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NHRMA Graduate Student Award Honoring Sharon Koss

    Application Link


    This award recognizes up to two graduate students who have performed outstanding service to the HR profession and to the Association in the best tradition of Sharon Koss. 

    Sharon Koss was passionate about developing HR Professionals through continuing education to advance the profession in the Pacific Northwest.  She developed HR Professionals and students at the local chapters, student conferences, NHRMA HR Foundations, and SHRM national events.  She served as a faculty for SHRM for over 15 years and over 19 years as faculty for the NHRMA HR Foundations.   She served for many years in LWHRA and NHRMA.  She received the "Distinguished Member" award from NHRMA in 1993 and 2003.  Sharon was elected president of the Human Resources Certification Institute's National Board in 1997. Sharon's book, "Solving the Compensation Puzzle: How to Link Performance with Pay," has been a number one-selling book at the SHRM bookstore. The intent of the award is to recognize past performance as it adheres to the stated goals of the Association.


    All students who are dues-paying members of SHRM chapters in the NHRMA region and who either are currently in a degree-seeking program at any time during the most recent academic year or who have graduated within three months of the deadline are eligible.  No student may win the award more than one time.  Graduate students, whether continuing or graduating, are eligible.

    Criteria for Nomination
    • Member of an AK, OR, or WA student or professional chapter
    • Leadership experience related to the pursuit of a career in Human Resources (may include leadership in student groups, student chapters, professional SHRM Chapters, NHRMA, State Council, Rotary, Toastmasters, etc.)
    • Dedicated service to the local community (for example: volunteer work)
    • Experience as it correlates to student learning, such as student or professional projects, internships held, or work experience (if any)
    • At the discretion of the selection committee, may request student written responses to the selection committee and/or telephone interview for finalists
    Application Procedure

    Any SHRM member or Faculty Advisor may nominate a student for the award.  Self-nominations will also be accepted.  The NHRMA Nomination form must be used, and it must include:

    • A nominating letter/recommendation from the student's advisor or a SHRM member indicating evidence of the nominee’s satisfaction of all award criteria.
    • The student must complete a 500-600 word essay which may include professional goals, experience, service to student and/or professional chapters, community and volunteer service (if applicable), work experience or internships (if applicable), etc.
      • Service in an AK, OR, or WA student or professional chapter
      • Leadership experience related to the pursuit of a career in Human Resources
      • Service in the local community
    • At the discretion of the selection committee, finalists may be interviewed (either via a written request or telephone) if additional information is desired

    Recipients will receive the following:

    • A $500 Scholarship
    • SHRM Student to Professional Membership paid for two years upon graduation
    • A certificate commemorating the award
    • Picture and article summarizing achievement on the NHRMA social media
    • Recognition at the NHRMA Conference for recipient and Advisor

    This award does not include the cost of attendance at the conference for the award recipient or their advisor. However, NHRMA offers a reduced registration rate for students and their advisors.

    Application Deadline

    Submit electronic applications via the nomination form by June 30th

    Notification Process

    Once an application is received, written notification will be sent to both the nominating party and to the nominee.  An appointed selection committee will review the applications and make a recommendation to the NHRMA Board, which will make the final decision on recipients.  Following this decision, the nominating party and nominee will be notified by phone.

    Selection Committee

    The NHRMA Awards & Recognition Director (as Chair), President, Immediate Past President, Vice President, and SHRM Field Services Director, Pacific West Region, will review all applications and make a recommendation to the NHRMA Board, which will make the final decision.


    HR Excellence Awards

      Northwest Human Resource Management Association (NHRMA) is proud to provide professional recognition to area SHRM members, including students, for their outstanding performance and achievements in the HR profession, community, or Association.


      NHRMA annual awards are open for submission. Nominations close for all award categories on June 30th.  Please review the nomination process and make sure you have all the required documents saved in Word format for uploading. 

      The Evaluation Committee will meet in August to evaluate the nominations, and award winners will be notified by the end of August.  The presentations will be made at the Annual NHRMA conference in Portland, OR, September 23-25, 2024.

      Below are links to the information for each award category. 

      Thank you for considering a nomination.  If you have any questions, please contact NHRMA's Awards & Recognition Director  - email