Poole College’s SHRM Chapter Receives Superior Merit Award

Poole College's Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) student affiliate chapter has once again received a Superior Merit award from the national SHRM. The announcement was made at the national SHRM conference in Chicago on June 16 to June 19, 2013.

The award recognizes the chapter for meeting a number of criteria, including engagement of members in professional development experiences. 

Team collaboration, adaptability key to success

"It's first important to understand what success means to NCSU | SHRM," said Thomas Payne, president of the student chapter." Success is measured by the professional development of our members, and how ready each individual is to enter and make an impact on the work force," he said, adding, "Team collaboration and adaptability were two crucial elements to our success."

The chapter worked through changes in faculty advisors and its own executive board, "utilizing a culture of collaboration to stimulate new and engaging initiatives to promote the development of the membership," Payne said.

Identifying, meeting members' needs

The new leadership team also honed in on what the chapter members wanted and provided that: "interactive projects and open ended discussions during learning sessions or when potential employers visited," he said. "We actively sought out organizations that believed in similar ways of doing business (Red Hat and Teach for America, specifically) and were able to partner in some terrific events with them." The chapter programs included a mock-interviewing workshop at which five professionals from the parent chapter interviewed students and provided feedback on interviewing skills, resumes, and professional attire, as well as insight into what professionals looked for in candidates during an interview. 

"We were able to achieve the superior merit award for SHRM through our teams' hard work and dedication to making SHRM the best that we could for our members," said Rachel Mastro, a senior in business administration with a human resources concentration and one of the student chapter members.

"Every SHRM chapter meeting was a success due to members participating and being actively engaged in all activities," said member Bridget Van Pelt. "The board was also crucial to the achievement of the award due to the fact that they questioned every decision made with 'Will it bring value to the chapter?' and 'Is it Superior Merit Award worthy?'

Faculty advisors supported growth, learning

The support of their faculty advisors, Clint Davidson and Beth Ritter, along with their sharing of expertise and real world experiences and situations "allowed both the chapter and executive board to grow and learn," Van Pelt said. She served as vice president of administration for the chapter, and considered her role as that of project manager, helping to assure that the award application requirements and deadlines were being met.

"The 'team effort' mindset behind all of these players allowed the SHRM chapter to fully complete the requirements for the Superior Merit Award. All … went above and beyond this past year in their duties and the things accomplished were tremendous; earning the Superior Merit Award being one of them,” she said.

Ashley Arbgast, who graduated in May with her bachelor's in business administration and an HR concentration, had served as vice president of publicity for the college's SHRM chapter last year. "As a member of the NCSU SHRM chapter and executive board, I've been honored to be a part of an organization that is consistently recognized as superior," she said. 

"NCSU SHRM offers both the resources and opportunities to professionally develop its members," Arbgast said. "With the knowledge and passion of our faculty advisors, as well as the support of several leading businesses, NCSU SHRM provides networking events, resume reviews, development sessions, and career opportunities. By helping our members invest in their future, NCSU SHRM consistently prepares graduates to enter the professional world." 

About SHRM

The professional SHRM organization has more than 450 affiliated student chapters in the U.S., and award levels are based on chapter size. As one of the larger student chapters, with more than 60 members, the Poole College organization was required to complete at least 50 of 70 activities to earn a Superior Merit Award.

Poole College’s SHRM student chapter consistently has from 60 to 90 student members each year. The club’s monthly meetings feature speakers who discuss various aspects of the human resources profession. Members also participate in community fund raising, site visits to area employers and competitive collegiate games on human resources topics.


In the photo are, left to right: Suzan Nozer, vice president, professional development; Rachel Mastro, vice president, programs and events; Ashley Arbgast. vice president, publicity; Natalie Wiseman, vice president, finance; Will Bowman, vice president, administration; Alex Overbay, vice president, membership; Thomas Payne president. Bridget Van Pelt, Poole College liaison and vice president of administration, is not in the photo.

Story last updated: 6/21/2013, 6:26 p.m.

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