SHRM@QU Alumni Series: Jena Hook

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SHRM@QU is a local student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. We provide students from across the University with the opportunity to gain knowledge and insight into the effective management of human capital in the field of Human Resource Management through affiliation with the New Haven Chapter, the CT State Council, and the national SHRM organization.

The objectives of this chapter include:

*Promoting the exchange of work-related experience of established business professionals with the theoretical academic perspectives of student and faculty members through open forums and information exchanges.

*Encouraging the acquisition, growth, and continuation of our respective careers in human resource management through expanded knowledge, camaraderie, respect, and mutual support among chapter members and through our affiliation with SHRM and our sponsoring chapter.

*Provide a pool of human resource management leaders for perpetuation of the chapter and of SHRM.

*Function as an important vehicle for promoting the field of human resource management to students.

SHRM@QU Alumni Series: Jena Hook


Jena Hook, former Vice President of SHRM@QU, is the Associate Talent Acquisition Partner at Datto, Inc and specializes in university recruitment. SHRM@QU members had the opportunity to speak with Jena to discuss the importance of workplace culture.

After graduating from Quinnipiac University in May of 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and concentration in Human Resources, she started her career with Datto, Inc. in June. When it comes to workplace culture, Jena explained that there are two different things to look at when an organization is discussing their culture. Cultural fit is putting an employee in a box and making the employee fit their standards. Cultural add is when an organization is looking to diversifying the work place, foster ideas, and encouraging innovation. If an organization has more of an add workplace culture, they will mention questions such as: “tell me about a time you questioned something you were supposed to do” or “tell me about your inspirations” in your interview. A fit culture would have more questions along the lines of “how do you like to be managed” or “describe your preferred relationship with coworkers”. Aside from workplace culture, the members of SHRM@QU were able to ask Jena’s questions related to her job and the process of finding a job after graduation. Jena reminded the members that we should always remind ourselves what motivates us: Is it a leadership style? Is it rewards? What are our lifestyle choices? Learning more about yourself will be necessary in the job search because you want an employer that allows you to grow and have a job that lets you blossom. If you do not know who you are, your employer won’t either. Jena also reminded the members that not having a job immediately after graduation is absolutely okay, and an opportunity will eventually come your way.

SHRM@QU Speaker Series: Dr. Tuvana Rua

TuvanaDr. Tuvana Rua is an Associate Professor of Management at Quinnipiac University and has a great deal of experience with negotiating in the workplace. Dr. Rua has worked specifically with negotiation in contracts and decision making. She recently became a part of Quinnipiac’s faculty after working as an Associate Professor of Management at Sacred Heart University. Not only does she teach students on how to be better negotiators, she also leads workshops for professionals to improve their negotiation skills as well.

On September 26, 2019, SHRM@QU had the opportunity to expand their knowledge on negotiation after having Dr. Rua as a guest speaker for a workshop based on negotiation. Dr. Rua explained to the group that negotiation is a life skill that will always be needed. While we may not realize it, there is a large process that comes along with negotiation which Dr. Rua was able to break down for the members. The majority of the process is 70% preparation for the meeting, along with exchanging information. When you walk into a negotiation, it is important to know that the conversation is two-ways. Important questions should always be asked, and listen to the right information. She reminded us how necessary it is to know yourself, your worth, and be aware of your own skills. When negotiating, it is important to be prepared, because the more prepared you are, the more successful you will be. The members of SHRM@QU were able to use Dr. Rua’s skills first-hand when she gave us a scenario that we had to negotiate with. Negotiating may not be the easiest thing to do, but with the help of Dr. Rua’s and more experience, it will come naturally.


SHRM@QU 2019 Induction Ceremony

The Society for Human Resource Management at Quinnipiac University (SHRM@QU) held its fifth induction ceremony on Saturday, October 5, 2019. The purpose of this organization is to provide Quinnipiac University students with the opportunity to gain knowledge and insight into the effective management of human capital in the field of Human Resource Management through affiliation with HRACC, the CT SHRM State Council, and the national SHRM organization, the largest and most well known association for HR professionals.

There was an Officer Installation Ceremony for the executive council and Induction Ceremony for new members and continuing members. Thank you to Professor Kelly and to all of the families who attended!

SHRM@QU faculty advisor Julia Fullick-Jagiela, Associate Professor & Chair of Management, and President Arianna Berke presided over the event. “This day is a day dedicated to honoring new members who have been brought into our organization. We honor our new members because they hold the key to our future. As we share our traditions and ask them to carry on the legacy of SHRM@QU, we should also look to them for new ideas and inspiration so that we may learn from them as they learn from us.”

Welcome to our 2019-2020 Officers:

  1. Arianna Berke (President)
  2. Kelly Manzo (Vice President)
  3. Gabrielle White (Secretary)
  4. Nicole ‘Deena’ Kontzamanis (Career Liaison)

Welcome to our 2019-2020 Members:

  1. Gabriela Alvares
  2. Grace Aversano
  3. Natalie Carlson
  4. Maria Celentano
  5. Symone Foster
  6. Dunytra Kowaleski-Pham
  7. Molllie Lonardo
  8. Angelique Paravalos
  9. Taylor Proulx
  10. Lauryn Santos
  11. Robert Weinfeld

SHRM@QU Awarded 5th Superior Merit Award!

2018-2019 Superior Merit Award Logo


Hamden, CT June 14, 2019 — The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has awarded a 2018-2019 Superior Merit Award designation to the Quinnipiac SHRM student chapter for providing superior growth and development opportunities to its student chapter members.

The SHRM student chapter merit award program, which began in 1972, was created to encourage student chapters to require ongoing excellence in the following areas: student chapter requirements, chapter operations, chapter programming and professional development of members, support of the human resource profession, and SHRM engagement.

“SHRM is committed to engaging the future leaders of the HR profession—HR and Business students. As we work to shape better workplaces—where employers and employees can thrive together—we are energized by the work our student chapters are doing to encourage students to choose HR as a career path,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, president and chief executive officer of SHRM. “Awarding this Superior Merit Award designation is just one small way for SHRM to recognize and celebrate the big steps the Quinnipiac University SHRM student chapter has taken this past academic year.”

SHRM student chapters have the opportunity to earn an award based on the number of activities they complete during the merit award cycle, the most recent one of which lasted from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019.

SHRM@QU provides students from across the University with the opportunity to gain knowledge and insight into the effective management of human capital in the field of Human Resource Management through affiliation with the HRACC Chapter, the CT State Council, and the national SHRM organization. Our seminars, workshops, and speakers will give someone from each major important information and skills to be as successful as possible in their career.

“I am extremely proud of our chapter’s performance,” said Dr. Fullick-Jagiela, SHRM@QU faculty advisor. “This is their fifth Superior Merit Award, which illustrates the hard work and dedication of our e-board, Arianna Berke, Jena Hook, Leah Mueller, and Kelli Liebermann. This year we had some amazing speakers including, Laura Lepeska, director of benefits at Quinnipiac University; Paula Anthony, a member of the Labor and Employment practice group called Berchem Mose; Jill McKeon-Vitelli presented about the importance of project management; and alumna Hannah Blockis, an Account Manager at Apex Systems, discussed recruiting and staffing. We held our third annual Diversity and Inclusion Day with over 100 students in attendance. We also had two students, Jena Hook and Taylor Martin, compete and place FIRST at the Tri-State SHRM Student Case Competition. It has been an incredible year!”

For more information about joining, please email SHRM President, Arianna Berke or Faculty Advisor Dr. Julia Fullick-Jagiela.

About the Society for Human Resource Management

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.

SHRM@QU Speaker Series: Laura Lepeska


    Laura Lepeska is the director of benefits at Quinnipiac University and has over 22 years of hands on, progressive experience in all facets of employee benefit plan design, administration, management and compliance for health & welfare and retirement plans.  She has extensive knowledge of federal and state benefit related laws and regulations and comprehensive knowledge of complex qualified defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans, including IRS and DOL regulations.
    Laura was hired at Quinnipiac in 2011 as the benefits manager and earned her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designation in 2012 from the HR Certification Institute.  She was promoted to director of benefits in 2015 and earned the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) designation from the Society of Human Resources Management the same year.
    Laura shared with the SHRM@QU chapter that a benefit is a form of  indirect compensation given to an employee or group of employees. There are two types of benefits that are given, the first is those that are legally required and the second are voluntary benefits that companies utilize to attract and retain talent. Benefit professionals say workers want more money in their pocket over higher quality benefits, however studies have shown that employees prefer having a richer benefit plan. Due to this information Laura has created the QU benefit plan to include health benefits, a wellness program, benefits surrounding financial security, income protection, and work and family benefits. Laura shared that 30-40% of annual wages are made up through benefits as a total compensation package. She encouraged the SHRM@QU students to stay current with the regulations as they are always changing!

SHRM@QU Diversity & Inclusion Day 2019

On February 27, 2019, SHRM@QU held a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Day. Our objective was to increase awareness and create a dialog about diversity and inclusion student experiences. The morning opened with QU’s Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Don Sawyer introducing the event and the importance of open dialogue. Over 100 students attended the event throughout the day.

The goal of our program was to give students a safe place to have open discussions regarding diversity and inclusion. The event also provided an opportunity for our multicultural and diversity student organizations to showcase their events and perspectives. Students had the chance to schedule times to speak throughout the day.

This year SHRM was lucky enough to have five organizations contribute to the discussion about Diversity and Inclusion. The International Students Association started off the morning speaking about the value of diversity. The conversation then moved to “Does God Care About Racism” which was presented by the Quinnipiac Christian Fellowship. A new organization, the Student Organ Donation Advocates spoke about how organ donation was the ultimate gift and stimulated discussion around this. Prior to lunch, the Student Veteran Organization educated attendees about veterans on campus. The last student organization to share with our group was the Student Government Association who gave a presentation on LGBTQ+ rights and how that relates to HR and our community.

In addition to our student speakers, Professor Nic Smith presented and facilitated an ally training for all who were present. He shared with the group the importance of being an ally and how we can be an ally to those in the workplace.

The event culminated with a diversity certificate presentation by Kelli Liebermann and Leah Mueller focusing on addressing roadblocks in the workplace surrounding race, gender, ethnicity, and other difficult conversations. We wanted event participants to gain concrete D&I knowledge and an opportunity to earn a certificate by attending a student-run workshop on Catalyst’s (2016) Engaging in Conversations About Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Workplace.

It was enlightening to hear about everyone’s unique perspectives and experiences on campus. Our event showcased the importance of diversity and inclusion not just at our university, but also in the business world.

The SHRM@QU chapter was so excited to have this event again, and look forward to how it will grow in the future! Special thanks to our e-board for all of their hard work planning this event!

SHRM@QU Gives Back!

Thank you to all of the AWESOME students and faculty who donated food and personal care items to benefit the CT Food Bank. Special shout out to Ari Berke and Prof. Julia Fullick-Jagiela for delivering the food on November 14, 2018. They delivered two carloads to the Food Bank. The Food Bank says that will provide 245 meals!

There are over 155,000 children in Connecticut in a food insecure situation. Over 38,000 of them are in the New Haven area. Your thoughtful food and personal care donations will help in combating some of this need.

Learn more how you can help here:


SHRM@QU Attends People’s United Center for Women & Business Inaugural Event

SHRM@QU PUCWB Event 2018-11-06

From left: Taylor Martin, Leah Mueller, Dr. Fullick-Jagiela, Arianna Berke, Kelli Liebermann, and Jena Hook

SHRM@QU members were excited to attend the Inaugural People’s United Center for Women and Business event on November 6, 2018. Members listened to Quinnipiac’s President Judy Olian speak about her top ten pieces of business ideas for the members of the business community. She urged members of the room to not take business personally and emphasized the importance of picking a good partner. Sara Longobardi, senior executive vice president of People’s United Bank shared how she relied on others to make decisions for her at the start of her college experience and how these experiences shaped her career path. She explained the importance of making choices and stressed that you can have both a family and be a successful women in business. Members then had the opportunity to network with other business professionals at the event and work to perfect their elevator pitches. 

SHRM@QU Team Bonding Night

IMG_8683SHRM@QU members gathered in their first bonding activity during the fall semester. SHRM members gathered and learned about the other members educational backgrounds and what they are involved in on campus. The members also discussed what they would like to do as a career in human resources. See our members together in the Rocky Top Student Center!

SHRM@QU Presents: Workplace Investigations by Paula Anthony

2933350_1Paula Anthony is a member of the Labor and Employment practice group called Berchem Moses. She received her undergraduate degree from Pace University before attending the Villanova University School of Law.  She works with both private and public sector clients working on employee and employment matters.

She presented to SHRM@QU members on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 regarding workplace investigations. When diverse groups come together that there are always challenges in the workplace. Common issues that her clients run into stem from mistakes including ignoring complaints, failing to plan adequately, delaying investigation or not being thorough enough, losing objectivity, failing to conduct interviews, failing to reach a conclusion, or failing to take action. Her job is to work with HR to solve employee and employer lawsuits. She thinks that bringing in a legal team is necessary for a company when HR needs an area of expertise and when a complaint is filed against HR. She warned students to always know the scope of an investigation in the workplace but also that scope can change throughout an investigation. She explained that the one of the most important things HR professionals can do is to create and enforce policies and procedures in the workplace.

You can learn more about Paula here: