Name: Delio Morato
Hometown: Marblehead, MA and Miami, FL
Job Title/Department: Assistant Director, Advising Office, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Campus: Biscayne Bay Campus
In a nutshell (what do you do in your position?): As the main point of entry to the hospitality department for the majority of students, my staff and I serve as the first contact for undergraduate and graduate students who want to pursue a degree in hospitality management and build a successful career in the hospitality industry.
We organize the hospitality portion of orientation, guide students through the different majors, and ensure that they complete all coursework in a timely manner. We help students connect with professors, industry organizations and professionals in order for them to expand their marketability and engagement with the industry.
One of the programs that our department offers to engage students is called “Behind the Scenes”. This program allows students to visit and tour Miami’s most prominent hospitality companies and landmark venues, as well as meet and network with top executives in the industry. This program has been very successful thanks to the continuous support of our alumni, the Jay Willard and Alice S. Marriott Career Development Office team and faculty.
Number of years at FIU: I have been with FIU for about 10 years and during this time, I have been fortunate enough to work with really great individuals. As an undergraduate student, I worked with the Public Safety department, then I became a resident assistant and a peer advisor. While pursuing a master’s degree, I worked with BBC Campus Life and Orientation as a Graduate Assistant.
After graduation, I joined the School of Journalism and Mass Communication as a Bridge Advisor and lastly, I became part of the advising team at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management about four years ago.
What do you enjoy most about your job?: It’s great to see students flourish in their fields as they progress from orientation to graduation. All faculty and staff focus on what is best for the students. Working for a worldwide recognized university and department offers me the opportunity to meet and interact with very unique individuals on a daily basis. Plus, you just can’t beat the beautiful Biscayne Bay Campus’ ocean views.
What should faculty, staff and students know about your department?: My department is great! Everyone has a unique personality, is fun and easy going, but the most important things are the passion and dedication everyone shows in their jobs. Our most valuable asset is our student body, therefore we engage the students with special programs like Behind the Scenes and a variety of student clubs. We work in a very hospitable atmosphere that fosters collaboration and individual growth.
Where is your favorite spot on campus?: The benches by the bay next to the hospitality building.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about FIU?: The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is a top-ranked hospitality program nationwide. Our alumni base is distributed worldwide and allows our students to have access to major local and global companies.
We take great pride in being able to provide a wealth of student engagement opportunities, like Hospitality at Sea (study abroad on a repositioning cruise ship across the Atlantic Ocean) and the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
How do you help make FIU “Worlds Ahead”?
China is one the fastest growing hospitality markets in the world. In 2013, we embarked on a partnership with City University of Macau in order to provide a Worlds Ahead experience for our students. I helped establish a semester long internship program in Macau, which some call the Las Vegas of the East.
After a six-month selection process and evaluation of more than 80 applications, eight students qualified to intern at the Sheraton Macau and Okura Hotel where they learned the mechanisms involved in managing a successful 4-5 star global hotel and casino operation. These students gained valuable work and cultural experiences that enriched their hospitality knowledge base and global perspective.
Family snapshot: I was born in Dominican Republic and moved to Marblehead, MA at an early age. I lived there until the age of 15, then my family moved to Miami. I have one younger brother, who is also a part of the FIU family. He and his partners will be helping make FIU Worlds Ahead with their company, Extreme Nutrition (EXN). My mother manages a small dental office named Sheridan Dental Care.
First paying job: Newspaper boy in Marblehead, MA
Favorite TV show: Game of Thrones
What is playing on your iPod?: I listen to a little bit of everything, but being from the Caribbean I enjoy upbeat music that I can dance to.
Your proudest accomplishment: In 2001, I spent about three months in a remote village of Oaxaca, Mexico as a volunteer. During that time, I helped the indigenous population of the region, known as the Zapotec, develop new farming and cooking techniques. A small group of us helped build mud-based stoves called Lorena stoves for most of the families in the village. I learned so much from the villagers while I was there and it truly was one of the most rewarding and accomplishing things I have ever done.
What do you do when you are not working at FIU?: I help manage Sheridan Dental Care. I really enjoy outdoor activities like camping and kayaking. Last but not least, I love spending time with friends and family.