Mechelle Best, PhD
Associate professor & department chair
Barbados uh cum from ... and I love to travel!
Ph.D. Tourism, University of Florida (2008), Fulbright & OAS Scholar 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.)
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 journey is ongoing with slavery heritage tourism research in the Caribbean. Heritage is crucial to sustainability in tourism. On the campus sustainability side I continue to work on 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 slavery heritage used by the tourism sector in the Caribbean. I'm also very interested in protected areas and how diverse communities engage with such sites. In this regard I am coordinating a project called Re/Connecting People With Parks which facilitates visits to California's State Parks for CSUN students and community members.
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 California Travel Association.
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Recreation & Tourism Management
Redwood Hall, Room 266
Tel (818) 677-3858
Fax (818) 677-2695
California State University Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St
Northridge, CA 91381-8269