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UNF Student HR Group Wins National Award

The student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) at the University of North Florida was recently awarded the Outstanding Chapter designation by the national SHRM organization. Each year, only 10 of the 450 chapters nationwide receive this award.

The award recognizes student chapters of SHRM for their exceptional ability in operations, the professional development of chapter members, promotion of the profession and support of SHRM. The UNF chapter will receive the award in June at an annual conference in New Orleans.

"I am very proud of our UNF SHRM Chapter President Jeffrey Mack and the other volunteers for all the time and effort that they dedicated to help the ladies of the I.M. Sulzbacher Center," said Carol Spector, UNF SHRM co-faculty advisor and UNF management instructor. "I feel that we got as much out of the experience as they learned from the workshop."

The UNF SHRM chapter has 35 members and was recognized in part because of a program students developed called "Empowered," which was created to help unemployed women at the Sulzbacher Center in Jacksonville build the necessary skills to pursue the job market.

The Empowered program consisted of a workshop held this spring that featured application/resume writing skills, how to find a job, interview skills and a "Dress for Success" fashion how. The workshop also included a panel of local business managers and human resources professionals, who addressed participants concerns and provided encouragement as well as support to the women seeking employment.

UNF SHRM chapter members greatly benefited from the transformational learning opportunity by developing professional and social skills. "Students gained knowledge from this community experience that can't be taught in a classroom but is essential in the job market," said Spector.

Following the program, UNF SHRM students conducted a comprehensive survey with the almost 40 women who participated in the Empowered workshop. They found that the majority of the women who attended were single mothers, followed by unemployed women. In creating and implementing this program, UNF SHRM students developed cooperative relationships between Northeast Florida businesses and community organizations.

The Society for Human Resource Management is the world's largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India.

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