Students to Engage, Connect at Annual Conference

By SHRM Online staff May 14, 2012
Hundreds of students and faculty from across the United States will descend on Atlanta for the 2012 student conference, which is filled with concurrent educational sessions, alliance-building opportunities and career development offerings.

The day-and-a-half conference takes place at the Marriott Marquis hotel at 265 Peachtree Center Ave. in Atlanta prior to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2012 Annual Conference & Exposition. Highlights include a Saturday, June 23, luncheon presentation by Sara Rynes, Ph.D., the John F. Murray professor of management and organizations at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business and winner of the SHRM 2011 Michael R. Losey Human Resource Research Award, and a closing session at 3:30 p.m. Saturday featuring highly rated motivational speaker Jeff Tobe, CSP.

Rynes is well-known among fellow researchers and HR management academicians and has been recognized for her groundbreaking research on employee recruitment. Her work led Rynes to collaborate with HR practitioners and recruitment professionals at such leading organizations as AT&T, Prudential Financial Inc. and Citibank.

Tobe, chosen recently by readers of Conventions and Meetings Magazine as “one of the top 15 motivational speakers in North America,” is known for his high-energy, content-driven presentations. In his SHRM student conference presentation, titled “Coloring Outside the Lines,” Tobe will challenge students to step outside their comfort zone in positioning themselves creatively.

Student conference registration will get under way and continental breakfast will be served starting at 8 a.m. on June 23, followed by opening remarks and an awards celebration at 8:30 a.m. Concurrent sessions will focus on topics relevant to preparing students for the workforce.

Topics include “Social Media: The Good, the Bad & The Law,” “Extreme Makeover: Resume Edition,” “The Power of Now: Leaving a Legacy,” “The Art of Networking & Business Etiquette,” “Global Leadership for the New Millennium,” “Tips for Succeeding in HR as a Young Professional,” “Make No Mistake: How to Avoid Deficit Decisions,” and “Helping Students Prepare for Studying and Working Abroad.”

A Saturday night networking reception with SHRM members and volunteer leaders will offer additional opportunity for students to learn directly from HR professionals and to engage, grow and connect.

The half-day Sunday program will begin at 7:30 a.m. with continental breakfast and opening remarks by Jeff T. H. Pon, Ph.D., HCS, SHRM's chief human resources and strategy officer. A town hall-style meeting will answer questions about SHRM’s Assurance of Learning Assessment for HR graduates and will feature a case-solving competition. Additional educational sessions will run until 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

A student chapter advisor for 29 years, Donna Ledgerwood, Ph.D., associate professor of human resources management at the University of North Texas, will be recognized at the conference as SHRM’s 2012 Advisor of the Year. Ledgerwood is past president of the Southern Management Association and a past president of the Southwest Academy of Management. She has four degrees from the University of Oklahoma and has been widely published.

Case Study Winners

Also being acknowledged at this year’s annual student conference will be the regional winners of the 2012 Case Competition, which took place at five regional student conferences in March and April across the United States. Each region’s winning team received $3,000 along with complimentary registration to this year’s student conference and Annual Conference.

The regional case competition winners are Northeast Region, Houghton College-New York (Undergraduate); Southeast Region, University of Tennessee-Knoxville (Graduate); North Central Region, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (Graduate); Southwest Central Region, Thunderbird School of Global Management (Graduate); and Pacific West Region, University of Nevada-Reno (Undergraduate).

“After touring across the country and holding five successful regional conferences this spring, I’m excited to watch hundreds of students and faculty members come together to Atlanta and having a national conversation and interaction with the future of the HR profession,” said Tara Fournier, SHRM’s manager of member engagement. “I encourage all students and faculty advisors to take advantage of the reduced rate to attend. It’s deeply discounted and allows full access to both the student and professional conference as well as the exhibit hall and all the entertainment and networking opportunities.”

Students, faculty and attendees are encouraged to tweet about the conference by using the hashtag #shrmstudent.​

To register for the 2012 student conference, visit​.

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