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April 29, 2017
When Breanna Ripley graduated from Northwest Missouri State University, she became the first at the institution to earn its degree in organizational behavior and human resource management.
Ripley, of Omaha, Nebraska, has secured employment as a recruiter for C & A Industries, which has been named one of the best places to work in Omaha multiple times.
Faculty in the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business named Ripley its top organizational behavior and human resource management student last year. Last summer, she was among 24 Northwest students who participated in a 14-day study abroad experience program in Eastern Europe to broaden their views of international business with Assistant Professor of Management Cindy Kenkel. Additionally, she was active in the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and Delta Mu Delta business honor society.
“I had a great mentor,” Ripley said. “Cindy Kenkel advised me really well. I learned so much through the classes that we took. It was great.”
Northwest’s Board of Regents approved the creation of the organizational behavior and human resource management major in spring 2015, and it was implemented into the University’s curriculum that fall.
Ripley had enrolled at Northwest as a business management and marketing major with aspirations of building a career in HR. When she learned of the new major, she quickly adapted her academic plan.
“When I found out that the org behavior and human resource major was being implemented, I was super excited because that’s what I wanted to do,” Ripley said. “It was perfect that they put that degree in, and I took advantage.”
The new major was designed based on a need identified by Northwest’s strategic enrollment planning process as well as competencies recommended by the Society of Human Resource Management. Northwest is the only public post-secondary institution in Missouri to offer an undergraduate human resources major.
Requirements for the major consist primarily of courses in Northwest’s business and behavioral sciences areas, including courses in advanced human resource management seminar, staffing, employee rewards and benefits, and an internship in human resource management.
Ripley said she chose to attend Northwest because of its reputation for providing students with a positive, comprehensive student experience.
“A lot of people from Omaha come to Northwest, and when I visited here it felt like home,” she said. “The community that Northwest has made me confident and definitely prepared me for adult life. I’m so happy and ready to be a Bearcat alum.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468