A native of St. Louis, Walter “Haze” Dennis came to the Bay Area in 1992 and settled
in the Silicon Valley in 1995.
His foodservice experience dates back to the tender age of 12 when he worked on the Mississippi River. He has been working formally in the industry since 1987 and been at Mission College since 1996. From July 1998-June 2017, he was the Department Chair of Hospitality Management.
“This industry has been wonderful to me and so by aiding in ushering in the next generation of industry leaders, I feel I am doing what I was meant to do.”
While at Mission College he steered the multi-million dollar renovation of the dedicated Hospitality Management building. This includes the recent addition of the 30-foot fully-equipped food trailer with a full-size cooking array, satellite, two large external monitors, and internal cameras.
Amongst his most valuable work experience came from working four years in correctional food service management. “I learned a great deal professionally, but more than that were the social lessons learned.”
Additionally, Haze spent six years as a dining services manager, as well as the assistant general manager of concessions at Stanford University Dining Services, now Housing and Dining Enterprises. Haze was in on the ground level as Stanford Dining Services took over the concession operations for all athletic venues on the Stanford campus.
He earned his A.S. in Hospitality from St. Louis University in 1989, B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from UNLV in 1992, and an M.S. from Cal State East Bay 2013. Haze also lives just a short drive from campus, is an avid traveler and has been a life-long comic book collector.
His advice for students is, “Just as the coursework may snowball on YOU if you get behind, it is the same for me with grading all your work. My solution to this would be for me to do a little be each day and set aside designated time each week to tend to your group. For YOU all, I would suggest the same and that you get and remain organized.”
- M.S., Recreation and Tourism, Cal State University East Bay
- B.S., Hotel/Restaurant Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- A.S., Hotel/ Restaurant Management, St. Louis Community College.