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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Abena A. Aidoo Hewton
PhD, University of Delaware
Associate Professor
Tourism and Events Management
Talent Equity Advisor, Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Aidoo Hewton

Phone: (703) 993-9047
Fax: (703) 993-1269
Email: aaidoo (@gmu.edu)

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Krug Hall 211C
4400 University Dr.
MS 4D2
Fairfax, VA 22030

Profile

Dr. Abena Aidoo Hewton, is an Associate Professor in the Tourism & Events Management (TEM) program, in the School of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism Management, at George Mason University (Mason).  During the 10+ years she has been at the University, she has taught a wide variety of courses such as, Heritage and Cultural Tourism, Tourism Planning and Policy, Introduction to Tourism Management, Ecotourism, the Administration of Sport, Recreation, and Tourism Organizations, Women and Tourism, and Film and Medical Tourism.

In the Summer of 2020, Dr. Aidoo Hewton contributed to the University-wide course UNIV 391 - Covid-19: The Mason Impact, where she taught a class on Navigating Tourism in the Covid-19 Era.

In addition, in 2020, she co-authored the textbook, The Business of Sustainable Tourism Development and Management.

For about 3 and a half years, Dr. Aidoo Hewton served as the Fieldwork Experience Coordinator for the TEM program, during which she revamped the curriculum of the two required internship courses to enhance the overall experience for students and the partner agencies; revised the Internship Manual, adapted the manual to create a Practicum Manual, created a pre-registration Online Orientation, and presented the Fieldwork Program to various industry partners. She also led the effort to revise and update all required paperwork, as well as streamlining the TEM program's Practicum and Internship Experiences Webpage.

Currently Dr. Aidoo Hewton serves as the Talent Equity Advisor for the College of Education and Human Development's (CEHD) Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and she analyzes and certifies search applicant pools to ensure that they meet the Anti-Racism Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) goals of the University and College. She has also led the creation of the Official Guide to Inclusive Excellence in Recruitment and Hiring of Faculty and Staff for CEHD. 

Dr. Aidoo Hewton has served on a number of key committees including the Mason Core Committee, Mason Faculty and Curricular Activities Committee, CEHD's Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Working Group and Equity Advisor Team, The Black, Latinx, Indigenous and Multiracial (BLIM) Affinity Group Planning Team, and the project lead for the SRTM ARIE Goal-setting Initiative.

She has provided service to a variety of industry partners, including serving on the Board of the Prince William Chapter of the Viriginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association. She serves now as an At-Large Board Member of the Fairfax County Park Authority.

Prior to coming to Mason, Dr. Aidoo Hewton worked on her doctorate degree in Urban Affairs and Public Policy, with an emphasis on Tourism Development, at the University of Delaware (UD).  At UD, in addition to the work on her dissertation, she worked with esteemed public service faculty on issues surrounding poverty, including food stamps, the revitalization of an abandoned neighborhood, and housing, and was a teaching assistant for the Introduction to Consumer Policy and Leadership in Organizations courses. 

She received her Master of Human Resource Development degree from Clemson University while she worked a graduate research assistant in the Human Resource Development program, and as a Resident Director. After graduating, she worked as a Residence Life Coordinator at Georgia Institute of Technology. 

She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Psychology from the University of Ghana.

As a Commercial Clerk at the Embassy of the United States in Accra, Ghana, Dr. Aidoo Hewton worked to promote U.S. exports to, and to facilitate U.S. investments in, Ghana.  In this position, she was integrally involved in various activities, including the organization of large-scale events for the Department of State and the Department of Commerce, in Accra, Ghana, and was recognized with a citation For Proven Initiative and Self-Motivation in Serving U.S. Mission Interests.”

Research Interests
  • Heritage and Cultural Tourism
  • Tourism Planning and Policy
  • Tourism as a Socioeconomic Development Strategy
  • Ecotourism
  • Tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa
Recent Publications

Slocum, S. L., Aidoo, A., & McMahon, K. (2020). The business of sustainable tourism development and management. Routledge.