November Newsletter

Reflections on the World Around Us
The Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies hosted the 3rd Annual International Case Competition and welcomed more than 45 students, advisors, judges and sponsors to campus in mid-November. And, keeping true to the global nature of the competition, there were more than 15 countries represented during the event.

This international competition was made particularly meaningful by the tragic attacks in Paris on November 13. As the Case Competition Awards Ceremony and Dinner began the next day, Stacy Doepner-Hove welcomed participants with these comments:

As we begin our dinner I want to take just a moment to acknowledge the international piece of this international competition. We cannot help but pause to speak about the events in Paris yesterday. Such tragedy cannot be explained. Happenings in Paris, Baghdad, Beirut, Syria, Sharm el-Sheikh, Sydney, Mumbai, Boston, Ukraine, and really too many other places around the world make us all wonder about the future of humans on this planet.

And while I realize that what we do as human resources professionals is not the single thing that will solve the problems of the world, it is true that what we do as human resources professionals makes a difference. The case the students worked on delved into the import and difficulty of building and sustaining a diverse workforce. This is never an easy thing. When we help our companies build understanding we are building bridges. And it is the work of these bridges, the connections we help people to build - person by person - that may be the only thing that can lead to a safer and more peaceful world.

What we are doing here this weekend by making person to person connections is a start. The connections we have all made allow us to understand these particular people in a new way. Each chance we have to make a new connection is one more way we can understand the other humans around us. The hopeful piece of this is that if more of us know more of us - we may find it more difficult to see our fellow humans as political opportunities and targets and instead see them as potential allies and the mothers, fathers, daughters and sons that we all are. HR may not save the world but we do make a difference.

With this eloquent message in mind, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Much To Be Thankful For
In this season of thanksgiving, we pause to reflect on all that we are grateful for. Several members of the CHRLS Alumni Association Board of Directors share their thoughts:

  • "Having served on the alumni board these past three years, I am excited to see the passion and involvement of my peers. The work, such as the HRTomorrow Conference, that comes out of this group of individuals is meaningful and important to the University and to those of us who graduated from the program." - Jason Grosz, '06
  • "I am thankful for the power of connections the alumni network has created. The community of HRIR alumni has allowed me and others the access to experts in HR, cutting-edge HR practices, and information that is incredibly valuable." - Faith Leicht, '04
  • "I am thankful for the lifelong friendships I have established and connection to a talented group of HR practitioners." - Ian Charpentier, '93
  • "I am really thankful for my dear friends from the University of Minnesota, my mentors, my host families, and my cohorts across the globe! It's a great fortune to have them on my life journey, and I hope they all have a wonderful 2016!" - Anna (Xuanfei) Huang, '13

What are you thankful for? Drop us a line at and we'll share your thoughts in future communications.

Alumna Experiences Cuba from the Inside
This past October, alumna Carrie Johnson, '97 MA-HRIR, visited Cuba on a trip led by the Society for Human Resource Management. The goal of the six-day trip was to learn about doing business in Cuba, with an emphasis on its HR practices. "I was drawn to the trip because I've always been curious about Cuba - so close to the U.S but so far away - and the trip presented a wonderful learning opportunity," she says. (more)

2009 Alumnus Embraces International HR Role

Andrew Power's Headshot












Andrew Powers graduated from the MA-HRIR Program in 2009 and joined Chevron immediately afterwards. Read on as he details the challenges and rewards of moving with his family to Kazakhstan for two years to work in HR.



Silicon Valley Alumni Visit

John Budd and Alumnae at a Restaurant






Alumnae Cindy Fan, '12Mavis Liu, '14; and Bijun Zhang, '12, catch up with Professor John Budd in Sunnyvale, CA, during his recent visit there.



Alumnus Named Executive Leadership Fellow 

Scott Peterson's Headshot









Scott Peterson , '83, was recently named a 2015-2016 Executive Leadership Fellow with the Center for Integrative Leadership at the University of Minnesota. During his Fellowship, Peterson will be working collaboratively with University faculty and students to develop sustainable and actionable strategies to identify and address Minnesota's future workforce needs. Peterson is currently executive vice president and chief human resource officer of The Schwan Food Company, and also serves as co-chair of Minnesota's Itasca Workforce Alignment Initiative to address the skills gap in the state.


Mark Your Calendars: Virtual Networking Event - February 4, 2016
The Alumni Board Mentoring Committee will be hosting its second event of the year on Thursday, February 4, 2016, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Watch for more details!

"Trends in Performance Management" Workshop
The Professional Development committee kicked off their programming year with an informative workshop focused on Performance Management. Sharon Arad, Director of Performance Management for Cargill, was the guest speaker. A recording of the workshop is available here.

Easing Transition to American Classrooms through Innovative Program
To help ease the transition of international students beginning the MA-HRIR program this fall, the program partnered with English3, an innovative online course designed to help prepare students for studying and learning in an American academic setting. (more)

Two Continents, One Classroom
The capstone course for the MA-HRIR program had a unique class list this fall. Taught by Stacy Doepner-Hove, program director of the MA-HRIR program, the course included not only 28 University of Minnesota students but 21 students from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia. (more)


Speed Mentoring Provides Fast Connections


Alumni Networking at a Table

Twenty-three students took advantage of the opportunity to meet and network with 11 alumni during the first Alumni Mentoring event of the year. Alumni feedback was positive with one commenting, "I enjoy networking with fellow alums and the opportunity to meet with current students as well." The Mentoring Committee is planning another event in February; watch for more details.


Case Competition Achievements 

A Case Study Team Posed Together and Smiling in a Library

Congratulations to several Carlson School MA-HRIR students who participated in case competitions this fall and brought home trophies:


Coming in second in the Purdue Case Competition were, from left, Sarabeth Bosselman, Chanthy Chum, Becky Tso, and Courtney Messinger. They competed with five other teams to solve a business case for lead sponsor Rolls Royce.

A Case Study Team Smiling Together at Carlson School

Taking first place in the 3rd Annual HR Case Competition hosted at the Carlson School were, from left, Lindsey Jones, Kelly Dahlman, Cassie Cherveny, and Madelis Rivera. They competed against six other teams to solve a business case for LG Electronics, the lead sponsor of the competition.


Leadership Acceleration Program: Learn, Reflect, and Refine Leadership Skills
Carlson Executive Education is pleased to offer the highly acclaimed Leadership Acceleration Program for mid-level managers and directors. This experience is taught in collaboration between Carlson School faculty and business leaders. The blended program offers top talent the time to learn, reflect, and refine leadership skills through five classroom days, a 360-degree Leadership Assessment, and three one-on-one coaching sessions. During this interactive program, participants will:

  • Identify strategies to accelerate leadership capabilities
  • Assess, modify and establish practices that lead to peak performance
  • Identify leadership styles and implications to others
  • Pinpoint leadership strengths and opportunities to increase effectiveness through an individual 360-degree Leadership Assessment
  • Create a development plan and work individually with an executive coach to achieve full leadership potential

If you or someone in your organization could benefit from this program, please call Mary Jo Flan at 612-625-5412 or send an email to to learn more.

Nine Individuals Posed for Photo

Former IRC Librarian Georgianna (Georgie) Herman visited the CHRLS on October 26 for lunch and a little reminiscing with her former colleagues. Joining Georgie for lunch were, from left, Jim Scoville, Mahmood Zaidi, John Fossum, Georgie, Avner Ben-Ner, Jennifer Clement, John Budd, Susan Suchy and John Remington. Not pictured were Brenda Lucy and John See.


Virtual Mentoring/Networking Event
February 4, 2016

HR Tomorrow Conference
Friday, April 22, 2016
8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.