New organization offers scholarship opportunities

GVL / Robert Mathews 
 Sydney Tyler of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality.

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews Sydney Tyler of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality.

Krisy Force

As a new organization both at Grand Valley State University and around the country, the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality is looking to recruit new members by offering a chance to win a $1,500 scholarship to its members.

“The scholarship was added to motivate more people to join NSMH,” said Hanesana Chittisane, president of the GVSU NSMH chapter.

The “iDream, iLearn, iAm” scholarship is an essay contest that allows members to choose from three different prompts. However, students can write one essay per prompt to increase their chances of winning one of the three scholarships available. Essays must remain between 600 and 800 words and are due by Jan. 24.

The NSMH is a non-profit organization that helps provide links for hospitality students to the industry.

“Even though we have benefits for members, people still have a hard time over the ‘M’ word,” Chittisane said. “The organization can only help you, it won’t hurt you.”

Local NSMH Leadership Chair Adam Comer said there are no cons to joining this organization, which offers networking opportunities and puts students behind a name he said is very well-recognized.

“We can network with so many companies that are tied to the hospitality industry,” said NSMH secretary Alex Lakenen. “Education is important but a lot of it is who you know. You can have a Master’s degree in today’s economy but still be working at McDonalds.”

GVSU’s chapter was chartered on the national level in late October of last year and was recognized as a student-run organization by GVSU shortly thereafter. Since the organization is new to both the local and national level, they are looking not only for new members but ones willing to take on a leadership role.

Chittisane said the group currently needs a newsletter editor, social media chair, secretary, treasurer, publicity chairperson and social chairperson.

To help with the recruitment of new members, the NSMH is taking a few steps beyond the offered scholarship.

The organization is taking a part in the national NSMH scholarship competition, Students Taking Responsibility in Engineering New Growth Through Hospitality. The program is a pre-college initiative that targets and recruits students from high schools in the area near each one of the NSMH chapters.

Each chapter works with the high school students through various workshops, business visits and professional development workshops.

The purpose of the program is to allow the students the opportunity to get familiar with post-high school hospitality education and to increase their awareness of various employment opportunities.

High school students who participate in the STRENGTH program are eligible to enter for a chance to win a scholarship.

“At this year’s national conference, the NSMH will award scholarships to one high school student from the host city of the conference and one to a student from across the nation,” Chittisane said.

GVSU’s chapter will be attending this national conference for the first time in February. The conference benefits the members by offering workshops and social networking with professionals.

“I am looking forward to being able to meet different people from other universities and being able to meet with the sponsors,” Lakenen said. “It’s a great opportunity to network and get to know possible future employers.”

The GVSU chapter of the organization held a booth at the Campus Life Night 2.0 on Friday to recruit members.

“We used Campus Life Night to try to recruit members in attempts of establishing our organization on a more prominent level before the students from the STRENGTH program or other seniors come to GVSU next year,” Comer said.

Students can learn more about NSMH on Stuey or

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