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Throwback Thursday | #VillanovaHRD Graduation 2021 Recap!

Congratulations to the #VillanovaHRD Class of 2021! This year has been unprecedented but you persevered. You did it, Masters of Science in Human Resource Development, and for many of your SHRM Certified Professionals! From all of us at Villanova and in the HRD program, we share your excitement and enthusiasm for the next steps in your career journey!


The following messages and pictures were shared across social media from our graduates this year. Thank you for sharing your stories with us!

10 years ago I told myself that I’d be a Villanova graduate and today that dream has been realized in the form of a Masters of Science in Human Resource Development, with a focus in leadership and analytics.

I wouldn’t be here without the family, loved-ones, and friends who pushed and supported me along the way. There were plenty of late night study sessions and sacrificed weekends; good days and bad days....but it’s like Mama said, “Hard work looks good on you, baby!” Upward and onward my friends!

--Kevin Taylor

It's official! Last week, I graduated from Villanova University with a Master's Degree in Human Resources Development and an HR Business Partner Certificate. As a result, I have exceed my own expectations of what I could accomplish as a growing HR leader, especially in my role at Steno. I am super proud of this accomplishment and what I have achieved in just a short amount of time! This is just the beginning...


My team knows that People Operations makes my heart sing and I am so thrilled to be working for leaders who have laid the foundation for a culture that is rooted in the investment in our human capital. We have an audacious goal to achieve, but we wouldn't have anything without our Winning Team! (P.S. - we're #hiring!)


I am committed to creating an inclusive environment for my team and ensuring everyone feels recognized for the hard work that they do to drive our business. Wherever my career takes me, this will always be true.


A big thank you to my parents, my friends, my mentors, Villanova HRD students, faculty and professors, and of course my team at Steno, for giving me opportunities to learn, the grace to fumble, and the support to keep moving forward. Thank you for continuously challenging me - I would not be where I am without any of you!

--Sarah Hattem

I am happy to announce that I passed my SHRM-CP exam today! With intense studying and the support of my family and friends, I can now call myself a SHRM Certified Professional! Thank you Villanova HRD for everything, especially providing me with a quality education! I am so proud and honored to have graduated today with my Masters of Science in Human Resource Development with a HR Business Partner Certificate.

--Maitri Pansania


Allow me to reintroduce myself - Mary T. Tella SHRM-CP. Today, I passed the SHRM-CP exam after a few months of intensive studying! I would like to thank my family and friends for their constant support. Additionally, I would like to thank Villanova HRD for enabling me to excel!

--Mary Tella


Austin Koch, BA, BS, MS

--Austin Koch


I am thankful to Villanova HRD for this opportunity, my husband Keith McDonnell for listening to me practice all of my presentations, and all of my friends, family, and network for supporting me through the past two years. #gonova

--Amanda McDonnell


Years ago, I saw a picture of my grandfather's Master's degree graduation, with him standing proudly with my grandmother, my mom, and her brother. When I first started the Villanova HRD Master's program, I hoped for a similar picture -- my kids are the reason I put in that hard work and long hours, and I couldn't imagine a better full-circle moment than having them with me at my graduation. But COVID-19 had different plans.


While we don't have the picture I was hoping for, my graduation day couldn't be more perfect. I got to spend a gorgeous day at soccer practice, playing in the sandbox, watching Frozen II for the hundredth time, and have my son move my tassel over. One day, we'll head down to campus for some pictures, but for now, this seems like the perfect way to mark the end of an era for my family. #momlifeisthebestlife

--Sara Smilowitz

Congratulations #VillanovaHRD Class of 2021!

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