Nicole Davis' love for tourism began when she became a volunteer for the Carbondale, Illinois Convention and Tourism Bureau at age 17. She obtained her undergraduate degree in marketing from Southern Illinois University (SIU), and has approximately 10 years combined experience in tourism, media sales, retail marketing, and event planning.
In 2002, Dr. Davis returned to school to complete her Master of Science and Doctorate in Education at SIU. Additionally, she holds a Master Online Teacher certificate from the Illinois Online Network/University of Illinois and currently serves on the SIU Distance Education Council to help progress the university toward online learning. Dr. Davis also works closely with SIU Extended Campus on distance education and related projects.
Currently a non-tenure track instructor in the Hospitality and Tourism Administration program at Southern Illinois University, Dr. Davis teaches a variety of tourism-related courses in the areas of marketing, convention management, tourism and destination management, and event planning. A self proclaimed "Generation X girl geek", Dr. Davis breaks the old stereotype of the university professor. She is an avid technology user and works to integrate technology into the classroom wherever appropriate. She insists that her students learn how to use industry-related technology as well as common tech tools associated with daily work life.
Dr. Davis was elected President of the International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators (ISTTE) in 2013 after serving on the Board of Directors for three years. Her responsibilities have included fundraising and sponsorships for the organization, as well as helping to create a new training program, ISTTE Engage, that reflects the needs of the 21st century teacher.
In addition to her work in ISTTE, Dr. Davis is an advocate for connecting industry needs to the classroom. As a result, she spends a great deal of time working with tourism leaders both on a volunteer and professional basis. This outreach effort often translates into opportunities for her students to gain real-world experience while learning in the classroom.