Campus: CSU Stanislaus -- July 9, 2004

CSU Stanislaus Takes Second in National HR Competition

In what was described as a classic David-and-Goliath story, a team of California State University, Stanislaus Human Resource Management students finished an astounding second to 3-time winner Cornell University in the championship round of the 56th annual conference of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in New Orleans, LA, June 28-29, 2004.

The HR Games is a national academic contest at which college students compete Jeopardy-style to test their knowledge on all issues of human resource management.

"To finish well at this level is a solid tribute to the strength of our business program," Dr. Marvalene Hughes, President of CSU Stanislaus, said. "The victory is even sweeter considering the formidable competition. Dr. Ed Hernandez, the faculty advisor, and the student team members in Human Resources have lifted the University to new heights."

Team advisor Ed Hernandez, associate professor of management, said, "We took second this year, but we will be back next year to win it all."

Five teams competed at the National Championship round after surviving grueling state and regional contests. The teams were Cornell University, University of South Alabama, Utah State, St. Norbert's College of Wisconsin and California State University Stanislaus. The CSU Stanislaus team was made up of Jennifer Puhlman, Kendy Hernandez, Wendy Alvares and Joada Brenton.They represented California at the Pacific Western Regional HR Games in Portland, Oregon in April and claimed the regional championship.

Originally called the Human Resource Collegiate Competition, the HR Games was designed to allow HR majors to prepare for the grueling "PHR" (Professional in Human Resources) certification examination. This certification is the highest level of professional certification within the field of Human Resources Management.

The team from CSU Stanislaus was the only team in the entire country in which all members had passed the PHR exam.

"The students prepared for this contest for over a year, often studying four evenings a week for several hours," Hernandez said. " I am so very proud of the sacrifices they have made and their dedication to the field of HR. The smarter employers locally had better line up to hire them as they will be snapped up quickly. They represent the absolute best HR college graduates in the United States."

To help defray the prohibitive travel costs, the team raised money with garage sales, raffles, and gift baskets, even selling items on EBay. Local benefactors, including E&J Gallo, Duncan Reno of the Del Rio Country Club, and Dan Leonard of Bronco Winery, joined campus sponsors such as the College of Business Administration, the Associated Students, Inc. at CSU Stanislaus, Provost David Dauwalder and President Marvalene Hughes.

The CSU Stanislaus players received PHR Exam fee scholarships and $500 each for their 2nd place finish. They also received medals and a plaque - and a standing ovation.

"It was a classic David vs. Goliath story," Hernandez said. "The most common question we received was 'Where is Stanislaus?' Cornell has 61 HR professionals and the number one-ranked HR department academically in the world. CSU Stanislaus has only 1 HR faculty (myself) and no such reputation. When we beat them in the first round it sent notice to all the teams that this unknown team from the Central Valley of California is a real serious team. "

For more information: Dr. Edward H. Hernandez, Associate Professor of Management, 209-535-3434

Media Contact: Don Hansen (209) 667-3997


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