Carlson School of Management

May 2014

Alumni News

Learning, Networking and Coffee: Tools for a sf Successful Conference
The sun was shining the morning of the 2014 HR Tomorrow Conference. It was a nice surprise for most Minnesotans who had been suffering through one of the worst winters in years, and a far cry from the snowstorm that greeted them the previous year. Attendees strode into the Carlson School of Management and were welcomed with a continental breakfast, including a coffee barista bar, sponsored by the Herman Library. Beautiful flowers decorated the tables, and people chatted amongst themselves, excited about the day ahead. (more)


CHRLS Advisory Council Reviews Learning Standards
sfCHRLS Advisory Council members including, from left, Pat Wyffels, Kathy Megarry, Don Moersch,
Jerry Friedmann, and Pete Obermeyer met on April 10 to review and discuss AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) Assurance of Learning Standards, which are developed to assess student achievement in the MA-HRIR program.


New York City Learning Circle sdf
Several New York City-area HRIR alumni gathered on May 14 to kick off the new Learning Circle professional development initiative. All alums located in the greater NYC area, or those who may be traveling there, are invited to attend future meetings, which will be announced via email. To be added to the distribution list, please contact Pictured from left are Ken Forde, Chris Kujawa, Ryan Merritt, Rob Klee, Erika Flowers, Deepti Tripathi, and Leander LeSure.


Thomas Norman, '98 MA-HRIR, '09 PhD-HRIR, is a recipient of a 2014 "Outstanding Professor Dominguez Hills Distinguished Award" from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Norman is an assistant professor of management in the university's department of management and marketing.

Student News

Pomp and Circumstance...and Mouse Ears?
More than a dozen colleges on the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus held commencement exercise this spring, but probably only one college's Dean wore Mickey Mouse ears during the ceremony!

Carlson School of Management Dean Sri Zaheer donned mouse ears as a nod to commencement speaker Thomas Staggs, '82 BSB, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, who spoke at both the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies on May 19. More than 1,300 students received degrees, including 77 MA-HRIR and 2 PhD-WOrg students.

Staggs encouraged graduates to find a career that inspires them, and advised them to invest as much time and energy in building a rewarding personal life as they do in a successful career. "Because you've been here [at the Carlson School], you're ready to go anywhere," he said.

In a message to graduating students, Dean Zaheer said, "As you leave campus to begin this exciting next chapter, a community of more than 50,000 alumni in 95 countries awaits you. For at the Carlson School, alumni are not only our past, they are our future."

Click here to view photos of the event. Welcome, new alumni!

2014 Class Gift Campaign off to a Fast Start
As the school year ends and many students start emptying their backpacks, selling their textbooks, and cleaning out their apartments, an enthusiastic and committed group of MA-HRIR graduates are looking ahead by giving back. They've made the decision to participate in the 2014 MA-HRIR Class Gift Campaign, launched this spring with the goal of raising $3,000 for fellowships for future students.

"As we look at what is ahead of us, it is equally important to reflect back on the last two years we spent together in this program," said Igor Stanceric, '14 MA-HRIR, who coordinated the campaign. "As a gesture of thanks, we decided to pull together a small class gift," he said. "Establishing a fellowship fund is a great resource for the future and will enable students to have even better experiences."

Working with the Carlson School's Annual Giving staff, the campaign was launched this spring, and to date, almost half of the class has made a gift or a pledge. "So far, this is the most visible, highest participation rate initiative in the history of a graduating class from the MA-HRIR program," Stanceric noted. In a message to his classmates, he said, "You can comfortably say that you're leaving a strong legacy to this program, and having a very tangible impact on the program as well."

Donations are still being accepted, and can be made by visiting


cbMentoring Program is Full Steam Ahead During Summer
The 2014 MA-HRIR Alumni Mentorship program hit its half-way mark just after mentors and mentees joined each other for the 2014 HR Tomorrow Conference, "Tools for Tomorrow: Evolving your HR Skill Set." Over 300 attendees took part in the annual conference, including 13 mentor/mentee pairs who used it as an opportunity to build their mentoring relationship. The diversity of presenters and innova
tive ideas shared at the conference provided a rich source of topics for upcoming mentoring sessions.

As the spring semester ends, many mentees are beginning their summer internships. This is the perfect time for the mentoring relationship to grow and for mentors to provide advice to the mentees during their summer experiences.

One mentoring pair, first-year student Justin Ancier and MA-IR alumnus Chris Kujawa, met for the first time in March in New York City when they both attended a conference, and again in April at the HR Tomorrow Conference.

Mentors are always needed! If you would like to be added to the mentoring list, contact

Admitted Student Day Welcomes Prospective Students
Recruiting some of the brightest and most talented students from across the country and around the world is one of the MA-HRIR program's top priorities. The Admitted Student Day gives prospective students a glimpse of all the Carlson School has to offer. (more)

School News

You Chose Carlson Once, Now Choose Carlson Again
The leading faculty members you called advisors, professors, and friends while you were a student at the Carlson School are now here to deliver executive-level programs to you and your organization. Business leaders like yourself are taking advantage of collaborations with Carlson Executive Education to develop unique, transformative experiences for your employees.

For example, over the past four years Carlson Executive Education faculty have delivered a General Mills-tailored version of the MBA Essentials class to the company's Innovation, Technology & Quality team, which has strengthened the team's business perspective and ability to build partnerships.

In addition to tailoring public courses, Carlson Executive Education develops custom programs to best meet the needs of organizations, such as the customized leadership development programs designed for Polaris. CEO Scott Wine contacted the Carlson School to help the company manage their growth and cultivate strong leaders, and in 2011, Polaris Leadership Development 2 was launched, followed by another program the next year. Both programs lead participants through a series of classes and culminate in an executive-sponsored capstone project.

Wine has been very pleased with the collaborations. "It's not that I like the Carlson School," he said, "I love it. [Working with them] is an opportunity for us to invest in our leaders. The Carlson School deals with businesses and students from all over the world. They're learning all the time and are imparting that knowledge to us," he said.

In addition to Polaris and General Mills, Carlson Executive Education collaborates with many other leading organizations and seeks the opportunity to partner with you to deliver the Carlson experience that you've enjoyed over the years. Contact Andy Oman at 612-626-7101 to learn how you can have world-class professional development delivered to you and your organization.

Faculty/Staff News

Department of Work and Organizations Assistant Profesfdsfssor Aaron Sojourner has been named to the "Cradle to K Cabinet," a major initiative of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges aimed at closing the achievement gap in the city's education system by eliminating disparities for children from prenatal to three years.

Sojourner will also serve as moderator during the Early Learning Adds Up: Using Research to Drive Policy panel discussion on Thursday, June 5. Panelists include Libby Doggett, Early Learning Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, and Art Rolnick, Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The event will be held on Thursday, June 5, at 5:30 pm at the University of Minnesota, and is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, visit the Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute's website at

sdfLES Coordinator Randy Croce was named one of the first recipients of the recognition for Outstanding Service to University Senate Governance. This recognition goes to individuals who have made a significant impact on University of Minnesota Senate governance, have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to University Senate governance, and have served as an inspiration to others.

Carlson School ranks No. 1 in Management Research Productivity
The Carlson School is host to the most productive management researchers in the country, according to a new report by Texas A&M University and the University of Florida. The Management Department Productivity Rankings analyzed faculty contributions to top-tier management journals from 161 universities across the United States and Canada in 2013: Carlson School faculty published 20 articles last year, and earned the top spot. (more)

'Where in the World?' Wednesdays
Each week we feature a brief alumni update on our MA-HRIR Alumni Facebook page. Recent highlights have included Hilton Blake, Michele Ramirez, Cory Reinhart, Charles Crossin, and Stephen Carroll. Want to be featured in one of the upcoming posts? Contact us at

Class Notes

Nupur Bhandari, '09 MA-HRIR, recently joined Amazon as a learning and development specialist.
Marc Gauthier, '12 MA-HRIR, recently joined Honeywell as senior HR generalist.
Renee' Konzelman, '05 MA-HRIR, recently joined Honeywell as global HR director.

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.

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