Hospitality and Tourism Academy Instructor
Whenever he travels, Abhijeet Shirsat takes along a long a list of recommendations. He likes to know if a place lives up to its reputation, like the time in Philadelphia where he stood in line for three-and-a-half hours for a Philly cheese steak sandwich. “I’m passionate about travel and food. Hospitality is my life,” said Shirsat, professor in Sacramento’s State Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management, who’s leading the new Hospitality and Tourism Academy.
“I want a great experience when I travel and dine, and I want to give that kind of hospitality in return,” he added.
Shirsat has worked at some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in his 15 years in the hospitality industry including management, marketing, customer relations and food service. His move into education was seamless. “I knew I wanted to share knowledge of the industry, to tell students the importance of a human connection,” Shirsat said, adding that “GPA doesn’t matter if you don’t have the right attitude.”
Shirsat has taught students how to run restaurants and hotels, from budgets and event planning to human resources and customer service. He earned his bachelor’s degree in hotel management and catering technology at the University of Pune in India and a post-graduate diploma in hospitality management from Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College in Great Britain. Shirsat furthered his education in the U.S. with a master’s degree in hospitality management from Oklahoma State University and a doctorate in education in leadership studies from Bowling Green State University.
Shirsat joined State Sacramento in 2018. In addition to courses in hospitality management and tourism, he’s developing a new course, Gastronomic Tourism. “I want to teach students all the possible careers in the hospitality industry, there’s a wealth of management opportunities,” said Shirsat, “and best of all, they can experience the world.”