Lea R. Dopson, 59, of Pomona, California, who was an associate professor and chair of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at UNT from 2001 to 2014, died in April.
She earned a B.S. and an M.B.A. from Texas Tech University and an Ed.D. from the University of Houston and joined UNT after serving on the faculty at The Collins College of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. In her tenure here, she doubled the number of faculty members in the program and saw a 300% increase in students. She co-wrote two textbooks, Food and Beverage Cost Control and Managerial Accounting for the Hospitality Industry, and she created UNT’s joint master’s degree program in international sustainable tourism with Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) in Costa Rica.
She also established The Dr. Lea R. Dopson Endowed Scholarship for Graduate Education in Hospitality and Tourism Management at UNT in 2014 and was a member of the President’s Council.
She returned to The Collins College in 2014 as dean and James A. Collins Distinguished Chair, where she served until her death. She was known for her energetic leadership, her unfailing support of students and her commitment to diversity. She was the current president of the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education, among many other professional activities. She also had a passion for traveling and had visited six continents.
The Dr. Lea R. Dopson Celebration of Life will take place online and at The Collins College from 4 to 5:30 p.m. May 12.