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Nicolau to lecture on tourism, March 7

Juan NicolauJuan Luis Nicolau, Marriott professor of revenue management at Virginia Tech, will present a student lecture at 12:30 p.m., March 7, in 246 Galloway Business Building.

“The lecture will be on tourism,” Soumava Bandyopadhyay, Lamar University associate dean of graduate studies and research, said. “His latest area of research is sharing economy accommodations. He studied Airbnb in particular, and how pricing impacts the industry.”

Nicolau was invited by the College of Business as part of a greater push to encourage undergraduate research, Bandyopadhyay said Nicolau earned his doctorate in economics and business administration from the University of Alicante in Spain.

Nicolau will also talk about his success in academics for students who are interested in becoming researchers, Gevorg Sargsyan, professor of finance, said.

“He stayed at the university after he graduated, because they wanted him to teach tourism management and marketing,” Sargsyan said. “He was a professor when he was young and his career moved fast because he had a lot of success in publishing research.”

The youngest person in Spain to be appointed as full professor of marketing, Nicolau was appointed Alicante’s dean of the faculty of economics and business sciences in 2014. He moved to Virginia Tech in 2017 to be the Marriott professor of revenue management.

The Marriott professorship is a distinguished professor position to develop programs in tourism management and marketing, Sargsyan said.

Nicolau is considered one of the top 25 tourism researchers in the world. He has earned 12 international awards and presented his research at more than 80 conferences. He has published two books, five book chapters, and more than 90 journal publications in his career.

Lamar University has a partnership with the University of Alicante for study abroad, Sargsyan said. Undergraduate research projects, research-oriented courses, and study abroad trips are encouraged by Dan French, dean of the College of Business. Students attend seminars and meet business professionals, and then create a research project to apply that knowledge to increase tourism in the Texas Gulf Coast region.

Sargsyan said he uses research projects in his classroom for more efficient learning.

“There’s a study that confirms, if a professor just lectures, students will remember 10 percent of the content after one year,” Sargsyan said. “When we practice knowledge, we remember 75 percent or more. I can tell you how to ride a bike, but you won’t learn if you don’t practice.”

A Q&A will follow the lecture.

For more information, contact Kayce Smith at 880-7106.

Category: News