Geoffrey Whitley

Geoffrey Whitley

Fall 2023 Outstanding Graduate

Degree: Master of Science in Hospitality & Tourism Management

College: Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

Geoffrey Whitley is a true example of resilience, perseverance, and generosity. Taking on two or three jobs to pay for school, he also runs a non-profit organization to benefit fellow college students. This fall, the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management student graduates with his Master of Science in Hospitality Management with a concentration in Mega Events.

As a fully-online student living in Washington, D.C., Geoffrey works full-time as an Housing Director and part-time as a teaching assistant at the Chaplin School. He also bartends to pay for his studies. Despite his busy schedule, this summer, Geoffrey also opened a non-profit thrift store called Firebird Coop, to provide D.C. college students with free clothing, toiletries, and other necessary supplies. Hundreds of students have benefitted from the store.

In his final semester, Geoffrey suffered a tragedy with the loss of his beloved grandmother. He credits his professors at FIU for helping him through the loss and encouraging him to keep going and finish his degree.

“Big shout out to my mentors for helping to push me through when I thought I couldn’t keep going,” Geoffrey said. “They have truly instilled in me a value for people and that’s what I love about the program.”

After graduation, Geoffrey hopes to land a job in hotel or restaurant management and is considering continuing his education and seeking a doctorate degree in education.

By Ivonne Yee-Amor
Strategic Communications, PR and Marketing Director
Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management