China recognizes hospitality Ph.D. student with award

By Sue McMurray, Carson College of Business

Lu-Lu-webPULLMAN, Wash. – Lu Lu, a doctoral candidate in the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management, received the 2015 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad, sponsored by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.

The award recognizes the academic excellence of Chinese doctoral students studying overseas and is granted to 500 candidates from 32 countries. Lu was one of two recipients representing WSU and will receive the recognition this month in San Francisco at an award ceremony hosted by the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China.

“I truly feel honored and humbled to receive this award. As I am going to become a faculty member shortly, I also feel responsible to support more international students to pursue their dreams and encourage them to excel in their professional fields,” said Lu.

During her undergraduate studies in China, Lu was strongly encouraged by her professors to pursue higher education in the United States. She sought assistantships from U.S. universities and received opportunities for graduate study from three universities, including WSU.

“Besides the competitive graduate programs, what really made me choose WSU was the people,” said Lu. “The staff at WSU was extremely helpful and caring – that is very important to someone who has never come to the United States.”

“Lu’s extraordinary achievements are rare among Ph.D. students at any university. Her impressive accomplishments demonstrate the quality of Lu’s research and are a result of her hard work,” said hospitality professor Christina Chi, Lu’s academic co-advisor.

Lu’s research interests include consumer behavior in food and beverage consumption and tourists’ destination experience. She has had eight papers and a book review accepted or published, most of them in top tier hospitality/tourism and food science journals. She has also taught two undergraduate business courses for four semesters and served as a teaching assistant for several core courses. She is highly regarded by her students and professors.

She has presented a number of papers at major hospitality/tourism conferences, most recently earning the Best Conference Paper Award 2016 at the 21st Annual Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism. Another of her papers was a finalist for the Institute of Hospitality Education Research Award 2014 presented by EURO Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education.

“Lu’s exceptional academic performance and her professional potential are well recognized by peer universities nationwide,” said Chi. “During her recent job search, she was invited by five major universities for campus visits and received three tenure-track assistant professor position offers while still on the interviewing trips.”


Lu Lu, WSU Carson College of Business, 509-715-9692,
Christina Chi, WSU Carson College of Business, 509-335-5828,
Sue McMurray, WSU Carson College of Business communication, 509-335-7578,