Featured IOHRM Alumni

Appalachian State's IOHRM Alumni are doing incredible things.

Read about some of our Alumni, their experience in the IOHRM program, and see what a future in I/O Psychology and Human Resource Management can look like for you!

William L. Sparks, Ph.D. - IOHRM Class of '96

Ph.D.  Organizational Behavior and Development - George Washington University
Vice President, Talent
EnPro Industries

Dennis Thompson Chair of Leadership & Professor
McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte


Co-Author: "The Director's Manual: A Framework for Board Governance"

"The masters program in IOHRM at Appalachian State University provided me with both the theoretical foundation and applied experience to excel in my career. Not only did the program prepare me for doctoral studies, it also equipped me to be an effective practitioner upon graduation. The distinct program format provides non-business degree majors with a unique opportunity to bridge the social sciences with business education. I give the IOHRM Program my very highest recommendation for the program – it changed my life!"

Rich Cober, Ph.D. - IOHRM Class of '98

Ph.D. Industrial/Organizational Psychology – University of Akron
Vice President - Brand, Marketing, Sales, and Consumer Services HR
Marriott International

“The program at App State provided me with the theoretical and research foundation to think about issues as well as the practical lessons and activities to learn how to be a business partner. App State has a special set up that allows a student to either learn the field of HR Management and Organizational Behavior quickly and enter the world of work or to get the foundations of research that allow one to spring board to a PhD program and see what happens from there. I owe much of my career to the mentorship and advocacy of the faculty and built great relationships and connections that I enjoy years later.”

Cynthia Miller* - IOHRM Class of '01

Vice President of Human Resources, Carolina West Wireless

"I have been so fortunate to have built cross-functional expertise even beyond my time at App State. That vast experience would not have been possible without the strong foundation I received through App State's IOHRM program."

Nicholas Graham, MA, PHR, SHRM-CP - IOHRM Class of '03

HR Technologist
Kimberly Clark C&C

"What I gained from my time in the App State IOHRM program from 2001-2003 goes beyond the technical curriculum knowledge that I learned; "softer" skills of critical thinking, debate preparation and engagement, leadership, and more have proved just as valuable post-graduation. This comprehensive program has proven to be a lifelong investment as I continually apply lessons and knowledge gained from those fulfilling 3 years."

Elizabeth Schmidt, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP - IOHRM Class of '04

Regional HR Manager
Richmond American Homes

"The IOHRM degree from App State has been extremely beneficial to my career in human resources. The dual concentration in business and psychology opened doors I didn't realize could be opened in our field. The business classes provided a strong foundation to work as an HR business partner, and the psychology focus has enabled me to provide a perspective that is unique in an organization's corporate structure. The program also facilitated a great opportunity to connect with other students, professors, and colleagues, as well as exposure to several great organizations. Many of the HR Executives that I have had personal interaction with in the Denver area either have an advanced degree in I/O Psychology, or recognize it's worth."

Jennifer Cline*, SHRM-SCP, GPHR, EEAC – IOHRM Class of '06

Vice President, Human Resources, Nuveen

"Appalachian's IOHRM program provides a strong foundation of understanding and application across the business of human resources and the science of human behavior. These educational and practical experiences have afforded me the opportunity to build a record of accomplishment across a variety of HR roles including analytics, diversity and inclusion, compliance, change management, talent management, compensation, and mergers and acquisitions."

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith* - IOHRM Class of '08

Senior Director - Talent Management Solutions
Marriott International

"Being part of the IOHRM program at Appalachian State was a remarkable experience. I received terrific guidance and mentoring from my professors in both the psychology and business areas of my coursework. The coursework was challenging but enriching, and I grew in both my appreciation and understanding for the I/O discipline within psychology. All my classes gave me opportunity to 'test' what I was learning, be it in doing deep research or in actually applying my learning real time in local businesses. The thesis and internship process were both enriching in that I was able to see how my training would apply in a real job, and also see if doing academic research would be a career I'd want to pursue. And as I've stayed connected to my peers and the program, I've seen that the alumni network from the IOHRM program is out there doing awesome work. I feel fortunate to say that I was a part of this tremendous program."

Amber Harrison*, PHR – IOHRM Class of '08

Human Resources Business Partner
Premier, Inc.

"The curriculum in the IOHRM program was a perfect match for me. The program taught me how to make data driven decisions about people, create a sound business case for human resources initiatives, and to better understand human motivation. I also made lifelong friends with my classmates and faculty!"



Ryan Felty* - IOHRM Class of '12

Talent Management, Development, & Learning Analyst
Dawn Food Products

"I am thankful for my time there. The exceptional faculty, environment, curricula, and fellow students of the App State IOHRM Program prepared me for adding evidence-based value to a variety of talent initiatives. I have yet to experience a day of work that is not positively impacted by the learning and development delivered through the App State IOHRM Program. As we learn more about the ever-changing workplace of today and prepare for the exciting (and challenging!) future, I remain convinced that committed IOHRM professionals of all disciplines are equipped for delivering significant contributions to the most critical of individual and organizational outcomes."

Amanda Eberhardt*, PHR - IOHRM Class of '14

Human Resource Associate
Biologics, Inc

"I am so thankful for my time at Appalachian State, and for the opportunities that the IOHRM program afforded me. The faculty are excellent. I felt I was treated as a colleague rather than a student. I gained a deep appreciation for our field through the coursework. The application of this knowledge during my internship and practicum experiences helped to prepare me for my current role and beyond."

Danielle Kretschmer - IOHRM Class of '15

RIMS Training Specialist and SME
Marathon Petroleum Corporation

"The coursework and experience with client-facing, applied projects equipped me with a solid foundation for succeeding in a corporate setting."

Kristen Kaufmann - IOHRM Class of '15

Human Resources Business Partner
Northrop Grumman Corporation

"The IOHRM program was not the easy choice in grad schools but it ended up being one of the best choices  I made. There are a variety of other programs out there that will lead you do the same 2 letters after your name, but will not leave you with the same rich experience. I learned not only how to be successful in a career but also how to problem solve, and think critically beyond my craft. I learned how be a successful and balanced adult and citizen which is skill set many other programs would not have left me with. You may never have to remember kurt lewin or griggs vs. duke power but I can say without a doubt the program leaves you with the skill set and required knowledge to be successful in the HR." 

Amber Hardesty* - IOHRM Class of '08

Manager, Quality and Safety Education and Delivery
Premier, Inc.

"The program at App State thoroughly prepared me to jump right into my internship and then a full-time position at Premier. From presenting our team's research at national conferences to working directly with an organization on process improvement, the combination of classroom and real-world experiences allowed me to learn the theory and then immediately put what I learned into practice. Coming from a large undergraduate university, the personal attention I received in the IOHRM program was extremely beneficial - I quickly built strong bonds with my classmates and professors that continued well beyond the 2-year program."

Sarah Light* - IOHRM Class of '14

Director of Human Resources
ECR Software Corp.

"The IOHRM program truly prepared me to be a professional. It was much more than just gaining hard skills and knowledge, it also gave me the opportunity think critically, step outside of my comfort zone, and take learning to the next level. I'm extraordinarily grateful for the faculty there who have helped build a program that left me with not only competence, but also confidence in my ability to apply what I learned and make a difference in the workplace."  


 Elma Lloyd* - IOHRM Class of '12

Senior Manager - National Recruiting

"My experience in the IOHRM program was critical to my success and professional development. The exposure to the various I/O  and HR topics laid a solid foundation when I entered the job market. I have been able to excel at my job, but also speak intelligently with leaders from other parts of the organization because I understood the inner workings of HR, Training, Organizational Improvement, etc. The ability to do so has allowed me to participate in projects outside of my role and receive high exposure within the organization. Aside from the academic benefits, the two years I spent in the program produced some of the best friendships and memories I will ever have. There was always someone there during the good and the bad and I only hope I was able to impact my peers as much as they impacted me. Finally, the faculty is the best in the business. If all else fails, they will make sure you are a rock star when you leave this program."


Stacey Hussey* - IOHRM Class of '11

HR Generalist
Merchants Distributors (MDI)

"I am grateful to have been a part of the IOHRM program at Appalachian State. The dual business and psychology curriculum and emphasis on research and analytics laid a strong foundation that has allowed me to excel in my career. The program also provided the opportunity to connect with students, faculty, alumni, and HR professionals. These relationships have proved invaluable and have lead to several opportunities that would not have been possible if it wasn't for the IOHRM proram. I highly recommend this program for anyone looking to gain a unique and relevant skill set in the field of HR."

Daga Pawlowska* - IOHRM Class of '11

Talent Management Consultant
Lowe's Home Improvement

"The I/O-HRM Master's program at App State provided me with a well-rounded foundation that I have been able to leverage in my job day to day. The program balances classroom teaching with activities that allow you to apply your learnings and gain real-world experiences. The knowledge and experience I gained through the program have allowed me to work successfully in various areas within Talent Management/HR."


Chris Kapp - IOHRM Class of '98

Vice President, Human Resources
NCI Building Systems Inc.

“I learned how to learn at App State…  and even more importantly, I learn how to apply what I learned.  That is the bottom line for me and my career.  The Masters program at App State provided the foundation of applicable knowledge of HR, business and psychology that was properly balanced between theory, research, application and the real world.  The program also provided valuable mentoring from professors and camaraderie of my fellow classmates.  We even learned not to take ourselves too seriously and had some fun.  I also learned the difference between “criteria” and “criterion” which still seems to baffle so many people.  In all truth, the experience at App State truly enabled me to make an impact at the companies I’ve worked for and its employees. Great program, great culture, great people.” 



*Denotes 2016 Alumni Mentor Participant


For information regarding our Alumni Mentor Program, click here.