SHRM members after jumping in Lake Winnebago for the 2011 Polar Plunge.

Members of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapter were honored Friday April 23, 2011, at the Celebration of Student Leadership and Involvement for their extensive volunteer work.

The group received the Volunteer Organization of the Year award for completing approximately 800 hours of community service over the past year. This is the first year for the award that was implemented to recognize student organizations that make volunteering a priority within their organization.

Assistant Student Leadership and Involvement Director, Stan Sweeney said, “Volunteerism is important to the overall student experience. I think it is important to recognize an organization that makes community service a priority.”

The UW Oshkosh SHRM chapter has 60 student members and in addition to networking and fostering young leaders, the organization has been readily increasing the expanse of their service projects over the past three years.

In March 2010, the group planned their first weeklong service trip to New Orleans where 14 students had the opportunity to work with Habitat for Humanity and help build a home. In spring 2011, 11 students spent spring break in New York City volunteering with God’s Love We Deliver and the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club.

In addition to service projects that have taken them across the country, SHRM is active in several projects in the Oshkosh area. They have raised over $1000 for the Oshkosh Polar Plunge, which benefits the Special Olympics, and participated in the UW Oshkosh Relay for Life, which raises money for cancer research. Members of SHRM also volunteer at the Fox Valley Emergency Shelter, assisting residents by enhancing their job placement skills.

Vice President of the UW Oshkosh SHRM chapter, Kyle Ackeret, was honored individually at the Celebration of Student Leadership and Involvement, receiving the Outstanding Student Leader Award. SHRM faculty advisor, Professor Sarah DeArmond, nominated Ackeret because of his strong leadership skills and for all of the work he does with SHRM and other campus organizations.

“I feel that Kyle went above and beyond in his role as a SHRM executive board member and I think it is important to get the word out about what SHRM is doing to the greater campus community,” DeArmond said.

SHRM is a COB student organization that, in addition to participating in several volunteer projects, also works to establish internal relationships with other COB student organizations and external relationships with local businesses. They hold several meetings a semester that feature guest speakers, attend company tours and network with HR professionals.

The Student Leadership and Involvement awards, open to all organizations and students at UW Oshkosh, have continually become more competitive since the awards were first introduced five years ago.