or with any third party without the explicit permission of the instructor or content publisher. Visit FIU Library’s Copyright Lib Guide to learn more about copyright law and restrictions.

Additional Resources:

Course Prerequisites

If the course does not have prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course. HFT4294 should be the Final class taken in the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management curriculum. The advising office must check that this is the last course needed to be taken.

Proctored Exam Policy

Please note that the information contained in this section applies only if your course requires a proctored exam.

Through a careful examination of this syllabus, it is the student’s responsibility to determine whether this online course requires proctored exams. Please visit our Student Proctored Exam Instructions. webpage for important information concerning proctored exams, proctoring centers, and important forms.

Textbook and Course Materials 

There is no textbook for the course. In its place, course materials will be provided in Canvas for your review.

Expectations of This Course

This is an online course, which means most (if not all) of the course work will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same for a traditional course. In fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills which can make these courses more demanding for some students.

Students are expected to:

  • Review the getting started page located in the course modules;
  • Introduce yourself to the class during the first week
  • Interact online with instructor and peers;
  • Review and follow the course calendar and weekly outlines;
  • Log in to the course 3 times per week;
  • respond to discussions by the due date specified. No late work will be accepted; 
  • respond to emails within 2 days; 
  • submit assignments by the corresponding deadline


The instructor will:

  • log in to the course 3 week;
  • respond to discussion postings within 2 days of the deadline
  • respond to emails within 48 hours
  • grade assignments within 7 days of the assignment deadline.

Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place in-person during class time, or during the office hours, students are also welcome to communicate via the Canvas Inbox. Check out the Canvas Conversations Tutorial or Canvas Guide to learn how to communicate with your instructor and peers using Announcements, Discussions, and the Inbox. I will respond to all correspondences within 48 hours.

Assignments and Grading

  • Assignment Expectations:
    • All assignments are to be completed on an individual basis, with exception of the final paper and presentation
    • Use the Assignment submission option in Canvas.
    • Do not email the assignment to your professor.
    • All assignments are due in full before the end of class time on the day assigned.
    • The expected turn-around time for feedback and grades is 7 days from the due date



Course Requirements
Number of Items
Points for Each
Total Points Available
Pre & Post Assessment 220402.22%
Guest Speaker  Reflection
Article, Chapter or Video Reflection Summaries
Career Services Assignment
Current Event Contribution11501508.33
Final Paper 125025013.88%
Final Presentation 11501508.33%
LinkedIn Learnings

Critical Thinking LinkedIn Learning
Unconscious Bias
Mindfulness, Diversity, and the Quest for Inclusion
Leadership Philosophy LinkedIn Learning
Diversity and Inclusion in a Global Enterprise

Grading Schema

Name From To
< 95%
< 90%
< 87%
< 83%
< 80%
< 77%
< 70%
< 60%

Course Calendar

Weekly Modules and Schedule 

WeekDateWeekly Module by TitleGuest Speakers


Seminar Introduction: The Vital Intersection to Leadership & DEI

Stephen Von Oehsen - SVP, Office of Strategic Management, Southern Glazer's    Wine & Spirits

Carlos Ferreira - Director of Strategic Management, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits

Shelly Lungstrum - Assistant Director of Special Events, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits

El pagnier “EK” Hudson - VP of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, FIU 



Sustainability and DEI: The Vital Connection

Dean Michael Cheng PhD, FIU - Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management 

John Buchman PhD, Co-Director Global Sustainable Tourism Program, FIU - Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

Leading with Emotional Intelligence
Terry Good, Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion SGWS (DiSC-Training)

Deanna Cleary, Director of Learning and Development SGWS


Leading In a Biased World: Stereotypes, Biases & Microaggressions

Carleen Vincent PhD, Teaching Professor and Associate Chair, FIU

Jonathan Saw, VP/ Head of Diversity Pernod Ricard

Socioeconomic History and Policy in America
Sherwin Robinson, VP of Dusse’


Identity and Privilege

Dia Simms- Lobos, 

Delrish Moss, FIU Police Captain

Stephen Von Oehsen - SVP, Office of Strategic Management, Southern Glazer's 



Leadership Hierarchies: Colorism and the Caste System

Phillip Carter PhD, Center for Leadership, FIU

8Spring BreakSpring Break
Spring Break


Building Diverse Leaders though Servant Leadership & The LMX Theory
Prof. Brian Barker, Endowed Chair of DEI, FIU
Minorities and the C-Suite
Valarie Ferguson, Director of Lodging - Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Women and the Leadership Labryinth

The Castell College Women's Panel 

Lisa Cain PhD, Associate Professor, FIU

Accessibility & Universal Design

Sylvia Longmire, Wheels Up Media



Advocacy and Allyship

Pete Carr, Regional President North America, Bacardi

John Wittig, Chief Commercial Officer at Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits

Valerie L. Patterson, Ph.D.

Director, African and African Diaspora Studies

Solving Social Problems through Hospitality and Social Enterprises

Raul Thomas, CEO CGI Merchants 

Shannon Allen, CEO Grown

Personal and Organizational Brands: Competing in a Global Business Environment
Jose Cil, CEO Restaurant Brands Int. Constellations
Final Papers and Presentations Due (TBD)