Editorial Board   Guest Author

Dr. Zemke

Dina Zemke

Assistant Professor William f. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Dina Marie Zemke, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she primarily teaches courses in facilities management. Prior to her academic career, she obtained industry experience with Hilton Hotels, starting in the property operations department at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, followed by the Tarrytown Hilton. She followed that with a career in sales with Otis Elevator in New York and Wisconsin. One of Dr. Zemke's research interests is examining hotel design and its relationship with property performance and guest and employee satisfaction. The work is focusing on how to determine how assessing design quality can help in the capital reinvestment decision-making process. An additional research area examines how to incorporate hospitality principles into healthcare settings to improve hospital performance and patient satisfaction. Past projects include the studies of ambient scent and ambient noise in hospitality settings, gaming customer profiling, and hotel cleanliness. She has published in numerous academic journals and co-authored a textbook, Managing the Built Environment in Hospitality Facilities, with fellow UNLV faculty member Thomas Jones. Dr. Zemke holds BOMI's Real Property Administrator designation and is also holds the LEED-Green Associate credential. She is a member of the Nevada chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, as well as the AH&LA's Sustainability Committee. An active member of the Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Educators (CHRIE), she serves as the chair of the Facilities Management special interest group, which exists to support hospitality educators who teach facilities planning, management, and design. She is also a member of the CHRIE Research SIG and the Environmental Hospitality Issues SIG. Dr. Zemke has a Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and MBA from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, and a BS from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. Prior to returning to UNLV in 2012, she also taught in hospitality programs at the University of New Hampshire, Cornell University, and Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte.

Dr. Zemke can be contacted at 702-895-4844 or dina.zemke@unlv.edu

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.