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photo collage of van den Berg Hall, the clock tower, Dean Hadi Salavitabar, and undergraduate student Jumpei Onozuka

News Releases

Mid-Hudson Human Resources Association Recognized For Support of SUNY New Paltz Student Chapter


The School of Business at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz has recently recognized the Mid-Hudson Human Resources Association (MHHRA) for its support of the SUNY New Paltz student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Management Association (MA). MHHRA will be permanently recognized on the "Investing in the School of Business" wall located in Van den Berg Hall at SUNY New Paltz for its contributions in 2008. MHHRA is being recognized for enriching and strengthening the business programs at SUNY New Paltz, in particular for supporting the MA. In addition to internship opportunities, workshop presenters and company visit opportunities; MHHRA has offered generous support for the MA to participate at the annual Northeast Regional HR Games and funds the annual HR Leader of Tomorrow SUNY New Paltz Scholarship. "MHHRA's investment in the Management Association enables us to carry out important activities that the college cannot afford to support on its own,” said Kristin Backhaus, Associate Professor of Management at SUNY New Paltz and Advisor of the Management Association. “Especially in these difficult economic times, students appreciate the financial support of our parent chapter."

HR Games

For the seventh consecutive year, MHHRA has offered a sponsorship for the MA to participate and attend the Northeast Regional HR Games and Student Conference. The sponsorship has been awarded by MHHRA to sponsor MA student chapter members to attend the event being held March 27-28, 2009 at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. The HR Games is a game show tournament between students of various SHRM student chapters throughout the Northeast Region. “Our participation in the HR Games is one of the highlights of our year,” said Backhaus, who coaches the students each year. “Competing in the Games provides students with both HR knowledge and the experience of interscholastic competition. The Games are challenging and exciting, and we always have a great time.”

The competition is a fun way to prepare students for Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. The HR Games academic competition tests students by using a Jeopardy style format to answer human resource questions. The questions for matches are compiled into categories similar to those used in the PHR certification exam. Categories include subjects such as management practices, selection and recruitment, compensation and benefits, training and development, and employee/labor relations. “Thanks to MHHRA, our students have been able to participate with only minimal personal expense, which opens the door to students without regard to their ability to pay their own way,” added Backhaus.

Each year, the student participants enjoy their experience of representing MHHRA and SUNY New Paltz and demonstrating their HR knowledge to practitioners and other students from colleges throughout the Northeast Region.


This year also marked the second recipient of the HR Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship for a SUNY New Paltz student. Marisel Lewis was the recipient and is an undergraduate SUNY New Paltz School of Business student in her senior year and majoring in Management. She is an active executive board member of the Management Association (MA) and a national student chapter member of SHRM. Her career goal is to enter the human resource management profession.

This scholarship was established in 2006 by MHHRA to recognize and encourage SUNY New Paltz students who are interested in pursuing a career in the profession of human resource (HR) management.

"I am truly thankful to be the recipient of this scholarship. Working with the Management Association has aided me in building my time management and organizational skills, by carrying the responsibility of Merit Award Chair and it feels wonderful to be acknowledged for my work and desire to seek a career in the human resources field,” said Lewis.

Win-Win Relationship

Nancy Couse, President of MHHRA, believes that it is mutually beneficial for professionals to support students who will serve as the future of the business world. “It is of great importance and satisfaction that MHHRA and local professionals support the student chapter members from the SUNY New Paltz Management Association,” said Couse.

“MHHRA chapter members are available for mentoring, speaking at student chapter events, internship programs, job fairs and many other resources for the student chapter. In turn, the SUNY New Paltz student chapter can assist local HR professionals in various ways, such as developing surveys to meet individual needs or working on a special project for a company. It is a win-win situation for both groups.”

MHHRA is an organization, affiliated with SHRM, based in Dutchess and Ulster counties of New York State for HR professionals. The association is dedicated to the advancement of the HR profession and the development of HR professionals in the community. MHHRA is the sponsoring professional SHRM chapter for the SUNY New Paltz Management Association. This affiliation provides SUNY New Paltz students with an opportunity to explore the field of human resources (HR) as a career and to learn more from HR professionals about the HR function in business. For more information about MHHRA and its affiliation with the Management Association, please visit its web site at