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

Entries in HR Professionals (16)


Professional Spotlight: Todd Corley

Todd Corley, Founder & Chief Strategist at the TAPO Institute

We are so excited to have Todd Corley, Founder and Chief Strategist at the TAPO Institute, as one of our keynote speakers for the Villanova HRD Annual Networking Reception on tomorrow, April 5th, in the Connelly Center on campus! Read on to learn more about Todd's track record of success, advice, and more! 

Todd Corley is the creator and catalyst of the TAPO Institute, a think tank and strategic advisor advocating inclusive leadership. He is the former corporate officer in charge of global diversity and inclusion for the iconic retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch.

In that role, he led an enterprise-wide transformation that included: 1) increasing the in-store minority population from below 10% to over 50% of total population (100,000 people) across all positions 2) achieving significant gender diversity among its senior ranks, with over 40% of the company’s vice presidents and 75% of executive vice presidents being female 3) positioning the brand as an LGBT-friendly employer, by securing a perfect score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index, for nine consecutive years.


Click to read more ...


A Day in the Life of an HR Business Partner- What would you do?

This new feature will contain monthly stories from real-life HR business partners.  The HR professional will pose questions at the end of the situation.  Please comment or leave suggestions of what you would do in these situations as a future HR professional!

This month, we interviewed an HRBP at a manufacturing facility.  "This week, we had to shut down our entire facility for two days due to a water main break.  No water for us means that the fire sprinkler systems don't function, making the environment unsafe to work, and no sanitation systems available during this time.  Shutting down production means a loss of thousands of dollars per hour.  Every hour that it takes to get the problem fixed, the business is losing money, we cannot produce products, customers are unhappy, and our employees aren't getting paid.  The HR team worked relentlessly to call all 400 hourly employees to let them know that the plant was shut down and that they should not report for work for two days.  Per company policy, employees do not get paid for time during an unexpected shutdown, so this was unpleasant news to delivery to employees.  For some of our employees, the loss of twos day of pay may put them into a tough financial situation, so we wanted to do everything we could do to make sure to keep engagement up at the plant.  Currently, we are asking employees to work during the weekend to make up their time, or submit vacation time for the days missed.  We are making sure to communicate all updates to every employee during all of the shifts." --Megan Bosler, graduate of HRD program

What would you do in this situation? Items to consider:

  • Contact information for employees - how often do you check that this is up to date?
  • Emergency procedure communication - employees will look to HR for all the answers
  • Pay practices regarding unexpected events or rare events
  • How would you move past this event?

Professional Spotlight: Doug Allen, Cooper Health System

Douglas Allen, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Cooper Health System.

Doug is a senior executive in Human Resources with more than 30 years of experience. Doug has served in a leadership capacity at several large healthcare organizations including St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Hahnemann University Hospital and currently Cooper Health System.  Doug has a proven track record of strong leadership, workforce development and development and implementation of strategic plans. 

In addition to his robust Human Resources background, Doug has numerous professional accomplishments.  He is an ICF Certified Professional Coach, MBTI Certified Practitioner, a trained facilitator in DiSC Assessment Tools, and holds his SPHR certification.  Doug is faculty to the Villanova University Continuing Education Department and has taught the PHR/SPHR SHRM program.  Doug also sits on the boards and serves as a committee member of many prominent organizations – United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy School, the New Jersey Hospital Association Unemployment Committee, and the Workforce Investment Board.


Click to read more ...


VU SHRM Networking with Recent Alumni and Professionals

On November, 4, 2014, Villanova Chapter of SHRM hosted a professional development event on campus where students were able to network and listen to recent alumni and professionals. In total this event had five alumni of the program come back to share their experiences.

From the group that attended there were a number of questions asking about tips on finding jobs, how to get the most out of your position and thoughts on their time in the HR program here. When it came to the tips about finding jobs, every single one of the panelists that came expressed the fact that networking is huge when trying to find work. On a deeper level one of our alumni pointed out that networking needs to be done in a smart way by building what she called a “personal brand or reputation.” What she means by this is that just going to an event to shake some hands can be a waste of time if you are unable to show the value you are able to offer. By “building a brand” a person should understand their special skills and qualities and highlight them the same way a company has an image they like to project outward. If you happen to be someone who is engaging and a real go-getter try to present this image to the people you meet.

Click to read more ...


VU SHRM Resume Workshop 

On September 23, 2014, Villanova Chapter of SHRM hosted a resume workshop on campus.  There were 10 professionals from different industries who reviewed student resumes’ in a round robin format. 

 After the workshop, we asked students what their biggest takeaways were from the workshop and what they learned so that we could share them with the Global HRD community. 

  •       “It’s important to include action verbs and how you helped the company.  Recruiters want to see that you take initiative, not just direction.  After each bullet point, ask yourself, ‘so what’ to shape your bullets”
  •       “As far as job searching, look at all local SHRM chapters for job postings and be sure to put your resume on, which is the 3rd largest resume database, but many recruiters are headed in this direction.  Also use, which is the largest resume aggregator.’
  •       “Be sure to include HR Systems that you have experience with”
  •       “It’s very beneficial to have multiple people look at your resume and get different perspectives.”
  •       “As an international student, the workshop was very helpful because I learned what a US resume format should be.  For example, I need to take out all of my personal information, birthdate and picture, as that’s not the resume format in the US.”

Click to read more ...


14th Annual HR Person of the Year Awards

Just two weeks ago, winners and nominees of the 14th Annual Delaware Valley HR Person of the Year Award were recognized and celebrated on May 15th at the Ballroom at the Ben. A collaborative event sponsored by regional SHRM chapters and HR associations, the HR Person of the Year Awards seek identify HR professionals who have exemplified outstanding achievement in the local community.

This year, Villanova HRD’s very own, Christopher Konnick, was nominated for the HR Rising Star of the Year Award.

Click to read more ...


Student Spotlight: Erica Phelan, SPHR, HR Generalist, Bank of America

Erica Phelan, SPHR, is currently an HR generalist at Bank of America.  In this role, she is responsible for partnering with technology executives to design, develop, and deliver HR initiatives that align with business needs and goals for employees located throughout the US.  She is currently involved in work around company culture to increase leadership agility, foster innovation, and enable great customer experiences.

Erica recently completed the on-line HRD program and is a prior graduate of Penn State University where she studied business management and sociology.  She resides in Chicago, IL with her husband and her dog, Piper.



Click to read more ...


VU SHRM Event: Resume Workshop


On Tuesday, September 3rd, VU SHRM hosted a resume review session.  There were 6 HR professionals from different industries who were able to review student resumes in a round robin format.  Each professional spent twenty minutes reviewing, giving feedback, and making suggestions to a small group of students.  After twenty minutes, students would go to the next professional.

Several students share the helpful tips they received from attending this event: 

“I learned the importance of having a professional summary at the top of your resume.  One HR recruiter said that if you have a good enough summary, the recruiter might pick up the phone and call you without looking at the rest of your resume!”

“Go to as many networking events as possible.  If you’re not on LinkedIn, sign up and start networking.  Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with people you meet during networking event. LinkedIn can be a great way to follow up with people you meet and establish a connection.”

Click to read more ...


Professional Spotlight: Pamela Rockacy, Director of Benefits, Converge

Pamela S. Rockacy, Director of Benefits at Converge, has over 28 years of experience in the Employee Benefits field. She has worked extensively with Health and Welfare Plans as well as Retirement Plan Sales and Administration. In her position as the Director of Benefits, she is directly responsible for the Converge benefits practice. Pam and her staff orchestrate benefit sales and administration, compliance, contract oversight and client relations.

Prior to joining Converge, Pam managed the employee benefits area at Cigna and was primarily focused on Retirement Plan Sales and Administration. She has also worked as a consultant for a major automaker and a large banking organization creating employee benefit service centers, training seminars and compliance procedures.  Pam specializes in providing creative and cost effective solutions for rising employee benefit costs. She places the highest value on the long-standing relationships with her clients. Pam has two wonderful daughters who share her avid support of any and all things Penn State. 

Click to read more ...


It’s Human Capital ROI, Stupid

By: Frank DiBernardino

In the New York Times bestseller, Made to Stick, authors Chip and Dan Heath recall the story of the 1992 presidential election when James Carville struggled to keep the Clinton campaign focused on a few key principles. To do such, Carville wrote three phrases on a whiteboard for all the campaign workers to see.  One of the phrases on the impromptu list was: “It’s the economy, stupid.” This message would become the core of Clinton’s successful campaign.

The Heath brothers included this story in their book to emphasize the importance of finding the core of an idea to satisfy the first Made to Stick test – Simplicity.

Click to read more ...


Summer Webinar Series! Sign Up Now!

This summer, Villanova’s Graduate Studies in Human Resources Development will be sponsoring a Summer Webinar Series featuring experts in the field of Human Resources. These webinars with take place throughout the summer and will be free to HRD students and alumni.

Please click here for webinar details, speakers, and bios.

Please click here for regristration information.

Click to read more ...


Share Your Story: What is the best career advice you’ve received? 

Share Your Story is a feature where we get funny, interesting, crazy, or unbelievable anecdotes from HR Professionals. This month asked local HR professionals and Villanova alumni to share the best career advice they have received. Also included are some great quotes about career advice and motivation from successful professionals.

If you would like to be a contributor to a future Share Your Story please contact the HRD Corner Blog Team at Please enjoy this week’s story and let us know what you think!

What is the best career advice you’ve received?

“Don't be afraid of opportunities. Learn what you can, do all you can do, and be satisfied when you've given your best.” - Charity Hughes, SPHR, HR Director US & Canada, Hygiene and Forest 

"These days it's not 'what you know' or 'who you know' but rather 'who knows what you can do.' One of the best things you can do for your career is learn how to network and share with others how you can add value through relationships." - Joey Price, CEO, Jumpstart:HR

“Grab hold of your career. You are in control of your future.”- Melissa Leneis, HR Director, Tyco 

“Be patient and work hard.  You’re not going to get your dream job making your dream salary right away.  It takes time; you have to pay your dues.” - Carissa Steffy, HR/Communications Consultant, Converge, Inc.

Click to read more ...


Congratulations Dr. Katina Sawyer: HR Rising Star of the Year Nominee

Congratulations to Dr. Katina Sawyer for being nominated for The HR Rising Star of the Year! Since 2001, The Delaware Valley HR Person of the Year Award has been honoring Human Resource Professionals in the categories of HR Person of the Year, HR Consultant of the Year, and HR Rising Star of the Year. The Delaware Valley HR Person of the Year Award ceremony takes place on May 13, 2013 at The Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Click here for information on how to register. 


Spotlight: Sarah Dunn, HRD UA Student Advisory Council Member

Sarah Dunn joined GE in March 2011 as an HR Leader with GE Aviation; located in Lynn, MA. In this role, she supports the General Managers and leadership teams of the Military Systems Operation and has responsibility for coordination of the Early Identification Co-Op/Internship program. Prior to joining GE, Sarah spent 5 years at Target Corporation working in roles of increasing responsibility as an HR Manager for store locations, where she was responsible for the leadership of all HR activities and deliverables. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Providence College. Her favorite aspect of the Villanova HRD Program is the relevance and applicability she finds in each and every class in the program. She truly enjoys studying aspects of the HR discipline that she has encountered in the field and realizing the benefits of deeper learning and discussion in these areas of expertise.


Save The Date! Summer Webinar Series

Dr. Robert Stokes, AVP of Academic Affairs will be hosting a summer webinar series. HR Professionals will present these free webinars on current trends or topics in HR today. The webinars will either be an evening or afternoon sessions.

If you have questions or are interested in being a presenter for a future webinar, please contact us at We looked forward to your participation!

 Currently there are four scheduled webinars:


Webinar #1  
Date: June 10th, 2013
Speaker: Daniel Gallagher, VP of Learning at Comcast
Topic: The Self-Aware Leader

Webinar #2
Date: June 24th, 2013
Speaker: Frank DiBernardino, Managing Principal at Vienna Human Capital Advisors
Topic: TBA

Webinar #3 
Date: July 8th, 2013
Speaker: William Strahan, EVP Human Resources at Comcast Cable
Topic: The Role of HR in Driving Organizational Strategy

Webinar #4 
Date: July 22nd, 2013
Speaker: Michael Brenner, President at Culturology Progress
Topic: Driven Leadership: The New Indispensable Rules of Engagement


Spotlight: Richard Woodford, HRD UA Student Advisory Council Member

Richard Woodford is the Director for the National Talent Pool and Training at the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Audit (DOL OIG).  Richard is responsible for assisting managers in meeting the short and long-term training goals of the Office of Audit.  He also consults on audit policy, operations, and personnel matters.  In his personal capacity, Richard is a Regent Emeritus of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) where he serves on the Board of Review for disciplinary matters.  Richard’s professional experience spans over 30 years of federal service as a naval officer, law clerk, labor relations specialist, and attorney in several federal agencies.  He is a Senior Professional in Human Resources.

“The Villanova University HRD graduate degree program has offered me both quality and flexibility to complete a Master's program while working and travelling full-time.  The quality of instruction and participation from peers has been outstanding.  The VU HRD network of professionals continues to grow with each new course.  I am half way through completing the program and I feel that my time and effort have been well-spent.” - Richard Woodford