Workforce education students recognized at professional conference

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—Students in the College of Education’s workforce education (WF ED) program represented Penn State well at the recent Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) International Conference in the Americas last month in Houston. Eight students coauthored research papers for the conference, five of which were recognized with awards.

According to Judith Kolb, associate professor of education in the workforce education and development program, students who aspire to academic careers become known by the presentations made at the AHRD Conference.

“A research paper in the AHRD proceedings often represents a first attempt at publication and becomes a stepping stone to subsequent journal articles,” said Kolb.

This year, seven papers were selected to win the Human Resource Development Cutting Edge Award, which recognizes, among other things, new knowledge to the human resource development (HRD) profession. Five of those seven awards went to papers co-authored by College of Education students. Marie Saul, Woocheol Kim, Taesung Kim, Cho Hyun Park, Yu Kyoung Park and Jong Gyu Park were the WF ED students who co-authored the winning papers.

“This is quite an accomplishment, especially considering that the selection process involved several rounds of rigorous blind review,” said Kolb. “The results of their studies on topics such as work engagement, learning organization culture, leadership, psychological well-being and knowledge sharing have implications for national and international HRD policy and practice.”

Jong Gyu said that winning an award like this is very important to scholars and students who want to be a faculty member or practitioner in the HRD field.

“I was really surprised when I found out I’d won the Cutting Edge Award from AHRD,” said Jong Gyu. “I’m very grateful for the recognition of my work and delighted to know that AHRD is thinking of my paper in such a positive way.”

Saul said that being recognized with this award brought a great sense of validation of the importance of her research.

“The AHRD conference offers a platform for institutions and universities to showcase what their programs can produce,” said Saul. “It is also an occasion for those interested in the field to gain insight into the breadth of sub-topics and specialty areas.”

Woocheol said he is thankful for all of the support that he received from the faculty in regards to his success, specifically offering relevant ideas to pursue and encouragement on papers.

“When I ask faculty members to work with me on research papers, they are always open and very supportive,” said Woocheol.

“I firmly believe that this is strong evidence that shows the high standards and quality of the College of Education’s WF ED program,” added Woocheol, regarding Penn State winning five of the seven awards.

Saul echoed those sentiments.

“This success is a reflection of the strong collaborative approach taken and valued by students in the College of Education’s Workforce Education and Development program,” said Saul. “Beyond the program itself, the achievements of the students at the 2014 AHRD Conference shines a very positive light on the University, our faculty and the caliber of our students.”

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Last Updated March 19, 2014