Dr. Brooke Hansen with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Belgrade and Receiving Award from the University of Novi Sad (UNS) in Serbia


In early November, Dr. Brooke Hansen, Director of Sustainable Tourism, met with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Belgrade, Serbia, as part of the U.S. Embassy University Partnership grant. PCGS students Dylan Wilbar and Kaylin Strauch participated in the project through scholarships offered by the grant. During the meeting at the SDG Integration Center, Dr. Hansen and UNDP leaders engaged in a discussion on how a sustainable tourism program could be outlined and implemented in Serbia. During the trip, she was honored with a certificate of appreciation from the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Novi Sad for her longstanding collaboration with the Department of Geography, Tourism, and Hotel Management.


Previously in July, the $98,000 grant was awarded to Dr. Hansen, together with co-P.I.s Drs. Cihan Cobanoglu, Adam Carmer, and Faizan Ali from the School for Hospitality and Tourism Management, Muma College of Business, and Dr. Laura Harrison, Director of the USF Access 3D Lab. The grant was titled “Immersive Technologies for Cross-Cultural Tourism Development: U.S. and Serbia on a Pathway to Digital Transformation.” This was a faculty and student exchange program between USF and UNS, which consisted of multiple tourism classes, workshops, and research projects. The focus subjects encompass: virtualization and technologies and 3D modeling at tourist sites, augmented reality development in hospitality and tourism, immersive sensory pedagogies used in food and beverage tourism, sustainable tourism development and national heritage. “We’re creating this bond across the ocean and across countries to strengthen ties, share information and support one other,” Hansen said.