Faculty Bios

Leonard A Jackson, Ph.D.
Program Director

Dr. Jackson is an experienced educator with more than 25 years of international corporate and academic experience in the field of hospitality and tourism. He specializes in business development, lodging asset management, financial management and control, revenue management, feasibility analysis, lodging real estate investments, and operations management. He earned an MBA from the University of Guelph in Canada, an MS in management information systems from Oklahoma State University, a MAcc (master of accounting) from Florida Atlantic University, an MS in entrepreneurship from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. specializing in hospitality and tourism administration from Oklahoma State University. He also completed postdoctoral studies in finance, accounting, and entrepreneurship at the University of Florida. 

He holds the following professional certifications: Certificate in Blockchain Technologies: Business Innovation and Application from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Certificates in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management and in Hotel Revenue Management from Cornell University; Certificate in Advanced Hospitality and Tourism Analytics (CAHTA) and Certificate in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) from Smith Travel Research; and a Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance & Security from Oklahoma State University.

Dr. Jackson has held senior industry positions and acquired extensive international experience, working in all major sectors of the hospitality and tourism industry. He currently serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals and his works have been cited in both industry and leading academic publications.

Melih Madanoglu, Ph.D.
Endowed Chair & Professor of Hospitality

Melih Madanoglu is Michael A. Leven Endowed Chair and Professor in Hospitality Management in M.A. Leven School of Management, Entrepreneurship, & Hospitality. Prior to joining Kennesaw State University, he was Associate Professor and Dean’s Distinguished Research Fellow in Hospitality and Tourism Management in College of Business at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Madanoglu earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech University. In his 20-year academic career, he taught hospitality management courses at Virginia Tech University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Atlantic University (FAU).

Dr. Madanoglu’s research efforts received several awards. At institutional level, he was the recipient of the Florida Gulf Coast University 2009 Junior Faculty Scholarship Excellence Award. This feat was followed by the 2012 Scholar of the Year award in College of Business at FAU in the Assistant Professor category. The apogee of his scholarship at FAU has been the 2018 Florida Atlantic University Scholar of the Year Award in the Associate Professor Category.

Another notable accomplishment is the 2016 Bradford Wiley Memorial Best (Published) Research Paper of the Year Award in hospitality and tourism. This award is given to a superior research publication on a topic relevant to the field of hospitality or tourism management. He was also winner of the Best Paper in Track at the 2016 Southern Management Association (SMA). More recently, he was the recipient of Best Paper Award in Contribution to Conference Theme at the 2020 International Family Enterprise Research Academy.

Dr. Madanoglu serves as the Vice President of International Association of Hospitality Financial Management Education (iAHFME). His publications appeared in renowned journals such as Journal of Retailing, Tourism Management, Small Business Economics, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Small Business Management, International Journal of Hospitality Management, and International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. He is the Research Methodology Editor of the Service Industries Journal. He also serves on the editorial boards of International Journal of Hospitality Management, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, and International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Tourism Economics and several other journals.

Jonathan Brown
Lecturer

Mr. Brown's educational background is with the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, where he has earned a BBA in Management as well as a Master’s in Business administration. Currently, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Hospitality Management at Iowa State University and his research interests include Experiential Learning within Hospitality Education, Hospitality Internship Experiences, Economic Impact of the Craft Beverage Industry, and Program Evaluation within Hospitality Education. As a lecturer with the Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality program at Kennesaw State University, he has taught multiple subjects ranging from Beverage Management to F&B Purchasing to Strategic Hospitality Management.  Before entering academia, Mr. Brown spent 15 years managing hospitality businesses ranging from family-owned operations to large multi-national corporations; these businesses included Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, Cabernet Steakhouse, World of Beer, and HMS Host.

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