College of Health and Human Performance

Q&A with Rachel J.C. (Chen) Fu, Inaugural Chair, Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management

Rachel Fu, Ph.D.

This August, Rachel J.C. (Chen) Fu, Ph.D., will join the College of Health & Human Performance as the inaugural chair for the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management.

What excites you about coming to The Gator Nation?
The excellence, competitiveness, exceptional dynamism, integrity, and humanity of The Gator Nation excites me about becoming a Gator!

What goals do you have for your new position?
My goals are to create a sunshine future with THEM, HHP and UF teams together to:

  • promote the excellence and great potentials of THEM,
  • increase undergraduate and graduate student enrollment,
  • build trust between scholars and practitioners, and 
  • strengthen relationships among THEM, communities, alumni, industrial partners and governments at all levels.

What is something about you that is important for the college community to know about you?
I have a big heart for higher education: when our students are successful, I perceive that I am successful. I am a connector: I cannot wait to connect with various stakeholders within and outside the college community. Life is precious. I am in the business of happiness and I enjoy being a very positive person. 

Where do you go for inspiration?
Internally, I always return to the core values of my life to remember my strengths and regain inspiration. Externally, I make efforts to spend quality time enjoying every moment with families and friends. I admire the wonders of nature and listen to beautiful songs from all creation. I indeed listen actively to wise words of my mentors and beloved ones, and I read books for inspiration as well.

While we know that tourism is part of your research, do you have any favorite trips you’ve taken?
My favorite excursions have been a trip to Hawaii with my husband and daughter when I went snorkeling for the first time and a trip to Paris to museum-hop with my mother. I also love spending time with family in eastern Taiwan where we enjoy relaxing spa and food-tourism experiences.

Do you have any favorite quotes?
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” — Proverbs
“I never lose, I either win or learn.” — Nelson Mandela 

What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
“The best way to predict the future is to create it!”
“It’s OK to need help—just make sure you ask for it.”

Read more about Dr. Fu in the appointment announcement |

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