Uncorking a Career: Meet 2024 PNW graduate Anthony Powell

May 3, 2024
Anthony Powell

Anthony Powell, ’24, will be one step closer to his dream of owning a winery and restaurant when he graduates with a bachelor of science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) from the White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the College of Business at Purdue University Northwest (PNW).

Growing up, cooking was always a part of Powell’s life. He knew from a young age that he wanted to be a part of the restaurant industry and a job in high school confirmed it was the field he wanted to pursue. He knew that to succeed in owning his own restaurant, he needed a formal education and chose the HTM program at PNW. A class on wine appreciation piqued his interest and led him to a more in-depth study on wine, visits to regional wineries and even producing wine at home.

Powell is the recipient of a Chancellor Medallion, an honor awarded to baccalaureate candidates with the highest grade point average in each academic college.

As a member of the Honors College, Powell served as a peer mentor to incoming students and participated in many volunteer opportunities. He played a role in reactivating the HTM Club, a student group that had been dormant since before the pandemic. In addition, he was a teaching assistant for the wine appreciation class and worked as a volunteer on several HTM events all while working a full-time job within the restaurant industry.

The Valparaiso native has presented twice at PNW’s Days of Discovery. In 2022 his topic was The Ethics of Automation and in 2024 he presented Understanding Younger Consumers’ Perceptions of Alcohol: An Exploratory Study on Declining Alcohol Consumption Among “Gen Z”.

After graduation, Powell is looking to enter the wine industry and gain hands-on training and experience, possibly through an apprenticeship in the field. He has been working toward a certification through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, an international organization devoted to the development and delivery of qualifications and courses in wine and spirits, and plans to pursue a certification in winemaking online through Purdue West Lafayette. Eventually, he would like to open a winery and restaurant somewhere in Indiana, Michigan or Wisconsin.

What does being named a Chancellor Medallion recipient mean to you?

“I’m honored to be a recipient of the medallion. It shows my hard work over the past four years has actually paid off. Besides getting good grades, there isn’t really a physical representation of the time and effort I’ve put into school – receiving this recognition allows me to have something to show for it.”

What did you like most about PNW?

“I thoroughly enjoyed the people of PNW. Just getting to meet and connect with people and learn about everyone’s different backgrounds and experiences.”

What did you like most about your program in HTM?

“My favorite part was the lab classes because of the challenges they provide. You come in, format a menu and an entire schedule for the day, put everything together, serve your guests and then you still have to clean up – you’re doing everything in one day. It’s a lot of work but it’s exciting and keeps you on your toes.”

“I really enjoyed having to figure things out, it’s like a giant puzzle and you have to arrange it so you get the best results. It provides practice and experience without the fear of being fired from a job. It was just a very enjoyable experience for me.”

My favorite part was the lab classes because of the challenges they provide. You come in, format a menu and an entire schedule for the day, put everything together, serve your guests and then you still have to clean up – you’re doing everything in one day.

Anthony Powell, ‘24, Hospitality and Tourism Management

How do you think your involvement in campus organizations and activities helped define your success at PNW?

“Attending campus events has been a great way to meet other students and build connections. The biggest takeaways were developing communication skills, working in a group and learning to be patient and more compassionate by taking into account multiple people’s perspectives – everything you actually need for a workplace.”

What words of advice would you share with prospective students looking to attend PNW?

“Start early by joining or doing more with clubs and student organizations. It’s a great way to connect with other people and have different experiences. It also helps create who you are as a person. Also, try to work during school – it gives you experience, a foot in the door and connections to make your job search easier.”

Was there anyone at PNW who inspired or encouraged you along the way?

Pitparnee Stompor

Pitparnee Stompor

Clinical professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management

“Chef Pit taught me how to see the value in everything and pushed me to be a better chef and person. She was about personal empowerment.”

Matthew Bauman

Matthew Bauman

Assistant Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management

“Dr. Bauman pushed me to pursue my wine education and has helped mentor me through the wine certification I’m working on. He’s also given me multiple opportunities to do more with wine, lead different events and get my foot in the door to the workplace and the wine business.”

Spring 2024 Graduate Candidate Teja Brown

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