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Alumni Give Back to HRIR Program

October 31, 2013

HRIR alumni share their perspective on why giving back to the program is essential for the HR environment of tomorrow

The MA-HRIR program boasts an engaged and involved collective of alumni. And as these graduates demonstrate, there are a variety of ways to stay involved with the Carlson School and support the program.

Jodell Swenson, '93 MA-IR, has been pledging a recurring monthly gift to the program for years.

"At an early age, my parents instilled in me the importance of both a good education and giving back to my community," she says. "When I decided to pursue my MA-IR, I was pleased to learn the University offered such a highly regarded program. By supporting the program, I believe I'm helping the University continue to offer one of the best HR programs in the nation, which benefits both new students and me as an alumna."

Joe Mucha, '75 MA-IR, co-founded the Thomas Mahoney IR Fellowship Fund, along with classmates Steve Kumagai, '74 MA-IR, and Mike Delaney, '72 MA-IR. Created in 2006, the fund honors the late Professor Thomas Mahoney by providing support for graduate students in the MA-HRIR program.

Mucha fondly remembers the outstanding faculty who led the program, such as Mahoney, and fellow professors Herb Heneman, George Milkovich, and Mahmood Zaidi.

"They were all thought leaders in the field, at the time and we had them as instructors," Mucha says, "The program opened up personal and professional opportunities that would not have been available to me otherwise. While we can't pay back those who helped us through the program, we are able to 'pay it forward' by helping tomorrow's HR professionals attend one of the best HR graduate programs in the world."

Each graduating class has the opportunity to participate in a Class Gift Campaign to show their support for the program. Meghan McKee Albertson, '13 MA-HRIR, along with Ted Bauer, '14 MA-HRIR, recently encouraged newly minted alumni to consider making a contribution to their Class Gift Fund. The gifts received will be used to improve graduate student study spaces, provide student fellowships, and assist with alumni outreach for the HRIR program.

Rob Klee, '11 MA-HRIR, made his first gift to the program through his 2011 Class Gift Campaign and has given annually since then.

"As a student, I received an HRIR Department Fellowship," Klee says. "Now that I'm working, I'm in a position to give back to the program, and provide funding for other deserving students."

Klee values the relationships he built with his classmates that have extended beyond the classroom into his professional career, and encourages current students to take advantage of all the resources the Carlson School has to offer.

"The school has great professors, international programs, and networking opportunities that will set you up for future success," he says. "Check to see if your organization has a Matching Gift program, so your donation will go twice as far!"

Michael Byungnam Lee, '88 PhD-IR, has given generously to the HRIR program at the Carlson School.

"The HRIR program made an absolute impact on my career in both the academic and the corporate sector," he says. "I was also very generously supported financially during my time in Minnesota, so I want to give back to the program to help graduate students have the support needed to concentrate on their studies. What I am, where I am, I owe it to the Minnesota HRIR program."

Anne Tsui, '75 MA-IR, has created the Dare to Care PhD Award in Management Fellowship Fund. This fund was established to assist advanced PhD students in the CHRLS who have shown dedication to conducting research that will bring value to society, beyond providing good careers for themselves.

"I chose to set up an award for doctoral students to encourage them to engage in research that matters to society," she says. "I encourage everyone to give something, no matter the form, no matter the amount. What I give is a small drop in a large bucket, but it is one more drop. If each of us gives a small drop, I am sure the bucket will overflow - substantively and figuratively."

The support of alumni and friends through unrestricted annual giving, long-term pledges, fellowship funds, class gift campaigns, and other forms of giving is critical to the ongoing work and growth of the HRIR program. There are many ways to give. Discover how you can make a difference today.