Molly J. Dahm, Ph.D.



As a full professor and the Program Coordinator for the Hospitality Administration/Culinary Arts programs at Lamar University, I offer a career’s worth of experience both in the practical as well as the academic field. I spent the first twenty years of my professional career working in both the domestic and international hospitality management fields and have just completed my twenty-second year of teaching at the postsecondary level. My industry background includes managerial positions in private clubs, hotels, restaurants, convention centers, event management, casinos and contract management. Highlights of my career include serving as liaison between Interstate United Corporation (contract foodservice management) and the Los Angeles Olympic Committee for the 1984 LA Olympics. I also managed the Riverside Convention Center in Riverside, Calif., and worked as Associate Director at L’Hotel in Paris, France.

Upon my arrival at Lamar University, I was challenged to re-create a program that was both appealing to students (and employers) in today’s hospitality industry and one that would produce marketable candidates. While working on this revision, I spent three and a half years earning my doctoral degree in Educational Psychology and Human Differences at the University of Houston. I have been instrumental in developing our Culinary Arts Program which has been accredited since 2003. One particular achievement was the creation of our international internship. In this program, students have traveled to London (2015) and Italy (2017) to be exposed to international Hospitality and Culinary Arts properties and services, all while they are working with internationally acclaimed chefs in their home environments. 

I have provided service to the university and to the community as well as the hospitality industry itself. Recently, I served for seven years as a Texas governor appointee to the Product Development and Small Business Incubator Committee, tasked with asset-based lending to businesses. I serve on several industry organization boards. As a member of the Sabine Area Restaurant Association, I was instrumental in securing a Hospitality program endowment of $250,000. I have both chaired and served on multiple university, college and departmental committees. As a member of the COEHD Research Committee, I was responsible for conceptualizing and coordinating the efforts of that committee in putting on a well-received regional Research Conference.

Finally, as an academic, I continue to contribute to the scholarly field in numerous way. I currently serve on two journal editorial boards. For 15 years, I have served as a reviewer for conference papers and presentations at the Hospitality and Tourism field’s leading academic group, I-CHRIE. In addition, I continue to publish in respected journals, with a focus on diversity studies, food service management, and ethics. I have also worked closely with students to develop their theses into publishable manuscripts.