CSUN  Wordmark
Page Description

The following page is a three column layout with a header that contains a quicklinks jump menu and the search CSUN function. Page sections are identified with headers. The footer contains update, contact and emergency information.

Mechelle BEst, phd

Associate Professor & Graduate Coordinator

Barbados uh cum from ... and I love to travel!

Ph.D. Tourism, University of Florida (2008), Fulbright/OAS for Eastern Caribbean 2004-06

M.Sc. Natural Resource Management, University of the West Indies, Barbados (2002)

B.Sc. Hotel Management, University of the West Indies, Bahamas & Jamaica (1995, First Class Hons.)

Curriculum Vitae


I was born and raised in Barbados, a beautiful island in the Eastern Caribbean. I joined CSUN in fall 2008 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Recreation & Tourism Management. It has been a marvelous challenge thus far, allowing me to use my professional experience in managing and consulting in the tourism industry to really engage my students in the classroom and in the field. I have had the pleasure of both visiting and working in many of the countries of the Caribbean and plan to share my home with my students as much as possible. This plan got off to a great start with a study trip to the Cayman Islands during spring break 2009. I'm sure my Tourism Planning class will agree that this fieldwork definitely enhanced the quality of their university experience. Since the Cayman Islands trip my students have gone with me on study/research trips or conferences to Utah, Barbados, the Bahamas, Cuba, Spain, and a number of California destinations including Santa Barbara, Sacramento and Catalina Island.

My exciting journey is ongoing with slavery heritage tourism research in the Caribbean and tourism education research in Barbados. Both heritage and education are crucial to sustainability in tourism. On the campus sustainability side I continue to work projects which help me to engage my students in service learning activities for the campus and wider communites.




Myrresearch interests include 'greening' or environmental management in hospitality & tourism; slavery heritage and how it is used for tourism puposes; ecotourism and nature-based tourism; tourism impacts; and community participation in tourism. I am currently conducting research on tourism education in secondary schools in the Caribbean, and slavery heritage used by the tourism sector in the Caribbean.

I'm a faculty associate with CSUN's Institute for Sustainability and an active member of the core greening committee. As part of my work with the Institute I teach sustainability related courses, sit on the campus sustainability curriculum committee, and sit on the steering committee for MataSphere - a sustainability themed living community in CSUN Student Housing.

I am also a member of the International Association for Society & Natural Resources, Travel & Tourism Research Association, US Travel Association and California Travel Association.




Tourism official praises new book - Contemporary Caribbean tourismCSU

CSUSustains Hospitality and Tourism in California



* Tourism Forum at CSUN featuring Distinguished Visiting Speaker:

Mr. Hugh Riley

CEO & Secretary General

The Caribbean Tourism Organization

Mr. Riley's presentation

Video of Mr. Riley's presentation




*Minor in Sustainability!

A new university Minor in Sustainability started in Fall 2011.

The goal of the new program is to broadly educate students about the fundamental concepts of sustainability including economic, environmental, and social aspects. It is designed to supplement education in other disciplines and to provide knowledge of the considerations necessary to make decisions in a world where resources are limited.

The minor comprises three core courses in sustainability (SUST300, SUST310, SUST401) and three electives to be selected from existing courses within departments throughout the university (18 units total).

The minor is housed in the Department of Liberal Studies in the College of Humanities, and advisors are located in Education Room 100.


out & about







Alternative Tourism class visit to the LA84 Foundation - the legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles













Commencement, Spring 2011









Cultural Tourism field trip to Julian, CA. Spring 2011









RTM grad students orientation, 2010







Tourism planning class with students from the University College of the Cayman Islands, spring break 2009











Hiking in Mount Waterman with CSUN Outdoor Adventures, March 2009







Alt Text here





Hiking Trail Canyon with CSUN Outdoor Adventures, February 2009















Contemporary Caribbean tourism: Concepts and cases


by Sherma Roberts, Mechelle Best and Acolla Cameron

"Structured to provide an understanding and analysis of the importance of tourism to the Caribbean, Contemporary Caribbean Tourism stands as a foundational text addressing all of the contemporary realities of Caribbean tourism."


Culture, Heritage & Tourism


Sugar Heritage and Tourism in Transition

Includes 'The Contested Heritage of Sugar and Slavery at Tourism Attractions in Barbados and St Lucia' by Mechelle N. Best and Winston Phulgence

Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen Washington, D.C. 3-Day



Boston's African American Heritage Trail

"Freedom is a constant struggle"



Museum of African American History



The Way Home: Returning to the National Parks




Where in the World is She?






TED Talks

Ron Finley: A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA

Majora Carter: Greening the Ghetto

Majora Carter: 3 stories of local eco-entrepreneurship

Van Jones: The economic injustice of plastic




RTM 424 Meetings & Conventions

RTM 481 Principles of Sustainable Tourism

RTM 510 Trends and Issues in Hospitality and Tourism

RTM 530 Cultural Aspects and Global Perspectives in Tourism

RTM 550 Marketing and Promotion in Recreational Sport & Tourism

RTM 580 Seminar in Tourism Planning

RTM 610 Ecotourism

RTM 695AT Alternative Tourism

SUST 300: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sustainability

SUST 310: Best Practices in Sustainability

MINOR in Sustainability


Resources & Links


Barbados Uh Cum From

BBC's Fast Track: Destinations

California State University Hospitality Management Programs

The Caribbean Tourism Organization

CSUN Outdoor Adventures

Discover Los Angeles

Internships & Jobs

Sustainable Travel & Tourism

The Old Harrisonian Society

University of the West Indies, Cave Hill




Contact Information

Department of Recreation & Tourism Management
Redwood Hall, Room 266
Tel (818) 677-3858
Fax (818) 677-2695


Mailing address:

Department of Recreation & Tourism Management
California State University Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St
Northridge, CA 91381-8269