Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the leading voice of the HR profession.

The Athens State Student Chapter allows students to gain access to an immense information resource at the local, regional, state, and national level and to have opportunities to meet HR practitioners so as to develop personal contacts and networks. The organization also offers professional development workshops, access to HR conferences, and creates visibility for recruitment for HR internships and permanent HR opportunities.

SHRM has over 70,000 professional and student members in more than 425 professional chapters and over 300 student chapters nationwide. With the award-winning SHRM publications, you can keep current on issues and trends affecting the workforce and shaping the workplace.

As a student member, you are eligible and strongly encouraged to attend the Tennessee Valley Professional Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management monthly professional meetings. The Tennessee Valley Chapter is the Athens State University SHRM professional chapter sponsor. You will meet and interact with HR practitioners representing most of the employers in the North Alabama area. Through networking, research has shown that 60% to 70% of jobs are found by making these types of personal contacts.

Membership Application

Current Newsletter

Take a look at the Spring '24 Newsletter.


Society of Human Resources Management 2023-24 Chapter Leaders

Holly Baker

Holly Baker – President
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I am a Human Resource Management major with a minor in Gender and Multicultural Studies. I anticipate graduating in the Fall of 2023. I am currently the Assistant Director for a local non-profit and volunteer Administrator of DE&I for a large Texas-based animal rescue. I’m also a big sister for Big Brother Big Sisters of the Tennessee Valley. I am originally from Huntsville and have lived throughout Alabama, Tennessee, and Louisiana. I relocated from Birmingham back to Huntsville in 2019. I have a 10-year-old daughter who is my own private comedian. I’m also mom to a feisty but loveable mixed-breed dog, a temperamental cat, and a docile bearded dragon. After I complete my undergraduate degree, I plan to pursue an MS in Strategic Human Resource Management with a concentration in Diversity and Inclusion Management. My passions are DEI&B, animals, the disenfranchised, cross-stitching, hiking, camping, and the outdoors.

I am honored to serve as the president of Athens State’s SHRM chapter, a Peer Mentor, and a member of the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society. If you’ve landed on this page, you’re in the right place. Please email me for more information! It is an honor to serve our school and community through this wonderful organization. Please ask any questions about joining or learning more about how the ASU SHRM Student Chapter can benefit you.

Sharifah Abubaker

Sharifah Abubaker – Vice President
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Greetings to everyone. My name is Sharifah Abubaker, and I am currently majoring in Human Resource Management with an anticipated graduation date in 2024. After completing my BS, I plan to pursue a graduate degree in Human Resource Management and Business Administration. I am originally from Michigan and moved to Alabama as a teenager with my family, where I graduated from Sand Rock High School. I have lived in the Madison area for the past 15 years and love the area. I am currently working as an office Administrator for Griffin Industrial Contracting Company. When I am not working, I enjoy watching football and baseball. I enjoy being outdoors and experiencing new things. In addition to being an officer in the Athens State SHRM student chapter, I am a member of the national SHRM organization. SHRM is a great organization that makes networking easier and provides great resources for HR professionals. I am honored to serve as the Director of Student Relations in the SHRM student chapter. I encourage all HR majors and minors to join SHRM. If you have any questions about joining SHRM, don’t hesitate to contact me.


Annie Rankin

Annie Rankin – Secretary
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Hello everyone! I am a Human Resources Management major, and my anticipated graduation date is in Spring 2024. Only one more semester to go, that’s crazy! I currently hold the position of Secretary for the ASU SHRM chapter, as well as I am a member of the National SHRM chapter. I am also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. I am currently working in Human Resources in an internship with GE Appliances Decatur. My advice to you is, if you can find an internship or some experience in your field, I highly encourage you to do it. It has been such a valuable learning experience. When I am not studying or in class, I spend a lot of time teaching. I am a Christian and one of the biggest blessings in my life has been teaching others. I teach Bible study, and I also teach dance at the Hawthorne Conservatory. I have been dancing since I was 3 years old and I have trained in ballet, tap, lyrical, jap, contemporary, hip hop, and pointe. I have taught from ages 3-18 in all of these styles.  Another one of my favorite things is fashion! I am a fashionista at heart, and I love styling outfits for people. I work as a sales associate part-time at Anthropologie, where I get to embrace my passion for fashion and helping other people find clothes they love. I am a “busy bee”, for sure! I am so excited to serve the ASU SHRM Chapter as the Secretary. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything or have any questions! 


Sasha Smith

Sasha Smith – Treasurer
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Hello, my name is Sasha Smith, and I bring you greetings from Philadelphia, PA. I have a BS degree in Accounting from Athens State University and an MBA from Tennessee State University. I am pursuing an MS in Strategic Human Resource Management with a concentration in Diversity and Inclusion at Athens State and will graduate in December 2023. I also serve as the Co-Treasurer for the Athens State chapter of the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society and a member of the National SHRM Chapter. In 2020, I moved from Nashville, TN, to Philadelphia to work as an Economic Opportunity Plan consulting manager for a construction audit firm that tracks minority and women’s participation in construction projects. Working as a consultant has taught me the true value of relationships and networking, so that is why I decided to join the Athens State SHRM Student Chapter. After graduation, I plan to pursue an Employee Relations or DEI HR position. In my spare time, I enjoy attending sporting events with friends, volunteering, and exploring the city I now call home.


Dalton Thrasher

Dalton Thrasher – Co-Director SHRM Merits- Planning
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I’m Dalton, a full-time student at Athens State University, majoring in B.S. Management with a minor in Human Resource Management. I’m passionate about space and electric vehicles and aspire to work at Tesla or SpaceX. Alongside my studies, I also work part-time at the university as a Student Activities Assistant and Athenian Ambassador. I take pride in my academic achievements, like making the dean’s list in the Spring of 2023, and I’m looking forward to graduating in the Fall of 2024, ready to dive into a career that’s at the forefront of innovation and technology.


Ashley Powers

Ashley Powers – Co-Director SHRM Merits- Execution
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I am a Junior at Athens State University, and I am majoring in Human Resources Management with a minor in Marketing. I have always had a passion for recognizing and celebrating excellence, which influenced me to pursue the role of Co-Director of the SHRM Merit Awards. I look forward to contributing to the growth of the ASU SHRM Student Chapter!


Barbara McKinnie

Barbara McKinnie – Director of Communications
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Barbara McKinnie is a senior honor student at Athens State University and will graduate on December 2, 2023. Barbara has served as a caregiver, caring for the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and the underserved population, which encouraged her desire to pursue HR. Having served the community and being a recipient of care revealed the need for more capable and compassionate individuals within the sector. This led her to become an avid volunteer and volunteer advocate. She has served as a program director, developer, educational advocate, and tutor, helping to develop and spearhead youth and outreach ministries throughout the Midsouth and North Alabama. Barbara is passionate about empowering youth to become self-sufficient, responsible adults through academic and spiritual development and serving their families and community.

Barbara has volunteered and helped organize such programs as Hearts for the Homeless, Beyond Blessed, the Empty Bowl project, and Iron-Sharpens-Iron. Barbara served as the PTA President and Vice President at several elementary schools in Athens, Alabama. These opportunities allowed her to serve on the Parent Advisory Board and Athens City School Parent Liaison Board, and recently as a Student Advisor for the Limestone County Human Resource Management Chapter and as Co-Creative Executive for the CenterPoint Learning Center.

Barbara is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, serves as the Director of Communications for SHRM Athens State Student Chapter, and is a member of Delta Mu Delta, International Honor Society in Business at Athens State University. Barbara is a recent widow and mother to four homeschooled children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, crafting, and organizing.


Savannah Cornelius

Savannah Graner Cornelius – Director of Chapter Information Systems
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I’m a Human Resources Management major with an anticipated graduation date of Fall 2025. I am an Athens State SHRM Student Chapter officer, a SHRM national member, and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Association. I am originally from Madison, AL, and moved to NYC a month after graduating from Bob Jones High School to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. I completed the 2-year conservatory program in 15 months and now hold a conservatory certificate in Musical Theatre. I lived in NYC for 7 years, where I met my husband and some of my closest friends. My husband and I moved back to my hometown a few years ago and welcomed our amazing daughter into the world in April of 2022. I work full-time for Alutiiq, LLC in Huntsville, a wholly owned subsidiary of Afognak Native Corporation, an Alaska Native Corporation. My passions include travel, music, and theatre. I have performed in several musicals and cabarets across Manhattan and performed in and directed shows in the Huntsville and Madison communities. I have also performed in Rome and Naples, Italy, and the Vatican with a mass chorale. In my spare time, I love to travel and experience different cultures. I have traveled to 19 states and 12 countries on 3 continents, and I look forward to adding more destinations to my list this year!


Kimberly Wilcox

Kimberly Wilcox – Director of Community Relations
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I am pursuing a Human Resources Management degree as an undergraduate student and plan to graduate in 2025. Since I started my career 23 years ago, I have worked as a human resources manager with a corporate retailer. Currently, I work as a licensed property and casualty agent for aviation insurance and a travel agent on a contract basis with several companies at the Walker County Bevill Field Airport. I enjoy caring for my parrots, who entertain me with their escapades during my free time. I live with my husband, Jimmy, in a quiet neighborhood in Winston County. I am thrilled to serve as a Director of the Athens State SHRM Student Chapter, a National Chapter of SHRM member, and President of Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society. I am committed to working collaboratively with my fellow members to create positive change and make a meaningful impact in our community.


Coleen Driggers

Coleen Driggers – Director of Student Relations
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Hello and welcome to everyone! My name is Coleen Driggers, and I am currently pursuing a BS in business, majoring in Human Resource Management with a minor in accounting. In addition to being a member of the ASU SHRM and National Chapter of SHRM, I am also a member of the ASU Accounting Club. I anticipate graduating either in the Spring of 2024 or the Summer, depending on course availability. I am currently enjoying work as a private nanny to three beautiful girls and a precious family while I finish my studies. I have previously attained a degree in culinary arts and worked for the better part of a decade in various restaurants in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville as line and prep chef, sous chef, pastry chef, and private chef. While I thoroughly loved cooking for people and sharing my joy of food with those around me, it proved to be an unsustainable career for me physically. After I married my longtime boyfriend and we moved to the Huntsville area, I decided to re-examine my skills and desires in life, which would ultimately lead me here! After I complete my undergraduate degree, I plan to work for a few years to gain experience and knowledge before setting courses in a master’s program. My passions vary from season to season but consistently include hiking, fishing, camping, kayaking, painting, drawing, and pestering my cats. I do not currently have children, but my husband and I look forward to that chapter when it comes to us. We have several nieces and nephews that we spoil, and we are excited to welcome the newest nephew in the coming spring! I am honored and delighted to serve as the director of student relations for the Athens State SHRM chapter and encourage anyone studying HR to join both the local and national chapters to take advantage of the incredible opportunities found in each. If you have any questions about joining SHRM, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of our officers.

For more information, contact:

Gary Valcana Photo

Gary Valcana, MBA

Associate Professor of Management & Department Chair
Tina Camba

Tina Camba, MBA

Assistant Professor of Management/HR Management