Ten SHRM student chapters have won the 2009-10 Outstanding Student Chapter Award, which recognizes SHRM student chapters whose programs, activities and levels of participation during the academic year distinguish them.
All SHRM student chapters are eligible to apply for the award, provided that the chapter receives a Superior Merit Award for the current academic year. The Outstanding Student Chapter Award is given in recognition of significant activities within the areas of promotion of certification, campus/community service, innovation/technology, programming/education, and recruitment.
This year’s recipients are:
Since October 2009, the Eastern Michigan University student chapter has hosted a radio program to keep chapter members and university students up-to-date on chapter news, local business events, membership information, and news about HR and business. Hosting the show allowed the student chapter to work with other student business organizations, learn about alternative forms of media and promote SHRM to the local student community.
The Illinois State University student chapter coordinated activities that would prepare students in all majors at the College of Business for life after college. Members scheduled speakers, offered networking opportunities and held study sessions for the PHR certification exam. The student chapter also encouraged members to participate in internships. The majority of members participated in at least one internship during the 2009-10 academic year. These internships proved beneficial in helping to secure post-graduation employment.
The executive council of the Liberty University student chapter implemented a mentoring program. SHRM of Central Virginia agreed to host 10 students at each monthly luncheon to network with local HR professionals. While at the luncheons, students spoke with professionals from a variety of industries and heard practical business advice. The three main goals of the mentoring program are to develop relationships between students and professionals, provide on-the-job training, and create networking opportunities. Students were able to build solid relationships with local professionals and gain confidence in professional settings.
The Meredith College student chapter in North Carolina created a dynamic recruitment program focused on increasing membership as well as promoting SHRM to all students at Meredith. The chapter used many forms of technology as part of its plan, including Facebook, Blackboard and e-blasts, and held a social event on campus to promote SHRM to students not familiar with HR. To make sure HR professionals knew of Meredith College and the student chapter, members volunteered to assist the local professional chapter and host professional events. This additional exposure helped chapter members secure internships with local companies and state government.
The Middle Tennessee State University student chapter chose to focus on a single overarching goal this year: member engagement. The chapter created and sponsored events to promote the field of human resources, increase participation at the events and collaborate with local professionals. A job search panel was held with local recruiters and HR managers for members to ask questions and learn how to search and land a job in a slow economy.
The Rutgers University student chapter in New Jersey hosted events and programs to help students, employers, employees and professors build valuable connections. The main goals were to develop future human resource leaders and expand students' learning experiences outside the classroom. The chapter provided networking opportunities through forums and programs with HR professionals, faculty and fellow students. Expert Connect sessions kept members abreast of the latest happenings in HR through interactive sessions with HR professionals and faculty. A buddy system guided and supported new students by connecting them with existing SHRM students. Professors and HR professionals said they also benefited from these activities by gaining new perspectives from students and establishing relationships with potential HR leaders.
This year, the University of New Haven student chapter in Connecticut had extended involvement with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS), a resettlement agency. IRIS refugees have been invited to move to the United States by the government due to a fear of persecution because of their race, ethnicity, religious beliefs or political affiliations. SHRM members worked with IRIS's Employment Services Department, planning pre-employment training workshops for refugees. Those who participated in IRIS activities said they built presentation skills and developed a mentoring/coaching relationship while doing something good for others.
The University of Puerto Rico-Humacao student chapter created an innovative community service program. It focused on child abuse and planned a conference that would motivate teenagers of the Foster Home program by sharing inspiring stories of well-known public figures who have overcome obstacles to achieve success. Attendance included 49 teenagers from foster homes, 61 university students and members of the community, and 26 chapter members. Chapter members gave back to the community by addressing the needs of teenagers while gaining a valuable and rewarding experience.
The University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez student chapter created a Big Brothers and Sisters program. Chapter members visited high schools to promote the human resource management profession and explain how the college’s academic program will prepare students to be competent in the business world. A group of 25 high school juniors and seniors later visited the college and chapter members.
After receiving a grant from Target Corp., the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh student chapter decided to go on a volunteer trip. The chapter traveled to New Orleans for a Habitat for Humanity volunteer project. While helping construct a home for a deserving family, students learned how to paint, install baseboards, caulk, mix cement and much more. The student volunteers learned a tremendous amount about building a home from the ground up and were able to give back to the community in a big way.
A full list of the 2009-10 Student Chapter Merit Award activities and instructions are available at http://www.shrm.org/Communities/StudentPrograms/Pages/awards.aspx. For further information, please contact the SHRM Student Programs at (800) 283-7476 or e-mail SHRMStudent@shrm.org.