Leading media conglomerate Meredith Corporation — owner of brands such as Fortune, Better Homes and Gardens, InStyle, and Travel + Leisure — selects one top tourism undergraduate each year for its Meredith Travel Marketing Scholarship. This year, that student was Arizona State University senior Brady Schmitt.
Schmitt is a tourism development and management major with a concentration in sustainable tourism in the School of Community Resources and Development. A well-traveled out-of-state student, Schmitt said he came to ASU specifically for its tourism degree.
The travel arm of Meredith Corporation invites tourism undergraduate programs around the U.S. to submit up to three of their top students for the Meredith Travel Marketing Scholarship. They look for students who may have extraordinary experiences or unique needs, like being a first-generation college student.
ASU began participating in the scholarship program when Professor Christine Vogt, director of the Center for Sustainable Tourism, joined the university in 2015. The school has already established a good track record: Two of the three awardees in the past three years have been from ASU. The first was Virginia Miller, who won in 2016. Miller is now a graduate student in the School of Community Resources and Development.
Melissa Luebbe, national travel director for Meredith Corporation and publisher of Midwest Living, a popular travel and lifestyle magazine, saw Schmitt as a stellar tourism student.
“I saw fresh perspectives in the essay that he wrote for the application and signs of a young leader in the tourism field as evident in his impressive grades and work experiences,” said Luebbe. “His essay touched on the role that destination-marketing organizations, such as state tourism offices or convention and visitor bureaus, play in promoting attractive destinations.”
Rebekka Goodman, lecturer in the School of Community Resources and Development, wrote one of Schmitt’s recommendation letters.
“He demonstrates a rare dedication to the principles of sustainable tourism that so many academics hope to instill in their students,” said Goodman, who has had Schmitt in class. Schmitt was also a participant on a spring break study abroad program to Guatemala that Goodman led in March.
Besides receiving a $5,000 scholarship, Schmitt was invited to attend the 2018 Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) organized by the U.S. Travel Association, which was held this August in Phoenix. Learning from and networking with over 1,000 industry professionals for five days at the seminar was an invaluable experience that goes far beyond the scholarship prize.
“Attending the 2018 ESTO is an experience that very few students have, and I am honored that I was chosen out of the many other deserving applicants,” said Schmitt. “I could not have done it without my amazing professors and ASU's wonderful Sustainable Tourism Development and Management Program.”
Schmitt plans to use his award money to participate in an upcoming Fiji/Australia study abroad program.