Subscribe to the HRD Blog!
Connect With Us On Our Social Networking Sites!
Live from Twitter

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.

Click to read more ...


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. 

Click to read more ...


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:



Alumni Spotlight: Gabrielle Thompson

Gabrielle Thompson recently joined the Human Resources team at GE Lighting as a Human Resources Development Program (HRLP) member. HRLP is one of GE’s seven corporate leadership programs with more than 100 global members currently on-program. HRLP has a 50+ year history of success with more than 700 global graduates and prominent alumni in key leadership positions around the world. HRLP is a challenging rotational program that offers three 8-month assignments over the course of two years. HRLP Assignments fall under three broad categories: Specialist, Cross-Functional and Client-Facing. Each assignment has real business impact and provides diverse professional experiences to develop the world’s best HR talent and grow the next generation of 21st century leadership, while also fostering a culture of continuous learning and development. Gabrielle’s first assignment is a client-facing role across both the Technology and Supply Chain Functions. Her responsibilities include supporting a mixed workforce comprised of hourly, salaried, union and non-union employees in addition to program management for two early-career leadership programs.

While attending Villanova, Gabrielle worked as an HRBP Intern with SAP in Newtown Square, PA. During the internship she gained exposure to execution of global HR initiatives, O&TD, HRIS, workforce planning, compensation and restructuring. Prior to working at SAP, Gabrielle spent several years as a social worker and outpatient clinical coordinator with the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Gabrielle graduated from Villanova’s HRD program in May 2014 and has a B.A. in Clinical Psychology from Haverford College. She grew up in Boston, MA and later spent 9 years living abroad in Europe. Her interests include photography, hiking, cycling, yoga, beer-brewing and travel.

Q: When did you graduate from the Human Resource Development Program at Villanova and were you a student of the campus or online program? 

Click to read more ...


Chinese New Year Celebrations in Philadelphia 2015!

By Jillian Wilson

Ready to ring in the Year of the Sheep? The Chinese New Year arrives on Thursday, February 19, and a number of attractions and neighborhoods in Philadelphia celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Sheep with high-spirited events throughout the next few weeks.

Chinatown hosts everything from its annual Chinese New Year’s Eve parade to a 10-course dinner at a much-loved neighborhood restaurant.

Museums in the area celebrate Chinese and Asian culture with live performances, crafts, martial arts workshops and more.

Read on for our guide to Chinese New Year celebrations in Philadelphia.

• Midnight Lion Dance Performance

Wednesday, February 18. On Chinese New Year’s Eve (Wednesday, February 18), the Philadelphia Suns fill Chinatown with New Year spirit for the annual midnight lion dance, which starts at 11:30 p.m. The parade starts at 10th and Race streets and winds through the streets of Chinatown. MORE INFO

• Chinese New Year at Buddakan

February 19-27. Stephen Starr’s Buddakan plates special Chinese New Year dishes from February 19 through 27, and on Sunday, February 22, the resto hosts a dim sum brunch complete with lion dancers. The full brunch menu is available hereMORE INFO

Click to read more ...


Happy Presidents' Day!

Happy Presidents Day!


Villanova HRD Corner: February 2015 Edition

Welcome to the 2015 February 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:



Poll: Which Film Do You Think Deserves 'Best Picture' At The 2015 Oscars?


HR News: Inside Job - Morgan Stanley Hack Paints Troubling Portrait for HR and IT

By Aliah D. Wright

Two days after Christmas, financial services corporation Morgan Stanley discovered that Internet data had been stolen from 900 clients and attributed the theft to one of its employees. The employee was subsequently fired. Although he has not been charged, the employee is reportedly under investigation by the FBI.

It’s a tale that could send shivers down the spine of any employer tasked with keeping customer and employee data safe.

How could such a thing happen and what can HR do to ensure employees aren’t stealing corporate data?

Click to read more ...


Alumni Spotlight: Terence Brown

My name is Terence Brown and I am a recent graduate of the Villanova HRD program who graduated in May 2014. Prior to Villanova, I studied Communications and Videography at West Chester University. I currently work at Unisys Corporation, a global provider of IT Services and Security with over 22,000 employees globally. Originally I started as a contractor in the recruitment department, doing everything from scheduling interview days, full life cycle recruiting and system training. Following my stint in recruiting, I transitioned to the Global Rewards department where I work with global mobility and compensation. In March of this year, I will transition back to the recruiting organization to help develop analytics, and sourcing processes as a means to get the best talent in the door.

On a personal note, I am married to a beautiful woman, who I am blessed to wake up to each morning. I love the outdoors, sports, music, travel, and people. Family and friends mean the world to me, and I don’t believe you can ever put a price on a good relationship. I found the Villanova program very eye opening and extremely beneficial as far as my career development. 

Q: When did you graduate from the Human Resource Development Program at Villanova and were you a student of the campus or online program? 
A: Spring 2014 through the campus program

Q: Why did you choose Villanova’s HRD Program?
A:  I had been referred to the program from former alumni who testified to the extent the school has assisted in the development of their career.

Q: What is your current career role? Could you explain some of your responsibilities?   
A: Global Rewards Analyst: I handle all immigration and mobility matters with my current company for any of our employees that we have crossing country borders. I also implement, plan and develop the company’s variable compensation program.

Click to read more ...


HIPAA Action Items After a Data Breach

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, one of the largest health insurers in the U.S., notified its policyholders, members and business partners on Feb. 5, 2015, that it was the target of an external cyber attack that appears to have compromised the confidentiality of personal information maintained on its information technology system. 

An employer facing news that its insurer or third-party administrator (TPA) has experienced a data breach may find such news alarming and, at times, confusing. Even if no medical information was compromised, information concerning current or former members’ enrollment in health insurance or information about members’ health claims from a TPA generally qualifies as protected health information (PHI) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This is true even if neither diagnostic codes nor other sensitive information is included among the identifying information.

If a plan participant’s name, Social Security number, address or other identifying information were compromised while held by an insurer or TPA, that would constitute a breach for purposes of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and HIPAA. In such a situation, state-level breach notification laws also are likely to be implicated.

Employers’ Obligations

As employers consider how to respond following a data breach, it is important to note that their obligations will depend on the relationship between their health plan and the insurer or TPA.


Click to read more ...


Wired Wednesday: Ringing In The New Year - HR Technology

By: David Farquhar

With 2015 fast approaching, the retail industry will soon have a moment to catch its collective breath as the holiday shopping season comes to a close. One area that will continue to be a major priority for retailers in the New Year is providing a memorable in-store experience for customers.

Retailers have a tendency to forget the most important factor when it comes to customer experience: their employees. In reality, the success of an organization is dependent on face-to-face customer engagement and that engagement improves drastically for organizations that make the effort to create an employee-centric workplace. Sure, senior executives need to make smart business decisions, but it’s the associates and store managers who drive the engine of the business. The right investment in HR technology can boost employee morale and have a direct positive impact on customer service. This is especially important in the retail space, where employee turnover rates are high. How can retailers develop, retain and actively engage their best employees, while automating HR practices that are beneficial to them?

Click to read more ...


Faculty Spotlight: Brendan Hennessy

Brendan D. Hennessy, J.D., teaches employment law in the HRD Program. He is also a practicing attorney out of his office in Malvern Pennsylvania. Over the past decade, Mr. Hennessy has represented large Fortune 100 companies, small businesses as well as individual employees in matters involving all aspects of the employment relationship. He presently concentrates on counseling businesses and executives on employment and contract matters. He has been recognized as a “Rising Star” in the area of Employment Law for four consecutive years by Philadelphia Magazine and a “Top Lawyer” in Employment Law by the Main Line Today.

Mr. Hennessy earned his J.D. from Temple University and a B.A. from St. Joseph’s University. Mr. Hennessy resides in Chester County, Pennsylvania with his wife and two kids. 

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

A:  I’ve been teaching for almost four years with Villanova. This was my first experience teaching, although I’ve been practicing law for more than 10 years. 

Q: Where did you begin your teaching career?

A:  I started teaching with Villanova’s Continuing Studies HRD Online program. I’m indebted to Robert Stokes and others in the HRD administration who mentored me and trained me to hit the ground running as a teacher.

Click to read more ...


HR News: The EEOC Issues You'll Want to Keep an Eye on in 2015

Article By: Tim Gould,

2014 was a pretty tough year for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But that doesn’t mean employers can relax.

Employment law firm Littler Mendelson recently released its Annual Report on EEOC Developments – Fiscal Year 2014and while the results indicate the EEOC suffered some setbacks, it’s apparent that employers need to keep an eye on several key issues in 2015.

First, a look at the agency’s problems:

‘Systemic discrimination’ probes drop, but ‘reasonable cause determinations’ up

As you remember, in 2012, the EEOC approved its Strategic Enforcement Plan which included a plan to engage in “targeted enforcement” to address “systemic discrimination.” This includes alleged discriminatory patterns or practices of discriminatory conduct and/or discriminatory policies that have a “broad impact on an industry, profession, company or geographic location.”

Click to read more ...


Student Spotlight: Erica Hazard 

Erica Hazard currently works for Penske Truck Leasing and Penske Logistics. Penske delivers innovative transportation and logistics solutions that are vital to the success of the companies and people they serve. Penske has built their business on three core values: commitment to our customers, dedication to excellence and innovative thinking. Erica has held roles at Penske managing field human resources, compensation and most recently Leadership Development and Succession Planning. 

Erica holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Cedar Crest College and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Human Resources Development from Villanova University. She has ten years of labor and employee relations and human resources administration experience working for Penske Truck Leasing, Paychex Inc., Lehigh Coal and Navigation, and Coca Cola bottling of the Lehigh Valley. 

Click to read more ...


Super Bowl Preview

This Sunday is Super Bowl XLIX and it features the AFC Champion New England Patriots vs. the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. This game is sure to have a lot of drama given the strong personalities of both Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch on the Seahawks side of the ball and the media circus that has become known as ‘DeflateGate’ on the Patriots side. Currently the line for this game has the Patriots by a point, but my best prediction is that Seattle will win a close one. For a Patriots fan there is a lot to be happy about given that they have a hall of fame coach and quarterback in Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Where as the Seahawks were able to win the NFC Championship game due to an incredible number of unfortunate mistakes by the Packers the feeling is that New England will play consistent football and limit any turnovers. The reason I have faith in Seattle is that they have a great defense, arguably the best running back in the league and a very steady dual threat quarterback in Russell Wilson. I envision a game where the Seahawks long and physical defense smothers Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, Marshawn Lynch runs for over a hundred yards and two touchdowns and Russell Wilson makes enough critical plays to capture Seattle’s second Super Bowl. Don’t worry though Pats fans, Madden did their annual Super Bowl simulation and they have the Patriots winning 28-24.

If you need an example of just how hard it is to take Marshawn Lynch down click HERE. It’s a great play to watch for anyone that loves football.

-Ray Ross


Work $mart Workshop: Tuesday, February 10 (6:00 PM)

Work $MART is a targeted salary negotiation workshop for Villanova student women and alumnae to help enhance their earnings for the rest of their working lives.

The workshop will take place Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 from 6:00 - 8:30pm in the West Lounge, Dougherty Hall at Villanova University. Registration fee is $15 (includes dinner). Click here to register.

Click to read more ...


All About Nova: The CAVE

Villanova University’s virtual reality CAVE facility opened this past October and it is something that has been creating a lot of buzz around campus. The CAVE (CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment) uses engaging video for telepresence applications, as well as computer-generated graphics for 3D visualization and it is housed in the Falvey Memorial Library. This project was first funded in 2013 by a $1.67 million National Science Foundation grant. The hope is that its central location will make this tool accessible to all Villanova students and faculty. This interdisciplinary project is being developed under the direction of Frank Klassner in the college of Liberal and Sciences as well as Edmond Dougherty who is an assistant professor in the College of Engineering.

If you are wondering what the CAVE looks like it is an 18’ by 10’ by 7.5’ high enclosure where 10-15 viewers can view three-dimensional imagery and data displays. This CAVE is unique in that it is the first to be situated in a library setting that will have reserved time for public access. Professor Klassner has been quoted as saying:

Click to read more ...