Department of Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management

Hospitality Associates for Research & Training

From the HART Director:

Tapping into the University of Delaware’s high profile and one of the world’s very best research institutions, HART is ready to address your hospitality research, innovations, and modern business challenges. For example, recently HRIM faculty and students were engaged in research on smart grids to address the energy consumption and carbon footprint of lodging industry, or hotels bridging healthcare to explore the most innovative and sustainable wellness tourism models.

Located in the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics, HART has conducted some of the finest research and training in hospitality information management, leadership & entrepreneurship, and operations of hospitality enterprises of all sizes.

Please e-mail Dr. Ali A. Poorani, or Dr. Sri Beldona for any additional information and how we can assist you in your research and training endeavors.


Dr. Ali A. Poorani, Director
Hospitality Associates for Research & Training (HART)
14 W. Main Street
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-6353x

Dr. Srikanth Beldona

Dr. Srikanth Beldona, Associate Director
Hospitality Associates for Research & Training (HART)
Director of Graduate Studies, Hospitality Business Management MS
14 W. Main Street
Newark, DE 19716
(302) 831-6192

Programs and Activities

HART Delivers:

  • On-Site Courses
  • Action Learning Projects
  • Blended and Online Courses
  • Research and Analytics
  • Multimedia Projects
  • On-the-Job Applications
  • Certificate Programs
  • Business Development & Training

Our Signature Program: Hospitality Academy

Transferring learning to results: The goal of Hospitality Academy is to create a culture of learning and caring crucial for service industries. Hospitality Academy encompasses a series of learning activities that engage hospitality managers and associates, especially frontline employees, with guest satisfaction. The following graph presents a synopsis of the model, which have been successfully implemented, in a number of hospitality establishments:

Hospitality Associates

Our Expertise:

Faculty at the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics in the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management program have many years of industry experience, and are currently engaged in the instruction of students at our award-wining training and research laboratories at the Vita Nova restaurant and Courtyard By Marriott hotel.

Faculty Bios


Our experienced researchers and expert faculty are specialized in designing your customized research and measurement needs in the areas of hospitality analytics, leadership and entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, operations, design, guest satisfaction, and human resources using both online or other research methods.


HART helps to increase your productivity and creativity by evaluating your work environment using focus groups, surveys, and the latest organizational design methods to create new and innovative change strategies. Examples include, defining your organization’s culture, instituting a learning organization, and creating a learning academy.


HART customizes a variety of skill-based applications, such as team learning, inter-group learning, problem-based learning, and action learning, as well as online methods to solve both your executive and staff training and development. Examples include:

  • Accounting for Non-Accounting Hospitality Managers
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Coaching and Counseling in Context
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Connecting to the Guest
  • Emotional Intelligence at Work
  • Financial Control
  • Financial Management
  • Hotels Bridging Healthcare
  • Tourism Development
  • Interpersonal Skills Development
  • Leadership and Ethics
  • Leading Change
  • Management Information Systems
  • Managing in the Service Industry
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Problem Analysis and Decision-Making
  • Project Management

Selected organizations:

HART associates have designed and delivered a wide variety of customized seminars, research, and training both in the U.S. and globally. Examples include:

  • Acorn Club of Philadelphia
  • ArabellaStarwood
  • Hospitality Training Associates, Australia
  • Institute for Philosophy & Ethics, Switzerland
  • National Association of Catering Executive (NACE)
  • Nintendo
  • Park Place Entertainment in Atlantic City (Bally's Hotel/Casino, Caesars, Claridge Casino/Hotel, Hilton Casino Resort)
  • Sandals Resorts
  • Sodexho Action Learning University

The Lerner College is home to a state-of-the-art financial trading facility, the $1.5 million student-led Blue Hen Investment Club, a student-managed restaurant and hotel, a high-technology development center of a global bank and a start-up experience for students with new business ideas.

Undergraduate scholarships, made possible through the generosity of alumni and friends, enable us to support promising scholars. Here, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and his mother, Leni Markell, join recipients of the William Markell Scholarship (center), which benefits students in Accounting and MIS.

The Institute for Financial Services Analytics is a collaboration between the Lerner College, UD's College of Engineering and JPMorgan Chase, and hosts events for academics and the business community designed to address consumer analytics and industry applications.

All Lerner College departments offer discovery learning experiences and emphasize data-based analytics to enrich the student experience. Here, students at Vita Nova, our award-winning restaurant run through HRIM, joined professional chefs and winemakers in hosting a 2014 Mid-Atlantic Wine and Food Festival event.

Lerner College faculty - like Meryl Gardner, whose research on foods and moods was recently published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology - are thought leaders who command attention from influential business audiences, economists and policy makers.

  • Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics
    303 Alfred Lerner Hall  •  Newark, DE 19716  •  USA  •  ©