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Maria Triana

Meet Maria Triana, Academic Director of the Strategic Human Resource Management Specialization

by Maria Triana Tuesday, September 12, 2017

My experience in business began when I graduated with my BBA from The University of Texas at Austin.  From there, I earned my MBA at the University of Arizona, and I went on to a position as a business analyst and project manager in Human Resources Information Systems for Intel Corporation. After several years at Intel, I transitioned into academia. I returned to Texas A&M University to earn a PhD in Management (Organizational Behavior and Human Resources) with a minor in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. My professional work experience led me to ask questions about employees’ experience and well-being at work, which led me to transition to a career that would allow me to conduct research and teach research-based best-known practices to others. Through my position as an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I am able to continue my professional interests through research – some of which has been featured in top management journals, including Personnel Psychology, Organization Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Business Ethics, and Human Resource Management, among others.

Along with serving as an Associate Professor in the Management and Human Resources Department, I also serve as the Academic Director for the Strategic Human Resource Management specialization. I enjoy this position because I am able to serve as a resource to students and guide them throughout their MBA experience. I ensure the academic integrity of the curriculum by making sure the courses are relevant with respect to both current research and practice. I am both SHRM-SCP and SPHR certified, and our program is SHRM aligned, which means that the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) certified the curriculum as being current and representative of the body of knowledge Human Resources professionals must know today. As Academic Director, I am responsible for overall strategic oversight of the HR MBA specialization to ensure it serves a public good by meeting our students’ needs while staying aligned with the goals of the Wisconsin School of Business (WSOB). I maintain a mission and vision statement for the specialization, which we communicate yearly to our incoming class during orientation. I select and supervise center staff and provide guidance to staff and students as needed throughout the year. I also select some instructors who teach courses for our students and provide instructional support for them as they develop and deliver their courses. Some of my work is done behind the scenes, as a liaison to other stakeholders both within the Wisconsin School of Business and outside of the Wisconsin School of Business (other units on campus, alumni, etc.) to facilitate resources and success for the students in the specialization. I enjoy sharing both my research and my professional industry experience with students because that experience was an influential part of my career. 

Students often connect with me for guidance throughout their time in the Wisconsin School of Business, but there are also many other resources that the Strategic Human Resource Management specialization offers. Students in this specialization have access to opportunities where they can experience and solve real-world human resources problems. Consulting projects with organizations through the HR Capstone course give students a chance to apply the skills they are leaning in class. Additionally, the Strategic Human Resource Management specialization offers an Executive in Residence as a resource to students. This past spring, students heard from Bill Brennan, the current Executive in Residence, at the annual HR Summit. The summit provides an opportunity for students to dive deeper into human resources and have a larger conversation about the industry.