NSMH Profile: Supporting Diverse Leadership

The National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) is the University of Denver’s only hospitality club. Founded over ten years ago, it is a club open to all majors, although its business-focus curriculum offers great industry insight and networking opportunities for those in Daniels and Knoebel. Every year, NSMH DU attends Regional and National conferences around the United States. Her Campus DU was able to interview two members of the executive board to learn more about this jet-setting club!

NSMH President Emma MacEachern and Vice President Sophia Burge

Names: Emma MacEachern and Sophia Burge

Majors: Hospitality Management

Years in School: Senior and Junior

Position in Org: President and Vice-President


What is NSMH?

SB: NSMH stands for the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality. It is an organization dedicated to educate, recruit, and support the advancement of minority students in the hospitality industry. It builds and maintains relationships between hospitality professionals and minority students in ways that encourage lifelong commitment to the organization. The DU chapter strives to build members’ professional development and knowledge of the hospitality industry. We have travel and networking opportunities and more!

Why was it founded?

SB: NSMH was founded in 1989 at Cornell University as a non-profit student run professional organization working with sponsors to establish a working relationship between the hospitality industry and minority students.

NSMH DU at the Winter Involvement Fair

Do you have to be a hospitality major to join?

SB: Hospitality and business students are preferred, but any students interested in the industry, professional development, and diversity are welcome.

What issues are especially important to its platform?

SB: As a national organization, it is preparing leaders from across the country and world to be passionate about the industry. It inspires minorities to strive for leadership and management and to see their culture as a strength.

Denver hosted the NSMH Western Regionals Conference this past fall

What are some of the activities you do during the school year?

SB: We attend Western Regional Conference and National Conference. We have activities such as community service, Hospitality Week, working the Public Good Gala (coming up this Thursday), and hotel and restaurant tours and visits. Our meetings include pineapple talks that focus on different areas of hospitality.

NSMH members having fun in a photobooth at last year's National Conference in Chicago 

What is your favorite NSMH memory?

SB: I enjoy the National Conference each year, meeting students in hospitality from across the country, learning about the industry, and bonding with my club. Another great memory was listening to a senior and learning about their wine studies abroad, then one year later doing the same: studying wine, then teaching the club about it through a pineapple talk.

EM: Along with everything Sophia described, and the incredible exposure that the National Conferences have provided me, my favorite specific NSMH memory has been Hospitality Week. From sharing what our chapter does through trivia night at Beans, to appreciating our advisors, going out to eat, and a different community service event each year. It is an amazing week.

NSMH DU at NSMH's 30th Anniversary Conference in Atlanta, Georgia

Why is it especially important to have clubs such as NSMH on campus?

EM: Because of our school’s lack of diversity relative to other campuses, it is our responsibility to come together as a chapter to promote and support diversity within our industry.

SB: NSMH is a hospitality business professional club allowing majors and students to get more involved in the industry, meet students, network, and be apart of a bigger organization nationally. With industry partners like the Four Seasons, Hyatt, Hilton, and more, being recognized for engagement and leadership by a well established club will be helpful when job searching. Lastly, DUs chapter has the least diversity compared to other schools you meet at the Regional and National conferences inspiring and exposing our members to the actual industry.

When are your meeting days/time?

SB: Our meetings are every other Wednesday of the month at 6 pm in room 303 in the hospitality building.

How can people contact you?

Email your major, phone number, and year at [email protected]!

NSMH can be found on Facebook and Instagram