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|Ajay Aluri Biography|
Founding Director, Associate Professor, West Virginia University
Dr. Aluri is the founding director of the Hospitality Innovation and Technology (HIT) Lab and Associate Professor in the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University. Dr. Aluri’s education, research interests, and focus in the areas of hospitality information technology and management and information systems, have given him special insight into how these areas impact international hospitality organizations, society, and education. He is an internationally recognized scholar who focuses on innovation and technology in the hospitality and tourism industry. His current focus is consumer behavior research regarding the use of emerging technologies such as augmented reality, data mining, Internet of Sound, Internet of Things, robotics, and virtual reality. His research has been published in several top journals including Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education, and other scholarly journals.
Dr. Aluri is an editorial board member of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly and two other cutting-edge hospitality journals, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology and International Journal of Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality Research. He is also a board member of the International Council on Hospitality, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) where he is currently serving as a Director of Networking. Prior to this position, Dr. Aluri served as a Director of Research (2015-2016) and Director of Networking (2013-2015) for the ICHRIE-North East North American (NENA) Federation.
Dr. Aluri has been invited to speak at several industry shows and conferences, including HITEC (hosted by the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals [HFTP]); the Internet of Things (IoT) Summit; Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG); HOSPACE (hosted by Hospitality Finance, Revenue, and IT Professionals, London, UK); Global Conference on Business, Hospitality, and Tourism Research (GLOSEARCH); the Innovation & Tourism (INTO) International Seminar; the Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Show (IHMRS); and the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show.
Dr. Aluri is the Founding Director of the Hospitality Innovation and Technology (HIT) Lab, a platform to bridge the gaps between academic and industry research. He played a vital role in developing the Hospitality and Tourism Management program in the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University (WVU). He also developed an innovative course, Hospitality Social CRM (Customer Relationship Management), aimed at utilizing social media platforms in the hospitality industry. Dr. Aluri incorporates real-life projects based on issues faced by hospitality businesses today, so that students can get hands-on problem-solving experience. This is part of Dr. Aluri’s teaching philosophy that students are best prepared for life after the classroom by getting real-life learning experiences with actual businesses along the way.
Dr. Aluri is the recipient of the “2018 Excellence in Hospitality/Tourism Education” award from the West Virginia Hospitality and Tourism Association. He was also awarded the “2018 Friend of ProStart” award from the West Virginia Hospitality Education and Training (WV HEAT) in the West Virginia Department of Education, in recognition of his commitment and support for the ProStart students of West Virginia. Dr. Aluri received the “Outstanding Paper of the Year” award from the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research in 2018 and Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education in 2016. He is also a recipient of the “2018 Outstanding Reviewer of the Year” award from the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education. Dr. Aluri received WVU’s 150th Anniversary commemorative gold coin in 2018, given to only 150 individuals at WVU who exemplified the values of the university. He was listed in the Marquis “Who’s Who in America” in 2017. He is also a recipient of several best paper and poster awards in national and international conferences. A little further back, he was a recipient of the prestigious “2011 Phoenix Award” for Outstanding Doctoral Student at Oklahoma State University (OSU), and also received a “Citation of Congratulations” for his contributions at OSU from the legislature of the State of Oklahoma.