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Interview with Program Director, Dr. Bush

Q: Dr. Bush, what is your favorite memory of the program?

A: “Do I have to pick just one?!  I think overall, my favorite memory has been the students over the past 35 years.  There are so many amazing people that I get to work with.  It’s very interesting because I have been able to watch students grow up and become very successful professionals.  I can still remember the first day I met some of my students that have left indelible impressions on me, and I know where they are now, 20-30 years later!”

Q: What you are most Excited about for the 35th Anniversary Gala on May 1?

A: “For the 35th Gala, I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of our great alumni and student leaders come back – it’s the HRD Homecoming!  I feel like I have a bunch of kids who have done great stuff and I’m very proud of them, so I’m excited to see them and hear about their lives.  In addition, it’s a small group of people we have pulling off this amazing event, so it really is a testimony to how capabe these people are and the wonderful people we have attached to the program!” 

Q: What has been your proudest moment for the program?  

A:  “There have been a lot! It’s hard to pick just one.  I think one thing that I always am very proud of is when our HRD students win competitive scholarships.  The ceremonies are always very proud moments because other entitles are recognizing the caliber of people that we’ve had come through Villanova HRD.  In addition to the scholarships, it’s always great to learn about all of the internships that students receive, I’m very proud of them as well!”

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VU SHRM Participates in the Northeast Regional SHRM Case Competition!

This past weekend, five VU SHRM members participated in the Northeast Regional SHRM Student Case Competition in Baltimore, Maryland. Pictured from left to right: Evan Guerdon, Raymond Ross, Courtney Kimbrough, Rebeca ParejaHecimovich, and Samantha Khan.

At this event, there were SHRM student chapters from schools ranging as far west as Kansas State University to as far south as Florida International University. In total there were 26 teams in all that competed against each other in the Annual Case competition. The competition included both undergraduate and graduate students who acted as consultants to solve an organizational problem for the fictional Central Columbia Hospital. Unlike previous years where the case was disclosed at the actual competition this year the case was given to the teams a few weeks ahead of time where they had only a few days to construct a paper and PowerPoint. On Friday the team presented to the “board of directors” and were judged based on the quality of their recommendations. After each team presented they awaited their results, which were to be revealed on Saturday morning. At 10 o’clock   next morning it was announced that Villanova was a finalist and that we would have the honor of presenting in a few short hours in front of all the students and a final “board of directors.” These final four judges were a panel of experienced HR professionals posing as the clients. In the end the winning graduate team was from New York University with Villanova coming in second place out of the 12 graduate program teams present. This year saw some great participation from different graduate programs across the country so walking away with a 2nd place finish is really an impressive showing from this dedicated team of ours.  We look forward to more success in the years to come at this amazing SHRM Case event.


VU SHRM Volunteers with Cradles to Crayons

This Wednesday VU SHRM members had the opportunity to volunteer with Cradles to Crayons in Conshohocken, PA.  This organizations collects all sorts of items that children might need. Their mission is to provide children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive - at home, at school and at play. They supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need. They are able to do this with the help of volunteers like us working together to collect, organize, and deliver the items they recieve in the warehouses in Boston and Conshocken. We spent the afternoon working together to sort hundreds of bags of donations from the local product drives. While sorting we also found out that Cradles to Crayons works closely with another local non-profit, Impact! Thrift Stores, where we volunteered this past September for Villanova's St. Thomas Day of Service. It was a great to work with friendly and organized staff at the Conshohocken warehouse! To find out more information about this great cause and find out how you might get involved click HERE to get their website. 


VUSHRM Lunchtime Webinar

This past Wednesday during lunchtime we were lucky enough to have Mike McCarthy come and speak to us on the topic of talent acquisition. Mr. McCarthy is currently Managing Partner of Life Sciences Executive Search & Talent Advisors and has had over 20 years of experience in talent acquisition and HR leadership. This is the second lunchtime webinar that VUSHRM has put on this year and we have received a lot of positive feedback. In total we had around 12 people log into this past weeks discussion and we look forward to having more exciting discussions about the world of HR in the future. If you missed the webinar click on THIS link to watch the recording.


March Madness

It is officially March Madness! Your Villanova Wildcats have had an impressive season to date that has seen them earn a number 1 seed in the East Region with an overall record of 32-2. Coming fresh off a Big East tournament championship these cats look ready to make some noise in this tournament. Last year the team earned a 2 seed only to lose their second game against UCONN. The fact that Nova hasn’t had much success recently in the tournament might scare some people off, but this team is tough, balanced and poised to make a run. My two big reasons for being so optimistic is that this team is far more balanced scoring  than years past and they finally have a big man in Daniel Ochefu. On the offensive end Nova has six different guys that average over 9 points a game, which means that even if some guys aren’t shooting well there are others on this team that can pick up the slack. Some critics will say that you really need a star player to carry your team in March like the way Kemba Walker and Anthony Davis have in years past, but having a number of options when things aren’t going your way is better than forcing that one guy to carry the load on an off night. Unlike past Nova teams that have been undersized and all guard play this team has a true big man in 6’11 Daniel Ochefu. The reason having a guy like this is so important is that not only can he rebound the ball well and guard the rim on the defensive end, but on offense he can pick up some offensive rebounds and give them a presence down low.

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Happy St. Patrick's Day!


SAVE THE DATE: HRD 35th Anniversary Gala!

Save the Date for the HRD 35th Anniversary Gala!

DATE: Friday, MAY 1, 2015

TIME: 5:30pm-10:30pm

WHERE: Aronimink Country Club, Newtown Square, PA

With special keynote speaker William Strahan, EVP of HR at Comcast!

Student tickets will be discounted - Registration Link available next week.

If you think your employer may be interested in sponsoring our Gala or donating to the Graduate HRD program at Villanova University, please let us know. 

Contact Marie Pelcin at (610) 519 4770 or”


Wired Wednesday: Global HR Tech Trends for 2015

By Chris Bruce  1/19/2015 for SHRM

The use of software as a service (SaaS) technology and the need to drive employee engagement made significant inroads toward becoming a key component of HR programs in 2014.

As we look to 2015, the HR technology landscape will undoubtedly continue to evolve and multinationals will increasingly look for new ways to engage a global workforce, including streamlining the delivery of benefits and rewards programs.

When looking at HR trends region by region, however, predictions for the new year become more complex.

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Country Spotlight: INDIA - HR Practices

As we're moving to a global marketplace, we are adding a NEW monthly blog feature, COUNTRY SPOTLIGHT! This is our first month and we chose to focus on India, where we will share some of the employment and HR related information from the country of choice.  If you have experience in a country outside the US that you would like the share on the HRD blog, please email:

India is the fourth largest economny in the world and is recognized as a global leaders in software development.  India has the world's third-largest pool of scientific and technical personnel.  The workforce is also often commended for its strong work ethic and willingness to work 12-hour days, six days a week, working on Saturdays is quite common. In addition, professional labor costs are significantly lower in India--almost 25 percent lower than in the United States. Global consulting group McKinsey estimates that if a multinational bank of 1,000 employees moved to India, the bank would save $18 million annually in labor costs. 

Other Facts about Employment in India:

  • There are three national public holidays in India and over 30 religious days that may be kept as holidays in particular regions. 
  • Business practices vary between regions. Expatriates are often faced with a very different way of doing business and may require patience, flexibility and adaptability.
  • Companies have realised the importance of investing in training their workforce to meet new demands, and training is driving up standards of professionalism. Training programs in India are more extensive and longer in duration. Entry-level employees are in training for between three and 12 months, depending on the size of the company. 
  • Women get maternity leave of 12 weeks at full pay
  • Employment testing is also common for entry-level positions.  

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Villanova University Presents an Update on World-Changing Innovations

The following information is taken from the Villanova University website.

VILLANOVA, PA. – The world is being rapidly transformed by a host of emerging technologies, including Star Trek style tricorders, nanoinnovations, aerial drones, wearable computers and the Internet of Things.

In December, more than 80 industry managers received an update on these and other innovations at Villanova University’s first annual Innovation Update Day, which was entitled “Radical Innovations That Are Transforming the World.”  The event was organized and hosted by Villanova's Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE Center).

Technology experts told the audience that the world is changing rapidly and many companies and industries will need to change their strategies to remain competitive. 

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Poll: Which Trend Do You Predict Will Effect HR Most In 2015?


Lunch and Learn Webinar Wednesday, March 11!

VU SHRM Event This Wednesday!

This Wednesday from 1-2pm will be our Lunch and Learn Webinar with Mike McCarthy, Managing Partner of Life Sciences Executive Search & Talent Advisors! Mike has over 20 years of experience in Talent Acquisition and HR Leadership at companies like Becton Dickinson, Lincoln Financial Group, Fidelity Investments, Unisys and more! He is an active part of the Villanova HRD Community as an alum, an Advisory Board Member and a mentor. The conversation will be centered around Talent Acquisition Trends for the future as discussed in the article from Deloitte University Press. The article can be found HERE under "Talent Acquisiotn Revisited". Join us for what is sure to be a great discussion! Please read the article and come with questions for Mr. McCarthy!


Lunch and Learn Webinar with Mike McCarthy

"Talent Acquisition Revisited”

When: Wednesday, March 11, 1:00-2:00pm

Where: The Rosemont Room, Connelly Center or join us online at



Faculty Spotlight: Welcome Bethany Adams!

Bethany has a background in both online education and human resources.  She most recently worked for Blinn College in Texas teaching both campus and online classes in the areas of business and human resources.  Prior to teaching, she worked as the HR Director for a growing restaurant chain in Texas called Blue Baker, as well as a corporate trainer and store manager for Starbucks Coffee Company.  Bethany received her BS degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University and earned her Master’s Degree in the field of Organizational Management from Dallas Baptist University. 

Q: How many years have you been teaching at Villanova (how many years have you been teaching in general)?

A:  I am brand new to Villanova.  I have been teaching for almost 7 years full-time, both in the classroom and online.

Q: Where did you begin your teaching career?

A:  I began teaching at Blinn College in Texas.  Blinn is a community college with strong ties to Texas A&M University.  (I did my undergraduate at Texas A&M.)

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Think 'n Write Thursday: A Whole Blog About Commas?

What could be more boring than to talk about commas?  They seem like such small, insignificant little marks.  How could they warrant a 250-word discussion?  The truth is that commas can make or break a great sentence, yet they are often overlooked or misused by writers. Here are some tips to help you avoid the most common comma usage errors:

  • Often, native English speakers can determine if a comma is needed in a sentence simply by reading the sentence aloud:  wherever you naturally pause is where a comma belongs (this is understandably more difficult if English is not your first language)
  • Remember the acronym FANBOYS? Always use a comma before for, and, but, or, yet, and so when connecting two independent clauses.   An independent clause is one that could stand alone as its own sentence.
  • When you begin a sentence with an introductory clause or phrase, use a comma.  These phrases usually tell when, where, why, or how.  For example : When John went to the store, he ran into his old girlfriend.
  • Use commas to set off parenthetical expressions, clauses, or phrases.  Parenthetical refers to supplemental information that is not essential to the meaning of the sentence.

For a comprehensive list of comma usage rules, you can visit any number of writer’s reference books or websites.  A few of my favorites are The Purdue OWL (website), A Writer’s Reference, by Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers (Bedford St. Martins), and The Easy Writer, by Andrea A. Lunsford (Bedford St. Martins).  Feel free to email me with questions as well:


Happy Writing!


Business Book Review: The Power of Habit

This month, we're introducing a new monthly feature- we'll be gathering reviews from top business and leadership books and compiling them here on the HRD Blog!  Have a book suggestion that you want to read about?  Email us at

For the first book, we choose The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg.

The book covers a wide spectrum from explaining how habits are formed and how the bad ones can be broken, to how information on habits can be used in marketing, management, and social movements. The premise is simple — we create and maintain habits to conserve mental energy so we can think about more complex and difficult issues; these habits can be good or bad or neutral, but once established, they never really leave us, but lurk, waiting to be rediscovered; and creating habits is straightforward, but choosing which habits to create isn’t.

Duhigg provides practical examples of how and why people internalize habits. For example, people go to gyms for a human connection and not necessarily exercise on a treadmill alone. The author explains how organizations develop a memory from unwritten rules on how to get things done. Organizations of every size and shape study the behavior of customers to be able to predict future sales and the demand for an individual product.  

Another important lesson Duhigg teaches is that willpower can be taught, it can become a habit, by choosing a certain behavior ahead of time, and following that routine when an "inflection point" (stress) arrives. Regular rebalancing teaches willpower. 

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May 2015 Graduation Weekend

Graduating this May? We want to make sure you have all the necessary information to make your big weekend run smoothly! This year's Commencement Weekend will occur on Friday, May 15th and Saturday, May 16th, 2015.

Check out our Graduation FAQs with answers to our most asked questions below!

First and foremost, be sure to read the University’s Class of 2015 Commencement Weekend Booklet for thorough explanations of the weekend’s events, policies, and procedures.

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Faculty Spotlight: Megan Mulka

Q: How many years have you been teaching at Villanova (how many years have you been teaching in general)?

A: I have been teaching at Villanova for nine years. I’ve taught HR Technology in the on-line program as well as in the traditional classroom.

Q: Where did you begin your teaching career?

A:  Teaching is integrated into my personal and professional life in so many ways -- whether I’m teaching my children to swim or creating a “cheat sheet” to help managers navigate an HRIS.  As an undergraduate student I worked as a Teaching Assistant, in graduate school (at VU) I worked as a Graduate Assistant, and now I have the pleasure and honor of working as Adjunct Faculty in Villanova’s HRD Program.

Q: If you had to pick just ONE area of Human Resources in which you would label yourself a rock star, which function would that be?

A:  I have a diverse background in HR.  I’ve worked in recruiting, benefit systems implementation, leadership and organizational development, HR information services, HR project management, and total rewards. It’s hard to pick one area. 

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National Day in Kuwait!

National Day celebrates the creation of Kuwait as a nation in 1961. This day includes public meetings and get-togethers, firework displays and an illumination of all Kuwaiti public buildings. Kuwaitis young and old celebrate this day by wearing their national dress and participating in numerous festivities. Given that we have a number of students in the program who have served in the military we decided that today on the blog we would highlight a country that our nation helped to protect. 


HR Humor 


VU SHRM Visits The Veteran's Multi-Service Center!

Last Thursday, members of our VU SHRM board had the privilege of touring the Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC) in Old City, Philadelphia.  The ‘Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC) exists solely to “serve those who served” this great nation, our Veterans.  We are the only non-profit agency in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas that provides a comprehensive resource center available to all Veterans in need ( VU SHRM has been working in conjunction with our parent chapter, Philly SHRM, to support the initiatives of the VMC. This includes promoting this non-profit at the HR Person of the Year Awards Silent Auction and establishing a veterans mentoring program throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area. The Director of Development, Debby Derricks, took us on a very informative tour of the main VMC building where they service hundreds of veterans each day.  This site is able to provide services that range from consultations with Veteran Case Management Officers, trade skills classes, assistance with job placement, laundry facilities, a brand new Women’s Clinics, 2 meals a day, socializing areas, and more. We are extremely excited to be working with an organization with such a wonderful cause and strong impact in throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area. In fact, the Philadelphia VMC was just named one of the top 25 nonprofit organizations out of the 46,000 in the nation by the Bush Institute! To find out more information about this organization please visit: