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U of M Professor Receives 2023 Student Chapter Advisor Impact Award

A woman giving a presentation to a group of people.

​Kathy A. Tuberville, SHRM-SCP, faculty advisor for the University of Memphis (U of M) SHRM student chapter, is the winner of the SHRM Foundation's 2023 Student Chapter Advisor Impact Award. 

The associate professor in the university's management department teaches HR courses and advises management and HR students on internships. She serves as director for the Fogelman Women in Leadership Program and faculty leader for the Fogleman College of Business and Economics Study Abroad and Global Learning Program. Tuberville was director of the Avron B. Fogelman Professional Development Center from 2012 to 2021, developing programming and curriculum to help prepare students for the transition to the workforce. 

She has been the SHRM student chapter advisor since joining U of M in 2011. Under her guidance, the chapter has hosted HR Discovery Day, HR Academy and Professional Engagement Night. Chapter members also have competed in the national SHRM Games, winning first place in the Central Division in 2017 and competing at the state-level competitions in Tennessee. In 2020, the chapter was involved in the first Student and Young Professional Day at the fully virtual 2020 TN SHRM Conference.

Prior to U of M, Tuberville was associate dean and associate professor at Crichton College in Memphis. She was a student chapter advisor for eight of the 16 years she was at the college.

Tuberville serves on the board of SHRM TN as 2024 state conference chair and was program chair for the 2020 event. She was vice president of programs for the SHRM-Memphis chapter from 2017 to 2022. For the last decade, she has been involved with Suits for Success, a campus initiative that provides professional attire to qualified students. She fosters student chapter involvement with the professional chapter, such as having students co-host the 2022 SHRM DEI Conference.

Tuberville also coordinates programs for regional HR professionals in her consulting work through her company, Out of the Box Leadership and Talent Solutions. Additionally, she is the Tennessee representative to the Cooperative Education and Internship Association, which advocates for best practices in co-ops, internships and other forms of experiential education.

Tuberville has a doctorate in organizational leadership from Northcentral University in San Diego and a master's degree in management from U of M, where she also received her bachelor's degree in education and business administration.

As part of the Impact Award, she received a plaque, a $1,000 monetary award, $1,000 toward travel and housing for SHRM23 in Las Vegas, and complimentary conference registration.

Recognition Is 'Humbling'

The Foundation's award is the latest accolade for Tuberville.

University recognition includes the award for Creative and Innovative Teaching from the University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business & Economics Leadership Team in 2023; the Distinguished Faculty and Teaching Award in 2022 from the university's alumni association; and the George Johnson Faculty Teaching Fellowship in 2021.

Other recognition includes the HR Educator of the Year Award and the Department of Management Faculty Team Award, both in 2021 from the SHRM-Memphis chapter. She was recognized with the HR Professional Excellence award at the Tennessee SHRM State Conference in 2020. The Memphis Business Journal awarded her its inaugural HR Impact Educator Award in 2019.

However, "This particular award is incredibly humbling and rewarding," Tuberville said. 

"My career focus has been to help develop students and to have an impact in their careers and their lives. The support of my current and former students for this nomination is one of the highlights of my career in higher education. Thanks to all my awesome students and my SHRM family, both in Memphis and beyond."


U of M graduate Niya Allen, talent acquisition specialist for FedEx in the Memphis area, cited Tuberville's guidance, encouragement and generosity.

"She has a passion for helping students. She will go out of her way to see students succeed in their chosen field," Allen said in the nomination application. That included paying for Allen to attend a SHRM conference "so I could see what SHRM was about firsthand."

Tuberville helped prepare her to be the professional she is today, Allen added, by connecting her with other professionals and assisting her in finding internships "that have put me in positions to get jobs because of the experience I have gained."

During Allen's tenure as student chapter president, she said she witnessed the work Tuberville puts into planning each student chapter event "so that students can get the most from each and every encounter with SHRM."

Stephanie Hendrix, SHRM-CP, met Tuberville when Hendrix was a U of M graduate student finishing her master's degree program. Tuberville encouraged Hendrix, who had worked in various HR roles, to join a SHRM student chapter event. The event sparked Hendrick's interest, and she served two semesters as chapter president.

Through the chapter, Hendrix learned about the campus Professional Development Center (PDC), the hub for internship and professional and personal development programs. Hendrix credited Tuberville, who directed the PDC, with a recommendation that landed her a summer internship resulting in a full-time job upon graduation.

"I am still with the company almost five years later," the field HR manager for AutoZone in Memphis said in the nomination application.

Tuberville's impact is far-reaching, Hendrix noted, affecting "thousands of students over the years of teaching and advising for the SHRM student chapter."

"There are hundreds of students that have found their way to their HR career because of her classes and/or involvement in the student chapter. … She puts her students in the forefront to ensure that they succeed in every way possible."

Wendi Safstrom, SHRM Foundation president, noted the wholehearted support the professor gives her students. 

"Dr. Tuberville's dedication to her students is a perfect example of how advisors are critical contributors to student success," Safstrom said. "Her leadership exemplifies how an inclusive approach can help students and emerging professionals thrive while fostering innovation and moving the world of work forward." 


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