June 2020 CHRLS Centerpoint Alumni Newsletter

A Message from CHRLS Director John Kammeyer-Mueller

We are deeply saddened by the killing of George Floyd, and join with the larger community in the state of Minnesota and our University to call for justice, action, and change. As HR professionals, our alumni recognize our ongoing responsibility to continue this movement in our work. HR leaders do not shy away from the hard questions that organizations must answer regarding social inequality, and continue our commitment to make the workplace truly inclusive and responsive for employees and the communities in which they operate. As Carlson School Dean Sri Zaheer stated recently, “We’re all in this together. ‘We’ must come before ‘I’ as each of us determine how to be a force for good in a world that is desperate for actions that remind us of our shared humanity.” Please contact me at jkammeye@umn.edu with your ideas on how we can move forward to be that force for good. 

Unusual Academic Year Comes to Close with Encouragement and Advice for Students and Alumni

John Kammeyer-Mueller profile photo

As what is arguably the most unusual semester in the Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies’ 75-year-history comes to a close, we’d like to share excerpts from comments delivered by Professor John Kammeyer-Mueller to our MHRIR graduates at their virtual Spring Celebration. While designed to mark and celebrate their graduation milestone, his comments are just as apropos to our larger alumni community: 

“I appreciate this opportunity to say thanks to all of you for being part of our community in the HRIR program. It’s been a great experience getting to know you, and getting the chance to see you all develop an impressive understanding of the field of human resources and industrial relations. I speak on behalf of all the faculty in the program when I express my appreciation for all you’ve shared with us in this journey. 

“It’s been a privilege to watch the growth in your insight and creativity developing across discussions, presentations, and cases, and in the conversations we’ve had in the Herman Library. The work that you’ve engaged in here has gone beyond the formal curriculum, as you’ve joined personal development with promoting positive communities. You’ve shared your skills through activities like the graduate volunteer consulting program. You’ve given your time to improve the program through the international case competition, GSHRL, and volunteering for HR Tomorrow. And in particular, you’ve given so many hours helping each other learn both inside and outside of the classroom. All of these things tell me that you will continue to grow, and help those around you in your organizations and communities. Finally, the way that everyone has come together and adapted this last semester has been nothing short of inspirational.

“Moving on to the future, I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to attend to your consciences in your work. It goes without saying that things are difficult out there right now. You’re going out into a world of work quite unlike anything we’ve experienced before. And in this environment, HR professionals have a unique responsibility to be a voice for worker safety, for worker health, and economic well-being. More than ever, you can use your seat at the table for advocacy. You have learned that treating employees with care and respect is operationally smart, and ethically vital. You’ve seen solid evidence that practicing HR the right way makes a difference in people’s lives. You’re building out a toolkit that can serve to meet our goal to produce ‘Business as a Force for Good.’ You can continue to invest in your community of fellow alumni around the world, developing innovative ways to make work better for everyone. 

“In mentioning your network of fellow alumni, I also hope you remember the diversity of perspectives, and the diversity of people who you’ve learned from. This program, your fellow students, our community, these are the best ambassadors for global cooperation I can imagine. We will see better days, and I’m confident that the people who are on this call are going to be the ones who help us get there, wherever we find ourselves.”

Thanks to Outgoing Alumni Board Members 
Many thanks to the seven members of our CHRLS Alumni Association Board of Directors whose two-and-three-year terms are ending this spring: Kate Andrews, Rob Klee, Larry Morgan, Susan Otto, Alex Smith, Lizhen (Mandy) Zhao, and especially our President, Eva Treuer, who cheerfully added a fourth year of service to the Board. Because of their hard work and dedication, the Board continued its mission of strengthening the relationship among alumni and the CHRLS, the Carlson School, and the wider University community. Best of luck, and please keep in touch!

Alumni Board Group Photo

Message from Graduate Business Career Center Director Maggie Tomas
HRIR Alumni, we have received warm wishes for our students, staff, and faculty from so many of you during this unprecedented time.  Many of you have also asked how you can support students as they navigate a new normal for the next several months. One immediate need are summer opportunities for our students who have goals to take their school knowledge and apply it to industry over the summer. COVID-19 has caused some companies to change their internship plans and our career centers are working hard to ensure they can continue to support the students impacted by internship cancellations by finding meaningful internship or project work for them. We encourage you to take a moment and think about whether you or your organization can utilize Carlson talent this summer in either a short-term project or an internship.  If you do have a need for a Carlson undergraduate or graduate business student please complete this quick form and our career center staff will follow up with you directly. Thank you for your continued support in our Carlson community. 

Priya Headshot


Keeping in Touch: Priya Priyadarshini
We love to stay in touch with our HRIR alumni to hear about their careers since leaving the program. We had the chance to connect with alumna Priya Priyadarshini, ’05, who is now general manager of early careers program at Microsoft. She shares her journey with us. 

Virtual Spring Celebration Marks Graduating Students’ Milestone

Sri and Stacy

For the past six years, the MHRIR program has celebrated the end of the school year and the graduation of our students with a spring celebration dinner, typically held the evening before the Commencement Ceremony. Due to the coronavirus this year, the decision was made to hold the Spring Celebration virtually. “It was immensely disappointing when we couldn't have our celebration this year in person,” says Stacy Doepner-Hove, director of the MHRIR program. “But we knew we wanted to mark it nonetheless, so we went virtual,” she says.

Alan Benson

Alan Benson Receives Herbie Teaching Award
Congratulations to Assistant Professor Alan Benson, the recipient of this year’s Herbie Award for Teaching Excellence. The award is presented each year by GSHRL (Graduate Society of Human Resources Leaders) to honor outstanding instruction in the MHRIR program. 

Colleen Flaherty Manchester Receives Endowed Professorship

Colleen Flaherty Manchester

The Carlson School is pleased to announce that Associate Professor Colleen Flaherty Manchester is one of 13 Carlson School faculty members being recognized for their accomplishments and important contributions to their fields. Flaherty Manchester has received the Board of Overseers Endowed Professorship; congratulations!

LES Staff

LES Welcomes Two New Staff Members
The Labor Education Service (LES) welcomes two new labor educators who joined the staff in May: 

  • Cassie J. Williams joined the Labor Education Service in 2020. She earned a B.A. in Literature and Creative Writing and a M.A. in Education from Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU).
  • Sasha Yunginger came to the Labor Education Service with an interest in working with unions and marginalized workers. Sasha holds a BS in Corrections and Sociology and a Master’s of Arts in Education.

Jack Flagler


Former LES Educator Jack Flagler Passes Away
Jack Flagler, former LES director and educator, passed away on April 25 at the age of 93. Read a memorial tribute written by his former colleague, Professor Emeritus Mario (Mike) Bognanno.

DRIVEN. The Campaign for the Carlson School

Anne Powell

Gratitude for Degree Compels Ann Powell to Give Back to Program
Ann Powell, '91 MA-IR, is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Bristol-Myers Squibb. We sat down with her in January to talk about her experience in the program and her philanthropic support. Read more here.


‘Tremendous’ Educational Experience Influences Fred Crandall’s Philanthropy

Fred Crandall

A long-time interest and passion for unions and the labor movement led Fred Crandall, ’75 PhD-IR, to the University of Minnesota and an illustrious career in academia and consulting. Read more here.

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 Gregg Peterson; recent graduate Telile Regassa; and staff member Susan Suchy

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)
  • Aichia Chuang, ’01 PhD-HRIR, is a professor in the Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • RJ Jadhav, ’05, is a human resources director for Google Cloud at Google
  • Laura Kato, ’05, is a senior vice president for human resources at HomeAdvisor
  • Shawn Mayfield, ‘06, is a global MADJV business relationship & demand management leader at Cargill
  • Kristen McCubbin, ’16, is a human resources manager at L3 Harris Technologies
  • Kelsey (Milligan) Gresbrink, ’16, is a compensation analyst at Ameriprise Financial Services
  • Ryan Quinn, ’12, is a senior director people and organization at Simple Mills
  • Julia Schulte, ’13, is an independent consultant at Scout & Cellar
  • Tiffany Yang, ’15, is a senior compensation analyst at UnitedHealth Group