HPU Event Management Program Wins International Award for Second Year

Biaett and one of his event management classes showcase the international award their program has garnered.

Dr. Vern Biaett, assistant professor of event management at High Point University, poses with the Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Gold Award for the best event management bachelor’s degree. HPU has received this honor for two consecutive years.

HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 16, 2017 For the second consecutive year, High Point University’s event management program in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication has recently received international recognition as the best event management bachelor’s degree. Dr. Vern Biaett, assistant professor of event management, accepted the Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Gold Award announced during the annual International Festivals & Events Association Convention.

The Pinnacle Awards recognize the quality, excellence, creativity and achievements of the festival and event industry, including the top bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in event management education.

HPU’s innovative new program has grown from eight declared majors in 2015, to 57 in 2016 and 98 for fall 2017. The program also has 50 current minors. In addition to their classwork, event management students are also community partners, volunteering and interning more than 1,200 hours annually with local event-related organizations and facilities as well as several non-profit organizations.

HPU students majoring in communication can choose to take courses in the event management track. The program uniquely positions students to land jobs in public, non-profit, or private event management and marketing organizations, run their own small event management company or attend graduate school.

“Our HPU program, uniquely housed in a communication school, employs an innovative approach to the field of event management,” says Dr. Vern Biaett, assistant professor of event management. “It was created with a services foundation as opposed to existing business, tourism/hospitality, or parks and recreation approaches, which tend to limit graduate’s employment opportunities. It is wonderful that the festival and events industry is excited about our new and creative methods and has recognized it with a Gold Pinnacle Award for the past two years. I can’t wait to tell them what we are planning for the future.”

“Our students have worked so hard and have been a huge part of the development of this successful curriculum and experiential program, so I am not surprised the IFEA recognized the value of this program,” says Dr. Virginia McDermott, interim dean of the School of Communication. “This program was designed to offer event management students a well-rounded experience in the ins-and-outs of all elements of event management, including the importance of communication throughout the process and the need to analyze the role of events in society. Perhaps more importantly, the program continues to improve and will add a new faculty member next year. Students who come to HPU for event management will be part of the continued excellence of the program.”


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