SHL and Arthur School Alumna Spotlight: Charis Tucker

Charis Tucker is a proud pirate alumna with degrees in education (c/o ‘03 and ‘11) and a graduate degree in sustainable tourism and hospitality (’15). The interdisciplinary approach used during the sustainable tourism program offered a unique take on the industry illustrating the interconnectivity between various disciplines. Additionally, the sustainable tourism program in ECU’s Thomas D. Arthur Graduate School of Business provided a strong research foundation further solidifying Tucker’s desire to pursue a career in higher education.

After graduating, Tucker held positions internationally, teaching English in Shenzhen, China and in the United States, working as assistant director of international programs at Mary Baldwin University. However, she continued to feel called to extend the research she started at ECU on race and tourism. Tucker is now a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech University, majoring in business with a specialization in hospitality and tourism management. Her research continues to center on the historical and contemporary experiences of Black travelers. Her most recent publication examines the evolution of the Black travel market over a 100-year period (1920-2020). As a result of this publication, Tucker is now a sought-after speaker at universities and tourism-related businesses that are interested in learning about the resistance and resilience of Black travelers’ past and present.

Most recently, Tucker received a $20,000 diversity seed grant to develop a measurement scale to understand better how Black travelers view the tourism industry, thus providing the industry with practical insights on this dynamic and quickly growing travel segment. Tucker continues to focus on sharing new knowledge with future hospitality and tourism leaders through her teaching in courses such as Travel and Tourism Management and Social-Cultural Impacts of Tourism.

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