Dr. Karen Smith joined MiraCosta College as a full time faculty member in 2004. She serves as professor and lead instructor for the Hospitality Management Program. In December 2011, Karen began serving as Department Chair for the Horticulture and Hospitality Department.

Karen previously taught hospitality and tourism courses as a full time faculty member at City University of New York at New York City College of Technology and as an adjunct faculty member at New York University.

Her work history outside the classroom reflects Karen's commitment to small business ownership for women and minorities. For several years, the world's largest conferences for women in business were produced by Karen, as were the nation's largest conferences for minority owned small business entrepreneurs. 

Previous employment also includes Vice President of a national not-for-profit that trained women to own their own businesses, the District Chief of Staff for California Senator William Campbell, and an on-air broadcast journalist. For several years Karen managed training and flight service programs for Pan American World Airways while based in New York City. In this capacity, she managed airline and hotel activities for flight service employees at Pan Am's Inter-Continental Hotels throughout the world.

Degrees earned by Dr. Smith include a B.S. in Public Administration from University of LaVerne; an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University; a Master's of Philosophy in Public Policy and a Doctorate in Political Science from the Graduate School of the City University of New York.  A life-long learner, Dr. Smith has completed certificate programs at University of Oxford in England; at Humboldt Universitat in Berlin, Germany; at L’Ecole Nationale des Travaux Restaurants Publics de L’Etat in Lyon, France; and at the Universite du Libre in Brussels, Belgium.

An avid world-traveler, she has visited over 70 different countries and brings her love of international cultures and global experiences to her classrooms.  Her courses emphasize the practical as well as theoretical aspects of hospitality, restaurant, and tourism management. Karen believes it is important for students to experience real-life business situations, and incorporates field trips and practical assignments in classroom activities. Coursework is designed for students to establish professional networking opportunities with industry leaders.

Courses taught by Karen Smith in Fall 2014:

HOSP 100: Intro to Hospitality and Food Service

Classes held Tu. 5:00 - 6:20 pm, Oceanside campus + 1 hr. ONLINE

HOSP 120: Hospitality Human Resources Management


HOSP 128: Hospitality Marketing


HOSP 134: Sustainable Facilities Management


For more information on other Hospitality and Restaurant Management courses: