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Sharon Koss Graduate Student Award

    Application Link


    This award recognizes one graduate student who has 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 a SHRM chapter in the NHRMA Region and who are in a degree seeking program at any time during the most recent academic year (September to June) 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 a WA, OR, or AK student or professional chapter
    • Leadership experience related to the pursuit of a career in Human Resources (may include leadership in student groups, student chapter, professional SHRM Chapter, 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)
    • Student grade point average (GPA) including HR related coursework
    • Student professional goals associated with a career in Human Resources
    • At the discretion of the selection committee, may request student written responses to 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 indicating evidence of the nominee’s satisfaction of all award criteria.
    • An additional letter of recommendation from a human resource professional
    • Student statement indicating evidence of the nominee’s satisfaction of the award criteria including but not limited to (as applicable)
    • Service in WA, OR, or AK student or professional chapter
    • Leadership experience related to the pursuit of a career in Human Resources
    • Service in local community
    • Related student or professional projects, internships, or work experience (if any)
    • Outline of students long term professional goals
    • Copy of a current transcript, reflecting overall student GPA and human resource coursework
    • At the discretion of the selection committee, finalists may be interviewed (either via written request or telephone) if additional information is desired.
    Recipient Awards

    Recipients will receive the following:

    • A monetary award of $1,000
    • A free NHRMA conference registration for the current year
    • Reimbursement of travel and lodging expenses to attend the conference
    • A commemorative engraved plaque
    • Picture and article summarizing achievement in the NHRMA conference brochure and NHRMA association newsletter
    • Formal recognition at the NHRMA Conference
    • Recognition of the Sponsoring Faculty Advisor at the NHRMA Conference and an engraved commemorative plaque (if applicable)
    Application Deadline

    Submit electronic applications via the nomination form by July 1, 2020.

    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 who 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), Immediate Past President, Vice President, a past NHRMA Distinguished Member (who is not currently on the board), and SHRM Regional Manager, Pacific West Region, will review all applications and make a recommendation to the NHRMA Board, who will make the final decision.


    Contact: or by calling Sallie Stuvek at 907-322-7624.