June 2019 CHRLS Centerpoint Alumni Newsletter

Greetings from the CHRLS!

Anne Obst Headshot

What an amazing year our Alumni Association has had! In addition to delivering exceptional professional development opportunities for alumni, including the very successful HR Tomorrow Conference, dozens of current and future MA-HRIR students were impacted through alumni involvement in the Alumni Mentorship Program, New Student Orientation, Admitted Student Day, and our Spring Celebration.

Thanks to all 18 members of our Board of Directors for sharing their time and expertise this past year, and a special thanks to the four members whose terms are ending this spring: Kristyn Aasen, Brandon Lukach, Kara Sime, and Nick Christenson, who so ably served as the Board President this past year.

This issue of Centerpoint is chock full of great stories we think you’ll really enjoy. You can read excerpts from the inspiring remarks shared at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Commencement Address by alumna Anne Tsui; learn about the distinguished honor recently awarded to Professor John Budd; hear from current and graduating students about the exciting and innovative new student orientation program they helped develop; and check in with our beloved former librarian, Georgie Herman, as she discusses her reasons for supporting our library and program.

In addition, there’s an opportunity for you to share your thoughts about “what you wished you could have practiced while in the HRIR program,” and details about the Carlson School’s Centennial, being celebrated throughout 2019. Of special note is the Twin Cities Centennial Celebration the weekend of September 13-14; mark your calendars! We’d love to see you there.

Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable summer!

Anne Obst
External Relations Coordinator

Making World a Better Place at CORE of Alumna’s Commencement Message

Anne Tsui Commencement

Congratulations to alumna Anne Tsui, ’75 MA-IR, who spoke at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Commencement Ceremonies on May 11. After 49 years of her academic journey, Tsui had the opportunity to return to her alma mater to share the core values she’s learned over the years with the graduates and their families, and her advice is universal.


HR Tomorrow 2019 - The Why of Work


Mother Nature No Match for Successful Conference
On April 12th we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the HR Tomorrow Conference at our signature professional development event, “The Why of Work." Over 300 attendees braved the surprise spring storm for the opportunity to reflect on the past 40 years of our annual networking conference and to see how far we and HR have come since then. One attendee states, “It is an interesting, relevant, engaging conference that is local, easily accessible, and affordable. It's also a great chance to connect with colleagues throughout the University and in other organizations.”

Corporate Support Provides HR Tomorrow Conference Scholarships
Providing students with opportunities to network with professionals in their intended fields is important to faculty and staff at the Carlson School. For the past seven years, with help from our generous sponsors, we have been able to provide scholarships to incoming MA-HRIR students that allow them to attend our annual HR Tomorrow Conference. There, these students can meet current students in the MA-HRIR program, get to know faculty and staff, socialize with professionals, and learn about hot topics in the HR field. They can then apply this experience into their studies when they begin their classes.

The Carlson School Turns 100 – Come Celebrate with Us!
In 2019, the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management celebrates 100 years. Since our founding, generations have shared our commitment to business as a force for good. Together, we've built a rich tradition of excellence. Our faculty are accomplished, our programs are acclaimed, and our alumni lead across organizations and industries. We're Minnesota's premier business school and highly regarded across the nation and the world. But we're not stopping there. Now as we mark our centennial, let's explore our past, connect with our community, and look forward to our future! Visit the Centennial website for more information. And, mark your calendars for the Twin Cities Centennial Celebration weekend, September 13-14, 2019. Let’s gather with friends new and old to honor the connections we’ve made with each other, from business partnerships to life-long friendships. Together, we’ll look ahead to Carlson School’s NEXT 100 years.

Leo Cardoso Headshot


Alumnus Named Recipient of HACR Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Program Award
Leo Cardoso, ’12 MA-HRIR, was named a recipient of the HACR (Hispanics in Corporate America) Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Program Award. At the ceremony in Miami, Cardoso and other recipients were recognized for their demonstrated leadership qualities and capabilities within their corporations and having a deep commitment to the Hispanic community.

Alumni: We Need Your Feedback!
We all know that while higher education provides an exceptional foot forward in our careers, there just isn't time to learn everything while in school. That's why internships and those first years of work are so vital to our growth as HR professionals. But with the advent of a new Leadership Practicum for the Masters in HRIR Class of 2021, we would love to know what you wish you could have learned while in the safety of the academic setting. Please take a moment to fill out this brief survey and let us know what sort of practical skills you would have liked to practice before you graduated from the HRIR program. Would you have liked the chance to interview someone for hire? Coach a problem employee? Question a witness for an investigation? Fire someone? Lead a training session? Talk with a manager about how to improve their leadership skills? What do you think? Let us know so we can try to build some of these skills into the program. Thanks in advance for your help!

Congratulations, Graduates!

HRIR Commencement

We kicked off 2019 Commencement festivities with our annual MA-HRIR Spring Celebration on May 19. Students gathered at the Campus Club to celebrate their accomplishments with family and friends. The following day, 63 students walked across the stage at Mariucci Arena to accept their diplomas during the 2019 Graduate Commencement Exercises. We wish you all the best, and please – stay in touch!

Current Students Invest in Future Students' Transition Into MA-HRIR Program
HR professionals know the value of an effective onboarding program - the process of orienting and training a new employee. Welcoming new students to a rigorous graduate program can require a similar initiative to ensure a smooth transition into the program, especially when the cohort is coming from across the U.S. and around the world. It’s within that backdrop that the MA-HRIR program embarked on an extensive overhaul of its new student orientation process.

Mike Davis Reflects on Sharing HR Expertise and Passion

Mike Davis Headshot

Over the past 14 years, Mike Davis has shared his considerable expertise and passion for HR strategy and executive compensation with MA-HRIR students at the Carlson School of Management. Most well-known for teaching the Executive Compensation elective course, Davis also taught the core Compensation & Benefits course as well as the Managing Groups class through the MBA program. He is stepping down from teaching this spring to fully embrace retirement, and we wish him all the best. We sat down with Davis to ask him about his tenure as an adjunct instructor.

John Budd Headshot


John Budd Selected as LERA Fellow
Congratulations to Professor John Budd, who was selected as a 2019 LERA Fellow by the Labor and Employment Relations Association. This designation recognizes scholars and practitioners who have made contributions of unusual distinction to the field and have been in the profession and field for longer than 10 years.







Colleen Flaherty Manchester

At a conference in 2014, Associate Professor Colleen Flaherty Manchester met a successful businesswoman who had recently found herself receiving higher pay increases than her peers, other forms of increased compensation, and a bevy of recruiting calls from other executives. While not an unwelcome turn of events, the woman wondered what kind of “list” her name was on and if companies’ diversity goals were somehow working in her favor. That conversation sparked the same curiosity in Manchester, too, because the situation seemed to be the opposite of what previous research has established – a persistent gender pay gap in which women around the globe earn 80 percent or less than men. Manchester and her co-authors set out to find out why.


Driven. The Campaign for the Carlson School

Georgianna Herman Plants Seeds for Growth and Vitality Through Support of Library

Georgianna Herman


One of the most well-known and loved former staff members of the CHRLS, Georgianna Herman, retired in 2001 but continues to support the students, faculty and staff of the HRIR program through her generous donations to the Library that bears her name. We recently checked in with Georgie to see what she’s been up to since retirement, and why she feels so strongly about supporting the library and the HRIR program.


Each issue of Centerpoint highlights a member of our alumni community, a current student, and a member of our staff and faculty. Learn more about alumnus Victor Assad, part-time student Amber DeVries, and CHRLS staff member Amy Danzeisen.

Want to get the latest news from the CHRLS? Wondering who the next 1st Tuesday speaker will be? Interested in seeing photos from campus? Stay connected with your alma mater by following our social media sites:​

  • LinkedIn - find our group (Carlson School of Management - HRIR) here 
  • Facebook - find our page here
  • Twitter - find our feed here
  • HRIR Blog - find our blog here and sign up to follow it (in the bottom right-hand corner of the page)
  • Kristyn Aasen, ’11, is an HR manager at Ecolab
  • William Mujica, ’07, is a people operations advisor at Google
  • Carlos Nunez, ’15, is a global HR business partner at J.R. Simplot