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Villanova HRD Corner: September 2014 Edition

Welcome to the 2014 September Edition of the Villanova HRD Corner! In this issue, we have all of our popular reoccurring features (spotlights, HR news, etc.) along with updates and information.

Special Features


Reoccurring Features


SHRM Graduate Student Scholarships - Nov. 1 Application Deadline!

The SHRM Foundation awards 2 graduate students with scholarships each year totalling $5,000.

Who Is Eligible: SHRM student members with a valid SHRM ID number as of November 1 are eligible to apply for these scholarships. Local student chapter members who are not SHRM members are not eligible to apply. SHRM professional, general and associate members are eligible for another SHRM Foundation Scholarship program for HR professionals, but are not eligible for this student scholarship program. 

Scholarship Criteria
Scholarship recipients will primarily be selected on merit. Undergraduate applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale and must have completed at least one HR management course.

Graduate student applicants must be enrolled in a master’s degree program and clearly pursuing an emphasis area in HR or an HR-related program (such as business, psychology or labor relations) and have completed at least six hours of graduate course work with at least a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

New! Assurance of Learning applicants must have taken the assessment in the current calendar year (2014) or already be registered to take the exam later this year.

Click to read more ...


A Message from the Founding Director: Written Comprehensive Exam Requirement Update


Dear Students, 

At the current time the HRD Program will maintain the status quo regarding the exam options for the comprehensive exam requirement to graduate from the MS in HRD program. We will continue to accept the following certifications for current students until we receive more information regarding the new SHRM certification exams being offered in late May 2015.

  • Assurance of Learning Assessment (AOL)
  • Written comprehensive Exam (not offered after December 31, 2014)

However, we do encourage students that have two or more years HR experience in an exempt level position to take the PHR Exam, which constitutes a recognized professional certificate. This exam is given by the HRCI Institute.  If you do not have the required years of exempt level experience then you can take the Assurance of Learning Exam, which is offered bySHRM. Both organizations will review your application for their exams and they will let you know which exam you can take.

Effective spring 2015 we are requiring students to take the PHR/SPHR, or SHRM’s new CP or SCP exam, as the Written Compensation Exam will no longer be offered after December 2014. We are stressing to students to take the CP or SCP exam or the Assurance of Learning exam if they do not qualify for the PHR exam.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Best wishes for a successful semester.

David F. Bush, Ph.D.
Founding Director of Human Resource Development



What is the Assurance of Learning (AOL) Exam? 

Assurance of Learning Assessment for Graduating HR Students: 
The Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) Assurance of Learning® Assessment for graduating HR students is the new universal benchmark for students who are completing an HR degree and who have little to no work experience in HR. It benefits students by showing employers the student has acquired the minimum knowledge required to be a successful HR professional, and it gives recent graduates an important advantage over other entry-level candidates by showing the student has achieved the Certificate of Learning upon passing an exit exam. It helps employers know that the student has taken an additional step to ensure their degree, complemented by the Certificate of Learning achievement, adequately prepares them for their career in HR. 

Exam Basics
The Assessment is comprised of 160 multiple choice questions, about 30% of which are scenario-related questions to test the examinee's ability apply HR knowledge. The 160 questions are categorized into six overarching content groups covering 18 separate HR content areas, detailed below. Four (4) hours are allotted for each examinee to complete the assessment. The Assessment is administered at Prometric test centers around the world. Additional fees apply if an examinee selects a test site outside the U.S. 

*When should I register for the exam?

If you are graduating in Dec 2014, you must apply by OCT 5, 2014 and will take the exam between Oct 15-Nov 15.  If you are graduating in May 2015, you must apply for the exam between Nov 16, 2014 - Mar 5, 2015 and you will take the exam between Jan 1, 2015-Apr 15, 2015.

Click to read more ...


What Organizations Need Now From Human Resources

The job of Human Resources today is to make people and organizations grow, yet it has only marginally evolved since its inception around the end of the nineteenth century. Starting as “Personnel,” to protect women and girls in industrial environments, it gradually morphed into other realms including employee hiring, firing, attendance, and compensation. Motivation, organizational behavior, and selection assessments were added to the mix in the 1960s and ’70s. Over the last decade or so, the title of H.R. Business Partner – essentially a business-focused H.R. Manager role – was introduced with little impact.

Not much has changed in a hundred years.

H.R. Business Partner Role Failings

It is not uncommon for business leaders to describe their H.R. departments as reactive, uncreative and lacking basic business understanding. This stems from H.R. teams measuring and focusing on things that don’t add true value to their organization, like:

  • speed of hire
  • percentage of completed performance reviews
  • number of managers trained

Click to read more ...


HR Humor


Call For Mentors and Mentees - Apply Now!

We are happy to announce the start of the 2014-2015 Mentoring Program supported by the Villanova Human Resource Development community!  We will be matching mentors and mentees based on interests and experiences to maximize relationships and the benefit each participant receives. 

Please email your application (see attachments below) to by September 24th if you are interested in being a part of this exciting initiative, or have any questions. 

Mentor Application

Mentee Application

Click to read more ...


The one interview question that tells you (almost) everything about an applicant

Looking for that next great interview question to help you nail down the perfect candidate? There’s one in particular you should consider adding to your arsenal. 

At least that’s the opinion of best-selling author and renown columnist Paul B. Brown, whose latest book,Own Your Future: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur and Thrive in an Unpredictable Economy, has just been published.

Brown has hired a person or two in his day, and he says this question has told him an awful lot about job candidates: “Tell me about your friends.”

(OK, it’s more like a directive than a question, but we digress.)

The reason Brown loves this question: “Good people hang out with other good people,” Brown wrote in his thrice-weekly column on

Click to read more ...


St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service

The St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration is a campus-based weekend celebration honoring St. Thomas of Villanova, the 16th-century Augustinian bishop of Valencia, Spain, and patron of the University. The pinnacle of this week-long celebration, is the Day of Service, an annual event that brings together nearly 5,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and their families working in partnership with neighborhood agencies to perform service throughout Greater Philadelphia and beyond. 

The picture to the left is the VUSHRM group during last year's Day of Service Event in Philadelphia.

With the help of the VU Alumni Association, the Day of Service has been expanded to include alumni chapters across the country, providing a variety of service opportunities for alumni and online students throughout the states. The Alumni Association website has a list of chapters that are hosting service events that may be local to you so that you can be part of this amazing event. 

To register to Volunteer with Villanova University Society of Human Resource Management, register on the website and select group: VUSHRM.  The HRD program would also like to hear about how you serve so we can include your story in the HRD Corner Blog. Send your pictures and testimonials to!



Fun Facts about Villanova's History

The University served as a hospital during the Civil War and again in World War I 

The St. Thomas of Villanova Church is the center of religious life of Villanova University and the parish of St. Thomas of Villanova.

However, perhaps no hall on campus has as much history as Dundale Mansion. Located at the back of West Campus, it was originally built as a home for the Morris family, whose spirts legend holds still inhabit the old house.

The man credited with purchasing the land which eventually became Villanova University, Father Thomas Kyle, O.S.A., came to the Philadelphia area from his home in County Mayo, Ireland.

Villanovans provide more than 220,000 hours of community service annually

Villanova has produced nearly 60 Olympians, who have participated in every Summer Olympics since 1948

Click to read more ...


Why Does HR Get So Much Grief?

 We in the Human Resources profession often have a bit of an inferiority complex, and Ram Charan’s recent blog in Harvard Business Review “It’s Time to Split HR” really struck a nerve.

(Articles about “getting rid of HR” appear regularly. The most famous was “Why I Hate HR” published in 2005 in Fast Company, and recently the Wall Street Journal published a story on the topic.)

In Charan’s article, he states “it’s time for the department to go” and proposes to split the HR function into two parts:  the “administration” part (ie. compensation and benefits), which would report to the CFO, and the “leadership and organization” part, which would report to the CEO.

His argument is that:

Click to read more ...


Book Review: Five Days at Memorial

HHave you wondered about what happened to the hospitals that were affected during Hurricane Katrina in 2005?  This non-fiction book by Sheri Fink details the aftermath of the Hurricane the hospital that had the largest amount of corpses after the disaster struck, Memorial Medical Center.

This bestseller won the Winner of the Natinoal Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction Winner in 2014.  This 576-page book is difficult to put down.

Thousands of staff, patients and evacuees were trapped by floodwaters inside the building awaiting evacuation by boat or helicopter.  Working in these tumultuous surroundings day after day, without electricity and in the dark, sleep-deprived doctors and nurses labored determinedly and often in vain to help the patients entrusted to them, amid their own concern for family members at home and the danger to their possessions posed by the inundating waters. 

The book is divided into two parts.  The first part, titled "Deadly Choices", focuses on the events that occurred at Memorial Medical Center over the "five days" referred to in the book's title: August 28 – September 1, 2005.  The second part, titled "Reckoning", discusses the legal and political ramifications of Memorial's response to the crisis and especially controversy around whether or not some of the sickest patients were euthanized.  


Happy Labor Day!


Dress For The Job You Want! (Well... Within Reason Anyway)


Meet Our New HRD Corner Bloggers!

Villanova HRD Corner Blog is excited to welcome two new members to the team:

Samantha Khan, a graduate assistant in the HRD program, holds an undergraduate degree from NYU in consumer psychology with a business minor. She has been working at Lehigh Valley Hospital in their organizational development department. Samantha's HR interests are in organizational development, specially the study of leadership. 

Ray Ross, a graduate assistant in the HRD program, is from California and just completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology with a Communications minor from Villanova University. Ray spent time working as an HR Intern at Xtime in Redwood Shores California.

Click to read more ...


Join the Villanova Chapter of SHRM!

Become a VU SHRM Member Today!

  • Membership available to both campus and online students!
  • Great Resume Builder and networking opportunities
  • Additional opportunities to become involved with the on-campus HRD program
  • Become eligible for the VU SHRM involvement award at the Annual Networking Reception
  • Receive a VU SHRM bag
  • Select events will be posted for viewing on YouTube for online students
  • Yearlong membership 
  • LIKE US on Facebook:  
  • FOLLOW US on Twitter VU_SHRM


How to apply:

Membership Application on Website: Application

Click to read more ...


Share Your Story: Living as an Expat in China

The purpose of Share Your Story is to connect our readers by highlighting some of their memorable professional experiences. Each month a topic will be presented and related stories will be posted in the following edition. If you would like to share your story please send submissions (with subject: Share Your Story) to:

This month's topic is: What was your experience living as an expat on assignment for your company in a foreign county?

 "I lived in Shanghai, China for two years as a Compensation and Benefits Director for Asia Pacific.  It was an amazing experience.  I learned a lot and overcame many obstacles as well.  I traveled there alone and my financee was able to visit me every six weeks.  Luckily, I had great mentors within the company who were able to help me to get acclimated with Chinese culture.

Click to read more ...


Wired Wednesday: 26 Fitness Trackers Ranked From Worst To First

Article from TIME Magazine:

We've spent hours comparing every single feature in the 20+ fitness trackers on the market.

Fine. You didn’t buy a smartwatch. You were never going to anyway. Meet the fitness tracker: a less expensive, more immediately useful tech product that might actually help get your lazy self in shape. Designed to gamify your daily exercise routines, fitness trackers make people do funny, crazy things, like going to sleep at the same minute every night, or taking the long route to the bathroom, just to get in another 20 steps. 

Click to read more ...


2014 Villanova Summer HR Webinar Series

This summer, Villanova’s Graduate Studies in Human Resources Development sponsored a Summer Webinar Series featuring five different experts in the field of Human Resources.

These webinars took place throughout the summer and were free to HRD students and alumni.  Over 50 students and alumni were in attendance over the course of the summer.  The topics included: Affordable Care Act, Tips and Traps when Selecting HR Technology, The Business Case for Sales Compensation, Leadership Development and Violence in the Workplace.  

The sessions were recorded through Adobe Connect, and you can find the links to all recordings below:


Click to read more ...


Villanova HRD Corner: Summer 2014 Edition