Eastern Michigan University
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Society for Human Resource Management Student Chapter Takes Top Honor

Published September 30, 2014

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Fraya C. Wagner-Marsh

Fraya C. Wagner-Marsh, Professor
of Management

Eastern Michigan University's student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has once again earned an Outstanding Student Chapter Award from the national organization for the 2013-2014 academic year. This is the highest recognition award and EMU was the only SHRM student chapter in Michigan to win the award. SHRM's program has over 450 affiliated student chapters with more than 15,000 student members.

To qualify for the top Outstanding Student Chapter Award, a student group must accumulate points in categories that include professional operation of the chapter, professional development for members, support for the HR profession, and community service. Also partnering with local professional chapters such as Detroit SHRM and the Greater Ann Arbor chapter of SHRM are important activities taken into consideration.

Fraya Wagner-Marsh, head of EMU's management department in the College of Business and lecturer Toni Knechtges are co-advisors for the group.

"A chapter of our size has to complete 50 or more activities to receive the top Award," said Wagner-Marsh. "The Outstanding Student Chapter Award is given to Superior Merit Chapters that submit an outstanding project and our project last year was our extensive community project related to suicide awareness."

Some of the activities and programs developed by the group include"

  • Hosted eight guest speaker meetings with local HR professionals.
  • Coordinated workshops on topics such as "Developing Teams in the Workplace," "Conducting Difficult Professional Discussions," and "Crisis Management for the HR Professional."
  • Coordinated a job-shadowing event of Ground Hog Day where 10 EMU students spent the day at various HR offices.
  • Organized a mentoring program where an HR professional from one of the local sponsoring SHRM chapters will mentor EMU students for a year.
  • The chapter also participated in several community projects including collecting children's books for Gift of Reading, collecting clothes for Dress for Success and walking in the Making Strides for Breast Cancer event.
  • For the group's suicide awareness campaign, they produced and distributed a brochure for students that included facts and resources for suicide awareness and prevention, distributed "Be Kind" pins, recruited students to sign a pledge online to do a random act of kindness, and they sponsored a special speaker event at the EMU Student Center. The officers also visited classes to raise student awareness of suicide prevention and useful resources.

"I am extremely proud of the officers and members of the EMU student chapter of SHRM for winning the Outstanding Student Chapter Award," said Wagner-Marsh. "Our chapter has won the Superior Merit award for the past 21 years and has won the top award 13 times since the award was created in 2000. This record is impressive and an indication of the hard work and dedication of the EMU students."

The Outstanding Student Chapter Awards were announced at the national SHRM conference in Orlando, June 21, where the EMU chapter received recognition and a plaque.

The EMU chapter was chartered in 1995 and currently has over 100 student members. For information, go to the EMU student chapter of SHRM website at www.emushrm.com or EMUSHRM on Facebook.

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