QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 85 - Page 25

Dakota Hotels A LBA BRUNO GRADUATED with a BA (Hons) International Hospitality and Tourism Management in July 2017. It was a double celebration for Alba on graduation day, as she also won the annual Dakota Award for Innovation in Hospitality Dissertations for her research. Her dissertation looked at possible factors that impact upon labour turnover within Edinburgh’s hospitality business, The Vittoria Group, in order to find a suitable solution to reduce employee turnover. Commenting on her graduation achievement and Dakota Hotel award, Alba said: “I’m so flattered to have received the Dakota prize and I’d like to thank all lecturers at QMU for their vital support and guidance. I would not have been able to graduate and being awarded with such an honourable prize without them. "My QMU experience has changed me and the way I look into the future. It gave me the confidence to pursue my career goal of working in human resources. I’m now ready and excited to start a new chapter of my life." The Dakota Award for Innovation in Hospitality Dissertations is part of wider support package from Dakota Hotels to sponsor talented students studying on QMU’s hospitality and tourism degree programme. ❒ Future Awards T HIS YEAR’S STUDENTS are in an incredibly fortunate position with several new awards on the table. In addition to the ongoing support that exists, there are exciting new packages of support from the Lord Forte Foundation, the Scotsman Hotel and the Kitchin Group. The partnership with the Kitchin Group will offer QMU’s budding restauranteurs and hospitality professionals with financial support, as well as the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and potential employment within the Kitchin Group’s portfolio, including The Kitchin (a Michelin starred restaurant), Castle Terrace Restaurant and The Scran & Scallie. Led by the internationally acclaimed Scottish chef, Tom Kitchin, these three businesses are considered as ‘Best Practices Businesses’ in terms of service, food and drink, both in the city of Edinburgh and the rest of the UK. The Lord Forte Foundation is the charitable arm of the famous hotel group that boasts Edinburgh’s prestigious Balmoral Hotel as part of its portfolio. The Foundation wishes to support final year students on hospitality pathways with funding to help with fees (in the case of international or RUK students), living expenses and other costs, in order that the students can focus on academic excellence as a priority without having to commit disproportionately to part-time employment. We look forward to bringing you news of the students who will benefit from these new partnerships in upcoming issues of QMYOU. These partnership developments make an important contribution to QMU’s links with industry and help to strengthen the University’s already robust employability strategy. For more information any of the above projects email E: development@qmu.ac.uk ❒ Money worries can also force students to focus too much on paid work at the expense of their studies. As well as affecting their grades negatively, this can lead to them dropping out of university altogether, or even prevent them accepting a university place in the first place. The Crerar Hotels Hospitality Bursary is available for prospective students like Megan, who are accepted onto the IHTM degree at QMU and who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education, irrespective of their background or economic circumstances. Uniquely, up to 50% of Crerar Hotels’ distributable profits are donated to charities operating within areas where Crerar Hotels are based. The Trust, which is chaired by Paddy Crerar, has awarded £7m of grants to over 400 organisations over the last 16 years. This forms part of a commitment to re-invest in the communities in which the group’s hotels and inns are based. Paddy Crerar, Chairman of The Crerar Hotels Trust and Chief Executive of Crerar Hotels commented: “We’re delighted to have made this award to QMU’s student, Megan Gillis, and look forward to hearing how this funding helps impact her university studies. “Crerar Hotels is committed to giving back to the local community to help it grow and thrive, and provide opportunities that may otherwise seem out of reach. For every stay our customers have with us they are supporting others, who really need it. It is great for our folk in the hotels to see their hard work and efforts helping people in their own communities as well as those from throughout the whole of Scotland and Yorkshire.” Megan added: “I’m really grateful to The Crerar Hotels Trust and QMU for their support and for helping me secure my place at university.” “I now feel able to achieve my full academic and career potential without the financial constraints. My hope is that this course will allow me to not only progress towards my career, but also gain valuable insight into how the hospitality industry works.” ❒ Botanical exhibition raises funds for students’ big ideas T WO AWARD WINNING botanical artists turned QMU into an art gallery to mark World Earth Day in April. Friends and graduates were invited to the opening of the exhibition of work by QMU’s former Head of Nursing, Dr Kathleen Munro, and Atholl Crescent alumna, Lady Ann Fraser. Together, the artists displayed over 20 pieces of original work with the proceeds going towards the Student Development Fund. Local resident Ann studied drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art and went on to specialise in botanical painting at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. Following retirement from QMU, Kathy also took the opportunity to hone her painting skills at the Botanics. Both artists created several exquisite pieces which transformed QMU’s piano bar into a colourful floral spectacle. Many of the drawings have been inspired by flowers and plants in the artists’ own gardens. Guests at the event were given the opportunity to purchase the original artwork with the ‘gallery commission’ going directly to the Student Development Fund. The Student Development Fund provides QMU students with the opportunity to get their big ideas off the ground and to develop projects that reflect their enthusiasm, creativity and initiative. Sir Charles and Lady Fraser also very generously donated one of the framed pieces called ‘Flaming Tulips’ to the University. This artwork now takes pride of place in the main foyer as a bright, colourful welcome to all visitors to QMU. ❒ QMYOU / Development & Alumni News 25