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Winter 2022-23 Alumni Newsletter

By Strategic Human Resource Management Center

January 3, 2023

Wisconsin School of Business logo

Greetings, Strategic Human Resource Management (SHR) and Industrial Relations Research Institute (IRRI) alumni,

Tanya Hubanks
Tanya Hubanks

Welcome to our December 2022 newsletter. By the time you read this, I will have been the Strategic Human Resource Management Center Director for seven months, and the time has flown. As an introduction, I am an alumna of Wisconsin times three, obtaining my bachelor’s, law degree, and master’s degree (from our IRRI program in 1998). Prior to joining SHR, I practiced labor and employment law, served in various human resources leadership roles, and worked in higher education administration and teaching human resources. I am passionate about strategic human resources, its role in the world of work, and in developing future human resources leaders, and I am looking forward to hearing from those of you who want to be involved alumni.

With this addition to Center staff, the Wisconsin School of Business has signaled that our SHR Center is a critically important specialization in our MBA program with a growth goal. Over the last months, working together with our Academic Director, Charlie Trevor, and Assistant Director, Linda Barrett, we’ve assessed the current state of SHR and developed our short- and longer-term Center goals and objectives that align with our SHR Center vision:

To deliver a program in human resource management that attracts talented and diverse students; involves them in a curriculum that melds theory with application; and places them in positions to design, implement, and manage strategic human resource policies in a way that directly supports business strategy execution and business performance at the most respected and successful firms in the world.

This issue of the newsletter provides an overview of some of our important work. We discuss alumni involvement, share student voices via their blog posts, and highlight the work of our highly accomplished Management and Human Resources faculty research. You will hear more about our goals in future communications and at our date-to-be-announced fall 2023 Human Resource Summit (changing from the spring). In the meantime, below are a few recent accomplishments:

  • Space to develop relationships and collaborate is so important. As the Wisconsin School of Business increases programs and enrollment, space in Grainger Hall is at a premium. We’ve spent time re-purposing space in our SHR Center to serve our students better; the final touches should be completed over winter break. Feedback from our current students has been overwhelmingly positive!
  • Our student/alumni mentoring program has been enhanced. Thanks to those of you who are supporting our students in this capacity!
  • Our SHR degree plan is being updated in a manner that allows students more flexibility to register for electives and obtain one of our many graduate certificates. You will hear more about these exciting and positive changes in our next newsletter.
  • We are increasing our focus on applied learning, and are excited to announce that our Center will host a SHR industry visit to Minneapolis this spring. Please let us know if you are in the area and would like to connect while we are there!
  • Finally, and importantly, we are considering opportunities to engage more effectively with you – our alumni. In addition to involving alumni in applied learning, mentoring, and industry visits, we will soon create an advisory board with alumni representation.

What we do at the Wisconsin School of Business and in the SHR Center really matters. Now more than ever, the role of strategic human resources is necessary. It could be that the pandemic cemented the role of the CHRO as the trusted primary advisor to the CEO, addressing the complex people-centric challenges and opportunities – from the mental and physical well-being of employees, to ensuring engagement in a remote and hybrid work environment, to ensuring diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, to navigating the waters of quiet quitting. Our faculty and students are thinking creatively, inspiring change, and preparing to make a difference. All of this is possible with your support. Thank you for your efforts to date, and please reach out if you’d like to be more involved with SHR or, even, make a gift. We look forward to continued conversations.

On, Wisconsin!

Tanya Hubanks, Center Director

Strategic Human Resource Management


Other Important Center News

SHRM Academically Aligned Badge

SHRM Alignment Differentiates Us!

The Strategic HR Management MBA continues to be academically aligned with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) through at least 2025. We are proud of our SHRM Academically Aligned badge, which establishes our program as meeting external criteria that are crucial to the development of future HR leaders.

Students studying in the SHR Center. One student is waving at the camera

HR Summit Moves to Fall

Our 2023 HR Summit will be held in the fall rather than the spring, which will serve us well for a variety of reasons–one of which is to encourage earlier relationships between students and alumni. Please stay tuned for a save-the-date email in a few months so that you can begin planning your fall trip to Madison. We hope to see you then!

upward trending arrow

SHR Center Seeks Increased Enrollment

The Class of 2024 began their year with orientation and have enthusiastically embraced their studies. Please connect us with your colleagues who are interested in obtaining an MBA in human resources. We would enjoy speaking with them, and receiving their applications–maybe even for the Class of 2025.

Barry Gerhart

Congratulations, Barry Gerhart

Many alumni remember professor Barry Gerhart. Next month, Barry adds to his list of accomplishments by becoming Interim Vice Provost and Dean of UW-Madison’s International Division. Barry will serve in this role until the new dean is appointed. Congratulations and thank you, Barry. SHR is proud of your leadership!


Class of 2022 Placement is 100%

Our largest-ever class graduated in 2022 and each of them is happily employed in a leadership position in their just-right company or organization as identified below. Congratulations to our graduates, and a huge thank you to our alumni who have helped them find their paths through mentoring, networking, interview prep, and in many other ways.

logos of companies that have employed our Class of 2022


Highlighting Alumni & Center Friends

Renita Clayton

Renita Clayton: An MBA to Watch

One of our graduates has been recognized by Poets & Quants as a 2022 MBA to Watch. We are incredibly proud of Renita Clayton (’22). It did not take long for her to influence positive change to both our program and the Wisconsin School of Business.

W crest blag behind a blossoming pear tree

Thanks to our Industry Partners!

SHR MBA students serve as consultants for local or remote human resources projects through a spring applied learning course. Students rave about the value this opportunity provides, and we appreciate the industry partnerships. Read more about project details from last spring. Email if you have a project that would benefit from our MBA talent.  

Nancy Geenen facilitating a workshop for MBA students

Alumnae and Friend Bring DEIB Workshop

Nancy Carreño (’93), along with CEO and certified facilitator Nancy Geenen, facilitated an interactive session on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for our Center last month. Read more about the subjects that the highly engaging discussions touched. The workshop ended with an interesting small-group case study.


Invest in SHR: Make a 2022 Gift

Making a gift to support our Strategic Human Resource Management Center is simple and greatly appreciated. We need gift funds to support invaluable initiatives within SHR, such as financing industry visits, partially funding conference attendance, case competitions, SHRM membership, and certification exam fees. Larger donations will enable us to attract the best and brightest graduate students by offering scholarships. Will you consider making an end-of-year donation? Give to SHR, or reach out to Center Director Tanya Hubanks if you would like to discuss additional gift options.


Faculty Publications & Media Mentions

Research from the academic world inspires HR practice. Following are a few selections of recent activity from some of the Management and Human Resources department faculty.

Select Recently Published Papers

Atir, S. (2022). Girlboss? Highlighting versus downplaying gender through language. Trends in Cognitive Sciences    

Meuris, J. & Elias, A. (2022). Task interdependence and the gender wage gap: The role of the gender composition of an occupation. Journal of Organizational Behavior

Meuris, J. (2022). Can racial diversity attenuate racial discrimination in service interactions? Evidence from cite-and-release decisions within police departments. Organization Science

Zhang, V. & Mohliver, A. & King, M. (2022). Where is all the Deviance? Liminal Prescribing in the Prescription Drug Crisis. Administrative Science Quarterly

Select Recent Media Mentions

I moved to New York and was laid off 8 months later. I’m not alone in fearing it will happen again. (Charlie Trevor is quoted)

How (and why) you should get better at talking to strangers. (Stav Atir is quoted)