Student HR group at CMU receives recognition

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

Perez helped build the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and now that club is being recognized for its efforts.

The student chapter was awarded the 2019-2020 SHRM, 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,” Perez said “When we submitted back in April, I remember thinking, ‘OK, we met all the requirements and we’ve done what we can.’ ”

The win puts CMU in the spotlight. The SHRM is an international organization with more than 300,000 members in 165 countries. This allows students to broaden their network and provides them with resources, which then better prepares them for a future in human resources 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,” Perez said.

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 Christi Sanders,  an associate professor of human resources at CMU. “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 chapters complete during the award cycle. Perez and her team collaborated with Project 1.27 to collect stocking stuffers and gifts for local foster children.

Perez and Sanders said the Western Colorado Human Resource Association has played a 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,”  Sanders said.

Perez said she hopes students with majors outside 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.”