Office of Human Resources receives national recognition


Clemson’s Office of Human Resources (OHR) received two awards from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) and several of its HR directors were instrumental in South Carolina being honored with the 2020 CUPA-HR National Chapter Excellence Award.

Associate Chief Human Resources Officer Ale Kennedy said, “It’s a huge honor to be acknowledged by our national professional organization, CUPA-HR. I am so proud that Clemson HR is being recognized on a national level for its innovative initiatives, its outstanding team members, and its leadership with CUPA-HR’s South Carolina chapter.”

2020 HR Innovation Award

OHR’s talent acquisition team received CUPA-HR’s 2020 HR Innovation Award. A $5,000 contribution to Clemson University’s endowment or a scholarship fund of the team’s choice.

Clemson has evolved from using regional recruitment methods to nationwide, and even worldwide, recruitment strategies. The talent acquisition team realized that, with the university’s accelerated growth and the nuanced interview processes across departments, the candidate experience was inconsistent. As a result, they developed the Picture Yourself Here campaign to diminish the decentralization of recruitment messaging and create a cohesive and consistent way to reach candidates regardless of location, position or hiring department.

Clemson’s recruitment packets, designed in collaboration with University Relations, allow top candidates to gain a Clemson experience even before their visit.
Clemson’s recruitment packets, designed in collaboration with University Relations, allow top candidates to gain a Clemson experience even before their visit.

The Picture Yourself Here campaign, which was fully implemented in 2019 in collaboration with University Relations, consists of a three-tier package, incorporates virtual reality technology, and delivers a unique and personalized experience for each candidate. The campaign not only makes the recruitment process more cohesive, but it also emphasizes the benefits of working at Clemson. The goal is for prospective employees to feel informed, well-prepared and excited for their experience.

In addition to receiving positive feedback from candidates, the talent acquisition team has seen an increase to their staff offer acceptance rate, which is currently 98 percent. The campaign includes advertisements of local companies, and this revenue stream helps fund other recruitment at the University.

Higher Ed HR Rock Star Award

Recognizing an individual who is serving in the first five years of a higher education HR career and who has already made a significant impact, Danielle Arrington, recruitment program manager in OHR was named CUPA-HR Southern Region’s Higher Ed HR Rock Star.

HR’s Danielle Arrington proudly displays Clemson’s Ragan’s PR Daily Award, an award shared with companies such as T-Mobile and Cisco.
HR’s Danielle Arrington named CUPA-HR’s Higher Ed HR Rock Star

Arrington is willing to challenge the norms of higher ed HR, which has led to several successful programs and campaigns at Clemson. She established online resources helpful to new employees moving to the area and added sponsorships of the site to leverage a revenue-stream that generates funds for OHR. She also planned and managed Clemson’s recent #ClemsonWorks campaign, an employee engagement and recruitment initiative that spotlighted university employees. The campaign was so successful it received a national marketing award. Arrington also helped launch TalentSource, an initiative to connect employees’ spouses/partners to jobs in the area.

2020 CUPA-HR National Chapter Excellence Award

The South Carolina Chapter is led by several of Clemson’s HR directors. The chapter created a mentoring program to boost its leadership pipeline and to ensure continuity of programs and services provided by the chapter. The mentoring program matches experienced college and university HR pros with students seeking professional development in the HR field. These relationships are meant to strengthen the pipeline of students entering the HR profession in South Carolina, creating a bridge for them to become future contributing members of CUPA-HR. The chapter also creates interactive activities for higher ed HR pros to showcase their innovative and creative best practices with one another at chapter events.



CUPA-HR is human resources for higher education. The organization provides the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and serving more than 30,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at more than 2,000 member institutions and organizations around the country and abroad, the association offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary and benefits data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information.


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