Bio (Moira McDonald)
Assistant Professor, Program Head
Tourism and Hospitality
Moira McDonald has twenty years of experience in academia and the hospitality and tourism industries. Her senior-level hospitality experience provides for exciting classroom discussion, problem-based learning and discovery, relevant topic analysis and inquiry. McDonald’s research interests and workplace experience focus on adult learning theory, exploration through narrative inquiry, promotion of experiential learning through field study, and furthering community-based tourism through branding. McDonald led a workshop entitled, “Why a Sense of Belonging Matters–the International Student Experience” at the 2017 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching. McDonald also works with organizations to create guest-service excellence, training plans, and assessment. Her executive level hospitality leadership experience in globally recognized resort settings and major city centre properties, as well as opening team assistance for new hotel builds, brand acquisition takeovers, revenue management, and call centre opening and leading, have all added to robust classroom learning, content and delivery.
McDonald has taught tourism and hospitality courses for Royal Roads University and Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology in Ottawa in face-to-face and online learning settings. Her senior-level hotel operations background as director of operations with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, coupled with a penchant for excellence in guest service action and behavior, driven from early days with Four Seasons Hotels, enabled McDonald to lead a company-wide transition from the United States based global reservation call centre to a Canadian based operation in Eastern Canada. This major capital-investment transition required leadership, technological and infrastructure teamwork, an understanding of workplace culture and organizational tools in training, development and assessment of company-wide standards and policies.
McDonald holds a Master of Arts in Tourism Management (2015) from Royal Roads University. Her thesis explored community based tourism through branding and service excellence using a case study methodology comparing three similar towns in Eastern Ontario. She is entering her third year in doctoral studies at the University of Calgary, specializing in educational research and adult learning theory. Her research interests include internationalization, transculturalism in the workplace and educational settings, and teaching with technology.