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Villanova HRD Student, Paige Matzerath, becomes CLAS CONCEPT Journal Author

CONCEPT, Villanova’s own interdisciplinary journal for graduate students, accepts submissions that are based on research that was conducted during their graduate coursework at Villanova. All submissions are reviewed by graduate student editors, faculty editors and peer reviewers, with final decisions made by the editors as to which papers will be included in the edition each year. For the 2024 edition, one of our very own HRD student's paper was selected!

We reached out to Paige Matzerath, the HRD student whose research was selected, to learn a bit more about her experience in the HRD program and about her research that will be featured in the journal.

CONCEPT author, Paige Matzerath

Why did you select the Villanova HRD program and the field of HR to study?

I am currently the Assistant Director of Professional Development in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova. In my role, I support students in exploring industries and applying for internships and jobs. As a result, I often consider where students’ values are and how that influences the types of employment opportunities they are considering. Particularly post-pandemic, values have shifted, and employers must consider how to adapt to retain good talent. Therefore, I was interested in learning more about how employers are recruiting, retaining, and supporting their employees so that I can make informed decisions regarding supporting students transitioning into the workforce.  


I am about halfway through the program and have thoroughly enjoyed my time thus far. The HRD program has given me incredible knowledge of our working world which allows me to bring this information back to my current position here at Villanova.  

Share a few fun facts about you!

My bachelor's degree is in dance and in my free time, I teach dance classes at local studios. I teach most genres from jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and ballet, although tap is my favorite to teach. Another fun fact is that I am getting married this October 2024! 

What inspired you to submit a paper to the CLAS Concept Journal?

This paper was initially written for HRD 8102: Evidence-Based Research where Dr. Patricia Sullivan recommended that I submit it for publication. It is all thanks to Dr. Sullivan for her encouragement in submitting this piece and thanks to my supervisor, Kate Szumanski, who is always supporting my professional career journey.  

Give us a brief summary of your paper that was selected for the journal.

My paper titled “Retaining Generation Z in the Workforce” explores the values of this generation and how that influences how they fit into the traditional working world. A decent amount of this generation experienced the Covid-19 pandemic while in college or transitioning to their first entry-level position. As a result, what individuals value has changed, and employers need to consider how they can support these new priorities.  


In doing this research, I learned that flexible work schedules are prioritized among this generation. This generation has been surrounded by technology; however, they generally still prefer face-to-face communication. Generation Z is one of the most open-minded generations; these individuals prefer to collaborate with individuals from varying identities to ensure inclusive practices are being accomplished.  


Paige Matzerath is a graduate student in the Villanova HRD program. Connect with her on LinkedIn here!


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