On the Ridge

Dual Degree Candidate Earns Best Paper Award at International Conference

Anika Loeffler, a student who earned a dual degree from Niagara University and the International University of Applied Sciences in Germany, received the Best Paper Award at the 2012 Korea America Hospitality and Tourism Educators Association Conference in Las Vegas, Nev. Loeffler’s paper took the top prize in the undergraduate student forum category, earning the Glashuette (Sachsen), Germany, native a plaque and $500.

Entries for the Best Paper Award were judged based on the topic relevance and contribution of research to existing knowledge, sound methodology and statistical analysis, structure and clarity of writing, and conclusions and implications.

Loeffler’s study, "A Study of Adopters of Hotel Mobile Applications: A Diffusion of Innovation Theory," investigated the effectiveness of mobile applications as a viable communication tool for hotel business. According to the abstract, “Little research has been conducted on the behavior of customers’ adoption of hotel mobile applications to date. The purpose of the study is to investigate hotel mobile applications’ characteristics that influence hotel guest acceptance of new technology products and distinguish early-adopters from non-adopters of the new technology innovation. In this study, the socio-demographic characteristics and perceived innovation attributes of adopters and non-adopters of hotel mobile applications are compared. The findings of this study could help hotel marketers to develop their marketing promotion and communication strategy to the adopters of hotel mobile applications.”

The conference, which was held April 7-9 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, included participants from North America, South Korea, China and the Philippines.

“Anika and her five fellow dual degree candidates are among the best students that I have seen in my 33 years at Niagara University,” said Dr. Gary Praetzel, dean of Niagara’s College of Hospitality & Tourism Management. “They have had a great impact on our campus and have strengthened our relationships with leading national employers. Much like our dual degree program, these young people are very unique.”

Loeffler received a degree in hotel management in May from NU as well as from her highly regarded home institution in Bad Honnef, Germany. The partnership is one of the many unique programs offered through NU’s accredited College of Hospitality & Tourism Management.