Adjunct Spotlight: Jordan Carlisle

By Rachel Beck –

Being a full-time assistant general manager at a luxury hotel in New York City would keep most people buried in work. Yet, Jordan Carlisle still finds time to be an adjunct instructor for FHSU’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality. In fact, his position as an assistant general manager allows him to bring real-world experience into his course.

Although Carlisle found his place in the hospitality industry by accident, he has grown an appreciation for and found his niche in the field. He started his first job as a hotel lifeguard when he was sixteen. Later, he became a lobby receptionist, not a position he enjoyed: “I hated it,” he says. “It was too hard, the guests were mean, and I wanted to quit.”

However, as he gained experience, his perspective changed. He advises, “Surround yourself in a work environment you enjoy. Find a team you want to be a part of, or if you have the authority, you build it. You make the most of it. You find the good part in each bad experience.” In fact, even the experience of a bad day can be positive: “If I wasn’t upset or mad about something at the end of the day, then I didn’t care enough. I didn’t put enough of myself into it,” he says.

His experiences as a teenager led him to study the industry throughout college. He earned his Bachelor of Tourism & Hospitality Management and Master of Professional Studies, with a concentration in Human Resources at FHSU.

Carlisle represents dedication, success and a positive perspective in his field of work. As a teacher, he encourages students to develop these characteristics within themselves. While doing so, he prioritizes timeliness, empathy and an open-door policy, bridging the gap between him and his students.

Always innovating, he plans to introduce optional video chats where the class discussion will not be limited to the textbook but will offer students the chance to explore the industry and future careers. “School and opportunities are what you make it, so if you make video chats optional, students who take advantage of them are the ones who will get the most out of the course,” he says.

He hopes that after taking his classes, students will remember these key principles: “This industry is open to so many possibilities. If you put in the work, you will get what you want. There is a home for everybody. You just have to find the one for you.” Considering the possibility that graduates don’t always choose to stay within the industry, he notes, “Your degree doesn’t define you. What students learn in this degree is applicable anywhere else. These types of qualities in people are desirable in other industries. At the end of the day, hospitality is people.” 

Before moving to New York in 2020, Carlisle would travel from Kansas City to host classes or alumni events at FHSU. Since moving to New York, he has hosted the department’s honors society, Eta Sigma Delta, at the hotel he manages, Renaissance New York Midtown.  Despite his normally booked schedule, he feels the commitment to give back. “FHSU set me up for success, so I try to do what I can to be a part of the community still,” he says. He’s even in the process of starting a new Tourism and Hospitality scholarship.

In Carlisle’s free time, he enjoys attending concerts, Broadway shows, live shows in general and of course traveling. Also, he enjoys spending time with his Australian shepherd named Monty. While he doesn’t have the chance to visit FHSU frequently, when visiting family, he travels to Kansas City. Also, he remains in contact with the Department Chair of Tourism and Hospitality, Dr. Stacey Smith, whose support he appreciates.

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