Faculty and Staff
Darron Kirkley, MIHTM, MSEM, CHE, CHI
|Department:||School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
|LinkedIn:||My LinkedIn profile|
M.S.E.M., Master of Sport and Entertainment Management, University of South Carolina,
M.I.H.T.M., Master of International Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of South Carolina, 2008
B.A., Middle Level Education – Mathematics, University of South Carolina, 2007
After serving as an adjunct instructor for several years, Darron Kirkley joined the University of South Carolina's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management as a full-time instructor in fall 2023. Prior to becoming full-time, he spent eight years as a hospitality and tourism management instructor at Central High School in Pageland, South Carolina. Kirkley continues to serve as the tourism coordinator for Chesterfield County where he oversees the county’s tourism marketing and accommodations tax grant program in addition to his role at USC.
A South Carolina native, Kirkley has been involved in the hospitality and tourism industry since the age of 18 when he was hired as the director of the Pageland Watermelon Festival. Since that time, he served as the tourism director for Kershaw County and as a high school hospitality teacher in Kershaw, South Carolina.
In his spare time, Kirkley enjoys traveling and attending live events. He is passionate about the impact that tourism has in South Carolina and the overall effect on the state’s economy. Kirkley is also interested in the business of loyalty and the benefits of guest loyalty from the consumer and business standpoints.
In the Media
HRTM 260 – Hotel Management
HRTM 280 – Foundations of Tourism
HRTM 285 – Club Management
HRTM 364 – Conference and Meeting Planning
HRTM 381 – Travel and Destination Management
HRTM 386 – Tourism Festival Planning and Management
HRTM 388 – Resort Development and Management
HRTM 450 – Hospitality and Tourism Marketing
HRTM 482 – Sustainable Tourism Planning and Policy
- C.H.E., Certified Hospitality Educator, American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Institute
- C.H.I., Certified Hospitality Instructor, American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Institute
- National Board Certification, Career & Technical Education - Early Adolescence to Young Adulthood, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
- Certified Festival Planner, South Carolina Festival and Event Association
- Certified Beer Server, Cicerone Certification Program
- ServSafe Food Manager, National Restaurant Association
Hospitality & Tourism Management
April 6, 2021 - National Restaurant Association and American Hotel and Lodging Association
Co-authored - Hospitality & Tourism Management, Second Edition introduces high school students to the world of hospitality, and the main segments of the industry: lodging, food and beverage operations, tourism, attractions and travel, and event management.
Hospitality & Tourism - Linking Industry to the Classroom
March 1, 2013 - Techniques Magazine
This article provides information on the requirement of career and technical education (CTE) in the hospitality and tourism industry of South Carolina. It focuses on educating future employees during high school to fill the gap between industry and education. It also mentions career opportunities available for students in such positions as hotel and marketing managers, event planners, pastry chefs and wedding directors. Based on the strong tourism industry in South Carolina, secondary schools should help to foster the industry by introducing and educating future employees during their high school education.
Honors and Awards
- 2022 University of South Carolina School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Adjunct of the Year Award
- 2019 Jayne Scarborough Festival Advocate of the Year Award, South Carolina Festival and Event Association
- 2006 South Carolina Hospitality Employee of the Year, South Carolina Association of Tourism Regions (SCATR), South Carolina Travel and Tourism Coalition, South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
- 2005 Olde English District Tourism Commission Employee of the Year
- Olde English District Tourism Commission, Board of Directors (Chair)
- USC – College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management Alumni Society Board