Taking Hospitality and Tourism to the Next Level: Meet Mary Jane Morrison

One of the many things that makes Cape Breton University so special, is our expertise in the area of hospitality and tourism. Being located on an island as beautiful as ours, it makes sense! 

Mary Jane Morrison, Instructor and Program Lead for the Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management (BHTM) program, has been teaching in the program since 2012, and has filled other roles within the University since 1997. With a background in Business Administration, Accounting and International Business, Mary Jane brings a unique perspective to the program. 

BHTM students at CBU are prepared for a career in a rapidly expanding industry, due to the holistic focus on tourism management and hands-on, practical skills. The program combines the strength of a business degree with focused training in tourism development as well as hospitality and events management. 

Throughout her time at CBU, Mary’s interest in the field of tourism grew. “Prior to starting my teaching position, I was the director of the Small Business Development Centre at CBU. During that time, I worked with many tourism-based businesses, coordinated and executed many events,” says Mary Jane. “It felt like a natural fit when I joined the team as a Tourism faculty member.” Now in her role as the program lead, Mary Jane has nurtured the program, allowing it to grow and thrive within the University. 

When Mary Jane isn’t in the classroom, you can find her serving as Chair of the Board of the Sydney Credit Union and on the United Way Gala committee. She recently concluded a six-year position as Board Secretary with the Cape Breton County Minor Hockey. Mary Jane says she has always felt encouraged by CBU to make time for community involvement. “Our University is community-based and gives employees the opportunity to participate fully to increase community capacity. I believe it’s a role we have always been encouraged to develop,” she says. 

Mary Jane says her favourite aspect of her career is the interactions with students. “The opportunity to teach is one I feel fortunate to have,” she says. “The engagement in the classroom and the chance to learn from the students, as well as teach, is amazing.” 

At CBU, BHTM is a three-year program which combines the topics of hospitality and tourism with general business courses, while providing a chance for students to augment their knowledge with elective courses. “This breadth of courses, with two paid industry internships, ensures that students are well prepared for their career choices in the tourism industry,” says Mary Jane.

Mary Jane acknowledges that the tourism industry is continuously evolving. One of her favourite things about the BHTM program at CBU is the great connection faculty members have within the industry, allowing the program to evolve and stay relevant. 

“The program at CBU is special because it is located in a tourism jewel!” says Mary Jane. “Although we have a growing program, students will continue to receive individual attention as they plan for their amazing careers!”

For more information about Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management at CBU, visit the Program Page