Tourism RESET is a place for professional collaboration and exchange between scholars who are doing work in the areas of race, ethnicity, and social equity in tourism.

Establishing this network of like minded scholars will facilitate the holding of conferences, joint projects and publications, and the connection of research professionals with community and industry groups. RESET is a multi-university and interdisciplinary effort conducted jointly by the Department of Geography and the Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management at the University of Tennessee, the Department of Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs at the University of Southern Mississippi, the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Appalachian State, the Hospitality & Tourism Management program at San Diego State University, Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University,  and the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at East Carolina University.



Derek Alderman PhD

Founder & Initiative Coordinator

I am a cultural and historical geographer interested in race relations, public memory, popular culture, and heritage tourism in the U.S. South. Much of my work focuses on the rights of African Americans to claim the power to commemorate the past and shape cultural landscapes as part of a broader goal of social and spatial justice.


Stefanie Benjamin PhD

Initiative Coordinator

Stefanie Benjamin, PhD, CHE is an Assistant Professor in the Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management department at the University of Tennessee. Her research interests include social equity in tourism around the intersectionality of race, gender, sexual orientation, and people with disabilities. She also researches film-induced tourism, implements improvisational theater games as innovative pedagogy, and is a certified qualitative researcher exploring ethnography, visual methodology, and social media analysis.


Alana Dillette PhD

Initative Coordinator

Alana Dillette is an Assistant Professor in the Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University. Originally from the islands of The Bahamas, she is always trying to maintain her connection to home through research on sustainable tourism initiatives for small island states. Her other research interests include issues around diversity and inclusion, more specifically looking at the intersection between tourism, race, gender & ethnicity. Currently, she is working on research to gain a better understanding of the African-American travel experience.

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Carol Kline PhD

Initiative Coordinator

Carol is in the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Appalachian State University. Her research interests focus broadly on tourism sustainability but her recent work has focused on animal welfare in tourism.

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Candace Forbes Bright, PhD

Candace Forbes Bright, PhD, is Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at East Tennessee State University. Bright’s scholarly activities have focused on social learning around identity.


David L. Butler PhD

David L. Butler, Ph.D. is a tenured full professor in the Department of Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs at The University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Butler has a doctorate in Geography from the University of Cincinnati, a Master’s of Science in Geography from Texas A&M University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University. His research interests include: aviation, space, technology, disaster resilience, call centers, and race and tourism. Dr. Butler has published over 20 articles and books, given over 50 presentations and has over $2.7 million dollars of external funding on research projects during his career. Dr. Butler has also provided congressional testimony and expert testimony on call centers and the US airline industry as well as being interviewed by national news outlets such as CNN and NPR.


Perry Carter PhD

Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech University

My research interests include human, social, urban and economic geography. Specific interests include geographies of consumption, travel and tourism, space and its role in the construction of racial identity, geographic methodologies.


Matt Cook PhD

Matthew Cook, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation and Cultural Geography at Eastern Michigan University as of Fall 2016. He studied cultural and historical geography at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville culminating in his dissertation, "A Critical Historical Geography of Slavery in the US South." Dr. Cook's continuing academic interests build on his dissertation, focusing on geographies of memory, historical interpretation, and race relations in the U.S. His ongoing research project addresses how museums around the country respond to expanding geographies of racism and racial violence. Focusing specifically on African American historical and cultural narratives, the project is part of long-term study that asks, “What is the role of the museum in the 21st century?” and “How do American museums change and adapt their narrative emphases in response to contemporary events?”


Elizabeth Covelli Metcalf PhD

University of Montana - W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation. Associate Professor of Recreation Management & Human Dimensions of Natural Resources; Undergraduate Program Director, PTRM

Johnathon Day PhD

Jonathon Day is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in Purdue University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. His research interests focus on sustainable tourism, responsible travel, and strategic destination governance within the tourism system. He is also interested in the role of business in solving grand challenges through corporate social responsibility programs and social entrepreneurship.

Lauren Duffy, PhD

Dr. Lauren Duffy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at Clemson University. Her two major research areas that intersect under the umbrella of critical sustainable tourism: 1) tourism planning and development with a focus on how power dynamics influence stakeholder participation throughout a planning process, and 2) critical pedagogy and global learning.

Her research in tourism planning is informed by a social justice paradigm emphasis on gender and Race in tourism and how power influences the distribution of tourism impacts (i.e., understanding who benefits from tourism development projects). Her work has focused on rural communities in South and North Carolina, as well as contexts in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. She is also engaged in research exploring ways to help students to think critically and ethically, while fostering a sense of responsibility to address the grand social and environmental challenges of our time.


Owen J. Dwyer III PhD

Department of Geography, Indiana University-Indianapolis

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Steve Hanna PhD

Stephen P. Hanna, Professor of Geography at the University of Mary Washington and Fellow of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), holds a Ph.D. (1997) in geography from the University of Kentucky, an M.A. (1992) in geography from the University of Vermont, and a B.A. (1987) in geography from Clark University. He is a human geographer who has been recognized for his research on heritage tourism landscapes, race and the politics of memory, and cartography. His published works on these topics include the co-edited books Mapping Tourism (2003) and Social Memory and Heritage Tourism Research Methodologies (2015). He has also written or co-written numerous articles, often with UMW students, that have appeared in Progress in Human Geography, Social and Cultural Geography, Cartographica, the Journal of Heritage Tourism, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, Historical Geography, Urban Geography, and the Southeastern Geographer. Dr. Hanna is also the Cartography Editor for the AAG and has, along with his students, have prepared more than 100 maps for publication in academic books and journals as well as for news outlets such as the Washington Post and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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Brett Heising

brettapproved Inc., home to, a travel and entertainment website for anyone with a physical disability or mobility challenge. And together with our loyal community of users, we're mapping the accessibility of our planet. It's a big job. That's why we started by celebrating the accessibility of hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues. Traveling -- going where you want, when you want and with whom you want -- is a basic human right. At brettapproved, we're dedicated to making sure that everyone, regardless of where he or she fits on the spectrum of physical ability, has the information necessary to travel confidently.

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Patrick Holladay, PhD

Patrick J. Holladay, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management at Troy University. His research interests focus on sustainability science, social-ecological resilience, and community development. His work is conducted largely through the lens of tourism but crosses into areas like food security, natural resources and faith/spirituality.

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Josh Inwood, PhD

Josh Inwood is an Associate Professor of Geography and a Senior Research Associate with the Rock Ethics Institute. His work intersects with cultural and historical geography and investigates the making of race and place in the US. His work is focused on understanding the cultural landscape and processes of memorialization as it relates to questions of justice.

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Leah Joyner

Leah Joyner is a PhD student and teaching and research assistant in the Parks, Recreation, and Tourism department at the University of Utah. Her research is centered in food justice, sustainable tourism, agritourism, and additional food related recreation and leisure experiences. Leah has previously worked with farmers and tourism industry partners on agritourism development projects both in the US and internationally and has been involved in a variety of research projects regarding ethical and sustainable food production, urban agriculture, community food access, and rural tourism. Her current research focuses on the potential for tourism and leisure activities to serve as critical tools in the pursuit of racial equity and social justice in food systems.


Kang "Jerry" Lee PhD

Dr. KangJae “Jerry” Lee (이강재: 李康在) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. Previously, he was a faculty member in the Department of Parks, Recreation, & Tourism at the University of Missouri. Lee holds a Ph.D. and M.S. degree from the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University.

Lee’s scholarly activities have focused on the issues on social justice, diversity, racial discrimination, subjective well-being, and interracial interaction in the context of park, recreation, tourism, and sport. His research and teaching have been recognized by Golden Apple Award in Excellent Teaching and Mentorship at the University of Missouri, the U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellowship, Diversity Scholarship from National Recreation and Park Association, and Korean American Scholarship Foundation.

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Arnold Modlin PhD

Dr. Modlin is an Assistant Professor of Geography and the Director of International Studies, Service Learning and Civic Engagement at Norfolk State University. He is a cultural and historical geographer who researches the connections of memory, emotions and senses in making and reinforcing racial identities at museums and historic places in the U.S. South and the Caribbean. While seeing race as a social construct, Dr. Modlin sees racism as a reality with sharp teeth. He is currently focusing his scholarly and activist efforts on dissecting and challenging the ways in which racism is recreated and reinforced despite seeming advances in civil and personal rights.

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Nicole Moore

I am Nicole Moore, Public Historian, Blogger, Consultant and Interpreter of Slave Life.

My initial plan for life was to become a Clinical Psychologist. I loved to help people work through their problems. The only thing was, I was not a fan of the multiple schools of thought that Psychology brought on, and likewise, they weren’t fans of my work either. But I had a nifty minor in History that I loved and so I managed to graduate with a B.A. in Psychology (I’m no quitter!) and held that minor in History from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2004.

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Amy Potter PhD

Amy E. Potter has a Ph.D. in Geography from Louisiana State University. She is an Assistant Professor in Geography in the Department of Geology and Geography at Georgia Southern University in Savannah, Georgia. Most of her research connects to the larger themes of cultural justice and Black Geographies in the Caribbean and U.S. South where she has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork. On the island of Barbuda, she explored the complex relationship between transnational migrants to their common property, while also examining how tourism is transforming Barbudan’s sense of place. Her most recent research examines racialized heritage landscapes in the U.S. South, particularly at plantations and urban house museums. She has published in the Geographical Review, Journal of Heritage Tourism, Historical Geography, Island Studies Journal, and The Southeastern Geographer. She is also a co-editor of Social Memory and Heritage Tourism Methodologies (Routledge).


Paige Viren PhD

Assistant professor of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism at San Francisco University. Paige Viren’s research interests revolve around consumer behavior and tourism, with a special focus on adventure travel and sustainable community-based tourism areas. She has worked closely with the Adventure Travel Trade Association examining adventure industry issues and trends. Additionally, her background includes a decade in eastern N.C. working with rural communities in developing sustainable community-based tourism as an alternative means of diversifying the rural economy.

She has more than 12 years of travel industry experience, providing her with valuable insight and understanding of the importance of translating research into practical application for community-based tourism. She has led study abroad programs to Australia and Fiji and was selected as the 2012-13 Outstanding Faculty Affiliate for the Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University, as well as the 2015-2016 recipient of the University Scholarship of Engagement award. As a longtime participant and advocate of adventure travel, she believes these types of experiences promote cultural understanding, fulfill personal dreams, and encourage environmental sustainability.