PCMA Scholarship for 2011 awarded to Kent State student Brittany Nemeth

Megan Wilkinson

Brittany Nemeth always wanted to expand her network of contacts from Kent to professionals in the hospitality industry nationwide to pursue a career at Radio City in New York City.

Nemeth, a junior hospitality management and dance major, said she was motivated when she won the HYPERLINK “http://www.pcma.org/” Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Chairman Scholarship for 2011. Nemeth said Erin Shamus, PCMA specialist project manager, called her in October to inform her of the award.

“I cried when they called me,” Nemeth said. “My first reaction was, ‘Are you sure you have the right person?’”

Each year, PCMA awards a scholarship to two students from the U.S., Canada, Mexico or Scotland that allows the recipients to attend the annual PCMA Convention for free.

Swathi Ravichandran, Kent State PCMA faculty advisor, said the selection process for this award is “fairly brutal.”

“I was very excited for her,” Ravichandran said. “I think it certainly reflects what she’s done for us. It was a great opportunity for her.”

Ravichandran said this is the first time a Kent State student has won the scholarship.

Nemeth traveled to the annual PCMA Convention in Las Vegas with the Kent State chapter of PCMA in early January. Twenty-one students, along with Ravichandran, traveled to the convention. There were educational sessions for the students each day, Ravichandran said.

Nemeth’s scholarship covered the $225 convention registration fee, her room at the MGM Grand Hotel and airfare. She said the scholarship also allowed her to meet Kati Quigley, PCMA Chairwoman, and Barry Smith, PCMA Board of Education Chairman.

“I got to sit down with both of them and talk for an hour,” Nemeth said. “They told me how to maintain contacts, how to network better and how they got on their career paths.”

Jerry Cito, vice president of Convention Development at NYC & Company, presented the award to Nemeth in Las Vegas at a Chairman’s Reception.

“It was a once in a lifetime chance that he presented me with my scholarship,” Nemeth said since she wants to someday plan events at Radio City. She said she hopes Cito will give her an internship to work with him in New York in the near future.

Contact Megan Wilkinson at [email protected].