SHRM@QU D&I Day: Mental Health Awareness & Inclusivity

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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 D&I Day: Mental Health Awareness & Inclusivity

On February 27th, 2020, SHRM@QU held their annual Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Day. The main goal is to increase awareness about diversity and inclusion that students can experience on and off campus. This year, SHRM was lucky enough to have a panel of speakers to discuss mental health in the workplace and on campus. One of our panelists was Kevin Parker, M.Ed. who is a part of developing health and wellness programs to support students on campus. His work focuses mainly on substance abuse prevention, mental health promotion, and inclusive sexuality education. Parker was able to inform students on what Quinnipiac University does to make sure their students are being supported regarding mental health. Another panelist, Catlin Wells, had the chance to explain her position as the Title IX Coordinator at Quinnipiac University. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex educations programs or activities. As a Title IX Coordinator, Catlin works with the students, faculty, and staff to create a positive campus environment that reflects the University’s commitment to their members. Our third and final panelist was Kevin Meiselman who is a Senior at Quinnipiac studying Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Public Relations. Kevin is also the creator and host of a mental health podcast, Behind the Mind, which talks about mental health. Kevin himself shares his story with mental illness and hopes to break the stigma surrounding this topic.

It was extremely interesting to hear the panelist talk about their experiences with mental health at Quinnipiac. This event allowed us to share with students how mental health is treated on campus, but also in the business world. Our event was a safe place for students to ask questions regarding this subject and to learn more about how others deal with it on a daily basis. We cannot thank our guest speakers enough for being a part of this discussion and sharing their stories and wisdom with the students who listened.

SHRM@QU Alumni Series: Leah Mueller


On February 20, 2020, Leah Mueller, former Secretary of SHRM@QU, spoke with members about the role Human Resources plays in health-care. Leah is currently employed as a Physician Recruiter at Amwell in Boston, Massachusetts. Before this position, she was a Recruitment Assistant for Frisbie Memorial Hospital located in New Hampshire.  Leah took the time to explain to us what she did at her previous job in health-care, as well as her current. When working in recruitment, she was in charge of staffing an organization to get work done. When working in health-care, it is extremely important for all applicants to have the specific needs and licenses that the job requires. If they do not, it puts a huge hold on the recruitment. Along with necessary licenses and needs, background tests, references, drug tests, blood test, etc. are all required when applying for health-care jobs. When working in Human Resources Departments for health-care organizations, it is important to make sure a safe environment is being maintained, keeping patients safe, accountable for wellness checks, and more. Often times, Human Resources are responsible for attendance polices, coaching managers, performance and action plans, training in OSHA and HIPPA, and policies and procedures.  When working in health-care, the Human Resources Department is held accountable for their own requirements in addition to the hospital’s.

Leah shared that her time at Quinnipiac has helped prepare her for the positions she has fulfilled thus far. The professors and courses she took at Quinnipiac allowed her to gain experience in different aspects she works with today. Leah reminded members that all of the information we are learning in our courses, can be applied in the real world. Leah was able to show members the side of health-care we don’t typically see. When we think of hospitals or care-centers, our mind often goes to doctors and nurses. It is important to remember the people who are responsible for hiring these professionals, which is Human Resources.

SHRM@QU Attends CT SHRM Leadership Conference on October 11, 2019

SHRM Leadership Summit 2019-10-11

On October 11, 2019, SHRM@QU had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Connecticut SHRM Leadership Conference which we hosted on Quinnipiac University’s Rocky Top Student Center. At the conference, members had the chance to network with other Human Resources professionals from Connecticut and surrounding states. Along with interacting with other professionals, members had the chance to listen to speakers discuss the trends in HR and learn more about the SHRM National organization. This event allowed us to learn more about the profession and ask questions. Thank you for allowing us to attend and host this conference!

SHRM@QU Food Drive 2019

SHRM@QU hosted our annual food drive to benefit the CT Food Bank. Altogether, we raised 144 pounds worth of food. Thank you to everyone who donated!

SHRM@QU Speaker Series: Kevin Parker, M.Ed. and Carisha Moore

On November 12, 2019, Kevin Parker, M.Ed. and graduate student Carisha Moore, came to speak with SHRM@QU regarding health and wellness. Parker spends his time at Quinnipiac developing health and wellness education to create a culture which supports students. Not only that, but Parker also develops educational programs with different university offices and departments. Carisha is currently working towards her masters in Biomedical Sciences after studying Molecular and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Riverside.

Parker and Moore informed SHRM@QU about the importance of health and wellness in the workplace. Wellness is not just about how you are feeling physically, but also mentally and social well-being. Wellness is about being the best that YOU can be. The overall well-being of an individual is something that can be controlled and optimized. Individual wellness consists of: self-regulation, changing habits, self-awareness, and self-care. Wellness is often intertwined with an individual’s occupation. Occupational wellness depends on engaging in work that is meaningful, achieving personal satisfaction, achieving balance between work and life, and maintaining a good attitude. Occupational wellness in the workplace is extremely important because the lack of wellness can cause stress, anxiety, employee burnout, and cardiovascular diseases. Addressing occupational wellness can help increase productivity, provide employees with opportunities, build training programs, and create a supportive community. Although wellness initiatives may be expensive for organizations, the organizations and employees will benefit tremendously through different assessments, nutrition seminars, group exercise classes, participation incentives, and sponsored life coaches.

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!