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Villanova HRD Spring Development Series Recap - Spring 2024

This semester, Villanova HRD and the Villanova SHRM student chapter, VUSHRM, co-hosted a free hybrid development series. This series included various HR related topics and many students, faculty, and HR professionals from around the country were able to partake in this learning. Here is a recap of the Spring sessions!


HR Lessons from Non-Profit Leadership

For our first spring development series, our very own Villanova HRD Associate Director, Bethany Adams, hosted a panel session to discuss HR insights from non-profit leadership. The panelists included Jennifer Derry, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources at Villanova University; Sheronda Phillips Whitaker, Deputy Director of HR & Chief Diversity Officer at the Barnes Foundation: Casey Heilig, Director of External Affairs for the City of Philadelphia; and Toyin Omodara, Operations Manager at Congreso de Latinos Unidos. Each panelist started by introducing their background and highlighting relevant HR experiences, similar to our past sessions. Due to the hands-on nature of the non-profit industry, one main takeaway from the session was how our panelists gained significant HR exposure through their fast-paced and ever changing roles. Working in this field can serve as a fast track for gaining a wide variety of HR competencies. Our speakers also shared a bit about their journey with getting involved in their non-profit organization and provided advice on how other HR professionals can get started in this industry. One major theme seen across all of their experiences was an avid dedication to their organization’s mission and goals. For these non-profit leaders, connection to their cause fuels meaningful work and sparks motivation. We are thankful to our panelists for sharing such meaningful insights and advice with our HRD audience.  

Bethany Adams and panelists throwing up their Vs!


HR Lessons from Comcast

Our second spring development series was another panel discussion hosted by Villanova HRD Associate Director, Heather Cluley. Joined by Heather were two experienced professionals serving in strategic HR roles at Comcast, Kara DiOrio, Senior Director in Human Resources and Amy Masci, Vice President in Human Resources. Both speakers shared insights about their experience working in Comcast’s TPX People and Integration function. One main takeaway from the session was the skillset that Human Resources Business Partners (HRBPs) need in order to support high-performing teams. The speakers talked about the importance of understanding the business’ functioning, leveraging emerging technology, and adapting to changes in the market and across the organization. Another main takeaway for the session was the value of working for a global organization. Exposure to various global teams helps to build best practices that are built to sustain operations across the world. Our panelists emphasized the importance of recognizing the unique needs and skills of employees across a global organization. Ultimately, our audience received experiential knowledge about how to serve as a successful HR partner.  



Dr. Heather Cluley and the two panelists from Comcast!


HR Lessons from Google

Our third development series this spring was produced as a part of our Level Up HR 2024. In this session, we had Helynn Nelson, Google People Manager & Villanova HRD Faculty member, moderate a panel discussion about HR lessons from Google professionals. Panelists for this session included Ada-Renee Johnson, People Operations & Change Strategy Expert at Google; Phillip Gray, People Consultant Manager at Google; and Danielle Blout Bridewell, Equity Business Advisor at Google. The panelists discussed how HR professionals can promote balance between employees’ needs and the overall needs of the business, while remaining efficient and effective. The panelists encouraged HR professionals to create strategies that encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work. When employees find belonging and authenticity in the workplace, they are able to create better outputs for the organization. The thoughtful, genuine, and honest insights shared by this panel left the audience wondering when these four Googlers will come out with a podcast!  

Our panel of Googlers!


HR Lessons from Consulting

Our final development series for this spring was a panel discussion hosted by Dr. Gerry Brandon, Villanova HRD Program Director. Dr. Brandon was joined by two of our Villanova HRD faculty members: Dr. Fiona Jamison, CEO of Spring International and Nick Stanley, Head of HR for IT at Vanguard. The session was very informative with the panelists sharing experiences from their diverse perspectives and professional backgrounds working both as internal and external consultants. Dr. Brandon asked each of the panelists questions relating to Peter Block’s book, Flawless Consulting. The panelists shared their own definitions of consulting and discussed the core principles of successful consulting practices. Stakeholder management, clear expectations, and creative solutions were three topics that both panelists highlighted in their professional experiences. The session left a strong impact on the attendees as they were able to take away concrete knowledge regarding: 1) understanding the day-to-day work of an HR consultant 2) weighing the pros and cons of working in the consulting industry and 3) building a strong skillset to generate meaningful consulting expertise.  

Our dual modality panel with Dr. Gerry Brandon, Nick Stanley, and Fiona Jamison!


Be sure to check our socials for updates on our Spring 2024 Development Series!

Instagram: @Villanova_HRD

Facebook: Villanova HRD

Twitter: @Villanovahrd


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