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Westminster College Alumna and Professionals Mentor Organizational Psychology Students

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College alumna Paige Turk `84, human resources director of Flynn's Tire Group, along with local professionals Marcie Patton and Colleen Chamberlain, spoke to Westminster students in February about their experiences in the human resources and organizational development fields.

Turk, along with Patton, director of human resources at Jameson Health; and Chamberlain, director of human resources at Joy Cone Company, spoke to students in the Organizational Psychology course. Students prepared questions for the panelists on topics such as company culture, how their companies pay-for-performance, how the companies recruit, hire and train employees, company diversity practices, and future trends the panelists see impacting their companies and their human resources practices.

"Speaking with the Organizational Psychology students gave me the opportunity to share examples of `real-life? application of many of the theories and case studies the students had been learning in the classroom," Turk said. "The questions the students asked the panelists made clear their interest in understanding more about company culture, diversity initiatives, recruiting, and selection and appraisal practices."

Turk continued, "As a Westminster alumna, I am proud to return to campus to share my own experiences, and I always enjoy learning from the students as well."

"Organizational Psychology explores the intersection between psychology and business," course instructor Lynne Garfinkel said. "Students learn how to apply psychological concepts, theories and methods to organizational practices and are exposed to the human resources functions in organizations."

Garfinkel continued, "The information the students learned from the HR leaders served as the perfect complement to what they had been learning in the classroom. With the information shared by the panelists, students were able to connect theory to practice in a very tangible way. I was especially proud of the students' thoughtful questions and thorough preparation for the panel. I know the panelists enjoyed their time with the students as well."

"Human Resources is a huge factor in organizational psychology," said senior accounting major Alijah Buckham. "It was hugely beneficial to hear from the heads of these departments, who are a part of the local businesses we hear and know about, and to be informed about the inner workings of their companies and their workforce management.

Buckham continued, "In class we have been introduced to the individual perspective in organizations and have learned things like employee motivation and rewards, incentive models, inclusion and diversity and many other aspects of organizational behavior, all of which were put into a first person perspective by the HR panelists. Their input provided an inside look at everything we learned about in class. It was a fantastic opportunity to see the theory in practice from the detailed accounts of our guests."

Buckham, a senior accounting major, is a son of Sherry Buckham of Pittsburgh and a graduate of McKeesport Area High School.

The psychology-human resources program is designed to prepare students for graduate work in human resources management or organizational psychology programs, and is equally appropriate for graduates seeking direct employment in such human resources functions as worker selection, worker evaluation and career development, benefits administration, human relations, training, employment law, and program and institutional evaluation. The Psychology-Human Resources major provides a strong quantitative and research approach to human resources essential in applied organizational problem solving.

Contact Dr. Jamie McMinn at 724-946-7121 or email for additional information. 

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.