Heather Kolakowski

Heather Kolakowski

  • Senior Lecturer
  • Executive Director of the Center for the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures

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Faculty Expertise

  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Food Industry Management
  • Hospitality and Services Design, Management and Operations
  • Service-Learning / Community Engagement


Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration



Cornell Directory Entry


Heather Kolakowski is a senior lecturer in food and beverage management at the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration. She teaches several food and beverage courses, including Restaurant Management and Nonprofit Social Enterprise & Food Justice. She is also the faculty advisor for Hotel Ezra Cornell, the student-run hospitality showcase conference which allows students the opportunity to put theory into practice while taking on leadership responsibilities each spring.

She is the recipient of the 2017 Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship for her dedication to service learning. She also serves as executive director for the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures, the first academic institute to combine hospitality, environmental design, and health policy and management into a broad-based platform to improve service in healthcare, wellness, and senior living.

Kolakowski has also taught at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), where she offered courses in Beverage Operations Management, Spirits and Principles of Mixology, Advanced Principles of Service in Hospitality Management, Introductory Table Service (in the dining room of St. Andrew's Café), and Formal Hospitality and Service Management (in the American Bounty Restaurant on the CIA campus). These front-of-the-house classes review the principles of fine service and hospitality in a restaurant setting, emphasizing customer service, beverages including wine and spirits, restaurant trends, and sales. In addition to her service classes, she has also taught the elective Women in Leadership.

A 2000 graduate of the Nolan School and a 2002 graduate of the CIA, Kolakowski returned to her culinary alma mater in 2008 after serving as food and beverage manager for the Four Seasons Hotel Company in Washington, DC, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Her additional professional experience includes assistant manager for the Peninsula Grille in Warrington, Pennsylvania, and teaching assistant at both the CIA and Cornell University.

Awarded an MBA at SUNY Empire State College in 2013, Kolakowski is also a member of the Women's Foodservice Forum, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, the United States Bartender's Guild Association, and the Cornell Hotel Society. Kolakowski is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) and certified TIPS responsible alcohol service instructor.

Selected Publications

Awards and Honors

  • Ted Teng ’79 Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award (2022) Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration

Recent Courses

  • HADM 3365/HADM 5365 - Foodservice Management Essentials
  • HADM 3055/DEA 3055/DEA 6055/HADM 6055 - Hospitality, Health and Design Industry Immersion Seminar
  • HADM 4910 - Hotel Ezra Cornell (H.E.C.)
  • HADM 4315 - Nonprofit Social Enterprise and Food Justice
  • HADM 2351 - Restaurant Management

Academic Degrees

  • MBA SUNY Empire State College, 2014
  • AOS Culinary Institute of America, 2002
  • BS School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University, 2000