Students

Candace Kozell

Candace Kozell

College/University: UNLV Class of 2018
Major/Minor: Hotel Administration
High School: Southwest Career & Technical Academy
Mentor: Kelley Jones, Rene Werner, Mike Olsen
Fun Fact: Candace was a National Honor Society member since 2012 and was active with the state DECA program along with serving as a reporter for the Southwest Shadow, SWCTA’s broadcast network, in high school. She recently became ServSafe certified.

Melanie Saucedo

Melanie Saucedo

College/University: UNLV Class of 2018
Major/Minor: Hotel Administration
High School: Northwest Career & Technical Academy
Mentor: Ken Johnson, Marisa Martino, Luiz Oliveira
Fun Fact: Melanie is a junior at UNLV that has maintained a 3.9 gpa and is in Honors College. She plans to focus her career in meeting and events on one of the Strip properties. Melanie has just returned from a three month study abroad trip in Costa Rica where she was able to take classes such as Latin American Cuisine. Learning new languages is one of her interests and she is fluent in Spanish and French. She is currently a front desk agent at The Venetian.

Anna Tymoshevska

Anna Tymoshevska

College/University: UNLV Class of 2019
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Basic High School
Mentor: Sean DiCicco, Brent Cook
Fun Fact: Anna is currently the Group Hotel Services Ambassador at The Venetian/Palazzo. Anna moved to the United States two years ago from the Ukraine without knowing any English.

Mia Salomon

Mia Salomon

College/University: UNLV Class of 2019
Major/Minor: Hotel Management
High School:Southwest Career and Technical Academy
Mentor: Joseph Romano, Craig Gilbert
Fun Fact: Mia is currently a front desk agent at Caesars Palace.

Ben Sisson

Ben Sisson

College/University: UNLV Class of 2019
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Southwest Career and Technical Academy
Mentor: Michael Kennedy, Joseph Romano
Fun Fact: Benjamin’s father is an entertainer, playing with the likes of Steven Tyler and James Brown, and allowed Sison to become exposed to the entertainment and hospitality industry at a young age.

Jasmine Ramos

Jasmine Ramos

College/University: University of Nevada Las Vegas
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Southeast Career and Technical Academy
Mentor: Sean DiCicco
Fun Fact:Jasmine is a multi-talented student with a 3.81 GPA and ranks No. 89 out of 381 students at her school, where she is also plays softball, volleyball, and basketball. Jasmine volunteers in the SECTA Adler Room coffee shop and has participated in ProStart and SkillsUSA and is a SECTA Singer. Besides playing varsity in three sports and a high honor student, Jasmine will study hospitality management in the fall and hopes to one day own her own restaurant.

Maria Miranda

Maria Miranda

College/University: University of Nevada Las Vegas
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Ken Johnson
Fun Fact: Maria is a brilliant young woman with a 4.531 GPA who plans to pursue a degree in hospitality management. Maria has faced many obstacles but is thankful for the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program giving her the opportunity to be able to live her dream and go to school. She completed her internship at Golden Nugget Las Vegas and volunteers her time at events like Get Healthy, Get Covered. Her biggest goal is to become a Vice President of Human Resources at a large property.

Geovanni Saucedo

Geovanni Saucedo

College/University: University of Nevada Las Vegas
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Cheyenne High School
Mentor: Tim Bowen
Fun Fact:Boasting an impressive 3.96 GPA, Geovanni plans to pursue a degree in hospitality. In addition to being an AP student, he is the National Honor Society Vice-President, President of Save Club and has volunteered for a number of non-profits including Opportunity Village, Pennies for Patients, and Convoy for Hope, just to name a few. His father is a Convention Operation Assistant Manager at Caesars Palace which allowed Geovanni to become exposed to the hospitality industry at a young age, where his passion is rooted and propelled him to pursue the path he is on today.Geovanni is currently a barista at Starbucks inside Paris Las Vegas.

Ashley Hassler

Ashley Hassler

University: University of Nevada Las Vegas
Major: Hospitality Management
Minor: Restaurant Management
High School: East Career and Tech Academy
Fun Fact: Ashley is ECF’s first scholarship recipient from ECTA and it’s no wonder why with an impressive 4.698 GPA. Ashley is passionate about culinary and pastry arts and wants to own her own restaurant or be CEO of a company in the culinary field. Ashley is currently a Shift Manager for Del Taco. She has competed in FCCLA and Skills USA and even placed 1st in Culinary Arts at FCCLA and will be going to Nationals this summer.

Brandon Scarberry

Brandon Scarberry

University: University of Nevada Las Vegas
Major: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Fun Fact: Brandon is a brilliant young man with an impressive 4.506 GPA who plans to pursue his degree in Hospitality Management. Brandon completed his high school internship at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and hopes to one day be President of a strip property. Brandon cares about his community and has volunteered over 160 hours to organizations like Three Square and Spread the Word Nevada. In addition, he is also a member of his high school wrestling team.

Kennedy Villegas

Kennedy Villegas

University: University of Nevada Las Vegas
Major: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Fun Fact: Boasting an impressive 4.8 GPA, Kennedy is first in his class and is his high school’s valedictorian. This spring, he will receive his Advanced Honors Diploma and gain recognition from the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism and the National Academy Foundation. Kennedy plans to pursue a career in hospitality and work for Caesars or MGM International. Kennedy has a philanthropic hear and has already volunteered over 500 hours of community service back to events and projects that benefit the Las Vegas community. He has been awarded with the 2017 Nevada DECA Student of the Year, 2017 Nevada DECA State Championship: Hospitality & Tourism Operations Research Written Event, and the 2016 Golden Nugget Las Vegas Internship Innovation Plan Grant Recipient.

Monica Corral

Monica Corral

University: University of Nevada Las Vegas
Major: Hospitality Management
High School: Northwest Career and Tech Academy
Fun Fact: Achieving an impressive 4.326 GPA, Monica will continue her studies at UNLV this fall with the ultimate goal of becoming a General Manager at a five-star hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Monica will graduate from NWCTA with advanced honors and has had perfect attendance for the last three years. She believes in the value of community service and hopes to one day give back to students like herself. Monica is currently the assistant secretary for UNLV’s Chapter of National Society of Minorities in Hospitality.

Noe Martinez Alvarez

Noe Martinez Alvarez

University: University of Nevada Las Vegas
Major: Hospitality Management
Minor: Culinary
High School: Cheyenne High School
Fun Fact: Noe currently holds an outstanding 4.7 GPA, ranks first in his class, and will be his school’s valedictorian in May. In addition to serving as his high school’s volunteer sous chef, he participates in S.A.V.E., Skills USA, and the Chess Club. He has helped his fellow peers at Cheyenne High School campaign against violence and bullying, volunteered at soup kitchens, and has raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society and UNICEF. Noe hopes to one day open successful restaurant that helps give back to the community.

Rocio Vasquez

Rocio Vasquez

University: University of Nevada Las Vegas
Major: Hospitality Management
Minor: Business Administration
High School: Southwest Career and Technical Academy
Fun Fact: Rocio is an enthusiastic young woman with an remarkable 3.99 GPA and plans to study hospitality management and minor in business administration in the fall. Rocio currently works at the Excalibur and hopes to one day work in hotel administration. She is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and will graduate with an advanced honors diploma. Rocio is a member of her high school DECA program, and has volunteered for Three Square, Family Promise of Las Vegas, and the LDS Storehouse.

Alumni

Angela Szewczyk

Angela Szewczyk

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2008
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Centennial High School
Mentor: Joe Issa
Fun Fact: A member of the first ECF scholarship class, Angela earned a job at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino after graduation. Angela is currently the Manager|Resort Services of the Venetian/Palazzo.

Su Lei Hang

Su Lei Hang

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2008

Ronald Giorgione

Ronald Giorgione

College/University: Graduated from Culinary Institute of America – New York in 2008
Major/Minor: Culinary Management
High School: Silverado High School
Mentor: N/A
Fun Fact: Known to his friends as ‘R.J.,’ Ronald graduated from Silverado High School in 2004 and attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

Sabrina Karic

Sabrina Karic

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2009
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Frank Rigley
Fun Fact: Sabrina graduated from UNLV in 2009 with a degree in hospitality management.

Martha Morales

Martha Morales

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2009
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Rancho High School
Mentor: Win Person
Fun Fact: Martha has worked her way up to Director of Hotel Operations at Caesars Palace after graduating from UNLV in 2009.

Catherine Caro

Catherine Caro

College/University: Graduated from Culinary Institute of America – New York in 2010
Major/Minor: Culinary Management
High School: Spring Valley High School
Mentor: Kelley Jones
Fun Fact: Catherine Caro is originally from San Francisco, CA and moved to Las Vegas in 1998. She graduated with honors from both Spring Valley High School and the Area Technical Trade Center. She graduated from The Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park with her Bachelors of Professional Studies in Culinary Arts Management. Catherine currently owns her own catering company in Hawaii.

Myra Aguirre

Myra Aguirre

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2011
Major/Minor: Food & Beverage Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Jay Bluhm
Fun Fact: Myra earned a position at Arias Resort & Casino after graduating from UNLV in 2011.

Alona Rideout

Alona Rideout

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2011
Major/Minor: Culinary Arts Management
High School: El Dorado High School
Mentor: Andy Enrico
Fun Fact: Alona currently works at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino as a resort services agent. She is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas but aims to someday open her own Southern-inspired restaurant.

Hanny Herrada

Hanny Herrada

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2011
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Cheyenne High School
Mentor: Kevin Dimond
Fun Fact: Hanny currently works at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino as a convention assistant manager. Born in Cuba, she previously held internships at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino and Palace Station.

Cindy Ureno

Cindy Ureno

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2012
Major/Minor: Hospitality Administration
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Marisa Martino
Fun Fact: Cindy is Senior Manager of Client Solutions at LodgiQ.

Malek Sadri

Malek Sadri

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2013
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Coronado High School
Mentor: Ana Marie Mormando
Fun Fact: Malek graduated from UNLV in 2013 and is currently Lead Concierge at Wynn Las Vegas.

Karina Saucedo

Karina Saucedo

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2013
Major/Minor: Food & Beverage Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Jason Shkorupa
Fun Fact: Karina was an assistant manager at TAPS Sports Bar at MGM grand Hotel & Casino and is now currently attending the UNLV School of Law.

Nachely Martinez

Nachely Martinez

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2013
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management/Spanish
High School: Durango High School
Mentor: Luiz Oliveira
Fun Fact: Nachely graduated from UNLV in 2013 and is currently the Hotel Operations Special Projects and Hotel Administrative Manager at Venetian. She is a recipient of the Harrah’s First-Generation Scholarship.

Vesna Boskovic

Vesna Boskovic

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2013
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: N/A
Fun Fact: Vesna earned a position at The Mirage Hotel & Casino after graduating from UNLV in 2013. She is active in the community and has volunteered at the Greek Church festival and Abandoned Children Foundation.

Jennifer Lee

Jennifer Lee

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2013
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Advanced Technologies Academy
Mentor: Adam Odegard & Christina Clifton
Fun Fact: Jennifer earned a position at Caesars Entertainment as a project assistant after graduation. She served as the vice president of the National Honor Society organization, secretary of R.E.S.P.E.C.T Club and was a member of Key Club, Future Business Leaders of America and the College Preparation Club while in high school. She is currently Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for New York-New York Hotel and Casino.

Nexie Hingpit

Nexie Hingpit

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2013
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management; Meetings & Events Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Rene Werner
Fun Fact: She is training for a certification in special events planning (CSEP) and certification in meeting planning (CMP). Nexie is the recipient of the Harrah’s Claudine & Williams Scholarship and the Las Vegas Strip Minority Scholarship.

Ciro Fodera

Ciro Fodera

College/University: Culinary Institute of America – New York, Class of 2014
Major/Minor: Culinary Management
High School: Southeast Career & Technical Academy
Mentor: Sean DiCicco
Fun Fact: Ciro currently serves as a Sous Chef at Capo Restaurant in Boston. The Eta Sigma Delta honor’s society member has recently been awarded the Hector Boiardi Endowed Scholarship and International Wine and Food Society Scholarship. He was awarded the Avero New York City Restaurant Education Experience in 2012.

Emily Hewitt

Emily Hewitt

College/University: Johnson & Wales University Class of 2014
Major/Minor: Hospitality Administration; Culinary Arts Management
High School: Boulder City High School
Mentor: Scott Farber
Fun Fact: Emily earned an Associate of Arts degree in culinary arts management in May of 2013 and has been on the dean’s list during every trimester of college. She serves as a teaching assistant and is responsible for assisting with various events including Chef’s Choice and Girl Scout Iron Cooking Competitions.

Jasmyn Franklin

Jasmyn Franklin

College/University: Penn State University Class of 2014
Major/Minor: Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Scott Farber
Fun Fact: Jasmyn is currently a Campus Recruiter for Hilton Worldwide. Jasmyn served as national chairwoman of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH), Recruitment student ambassador for Penn State School of Hospitality; and as leader for JumpStart. She is a recipient of the Button Waller Scholarship, Four Seasons NSMH Scholarship, Franco Harris/Super Bakery Scholarship and Louis E. & Patricia Harvey Silvi Scholarship.

Jordan Moore

Jordan Moore

College/University: UNLV Class of 2014
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Rene Werner
Fun Fact: Jordan recently returned from studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, and volunteers her time with the Derfelt Senior Center, speaking engagements for high school and middle school students about college and serves as a board member for Food Pantry. Jordan is currently an Assistant to the Director for The Department of Youth Development and Social Innovation for the City of Las Vegas.

Claudia Soler

Claudia Soler

College/University: UNLV Class of 2014
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management; Lodging & Resort Management
High School: Durango High School
Mentor: Marisa Martino & Kelley Jones
Fun Fact: Claudia was born in Cuba and is fluent in English, Spanish, Italian and French. She was awarded the Avero New York City Restaurant Education Experience in 2013. Claudia is currently the Project Director for Kelley Jones Hospitality.

Vildan Buric

Vildan Buric

College/University: UNLV Class of 2014
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management; Lodging & Resort Management
High School: Durango High School
Mentor: Michael Kennedy
Fun Fact: Vildan worked his way through school as a pool attendant at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, and at his family’s sandwich shop at Boulevard Mall. Born and raised in Bosnia, he is fluent in Bosnian and English. He was awarded the Avero New York City Restaurant Education Experience in 2013. He is currently the Beverage Director of Green Valley Ranch Casino.

Wendy Pimental

Wendy Pimental

College/University: Art Institute of Las Vegas Class of 2014
Major/Minor: Culinary Management
High School: Foothill High School
Mentor: Adam Odegard
Fun Fact: Wendy serves as a line cook at Foundation Room and plans to become a kitchen manager or sous chef in the next three years. She was a recipient of the Education Foundation Scholarship and was on the dean’s list at the Art Institute of Las Vegas.

Mercedes Sanchez

Mercedes Sanchez

College/University: UNLV Class of 2015
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Jason Shkorupa
Fun Fact: Mercedes is currently the Sales Manager at Four Seasons Seattle. She served as the fundraising chairwoman and Hospitality Week Chairwoman for the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH)and was an active member of Alpha Gamma Delta. She was a recipient of the Strive for Pi Excellence Award.

Beatriz Portillo

Beatriz Portillo

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2015
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Sean DiCicco
Fun Fact: Beatriz is currently a Front Desk Clerk for The Mirage. She was a recipient of the Station Casinos Scholarship.

Kim Zhou

Kim Zhou

College/University: Graduated from UNLV in 2016
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Durango High School
Mentor: Lloyd Wentzell
Fun Fact: A native of southwest China, Kim is bilingual in Mandarin and English and currently is a financial analyst at Monte Carlo. She was the director of Marketing for Gaming Management Association club at UNLV.

Alexandria Von Mohr

Alexandria Von Mohr

College/University: UNLV Class of 2016
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Northwest Career & Technical Academy
Mentor: Adam Odegard, Dave Williamson, Chantelle Mark
Fun Fact: Alexandria is part of the UNLV Honors College and is a recipient of the Silver State Schools Credit Union Scholarship and the Station Casinos Hotel Scholarship. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA during each semester throughout high school and college and has been recognized on the Dean’s List all of her collegiate career. Alexandria worked at Red Rock Casino Hotel & Spa for a number of years and is currently working in procurement at Boyd Gaming’s corporate office.

Aily Rodriguez

Aily Rodriguez

College/University: UNLV Class of 2017
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Tim Jorgensen
Fun Fact: Aily epitomized the role of student-athlete in high school, competing in both track and pole vaulting while displaying her talents at state-wide events on the Sky Pure Pole Vaulting Club. Aily is currently the Citywide Restaurant Group Sales Administrative Assistant at Caesars Palace.

Karen Giselle Nava

Karen Giselle Nava

College/University: UNLV class of Fall 2016
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management/Meetings and Events
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Ana Marie Mormando
Fun Fact: Karen served as Chair Emeritus of the National Society of Minorities in hospitality (NSMH) and Presidential Student Ambassador. She was a Student Assistant and Events Intern for the UNLV Foundation, where she coordinated events for the UNLV donors. Events such as UNLV Foundation Annual Dinner with key note speakers like Hilary Clinton and Anderson Cooper. Karen currently works as a Sales Coordinator at SpringHill Suites by Marriott. She is trilingual (English, Spanish, and French) and was named one of Vegas Seven Magazine’s ‘Most Intriguing People’ of 2012.

Daniela Sanchez

Daniela Sanchez

College/University: UNLV Class of 2017
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Brent Cook, Travis Lunn, Kelley Jones
Fun Fact: Daniela is currently in the Event Services Management Development Program at Hilton in Indianapolis. She served as President of UNLV’s National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH), was a regular competitor in UNLV DECA and was a member of the American Hotel and Lodging Association which affiliates with the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association-Women in Lodging. She volunteered her time with Opportunity Village and Created A Change Now and interned in Training and Development with Caesars Entertainment. Daniela has also completed two externships and one internship with Starwood Hotel and Resorts.

Andrea Rocca Capano

Andrea Rocca Capano

College/University: UNLV Class of 2017
Major/Minor: Hospitality Management
High School: Valley High School
Mentor: Joe Romano
Fun Fact: Andrea is an active member of Alpha Delta Pi and volunteers her time with the Ronald McDonald House charities. She placed third in a collegiate competition for DECA and made the dean’s list throughout her freshman year.