More than a teacher

A professor who is like family

Within its small class sizes, Ferris is known for its many good educators. But one hospitalities professor has truly stood out to students.

Karyn Kiio, “Professor Kiio,” or just “Kiio” as her students call her, has done more than simply teach here at Ferris. A professor in the hospitality management department, she teaches an array of classes, and has inspired many students over the years.

According to hospitality student Malorie Reno, Kiio has impacted her life by simply leading by example. “Kiio is always positive in whatever she does, and she is also very driven,” Reno said.

Reno also claims Kiio always makes sure people around her are doing OK before she checks on herself.

“I met Kiio while planning the interprofessional conference on human trafficking awareness, and I could tell from the beginning that she was very passionate and cared a lot about her students,” said Hospitality management major Arielle Barlage, whose sentiments agree with Reno’s.

One class taught by Kiio is called Cost Controlled Systems. “This class is an accounting-based hospitality class that focuses on excel,” Kiio said. Kiio says it may sound boring, but she enjoys this class because although the world is gray, in math there is always a right answer.

Another class is brew management. There are several levels to this class but after a semester in the first level class, students earn their beer license.

“Students think this class is all about drinking beer, which it is, but there is also a science side to it as well,” Kiio said.

Kiio is also teaching guest service management. This class is instructs students how to act professionally in the hospitality field. She believes this class is important because the students not only learn how to treat others but also how to take care of themselves.

“In this field we as the workers do not sell products, we sell experience,” she said.

Kiio’s favorite class is called Ski Recreation Management. This class is taught Saturdays at Boyne Mountain. Students become employees through this course, and some even stay up the whole weekend and work.

Kiio’s job at Ferris fell into her lap, according to the instructor, who claims she “took it and ran with it.” She has been teaching at Ferris for 11 years and she hopes to continue that.

Kiio says that her schedule is always booked from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. She is a “yes” person who finds it extremely hard to say “no”. Anyone is always welcome to sit in on one of her classes.