Business student, professor selected for GM Sullivan Program
May 2, 2005
A student and a faculty member from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business have again been selected to participate in the GM Sullivan Fellowship Program that seeks to promote principles of corporate social responsibility developed by the late Rev. Leon H. Sullivan.
Alexander J. Houlday, of Hockessin, Del., a junior majoring in management and finance, has been selected as the Sullivan Fellow. Mary L. Connerley, of Blacksburg, and an associate professor of management, has been selected as the faculty adviser/mentor. The program, a partnership between General Motors and the United Negro College Fund, is designed to educate students and faculty about the Global Sullivan Principles through campus-based courses and workshops developed by the participating institutions and individuals.
Connerley, who successfully applied for the program last year, will receive a $5,000 grant to develop and teach modules for a management course, “Human Resource Management,” and workshops based on the Sullivan Principles for faculty, staff, and students. Last year, she developed and taught workshops and a module for the “Ethical Leadership and Corporate Responsibility” course.
A recipient of several awards for teaching and research excellence, Connerley specializes in diversity, cross-cultural and expatriate issues, and various aspects of the staffing process. She is a member of the college’s Diversity Committee and was selected as a Multicultural Fellow at Virginia Tech in 2000. She has taught various undergraduate and graduate courses in management, including “Managing Diversity in the Workplace,” which she developed. She has participated in diversity training and intercultural programs sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management and the University of Hawaii. Her first book, Leadership in a Diverse and Multicultural Environment (co-authored with Paul Pedersen, a well-known multicultural counseling psychologist), has just been published.
A native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Connerley received a bachelor's and master's from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. She joined Virginia Tech in 1993.
Houlday will receive a $5,000 scholarship following the successful completion of a paid summer internship at GMAC Financial Services, a GM subsidiary, and the completion of a written and oral presentation on the Sullivan Principles. He will assist Connerley in developing and delivering the modules and workshops. He and Connerley attended a recent GM-hosted training workshop on the Sullivan Principles.
Sullivan, who died in 2001, was a Philadelphia minister and civil rights leader who became the first black member of GM’s board of directors in 1971. He developed the Sullivan Principles in 1977 as a code of conduct for companies operating in South Africa. The Sullivan Principles are generally acknowledged to have helped end workplace discrimination and apartheid there. To expand human rights and economic development to all communities, Sullivan created the Global Sullivan Principles of Social Responsibility in 1997.
In Sullivan’s words: “The objectives of the Global Sullivan Principles are to support economic, social, and political justice by companies where they do business; to support human rights and to encourage equal opportunity at all levels of employment, including racial and gender diversity on decision-making committees and boards; to train and advance disadvantaged workers for technical, supervisory, and management opportunities; and to assist with greater tolerance and understanding among peoples; thereby, helping to improve the quality of life for communities, workers, and children with dignity and equality.”
Virginia Tech’s nationally ranked Pamplin College of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting and information systems, business information technology, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, management, and marketing. The college emphasizes the development of leadership skills and ethical values and the integration of technology in the academic curriculum, and prepares students for global business challenges through faculty-led study abroad programs. A member of the college’s marketing faculty directs the interdisciplinary Sloan Foundation Forest Industries Center at Virginia Tech. The college’s other research centers focus on business leadership, electronic commerce, and organizational performance. The college is committed to serving business and society through the expertise of its faculty, alumni, and students.
Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.