MTSU student organization set to reap more accolades next academic year

MURFRESBORO, Tenn. – The president of the award-winning Society for Human Resource Management has set the standard for greater success for those who follow her in the fall of 2022.

Kaitlyn Berry, a master’s candidate in psychology who is looking forward to graduating on Aug. 5, said the student organization she led at MTSU aims to educate students who aspire to careers in human ressources.

“Our goal is to really advance the HR profession starting at this fundamental level with future HR professionals and the people who make up the business world,” Berry said.

Part of that job is creating profession-relevant presentations that win awards at conferences judged by academics and professionals.

“Honestly, we have too many to display them all, which is a nice problem to have,” said Patrick McCarthy, professor of psychology and director of the master’s program in industrial/organizational psychology.

In August 2021, at the Tennessee Student Human Resource Management Conference and Expo in Nashville, MTSU placed first in the case competition with “A Proposal for the Culture of Inequality: Garrison’s Grocery Outlet”. In addition to Berry, the team included Holli Salley, a master’s candidate in psychology, and Anna White, vice president of SHRM.

McCarthy said engaging students in research projects helped advance the discipline of industrial/organizational psychology, which he called “the human side of running an organization.”

“We spend almost a third of our lives, if not more for some people, at work at any given time,” McCarthy said. “I think a lot of people tend to forget the impact it can have on every other area of ​​your life.”

Berry and White presented at the River City Industrial/Organizational Conference in Chattanooga in October 2021. Berry’s research was titled “Nissan Motor Corporation: Talent acquisition from a new perspective.” White’s work was titled “Internship Experience in the Organizational Development Team at Ardent Health Services.”

Tomi Phillips, Pershang Tovi, and Sarah Tucker, three MTSU SHRM alumni, presented on “Evaluation Trend Framework: Emotions and Perceptions of Fairness” in April 2022 at the Society of Industrial/ Organizational Psychology in Seattle, Washington.

However, SHRM members do not wait for conferences to deepen their knowledge. Berry said two of the officers are designated “breakfast series coordinators,” who plan breakfast events that connect students with practitioners.

“These allow you to network with professionals in the area,” Berry said. “We have a key professional who comes to give a speech or a small talk on a certain subject that is relevant to human resources. »

SHRM members also organize food drives for the Student Food Pantry and volunteer their services at the annual Murfreesboro Christmas Lighting Ceremony.

Berry said the career possibilities are endless and include specialists in diversity and inclusion, organizational development and hiring procedures. Some companies even have a “happiness boss”.

And how do HR leaders convince managers and executives who believe that a “command and control” style of management is the best way to run a company that there are better ways to create a company culture? ?

“A lot of people with that mindset sort of prioritize money over people, but realistically when you put people first, money will follow,” Berry said.

To learn more about the MTSU Company for Human Resource Management, please visit contact McCarthy at [email protected].

Virginia S. Braud