ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Today, in honor of World Mental Health Day, the SHRM Foundation announces the first winners of the new Cheslie C. Kryst Memorial Scholarship. Funded through a contribution from ManpowerGroup, the scholarship is awarding $10,000 each to one undergraduate HR student and one graduate, early-career HR student who express and demonstrate a commitment to mental health and well-being in the workplace. Maria Sharmin and Melissa Weiner, the undergraduate and graduate winners, respectively, demonstrated their commitment to workplace mental health through their academic studies and practice. Each scholarship winner will be recognized in person during the Tharseō Awards Gala at the Field Museum in Chicago on Oct. 17.
"One year after Cheslie Kryst served as host at the first annual Tharseō Awards, we are proud to announce the winners of the Cheslie C. Kryst Memorial Scholarship," said President and Chief Executive Officer Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP. "Cheslie was a friend and an advocate for criminal justice reform. These scholarships will continue her passion for spreading empathy as well as mental and physical wellness into the workplace and the world."
- Undergraduate Winner: Maria Sharmin, Bachelor of Arts in HR Management, Temple University.
Maria is currently a junior at Temple University and is passionate about helping her community both within and outside her college campus. Particularly in her internship experience, Ms. Sharmin has demonstrated a dedication to mental health promotion and awareness. As an intern at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Ms. Sharmin hosted Zoom self-care workshops for immigrants to boost mental health awareness. Upon her graduation, Ms. Sharmin wants to combine her passions for HR and helping individuals to become a diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) manager and then eventually launch her own nonprofit focused on relieving mental health stigma for youth.
- Graduate Winner: Melissa Weiner, Master of Science in Strategic HR Management, Saint Joseph's University.
Melissa is in the second year of her master's program at Saint Joseph's University. Melissa's passion for helping others began while completing her undergraduate degree at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va. She served as a real wellness coordinator in her sorority and volunteered with Girls Inc.'s after-school program. While completing her studies, Ms. Weiner also works as a human resources specialist at the Environmental Protection Agency in its Diversity, Outreach and Employee Services division. In her free time, Ms. Weiner is an avid fundraiser and philanthropist, particularly regarding the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
"The Cheslie C. Kryst Memorial Scholarship is a great step to embed mental health into the HR field," said Wendi Safstrom, president of the SHRM Foundation. "These scholarships will elevate the next generation of HR students to become bold, courageous leaders in the workplace to create cultures of empathy and mental wellness."
These winners were selected after an external panel of judges reviewed all of the applications. The winners were chosen from a very competitive selection of candidates and are commended for their arduous work and excellence in transforming workplace wellness. The SHRM Foundation is excited to launch this scholarship in Cheslie C. Kryst's honor and to continue her fight for workplace mental health and wellness. To learn more about the scholarships, you can visit the SHRM Foundation's website.
About the SHRM Foundation
Founded in 1966, the SHRM Foundation is the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of the world's largest HR professional society, SHRM. SHRM represents more than 300,000 HR professionals across the globe, impacting 115 million workers and their families. The SHRM Foundation mobilizes the power of HR for positive social change in the workplace. Its robust resources, meaningful partnerships and evidence-based programming educate and empower HR professionals to hire diverse talent, build inclusive workplaces, prioritize workplace mental health and wellness, develop and support the next generation of HR professionals, and help employees find purpose at work and beyond. Learn more at shrmfoundation.org.
ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organizations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing, and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organizations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower, Experis, and Talent Solutions – creates substantially more value for candidates and clients across more than 75 countries and territories and has done so for over 70 years. We are recognized consistently for our diversity – as a best place to work for Women, Inclusion, Equality, and Disability, and in 2022 ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the 13th year – all confirming our position as the brand of choice for in-demand talent.