OSU Professor Wins 2022 Student Chapter Advisor Impact Award

August 24, 2022
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​Michele Swift, SHRM-SCP, faculty advisor of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) student chapter at Oregon State University (OSU), is the winner of the SHRM Foundation's 2022 Student Chapter Advisor Impact Award. 

She received a plaque, a $1,000 monetary award, $1,000 toward travel and housing for the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2022 that was held in June in New Orleans, and complimentary conference registration.

Swift is a senior instructor and assistant school head for management, entrepreneurship and supply chain in OSU's College of Business. She is involved in curriculum development and program design and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in HR management. As a professional development coordinator of management, Swift serves as the liaison between the management program and OSU's College of Business to educate students on the management major and introduce them to potential career opportunities.

Swift has been the chapter's faculty advisor since 2017. She sees her role, she said, as twofold: supporting the chapter leadership team in providing members and the student population "with a greater understanding of the field of HR and management," and helping the leadership team develop professional and leadership skills.

She serves as college relations director for the Northwest Human Resource Management Association, a SHRM affiliate where she oversees the planning of the HR Leaders of Tomorrow student conference. She also is involved in college relations for the Lane County HR Association, a SHRM affiliate in Eugene, Ore.

Student Testimonials

OSU graduate Kaitlin Goodman, SHRM-CP, HR specialist at Oregon Medical Group in Eugene, was one of several students who nominated Swift for the award. Goodman served as president and treasurer of the OSU student chapter and credited Swift with building her confidence and leadership abilities.

"My love for HR was nurtured so intentionally by Michele," Goodman wrote in the award application. "She helped students like me find community through learning about HR."

Katharina Staudt served as chapter president and vice president. She took Swift's HR management course and now is a master's degree candidate in Malmo University's leadership and sustainability program in Malmo, Skane, Sweden. She spoke highly of Swift's work with students.

"A large percentage of our club members graduate with an HR career to go to because of her dedication to students' professional development and consistent networking. Michele shares her expansive HR network with so many other students to help them find jobs and internships based on their strengths and interests," Staudt said.

Rachel Tweedy, client relationship associate at Vanguard in Scottsdale, Ariz., noted that Swift looked out for students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Going to college during the pandemic was not easy and Michele was such an inspiration to me during that time," said Tweedy, who served as chapter president in 2020. "She worked so hard to make sure that we were still getting networking opportunities even though we couldn't meet in person."

Staudt pointed out that Swift increased SHRM membership and conference attendance among chapter members and supported seven students in attending SHRM21 by successfully submitting a funding proposal to the college. Swift also invited HR professionals to speak at chapter meetings, arranged resume workshops, organized a student conference, helped students network, and provided job leads and references.

'An Excellent Example'

Wendi Safstrom, SHRM Foundation president, commended Swift on her work with students.

"She is an excellent example of the important role advisors play in supporting students throughout their academic career and beyond. Oftentimes, as the person closest to the students, chapter advisors like Dr. Swift provide guidance and leadership to help ensure student success," Safstrom said.

Swift received her doctorate in business administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder, her master's degree in HR and industrial relations from the University of Oregon, and her bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California, Irvine.

Prior to entering academia, Swift worked in HR and HR systems consulting for more than 10 years. During that time, she managed HR self-service implementation projects, assisted with business case development, counseled managers on employee relations issues, provided recruitment and placement services, and managed payroll and workers' compensation.

Swift said she was "stunned and humbled" to receive the award.

"I have had the good fortune to work with many amazing student chapter leaders and truly believe I couldn't do what I do as chapter advisor if it wasn't for them," she said.

Online nominations for the 2023 Student Chapter Advisor Impact Award open Jan. 10; the deadline is March 8.

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