Sandra Sydnor headshot photo

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Phone: 765-494-3449


Marriott Hall, Rm 251
900 W. Mitch Daniels Blvd.

Curriculum Vitae Selected Publications Back to Directory

Sandra Sydnor

Associate Professor, White Lodging-J.W. Marriott, Jr. School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

HHS Director of DIversity, Equity, and Inclusion
HHS Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) Fellow
HHS Faculty Fellow Online Education

Areas of Expertise

  • Resilience: Individual, business, and community levels
  • Entrepreneurship: Family-owning Business, Small and Rural businesses
  • Mindfulness: Student, business levels

HHS Signature Research Area(s)

  • Developmental Health and Wellness
  • Healthy Lifestyles and Vital Longevity
  • Sustainable Organizations and Thriving Communities


Dr. Sydnor’s franchising experience of over twenty years and her industry engagements in market research and advertising agencies inform her approach to discovery, learning, and engagement. The multidisciplinary ways in which she engages the theme of resilience maps to individual and group resilience; sustainability; family-owning businesses; and mindfulness.

Dr. Sydnor’s research in resilience helped identify the need to push beyond one-dimensional models of disaster mitigation and resilience in the hospitality and tourism industry. Her studies were among the first to document recovery and resilience during hazard events impacting hospitality and tourism industry businesses by merging multiple public use data sets to achieve population level data. These studies were novel in proposing that industry and business resilience was a function of community resilience. Sydnor also demonstrated that social capital is key to resilience for small businesses, where both bridging capital and linking capital motivated subjective and objective resilience, post-Katrina. The discovery of the paramount role social capital plays in industry, community, and business resilience coincided with newly discovered indicators of how mindfulness is related to social sustainability at the individual and organizational levels.

The intersection of students’ well-documented declining mental health guided Dr. Sydnor investigations of the impact of mindfulness practices on student well-being, engagement, and performance. Preliminary research results suggest students have higher levels of well-being and engagement (as measured by a validated instrument and structured in-class discussions) after having undergone three-minute, in-class, meditation sessions.

Dr. Sydnor is the co-chair of the multi-state research group NC1030: Sustainable and Resilient Systems: Transformative Response to Disruptions by Families, Businesses, and Communities; Co-chair of the HHS Strategic Planning Steering Committee;  HHS Fellow for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; a HHS Online Faculty Fellow; a Provost Service-Learning Faculty Fellow; an Impact Fellow; a Teaching Excellence Advisory Committee member; a HHS Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; a Purdue Assessment and Accreditation Leaders for Continuous Improvement; past chair of Purdue’s Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff; the chair of Tippecanoe County’s Human Rights Commission; and the manager of the Faculty of Color/Black Women Faculty networks.


  • PhD (Hospitalty Management), The Ohio State University
  • MBA, University of Miami (FL)
  • BS (Engineering), Michigan State University


Social Media Accounts

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • USC's Equity NOW! A 4 part eConvening series designed for individual skill and capacity building towards racial equity in higher education.
  • Faculty Women of Color in the Academy (FWCA)-Conference paper reviewer, workshp presenter, and speaker (2010-2022)
  • Pursuing Racial Justice Together with UNH Powerplay & Incluxion Works-Workshop
  • HHS DEI Research Seminars (2020-2022)
  • Keynote Speaker (2021): Mindfulness and Implicit Bias, Association for Healthcare Foodservice Annual Conference, Dallas, TX

Current Courses

  • HTM 536 - Advanced Service Management in Hospitality And Tourism
  • HTM 499 - Feasibility Studies And Business Development In Hospitality And Tourism
  • HTM 436 - Service Design and Management,