In the middle of what many experts consider one of the wildest election seasons in American history, a handful of Southwestern Community College students have an opportunity to become a key part of the process.Eight members of Dr. Bucky Dann’s Social Problems class are researching local and statewide issues while preparing to ask candidates questions in a series of upcoming debates on SCC’s Jackson Campus.The first of these will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, and will feature candidates for the Jackson County Board of Commissioners: Democratic incumbents Vicki Greene and Mark Jones as well as Republican challengers Ron Mau and Mickey Luker.“I’ve been into some issues in the past, but now I’m able to learn more and get more involved,” said Alma Russ, a student from Whittier. “Local politics are where you can make a real difference. Being part of these debates is a little intimidating, but it’s also quite exciting.”Other debates at SCC this fall will feature candidates in the N.C. Senate race between Sen. Jim Davis (R) and challenger Jane Hipps (D) on Tuesday, Oct. 11, as well as the N.C. House race between Rep. Joe Sam Queen (D) and Mike Clampitt (R) on Tuesday, Oct. 25.The same N.C. House and Senate candidates participated in SCC’s inaugural debates two years ago.All debates will take place at 7 p.m. in the Burrell Building Conference Center.“It’s crazy to think we get to be a part of it this year by having debates here,” said Matthew Travers, a student who currently resides in Sylva. “All of the questions will be asked by my classmates and myself. It’s cool knowing that we’ll have a role, however small it may be, in the election.”In preparation for the debates, The Sylva Herald editor Quintin Ellison visited the class and discussed several of the key issues in local and statewide races.Dr. Dann said class sessions have been devoted to helping students set aside their own opinions on issues so that they can see all points of view and remove any bias from questions that will be asked.“It’s one thing to study about political issues on paper and to talk about them in class,” Dr. Dann said. “When you’re able to actually ask people for office where they stand on significant issues of the day, that takes the learning process to a whole new level. We are grateful all these candidates have agreed to participate, and we know these debates will be meaningful in helping voters make informed decisions when they go to the polls.”
Why did you choose a career in HR and what has been the most rewarding?Both of my parents worked in the field and I always saw how passionate they were about their work. I decided to go to business school and as soon as I got to my HR classes I was sold! It’s such a good match for my personality and for my “why.” I feel my best when I get to share what I know to help someone else be better or feel better about their current situation. I remember starting off my career in HR doing things like processing tuition reimbursements, coordinating a smoking cessation program, and helping new hires get acclimated and enroll in benefits. Although these may sound like administrative tasks, to the person on the other end, they were life-changing. That made me feel so good, like I was making a difference! I had a purpose! People appreciated me and my work.Moving up into more strategic roles where I can design process and coach managers has been so rewarding. I know I contribute to our business’ success which stems from setting people up for success. I also love being able to use my personal and HR experiences to help those finding their way in the world of work whether it be sharing resume, interview or LinkedIn tips. I just love being able to share and help. HR allows me to do that every day!Why would you recommend a career in HR to students or those looking to transfer into the HR profession from another field?HR has the potential to create such positive change and impact. So if you want to serve others and help them and organizations be better, welcome!! I also love that there are a lot of areas within the HR field that all need different strengths and talents. There are a lot of directions you can go. However, it’s also a big responsibility. People turn to you, trust you, and need you to help them through challenges. HR also has a wonderful community of supportive and like-minded professionals who also want to do good and help others. You’ll be in good company and will be able to find the resources you need to learn and grow. Online resources, the SHRM blog, going to conferences, participating in Twitter chats, etc. Thanks, SHRM!What advice can you share with others who are planning a career in HR?I learn from listening to what’s going on around me and asking good questions. Finding out what’s going well and what isn’t means I always have information to work from in order to create value. Think in terms of what does the business need from me, not what HR services can I give them. Also, make sure to do your research and understand your local laws and other regulations for compliance. September 26 is #HumanResourceProfessionalDay. Every day, HR professionals positively impact the lives of employees in workplaces around the world and contribute to the business strategy that allows their organizations to compete, grow and thrive. We asked our bloggers to share their HR stories.
Worldwide public cloud computing grew at a phenomenal annual rate of nearly 28.6 percent during the first half of 2017, according to IDC.Frank Gens, senior vice-president and chief analyst at IDC, said that “public cloud adoption is accelerating in large part as enterprises recognise that the cloud has become the launchpad for virtually every new IT innovation in the past 24 months – including AI, blockchain, quantum computing and more. Organisations not on the public cloud will be increasingly isolated from the world of tech innovation.”Eric Newmark, program vice president for IDC’s SaaS, said that “businesses now think ‘cloud first’ when it comes to their IT strategy and software footprint, since the benefits of cloud are clear and have been broadly demonstrated in most industries. Many companies have picked the low-hanging fruit, in terms of apps that could be easily moved to the cloud, and are now evaluating the migration of their next set of larger strategic systems (i.e. ERP, supply chain applications, etc.) to a SaaS model. These projects, coupled with companies’ efforts to embrace digital transformation, will continue to fuel strong SaaS growth.”
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