Grayson Jamroch was going to be a chef. She had been planning that career path since she was 12. After years of trying to love something she didn’t, she decided it might be time to try something new: hospitality.
And oh, how she thrived.
The journey to hospitality management
Early in Jamroch’s career, a faculty member gave her some of the best advice she’s heard: “Life doesn’t just happen to you. You have to figure it out, and then earn it, a little bit at a time.”
That quote changed Jamroch’s outlook on her field, on herself, and where she wanted to go. Jamroch could continue pursuing culinary arts, which she was expected to do. Alternatively, she could break out and try to do something she may love. Luckily for us, she happened upon hospitality management.
“It never fails to impress upon me how lucky I was to have fallen into my field; I wound up in hospitality out of sheer need, and found something there that filled my heart and soul. This is what I want to be doing, what I love,” Jamroch, a senior in the hospitality leadership program, said. “All I want to do is make people as happy as possible, give them the best kinds of memories and feelings, and see them smile like they don’t normally.”
Every year, three hospitality students from all over the United States receive scholarship money from the Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship. Over the past seven years, four Missouri State University students have received this award. Most recently, Jamroch won second place.
Competition was tough, with 66 schools competing for these scholarships, including Cornell University, Auburn University and Purdue University.
“It’s truly an honor to be able to have that many recipients in seven years. This award is by far one of the most prestigious recognitions a lodging student can receive,” Dr. Stephanie Hein, department head of hospitality leadership, said.
Previous Missouri State University recipients were:
- Cat Blankenship, 1st place, 2012
- Matt Evans, 1st place, 2011
- Alex Schaeffer, 2nd place, 2010
With this award, Jamroch received a $3,000 scholarship from the American Hotel and Lodging Education Foundation (AHLEF). She also received two other scholarships: the EcoLab Scholarship and New Century Fund from AHLEF.
Jamroch has also received the Springfield Hotel and Lodging Association Scholarship during her time at OTC and Missouri State.
“Grayson is a hard worker, and she always has been. It speaks in her writing and her experience,” Hein said.