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Linda Joyce Forristal, Ph.D., CCP

Associate Teaching Professor
Hospitality and Tourism



  • PhD, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 2009
    Specialization: Destination management, identification of cultural assets for sustainable tourism development, tourism marketing, place branding with native species, communications
  • MTA (Master, Tourism Administration), George Washington University, Washington, DC, 2004
    Specialization: Destination management
    Awards: Philip Ogilvie Memorial Academic Excellence Award, May 2004
  • BS, Botany and Zoology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
    Specialization: Botany and zoology

Research Interests

  • Place branding and tourism in relation to native species, including sustainability
  • Cultural heritage tourism, including foodways and indigenous tourism
  • Marketing of destinations, especially in relation to cultural heritage
  • Tourism mobility and transit connectivity; mobilities

Linda Joyce Forristal is an assistant teaching professor in the department of Hospitality and Sport Management. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in tourism, including Tourism 1 (Introduction to Tourism), Tourism 2 (Tourism Geography), Cultural Heritage Tourism, The Global Tourism System, Convention Management, and Literary Tourism. She also guides graduate hospitality research. Her two key streams of tourism research are related to native species and cultural heritage, especially the intersection of the two.

Teaching Philosophy

An overall influence on her teaching is her background in botany and zoology, which helped her become a keen observer of the natural world. She is interested in how humans integrated the natural world into their cultural life. Cultural heritage tourism is one of her primary academic interests. She thinks it's important to connect students to the natural world, help them be better observers, and then guide them to be able to see how those influences have shaped the world around them. In order to facilitate this, she believes interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, and intra-campus academic connections and partnerships with key tourism stakeholders and industry leaders are vital to academia.

Expose and connect students to key tourism/hospitality stakeholders and industries leaders
It is important to invite key stakeholders into the classroom as guest speakers or conduct fieldtrips to meet them. This not only broadens student vistas, but helps them start to create their own network of industry professionals. Since Philadelphia is so centrally located, speakers can be drawn from the city and from as far away as New York and Washington, DC. Fieldtrip possibilities are wide and varied.

Incorporate current material and social media tools into lectures and class requirements
In order to keep abreast of the rapidly changing landscape of tourism practices and principles, it is necessary to augment lecture material with up-to-date print and electronic information from databases, journals, conference papers, streaming video, social media, and case studies. The integration of emerging social networking technology into pedagogy will give students the ability to customize their experience and gain ownership of their learning.

Offer students real-world experiences
When partnerships with community stakeholders are shared with students it directly exposes them to potential employers and emerging career paths.

Help students become more observant of natural & cultural world
The theme of sustainability of the natural world is woven into all the curricula. An appreciation for tangible and intangible cultural heritage and its sustainability, in the form of cuisine, art, architecture, music, traditions, etc., is another constant theme.

Help students engage with assigned material
Online homework, even for face-to-face classes, helps keep students current and engaged with the assigned readings and reinforces new content.

Encourage originality, creativity and better communication skills
Classroom walls no longer bound the learning environment. But while state-of-the-art technology in either the campus- or cyber-based classroom is an expected standard, its overt and covert temptation has not only led to increasing plagiarism and savvy schemes to avoid detection, but to poor communication skills and increasingly poor penmanship. Strategies to help students improve written and oral communications skills will be incorporated into classroom experience including, presentation skills which encourage creativity, and when necessary, remedial skills such as outlining and annotated bibliographies.

Research Philosophy

Two key streams of tourism research are related to native species and cultural heritage, as well as the intersection of the two, including indigenous culture. This research is significant because side-by-side with the need for economic viability of tourism, there is arising call for sustainability and authenticity in relation both environmental and the social-cultural underpinnings of tourism. As subsets of culture heritage tourism, she is interested in culinary tourism and foodways. With increasing competition for tourism revenues, destinations must distinguish themselves and there is no better way than with efforts based on unique culture and heritage, especially foodways based on native species. Another emerging stream of research is the role and impact of social media and new technologies on hospitality marketing, as well as the function and role of social capital.

She believes in building interdisciplinary relationships in the belief that such collaborations will lead to cutting-edge scholarship and add new streams to my research based on the needs of the department, university and community at large.

View some of her research projects.

Service/Engagement Philosophy

With a rising call for more responsive education that prepares students for the current job market, universities are being asked to find ways to engage with the various levels of community—from those neighboring the campus to the world. An effective scholar must be able to interact with a series of different community stakeholders, both urban and rural. Raised on an Iowa farm, she is extremely familiar with the pressures and privileges of rural living. This is balanced by twenty years of living and working in the nation's capitol that gave me an appreciation for urban life.

Professors and students should extend their interests beyond campus. Through partnerships and collaborations, at least a portion of one's research, either as a professor or a student, should involve "community" topics that are aligned with department and university missions, as well as personal interests. With more than two decades of real-world experience networking with writers, academics, and government officials to keep abreast of developments in science, the culinary arts and tourism, she has the communication and interpersonal skills to work with a wide range of stakeholders. The right strategic partnerships can serve as catalysts for a meaningful research agenda. Communities she is currently engaged with include:

  • Faculty advisor, Drexel University's Dragon Chapter, National Society for Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH), 2010-present
  • Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC), faculty advisor, 2010, 2011 & 2012 competitions
  • Les Dames d'Escoffier (LDEI), Washington, DC and Philadelphia chapters
  • Membership and Grants committees, Washington, DC (1999-present)
  • Destination Management Organizations and other tourism entities in the Europe (especially France, Croatia, and Ireland), the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean