Alisa F. Gaylon

Hotel & Restaurant Management

Hospitality Food & Beverage Management Instructor
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Alisa F. Gaylon

Learning is a lifelong journey—it doesn't end when you graduate. Alisa F. Gaylon , Hospitality Food & Beverage Management Instructor , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I was always creative, and I’ve always had a passion for the kitchen, but I found myself practicing law. Shortly after 9/11, I decided to devote my time to time to working in food and hospitality instead of in a courtroom.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

I relate scenarios from my professional career to the material we’re covering in class, sharing my experience as both a former restaurant owner and as a foodservice employee.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I encourage students to go in-depth with their posts and responses, relating the material either to their real-world experiences or envisioning how it might apply in their future.

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

There is collaboration between students in class, and between each student and me.

It offers a new set of eyes, a fresh opinion to consider, or an alternative way of approaching a topic. All of which helps students fine-tune their work and build their portfolios.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

You can never be over-prepared to be a business owner or manager. Learning is a lifelong journey—it doesn’t end when you graduate. Be your own cheerleader, but also be realistic about your own weaknesses so you can overcome them.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I love teaching the next generation of chefs, foodservice managers, and event planners. Seeing their progress throughout the program as they develop their business concepts inspires me.