Conference Preview: Mindset and the Millennial Learner

Today we have a SWE Conference preview about the “Mindset and the Millennial Learner” session to be held on Friday, August 12th. The presenters are Sarah Malik DWS, CWE, CSS; and Dr. Alistair Williams:


The Millennials–also known as Generation Y–are a new generation of student learners who are so different from previous generations that one has to understand how their minds truly work to allow effective instruction and learning.

This is the generation responsible for major shifts in the beer, wine and spirit industry that should affect the way many companies are approaching sales and marketing. Millennials are responsible for 42% of all wine consumption in the United States. In terms of both the beverage industry and beverage education, this is a generation that should not be taken for granted.

The teaching methods that work for millennial learners include flipped classrooms, social media, blogs, engaging visuals, and interactive learning. Now, we need to move to integrate these techniques into the world of wine, spirits, and beer education.

This session is going to emphasize the importance of millennials within the beverage industry as well as the unique characteristics they bring to the classroom. We intend to demonstrate how to facilitate learning in order to engage the interest of the millennial learner in order to make time in a classroom a more meaningful experience for everyone involved.

The conference session audience will take the role of the millennial and participate in a typical classroom environment with interactive instruction and assessment. It is your turn to be a millennial learner!

Alistair Williams, Ph.D–Alistair Williams holds a Doctorate in Hospitality Marketing from Leeds University and a master’s degree in the analysis of consumer decision process from the University of Huddersfield. Williams has worked in the hospitality sector internationally both in the industry and academia. He is currently a professor at Johnson and Wales University Charlotte where he teaches Marketing, Brewing Arts, and Spirits and Mixology.

Sarah Malik, CSS, CWE, DWS–Sarah Malik is an Associate Professor at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, NC. Her focus is wine education. She joined the faculty at Johnson & Wales University Providence in 1995, after completing a teacher job exchange. In 2003 she was honored as teacher of the year. Prior to that, she worked Bass Charrington Breweries in the UK before joining Hilton International and Queens Moat Houses as a Food and Beverage Manager. She eventually moved to Switzerland where she taught for five years in Hotel Consult, Le Bouveret and DCT in Lucerne, Switzerland. Sarah is also an International Bordeaux Wine Educator and has successfully completed the Napa Valley Wine Educators Academy. Ms. Malik’s education includes BTEC HND Hotel Management and Institutional Catering Manchester Metropolitan University and a UKMasters of Business Administration from Oxford Brookes University UK.

Mindset and the Millennial Learner will be presented on Friday, August 12th as part of SWE’s 40th Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

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