Degree: Master of Science in Hospitality Management
College/School: Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Kristen Kaminski spent the last 18 years in the Air Force, completing two mission support activations and a tour in a conflict zone during Operation Enduring Freedom. After visiting so many places around the world, travel has become one of her dearest passions, along with serving her country.
Lured by sunny skies, blue water and childhood memories of family trips to the area, the Chicago native came to South Florida to pursue a degree at FIU. At the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, she tapped into a love for academics, under the mentorship of Professor Miranda Kitterlin.
With guidance from Kitterlin and other faculty, Kristen became an accomplished writer and researcher, co-authoring several studies on topics ranging from the effects of drugs on the food service industry to a case study on Cuba, identifying key areas of interest for American tourists. She has earned several accolades, including a best student paper award for one of her research projects. She also represented the Chaplin School at several research conferences and was a part of numerous honor societies and organizations.
Kristen overcame challenges in earning her degree – she lost her sister to breast cancer and she continued serving in the Air National Guard while studying. Still, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her entire college career.
After graduation, Kristen plans to pursue a doctorate degree. Following in the footsteps of her mentors, she hopes to become a university professor.