Human resource management students consult for local organizations

The Human Resource Management Strategy and Consulting class partnered with several nonprofit businesses in the area to improve and expand their human resource capacities.

Students in Elon University’s Human Resource Management Strategy and Consulting class, a service-learning course offered in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business and taught by Associate Professor of Management Brian Lyons, engaged in a human resources-related project with a local nonprofit business this spring semester. Students also learned about human resources strategy and the specific governmental regulations and legal issues affecting the clients.

The course’s client list includes Habitat for Humanity of Alamance County, Alamance-Burlington School System’s Harvey Newlin Elementary School, the African-American Cultural Arts and History Center, and Alamance County Government.

“My experience working with the African-American Cultural Arts and History Center has been rewarding and productive,” said Roxanna Wood, one of the students in the course. “My group is creating various HR documents and guidelines for the center, which include job descriptions, a pay structure, and a volunteer manual.”

“As college students, I think it instills a sense of confidence in myself and others students to have our knowledge and skills valued in a real-world, hands-on setting,” Wood said. “The opportunity to apply what we learn in the classroom is extremely valuable.”

“In this course, students are engaged with a HR deliverable that is of consultant-level quality,” Lyons said. “Quite often, these nonprofit organizations do not have the monetary resources to hire external consultants to transform their HR operations into a strategic entity of their business. We are grateful that the local community gives our students an opportunity to apply their HR knowledge and skills.”

Lyons joined Elon in fall 2014 after three years at Wright State University and four years at Fresno State. He is the recipient of the 2016 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and 2017 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Prior to entering academia, he conducted human resources-related research for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. He earned his doctorate in organizational studies from the University at Albany, State University of New York.