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CMU’s Society for Human Resource Management club wins international award

Student chapter wins the 2019-2020 Society for Human Resource Management Superior Merit award

One of the biggest pieces of advice alumni often offer to current college students is to get involved. Colorado Mesa University senior Paola Perez has done that and then some.

Perez helped build CMU's student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) club from the ground up and now that club is being recognized on the global stage.  

The student chapter was awarded the 2019-2020 Society for Human Resource Management Superior Merit Award. It is one of the highest levels of achievement a chapter can receive.

"We were surprised we got the superior award even though we worked so hard," said Perez. "When we submitted back in April, I remember thinking, 'OK, we met all the requirements and we've done what we can.'"

The club's win puts CMU in the spotlight. The Society for Human Resource Management is an international organization with over 300,000 members in 165 countries. This allows students to broaden their network and provides them with unlimited resources, which then better prepares them for a future in human resources (HR) and beyond.  

"Winning this prestigious award shows that we have a voice and that the students in our chapter are heard. They know their value and self-worth," said Perez.

Every year SHRM gives out three different levels of merit awards to student chapters: Honorable Mention, Merit Award and Superior Merit Award.

"Winning the Superior Merit Award is a testament to the leadership of our student chapter," said Associate Professor of Human Resources Christi Sanders, PhD. "Winning this award is a rare honor and shows the HR world that CMU HR students are making an impact on the Western Slope and around the world!"

The opportunity to win depends on the number of activities the chapters complete during the merit award cycle. According to SHRM president and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., CMU showed superior growth as well as development opportunities for its student members, proving the future of HR is in good hands.

Perez and her team had a series of impressive accomplishments that impacted the community in a positive way. In the winter of 2019, they collaborated with Project 1.27 to collect stocking stuffers and gifts for local foster children in the Grand Valley.

The merit award program encourages the development of more effective student chapters, which is exactly the direction in which Perez has taken the club.

"I want the club to grow, make it more diverse and continue to find engaging opportunities for our members. Whether that’s through community service or networking, I want to help further develop people’s skills and prepare them for their career."

Both Perez and Sanders agree that Western Colorado Human Resource Association has played a valuable role in the club and its success.

"Our frequent involvement with the Western Colorado Human Resource Association has resulted in amazing internship opportunities and wonderful jobs for our students," said Sanders.

Perez, who is currently an intern with the City of Grand Junction, hopes majors outside of HR will join the club. 

"SHRM is helpful for really any major. One of our goals is to help build interview skills and resumes but SHRM is also a great business resource. Members have access to documents, articles and business professionals," said Perez. "The networking side of it is really big, too. You get to meet HR professionals in the valley who play a major role when it comes to hiring."

SHRM meets bimonthly. To get involved contact Perez or Sanders or write to them on Instagram at @cmesaushrm or on Facebook at Colorado Mesa University HR Club.

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Written by Kelsey Coleman