Letter from the Director

John W. BuddMessage from John Budd, Director

Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies

Welcome to the first edition of the CHRLS e-newsletter, Centerpoint! We are excited to embrace this efficient way of communication, which will allow us to better stay in contact with you in an innovative and interactive way. The newsletter will be sent by email three times a year and will include a good mix of brief articles, highlights of the activities and accomplishments of our alumni, student and faculty news, and upcoming events happening at the Carlson School. 

Even as we leave our print newsletter behind, we look ahead to continuing a strong relationship with our alumni and friends. We encourage you to take advantage of this interactive way of staying connected with the CHRLS family and we hope you continue to be a part of our community.

HR Tomorrow Conference - April 19, 2013

HR Tomorrow 2013 logoOur signature professional development event is right around the corner. "HR Tomorrow - Achieving Excellence through Innovative HR" is being presented on Friday, April 19, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Carlson School.

Through a series of dynamic and interactive sessions, the conference will equip HR professionals at all levels with the knowledge and resources to execute positive HR results through innovation.

Conference registration is now open and spots are expected to fill fast. (The conference sold out early the last two years!) The conference agenda offers two keynote presentations, three breakout sessions, and several networking opportunities throughout the day. Finally, we thank our sponsors for their generous support of the conference. 

The conference has been approved for 6.5 (General) Recertification Credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). Questions about the conference may be directed to hrt@umn.edu.

Alumni Mentorship Program

One of the most effective outreach programs that the CHRLS Alumni Association Board of Directors coordinates is the Alumni Mentorship Program, which has been successfully preparing students for future careers in the human resources field for decades. The 2013 program kicked off in early February with more than 50 HRIR alumni being matched with first-year MA-HRIR students who benefit both professionally and personally through the year-long program. 

In a first for the program, almost half of the alumni mentors are located outside of the Twin Cities, giving our students great practice at managing virtual relationships. 

Past participants say the mentorship program had a significant influence on their career development (more).

Professional Development Workshop Series

Another way the CHRLS Alumni Association demonstrates its commitment to the ongoing professional growth of alumni, students, and other HR practitioners is through the Professional Development Workshop Series. 

The focus of the 2012-13 series is HR in a Global Economy and workshops have been presented to both in-person and virtual audiences. The first and second workshops are now available to be viewed online:

"International HR: A Global Perspective" was presented in October and featured Paula Cooney, director of HR Strategic Programs for H.B. Fuller Company, who provided insight into her HR experiences from an international perspective.

"Minneapolis to Mumbai: Key HR Learnings" was presented in February and featured Rebekah Ferguson, HR director at General Mills. Ferguson talked about her two-year global assignment with General Mills in Mumbai, India. 

The third workshop will take place in May and also can be attended in person or virtually

Spotlight on Students

Studying Abroad Opens Possibilities for Students

Study AbroadStudying abroad as a graduate student with many other responsibilities can be difficult but well worth it, according to MA-HRIR students who studied abroad this past academic year. 




Students Hone Their HR Skills in Midwest Case Competition

Ohio Case CompetitionOver winter break, four students from the MA-HRIR program participated in the Ohio State Case Competition where HR graduate students from across the Midwest consulted with PepsiCo about a real-life HR problem and were asked to find a solution (more).


GSHRL Update

GSHRLGSHRL, or Graduate Society of Human Resources Leaders, (formerly known as IPX) is the primary student organization associated with the MA-HRIR program. It has three central tenets: improving the professional, academic, and social lives of its members. GSHRL coordinates a speaker series featuring HR professionals from Fortune 250 companies, a forum for helping students select future professors, community services days, free tickets to local sporting events, a cultural rotational program to expose students to Twin Cities art and museums, and an end-of-semester boat cruise and picnic. 

If you have any ideas about ways to connect GSHRL and your workplace (or other initiatives you may be involved with), contact Ted Bauer at bauer668@umn.edu.

Openings on the CHRLS Alumni Association Board of Directors

Are you a graduate of the MA-IR or MA-HRIR program at the University of Minnesota? Would you like to get more involved with your alma mater and expand your professional network? Consider applying to serve on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Board members are asked to commit to a three-year term; attend one annual strategic planning meeting in the fall; attend 8 monthly meetings during the academic year, and serve on one sub-committee each year.

If interested, submit your resume and cover letter by May 13, 2013 to chrls@umn.edu.

Alumni Spotlight

CHRLS Alumna Gives Back to Alma Mater

Nichole LuniewskiAlumni of the MA-HRIR program at the Carlson School give back to their alma mater in a variety of ways. Some volunteer on committees and task forces, others serve as mentors, and still others support student fellowships. Nicole Luniewski, '10 MA-HRIR, a people and organizational capability consultant at Microsoft, helped give first-year students real-world experience with a Microsoft Business Case Scenario.




6 Questions with Kathy Megarry, 92 MA-IR
Regional Vice President - Labor Relations at Macy's Inc.

  1. Kathy MegarryWhat attracted you to the field of human resources?
    I was actually attracted to the field of labor relations and conflict resolution. I didn't initially realize the HR focus of the program and the way those functions overlap in a corporate environment.
  2. How has the field of HR changed since you began your career? 
    Some of the changes I have seen are due to my own changes of roles and industries, but - in general - I think the field, at its best, has become less tactical and more strategic.
  3. What has been the most rewarding thing about a career in HR? And the most challenging? 
    I find it rewarding to help people solve problems, whether a labor contract, an employee relations issue, or a business-specific problem. The most challenging is the "fire drill" type of activity that is always a part of any environment, but often especially in HR.
  4. How has your MA-IR degree helped you in your career?
    I found my first job through my internship which I got while in school. My initial boss had specifically reached out to the school for a graduate student from the program. Going forward, the credential definitely set me apart and provided necessary credibility on my resume when changing from the public to private sector.
  5. If you could describe your time at the MA-IR program in one word, what would that be?
  6. What advice do you have for students who will soon be entering the field of HR? 
    Be sure that this is a field you are interested in, both what it is today and what it might become. Initially you need to be able to "do something" for your employer, but - over time - it is your track record and your transferable skills that will see you through the changes in the field, the world of work, and your own life.


Newest Alumni Chapter? Sydney, Australia!

John Budd Australia

Professor John Budd met with alumni Daren Hill,  '97 MA-IR and Jeanine Engel, '12 MA-HRIR, while in Sydney, Australia in October on a short-term faculty visit to Macquarie University.


Faculty Spotlight

Glomb Named Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Theresa GlombProfessor Theresa Glomb will be honored as a new Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) at the organization's 28th annual conference April 11-13 in Houston. Fellow status is an honor bestowed upon SIOP members who have shown evidence of unusual and outstanding contributions or performance in industrial-organizational psychology, through research, practice, teaching, administration, and/or professional service (more).

Van de Ven Named Founding Editor of Academy of Management Discoveries

WOrg Professor Andrew Van de Ven has been named founding editor of a new journal being launched by the Academy of Management, Academy of Management Discoveries (AMD). The mission of AMD is to promote the creation and dissemination of new empirical evidence that strengthens understanding of important new or poorly understood phenomena relevant to management and organizations (more).

Faculty in the News

Colleen ManchesterAssistant Professor Colleen Manchester was featured in the popular "Good Question" segment on WCCO-TV's January 23 broadcast. Her question: Is the 401(k) Program a Success or Failure? View the 3:00 minute "answer" here





Sophie LeroyWe've all struggled at one point with feeling unproductive with our time, whether at work, school, home, or in the community. How do we minimize distractions in order to increase our productivity? Assistant Professor Sophie Leroyhas been studying this issue and was interviewed on WCCO-TV in early January.


It's an (Alumni) Family Affair...

Are you related to another graduate of the Human Resources and Industrial Relations program? Did you meet your future spouse while attending the Carlson School? Maybe one of your parents came before you and recommended the program? Did you encourage your sibling or cousin to earn their MA degree in HRIR at Minnesota? If so, we want to hear from you! WeÂ’ would like to feature the many family connections our alumni have in an upcoming issue of Centerpoint.

Submit a Class Note

Let your classmates know what you've been up to since graduation. Submit a Class Note for publication in an upcoming issue of Centerpoint. Notes can be submitted to chrls@umn.edu.

Visit the Dean's Blog

For a behind-the-scenes look at the Carlson School, visit Dean Sri Zaheer's blog.