Department of Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering Technology / Packaging Science

Corporate Perspectives

Shelly Knapp, Director, Human Resources for Getinge USA

Shelly Knapp

As a “self-taught” HR practitioner and a working parent with limited “free” time, I had been searching for a learning process that gets right to the heart of the competencies required to become a more effective “catalyst for positive change” and employee development that drives business results in the real world. The M.S. in Human Resource Development from RIT fits the bill.

This curriculum explores five areas that I consider “cornerstone” for realizing effectiveness as an HR practitioner in this century: strategic contribution, personal credibility, HR delivery, business knowledge, and HR technology.

Susan O'Brien, Vice President, Outsourcing Services for HR Works

Susan O'Brien

I have worked in a human resources capacity for more than 20 years and am currently serving as the Vice President for Outsourcing Services at HR Works, Inc. HR Works is a Rochester-based company that provides a complete spectrum of human resource outsourcing and consulting services including HR technology, on-site HR Management, compliance, affirmative action, benefits, recruiting and training. In my current role, I am able to observe the human resource-related trends that are affecting all companies, regardless of size or industry. Senior level executives are concerned, for example, with talent shortages, the rising costs of health care, and how to fully engage employees to drive business results. The HRD program offered at Rochester Institute of Technology prepares future HR practitioners to address these trends. Students in the program work with professors, who are skilled professionals, to examine best practices in human capital management, employee engagement, total rewards, and more. The program design ensures students gain the competencies that companies value most and are of increasing importance in the HR field. These competencies, such as business acumen, strategic contribution, and knowledge of HR technology, make RIT HRD graduates well prepared to make a difference in the organizations they serve.

Gary Domenico, President/CEO General Code Publishing

Gary Domenico

As a senior level executive, I have found that successful organizations are those that ensure: 1) every employee understands what his/her role is in attaining company goals, and 2) the values of an organization are woven into the fabric of everyday processes. The human resource role is crucial in the development and execution of both of these success drivers.

Managers and senior leaders can easily be swept away by the demands of day-to-day business. HR needs to build the framework that guides the actions of each employee in the pursuit of company goals. This can be done by ensuring that job descriptions are accurate, compensation and incentive programs reward the right things, and the review process is timely and links to employee growth and development efforts.

Many companies talk about values and how values are the compass of their business activities. For that to truly happen in an organization, values must be intertwined with HR processes such as recruiting, employee orientation, employee reviews, and employee feedback. 

The Human Resource Development program at Rochester Institute of Technology prepares HR practitioners to take the lead role and be a partner on an executive team, driving these processes and ensuring the healthy development of an organization. From my perspective as a President and CEO, the curriculum includes valuable courses and experiences that will equip the current and next generation of HR practitioners to ensure the difference between success and mediocrity in the companies they serve.