Press Release

August 19, 2021

William Paterson University Receives CUPA-HR’s HR Innovation Award

Left to right: Allison Boucher-Jarvis, VP of Human Resources; David Jones, Chief Diversity Officer and Director Talent Management; Tony Krucinski, Department Coordinator, Instruction and Research Technology; Annette Baron, Talent Acquisition and Performance Management; Amanda Oleski, Senior Administrative Assistant to the President; Richard Helldobler, President of William Paterson University. Not pictured: Myrna Torres, Personnel Assistant

William Paterson University’s Summer Learning and Development Program has received the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 2021 HR Innovation Award.

The HR Innovation Award recognizes innovative thinking in higher education HR, especially models that can be adapted for use on other campuses. CUPA-HR is pleased to make a $5,000 contribution to William Paterson University in recognition of the award.

The Summer Learning and Development Program was launched in the summer of 2019 in response to employee requests for a more inclusive program that made it easier for them to set aside time to participate. The new program set aside one morning each week for 6-8 weeks during the summer specifically for development. During that time, daily business at the university closed so that all 600 non-faculty employees could attend various workshops based on their interests and developmental needs. Workshops were structured with specific competencies to help drive organizational cultural change, including required bias workshops.

The program was supported by the university president, who articulated and supported the program’s overarching themes and funding needs; managers, who committed to participating and dedicated time for their departments to participate; and employees, who volunteered not only to participate, but also to facilitate some of the workshops.

Each year, the Summer Learning and Development Program has grown better and more streamlined, even during the pandemic. So far, the outcomes of the program have included significant progress toward the university’s cultural change process and a pilot employee mentorship program. Participants have been enthusiastic and report that they have been able to immediately use what they have learned in their personal and professional lives.



CUPA-HR is higher ed HR. We serve higher education by providing the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and serving more than 33,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at nearly 2,000 member institutions and organizations around the country and abroad, the association offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary and benefits data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information.


Contact Information
Missy Kline
Project Manager


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