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March 2014


A Message from Brenda Carriere, MLS, MIS
Director, CHRLS Herman Library

Hello, and happy spring to you all!

Georgianna E. Herman Library, formerly known as the Reference Room, has been an important part of the HRIR program since theBrenda
                              Carriere Industrial Relations Center's beginnings in 1954. I'm proud that the Herman Library has been around for so long, and that we - and libraries in general - are and will continue to be relevant for the foreseeable future.

The Herman Library is not only a place to build knowledge, but a place where students build community and relationships - relationships that last a lifetime. I'm sure many of you have a fond memory of our library from your days on campus: it may have been a place where you studied or did research, or it might have been where you went to relax, or to meet friends and classmates. Hopefully it played some role in your academic career.

As alumni of the program, you are still able, and encouraged, to use the library. Whether you are local or in town traveling on business, we welcome you to stop in to the library. You will have access to all the resources you had as a student, which now include electronic databases available from the library workstations, and access to up-to-date print collections on topics such as leadership, onboarding, and performance management. The library also has an amazing collection of historical labor and HR information available. You can find seminal research in its original publication form, the history of labor laws and labor disputes, labor tomes from the late 1800s, original pamphlets from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, and faculty research from the past 70 years.

Technology has changed library services dramatically over the years and I'm proud to say that the Herman Library has taken it all in stride. The catalog was moved from a card system to an online library catalog about six years ago, resulting in a collection that is searchable from anywhere in the world. I'm currently working with our IT department to install a collaboration system that will allow students to plug their laptops into a large screen for group work and refine their presentation skills. We assist students and other patrons in person, but we also receive requests and questions via email that we try to answer within a 24-hour period.

The library has been proudly supporting students and alumni for almost 70 years. For example, every fall a first-year MA-HRIR student is offered a financial aid package that includes a 10-hour per week position in the Herman Library. I just finished an in-depth project for a patron examining resources available on the challenges in identifying and developing high-potential employees. I'm also pleased to announce that the Herman Library will be sponsoring the HR Tomorrow Breakfast this year. Make sure to come early and enjoy a hand-crafted latte at the specialty coffee bar!

I hope this message conveys the importance and relevance of the Herman Library, both to our current MA-HRIR students and to our alumni. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments at I'm happy to hear your thoughts and ideas about the library and our services.

Alumni News

HR Tomorrow Conference is Sold Out!!

"Tools for Tomorrow: Evolving Your HR Skill Set" is sold out! A strong slate of speakers, compelling breakout sessions, and a timely theme contributed to an early sell-out of the April 11 all-day conference.

For those attending, make sure to arrive early enough to grab a complimentary, hand-crafted latte or other hot beverage during the "Registration, Breakfast & Barista Bar" portion of the day, from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m.

Please make sure to thank our generous sponsors; without their support this outstanding conference would not be possible:

  • Luncheon Sponsor: Ingersoll Rand
  • Reception Sponsor: Land O'Lakes, Inc.
  • Breakfast Sponsor: Georgianna E. Herman Library
  • Corporate Sponsors: 3M, Best Buy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Bristol-Myers Squibb, C.H. Robinson, Chevron, Ecolab, Hallmark, Travelers and Wells Fargo.

Conference organizers have applied for recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

Openings Available on CHRLS Alumni Board

Are you interested in helping guide the activities of the CHRLS Alumni Association? Then consider serving as a member of its Board of Directors! Applications are being accepted through early May. Graduates of the MA-IR or MA-HRIR program are eligible for membership and Board members are asked to:

  • Commit to a three-year term
  • Attend one strategic planning meeting in the fall, either in person or by phone
  • Attend eight monthly meetings during the academic year, either in person or by phone
  • Serve on one committee each year

If you're interested, please complete this brief application and submit your resume and cover letter to before May 5, explaining your interest in serving on the Alumni Board.

Embracing New Technology Keeps CHRLS on the Cutting-Edge
From floppy disks to USB drives, CD players to iPhones, and email to Instagram, developments in technology are accelerating at breakneck speed. The CHRLS is committed to maintaining a cutting-edge approach to the newest technology tools and uses. Even fairly recent alumni may be surprised at the changes being implemented in the center. (more)

Labor Relations Students Hear Real-World Perspective from Alumnus

TSteve Hanson
                              lectures to Labor Relations students.he CHRLS is proud of the many ways our alumni stay engaged, welcoming involvement in the Mentorship Program, Alumni Association, and Advisory Council. In addition, each year a few alumni come back to the classroom and share their knowledge with current students. This semester, Assistant Professor Aaron Sojourner invited 2013 MA-HRIR alumnus Steve Hanson to speak to his labor relations class.


Herman Library a Valuable Resource for Alumni

Many alumni have fond memories of their time as students spent in theHerman
                              LibraryGeorgiann Herman Library, whether it was located inBlegen Hall, the Humphrey Center, or the Carlson School. Many may not realize it can continue to be a valuable resource to them and the greater HR community following graduation. (more)

Mentoring Program in Full Swing
Thirty-seven MA-HRIR students have been matched with alumni mentors as the 2014 Alumni Mentoring program gets underway. The program officially kicked off in early February, and mentor-mentee pairs will meet once a month, either in person or virtually, through the end of the year.

                              Leszynski and Phillip Rumble

Alumnus Dustin Leszcynski, left, meets his mentee, Philip Rumble, during the kick-off event.

Matt Luke and
                              Shan Jiang

First-year MA-HRIR student Shan Jiang gets to know her alumni mentor, Matt Luke, during the networking portion of the Mentoring Program kick-off. Behind them, mentor Bruce Henderson III, at left, introduces himself to his mentee, Tim Forster.


Know Someone Looking to Enhance their HR Career?
If you have a colleague or friend who is looking to enhance their career in HR, the part-time MA-HRIR program may be the perfect place! The program covers all aspects of human resources and industrial relations so students can apply what is learned to current work and future challenges. Our faculty draws on students' professional experiences to enrich the classroom experience.

Evening students start their program either in the fall or spring and classes are held between 5:45 and 9:00 p.m.; courses typically meet one night per week. Part-time students usually complete four to eight credits per semester, with many students completing the program in three to four years.

The part-time MA-HRIR program enrolls talented and experienced professionals from diverse backgrounds who enrich the student experience and provide networking opportunities, before and after graduation. So tell your friends about your experience and encourage them to apply. Check out the admissions process at our website.


Student News

Sponsorships Now Available for 2nd Annual International HR Case Competition
Last November, we hosted the Inaugural Carlson School International Human Resources Case Competition (CIHRCom), and it was a huge success, with teams from around the world arriving at the Carlson School to compete in the three-day event. We deeply appreciate the support of last year's sponsors: Eaton, Land O' Lakes, Inc., Microsoft, and Dr. Michael Byungnam Lee.

The second annual CIHRCom will take place November 13-15, 2014, and we are looking for sponsors to make this year's event even better. Sponsoring CIHRCom gives organizations the opportunity to help students learn through real-life scenarios. Sponsors gain access to top students from the Carlson School and other programs from around the world for recruiting needs and increased company visibility to HR's future leaders. All sponsors receive:

  • Networking opportunities with students, and other sponsor companies
  • The opportunity to recruit MA-HRIR and MBA students from around the world
  • Recognition in marketing materials
  • The opportunity to contribute to and support the Carlson community

Contact Anne Obst at if you're interested in sponsoring the 2014 International HR Case Competition, or have any questions about the event.

MA-HRIR Students Address Community Needs through Course Project
This past fall, MA-HRIR students in the "Employee Development: Creating a Competitive Advantage" course participated in a project designed to give back to the community. Students worked with the City of North Saint Paul as part of the Resilient Communities Project to address the community's needs through a course-based project. The RCP's mission is to connect communities in Minnesota with the wide-ranging expertise of University of Minnesota's faculty and students to address pressing local issues. (more)

Team Competes at Ohio StateBeth Reynolds,
                              Vincent Chu, Jessica Roberts and Tiffany
                              Yang - MA-HRIR students at the HRIR Ohio
                              Case Competition

Congratulations to our team of MA-HRIR students who represented the Carlson School at the Ohio State Case Competition in February. Competing were Beth Reynolds, Vincent Chu, Jessica Roberts and Tiffany Yang.  Reynolds took home the Best Q&A Award! Well done all.

PhD Student Award
Congratulations to PhD-HRIR student Gabe Licht, who has been awarded a Carlson School Dissertation Fellowship to help complete his dissertation.


Faculty/Staff News

Research by Professor Michelle Duffy on why some people falsify their resumes was featured in a recent story posted on CNBC.

Professor Avner Ben-Ner's research has found that using treadmills while working can boost productivity, and has been featured in a number of news stories. Here are a few of the recent articles: PBS News Hour; StarTribune; Wall Street Journal; and Forbes.

Class Notes

Julia Arnold, '08 MA-HRIR, recently joined Humana as a human capital consultant
Frank Deutsch, '12 MA-HRIR, recently joined G&K Services as a labor relations manager
Ken Hirte, '85 MA-IR, joined West Marine as director of compensation and benefits
Chris Kujawa, '94 MA-IR, recently joined American Express as VP human capital capabilities
Christine Rush, '90 MA-IR, recently joined the State of Minnesota as a compensation manager
Chris Schmelzer, '10 MA-HRIR, is a consulting solutions manager with Denison Consulting

Submit a Class Note

Let your classmates know what you've been up to since graduation. Submit a class note to for publication in an upcoming issue of Centerpoint.

Let's Get Social

Stay connected to the CHRLS! Visit our social media sites for the latest news and events from CHRLS.


Event Calendar

Friday, April 11

HR Tomorrow Conference
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Carlson School of Management



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