New assistant professor Choongbeom “CB” Choi made his way from Penn State to the Harrah Hotel College to continue his research while teaching hospitality marketing as well as computer applications for hospitality and tourism. Although this Korean-born researcher has studied across Asia and the United States, he says it is his boundless curiosity that has handed him the world.
There is a great consensus in the hospitality industry that UNLV has one of the top hospitality schools. Plus, there is a combination of research and industry here. Not too many schools have this relationship.
What role do you think research plays at a hospitality college?
People tend to think hospitality is mostly practical, not research-oriented. But research is important. We need to apply some theoretical concepts, like behavioral economics or social psychology, to complement the practical side of the industry.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Seoul, South Korea, lived in Japan from the second to the ninth grade, and then moved back to South Korea.
What inspired you to get into your field?
I was fascinated by the many unique aspects of hospitality, like service marketing. I focus more specifically on behavioral price research, which explores how customers perceive, remember, process, and use price information.
Name one big challenge in the hospitality industry.
Customer preferences are changing so fast, it is difficult for the industry to keep up. Thus, hotels need to use marketing tools such as social media to understand customers and their expectations.
Proudest moment in your life?
My proudest moment was when I received the best paper awards at the Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (CHRIE) Conference in 2014 and at the Graduate Education and Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism in 2013. My proudest moment will be when my baby daughter is born this month.
What gets you excited about your job?
My favorite quote is from Einstein: "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." I think it is my curiosity that drives my teaching and my research and gets me excited about my job every day.
What kind of professor do you want to be known as?
I want to be known as a teacher who cares about students… someone who is always helpful.
Who is your hero?
I always try to follow the example of my older brother, who is financial economist for the Federal Reserve in New York. He inspires me.
Pastime or hobbies
I love to watch baseball! My favorite player is LA Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw. I also like playing baseball. I was second base on the team at Kyung Hee University in South Korea — the SG Snipers.