Karen Silva

Professor + Department Chair Graduate Business Programs,  College of Business

Contact Information
This industry is growing, which makes it a great choice for students. It’s not just a job. It’s not even a career — people who excel in this industry understand that it’s a lifestyle.”


Prior to becoming chairperson of graduate programs in JWU’s College of Business, Karen Silva served as chair of the College of Hospitality Management’s International Hotel School.

Her work experience includes serving as a curriculum specialist for The Travel Institute, assistant sales director for Collette Vacations, and a consultant conducting presentations for such organizations as Carnival Cruise Lines, The Miami Heat, the X Games, the Professional Association of Innkeepers, and Landmark Medical Centers.

Author of numerous industry texts and training publications, Silva’s other distinctions include serving on the boards of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau and FirstWorks, as well as receiving the Faculty of the Year accolade, the Innovation in Teaching Award from International Council of Hotel Restaurant Institutional Educators (ICHRIE), and the designation of Master Teacher.

She received her doctorate from Boston University, her master’s degree from Rhode Island College and her bachelor’s degree from UMass Dartmouth.

Sample Courses

  • HOSP 4060: Hospitality Strategy Design and Execution Seminar

Professional Memberships

  • FirstWorks, 2008–present: Board of Directors
  • American Hotel Lodging Educational Institute/National Restaurant Association, 2016–present: Chairperson, Academic Advisory Board
  • American Association of University Women, 2015–present
  • Rogers Williams Park Zoo


  • 2019 Hall of Fame inductee, Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau