2021 Virtual Diversity & Inclusion Day Featuring Dr. Spriggs
On Wednesday, April 14th, 2021 SHRM@QU had its annual and first virtual Diversity and Inclusion Day. The guest speaker, Dr. Christopher R. Spriggs, talked about diversity/inclusion, microaggressions, and dealing with politics in the workplace. He is the Acting Executive Director at Glen Mills Schools, a youth detention center in Concordville, PA. His job involves management of day to day operations, program implementation, financial management, and crisis management. In addition, he has experience in regulatory compliance, and training and organizational commitment in employees.
At the event, Dr. Spriggs started out by explaining diversity and its benefits, and showing how a successful organization needs inclusion of the diverse workforce. He describes the connection as diversity is being invited to a party, and inclusion is being welcomed and asked to dance with someone. A company can be diverse with employees that have a vast range of differences in socioeconomic backgrounds, political views, sexual orientation, and many other personal characteristics. Having diversity with inclusion allows employees to understand differing viewpoints, and reflect on themselves and become better employees. Diverse organizations are statistically proven to have higher revenues and success in business.
Lastly, Dr. Spriggs also talked about how certain actions in the workplace such as making microaggressions and expressing strong political opinions can lead to conflict. Microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily indignities either intentional or unintentional that offend other employees. It is important for people to be inclusive to others and want to understand their viewpoints to become more cognizant and successful when dealing in the business environment. When it comes to discussing politics in the workplace, companies should create policies to prevent these discussions from coming up. Yes it is true that an individual’s opinions matter and having respectful conversations in the workplace is important to understand why people think the way they do, but at times people may avoid others because they know of different political views. It is necessary for clear policies to be established, for employees to understand ground rules, and to leave room for mistakes. Leaders in the workplace need to prove that their expectations have importance.
SHRM@QU believes Dr. Spriggs was an extremely knowledgeable speaker and provided many beneficial insights to dealing with diversity in the workplace and how to use diversity to be inclusive and leverage other companies.
To view the recording of the event, please click on the link below.
On Tuesday, February 23, 2021 Nicole Davison ran an “Are You Career Ready?” career development session with SHRM@QU. Nicole is an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac for career development and runs her own career consulting business (nmdcareers.com). She graduated with a degree in Finance and slowly worked her way into the Career Development industry.
During the session with SHRM@QU, Nicole talked about how each individual’s own journey should be a combination of their passion and his/her career. Her four steps to career readiness involve self assessment, research, exploration, and commitment. Self assessment is a big part of a college student’s journey because he/she should find what one is good at, what one enjoys doing, and what one values and is motivated by. All of these factors help the individual decide the career he/she wants to have and the type of company one would want to work for. An individual can have a particular job lined up but the company he/she is applying to work at may not have the exact culture and size that the individual wants to be a part of each day. In addition, the research and exploration steps to career readiness involve putting in time to line up one’s interests with existing jobs available at different companies. Nicole mentioned that this information can be gathered at online.onetcenter.org, linkedin.com, glassdoor.com, company websites, national associations, and also at Career Development at Quinnipiac.
SHRM@QU is grateful that Nicole Davison took the time out of her busy day working as a professor and business owner to share her knowledge with us. One of the valuable insights we received included how alike career development and human resources in business are and how much human resource departments are able to help individuals succeed and enjoy their jobs.
On Friday October, 23rd, 2020 SHRM@QU hosted a “walk-in-the-park” around campus with Kerry Patton, Executive Director of Health & Wellness. Kerry was a clinical psychologist before coming to Quinnipiac and taking over the health, wellness, and counseling programs. She provided members with valuable insights about how to stay healthy both physically and mentally during the COVID-19 pandemic. Members learned about how Quinnipiac uses Connecticut state guidelines and is up to date on information regarding the virus from surrounding health institutions. Kerry also explained the counseling resources that Quinnipiac has available to its students and how counseling can be used virtually. It was a beneficial experience for SHRM members because Kerry kept an open conversation going and was able to understand and relate to a lot of the problems that students have on campus due to the pandemic.
SHRM@QU October Speaker: Elicia Spearman, General Counsel and Vice President for Human Resources at QU
On Friday October 23, 2020, Elicia Spearman came to talk to SHRM members about her experience in the HR field, her role at Quinnipiac, and what it takes to be successful in the HR field. She received a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a law degree from Case Western Reserve Law School. Her background includes top leadership positions at Hubbell Incorporated, Aetna, and the FBI. Spearman explained her transfer from working in employment law to human resources and how she has been able to use her legal knowledge to manage and maintain a stable work environment within organizations. At Quinnipiac, she is the Vice President for Human Resources and established the First General Counsel.
Elicia compared her experience with businesses to working in higher education by explaining how no matter the purpose of an organization, it needs to manage its finances and employees in order to stay afloat. An important realization that was made is that human resource professionals can work in any industry. She explained how the main goal of human resource professionals is to provide employees with what they need in order to allow them to work at their highest ability. These professionals are in charge of creating resolutions and they must have a desire to help others. Elicia mentioned how some firms do not have their human resource department structured in the best way possible. Some human resource departments report to the financial managers or general counsel. She strongly believes that the human resource department should report to the CEO or COO of the company, not the CFO. This structure avoids the conflict of interest of putting the people trying to achieve the most profit for the company, financial managers, in charge of the people trying to provide equality to all employees, human resource officers. Having an human resource department report directly to the head of a company allows all employee problems to be valued as much as customer and financial problems.
Some key takeaways from the presentation include first hand advice for working in human resources and intentions one must have to become and remain successful. Human resource professionals should treat all employees the same by being able to give bad news and assuming positive intent when analyzing a situation. Elicia drove home her advice by stating that in human resources one must be able to remain confidential, be innovative and adaptable, and maintain neutrality when helping others. One must know that the main goal of human resources is to attract people to come work for the organization and do what it takes to make them stay at the organization.
SHRM@QU is tremendously grateful that Elicia Spearman was able to take time out of her day and provide valuable insights to members. For those who would like to connect on LinkedIn:
On Friday, October 16th, the Society for Human Resource Management E-board @QU attended the 2020 Connecticut SHRM Virtual Leadership Conference. The conference consisted of both sponsors talking about their businesses, a panelist of four professionals, and an opportunity for a Q&A with the panelists. This was beneficial to the E-board members as the key topics discussed included how HR departments are dealing with COVID-19, the presidential election, wellness, and diversity/inclusion in 2020.
Key speakers that stood out to the E-Board were Simone Morris who owns her own inclusion consulting firm, and John Stretton who is a leading lawyer in Connecticut in the field of employment law. Simone Morris explained how company leaders have the responsibility of taking a stand and suspending judgement when it comes to dealing with employees. She relies on her, “4 Best Practices:” canceling the one and done culture of participating in training only once per year, listening to your employees, embracing diverse vendors, and learning from others. Also, John Stretton talked about laws that are in place and policies that should be in place when it comes to discussing politics in the work environment. He said that politics cannot be ignored without a policy in place in the work environment because the problem is that any political topic from race to religion to age applies to everyone and brings up deep personal feelings within each individual. It was strongly supported by Stretton that employers have policies in place for what employees can say in regards to politics so it does not become a problem of law. An interesting point that was brought up is that some companies are politically neutral while others will fully promote a political party. This is important when it comes to forming a company’s culture. The final takeaway from the conference is that leadership support is necessary because employees are getting the work done from the bottom up but the CEO from the top needs to set the tone for everyone. A positive return on investment of diversity and inclusion is dependent on how comfortable employees are in their work environment in order to be the most productive that they can be for the company.
September 14th, 2020
SHRM@QU hosts zoom meeting with four professional members from the Human Resource Affiliation of Central Connecticut (HRACC).
With a unique Fall semester ahead, SHRM@QU kicked it off by hosting Maria Joy (HR Consultant at Above Target HR Consulting LLC), Deborah Krawiec (HR Consultant at Arrow Career Consulting LLC), Turkessa Antrum (certification director at HRACC), and Peggy Moulton (HR Professional in transition). This was a great opportunity for prospective members to hear what SHRM@QU is about and for existing members as well to listen to and talk with human resource professionals from the HRACC. The four guess speakers explained their professional backgrounds and how they ended up working in human resources. What was interesting to learn is that even though the four did not go to college with a focus in human resources, they were able to become successful in the area based on past experience.
HRACC is an association dedicated to promoting the human resource profession through networking, professional development, and professional advice. The association has a study group for the SHRM Certified Professional Exam that individuals take to become leaders in implementing policies and contacts for company employees in the field of HR.
Some key takeaways that members took from the meeting involved career advice. For people determining if a graduate degree will make a big difference, it is important to know the exact area that they want to get into before receiving the degree. Also, it can be extremely useful to have a mentor who can lead one in the direction that she wants to follow. In terms of what job that one wants to attain, members learned that it is worth applying for a position they would really like even if she does not think her past experience is sufficient. Lastly, members are highly encouraged to join a SHRM chapter such HRACC because of the career benefits it can provide them with. SHRM@QU is thankful for the guest speakers from HRACC who took time out of their day to share knowledge about the human resource industry and HRACC.
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/dkrawiec/
Hamden, CT July 30, 2020 — Today, SHRM (the Society for Human Resource Management) awarded a 2019-2020 Superior Merit Award designation to the Quinnipiac University SHRM student chapter for providing superior growth and development opportunities to its student members.
The SHRM student chapter merit award program encourages the development of more effective student chapters and distinguishes outstanding activities and projects. Chapters are recognized based on chapter operations, chapter programming and professional development of members, support of the human resource profession, and SHRM engagement.
“Today’s members of our student chapters are the HR leaders of tomorrow. They are the movers and shakers of the future, and we cannot understate the vital role they play in SHRM’s success,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, SHRM president and CEO. “The SHRM@QU Chapter is evidence that the future of HR is, indeed, in good hands. I applaud their accomplishments and ability to fiercely move forward during a time of such change and uncertainty in the workplace.”
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, 2019, to March 31, 2020.
“I am extremely proud of our chapter’s performance,” said Dr. Fullick-Jagiela, SHRM@QU faculty advisor. “This is their sixth Superior Merit Award, which illustrates the hard work and dedication of our e-board, Arianna Berke, Kelly Manzo, Gabrielle White, and Nicole ‘Deena’ Kontzamanis. This year we had some amazing speakers including, Dr. Tuvana Rua, Associate Professor of Management and negotiations expert; QU HRM alumna, Jena Hook, Associate Talent Acquisition Partner at Datto, Inc.; Kevin Parker, M.Ed. and graduate student Carisha Moore, came to speak with SHRM@QU regarding health and wellness; Leah Mueller, former Secretary of SHRM@QU and Physician Recruiter at Amwell, spoke with members about the role Human Resources plays in health-care. We hosted the 2019 CT SHRM Leadership Conference on campus, and we held our fourth annual Diversity and Inclusion Day that focused on mental health awareness and inclusivity. It has been an incredible year!”
For more information about joining, please email 2020-2021 SHRM President, Symone Foster or Faculty Advisor Dr. Julia Fullick-Jagiela.
Media: Contact Julie Hirschhorn at Julie.Hirschhorn@shrm.org and 703-842-5152
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 SHRM.org and on Twitter @SHRM.
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.
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.
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!