Meet HR Program Instructor: Dr. Donna Gwaltney

Limestone College Business

Dr. Donna Gwaltney is an Adjunct Instructor teaching online human resource management courses in Limestone College Extended Campus Program.

Based out of greater Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Gwaltney also serves as a full-time Senior HR Generalist and an Adjunct Instructor at Belmont University. There, she not only teaches but practices HR. Her HR responsibilities range from faculty and staff recruitment, hiring process improvements, management of unemployment claims, among others.

Since joining Limestone in 2013, Dr. Gwaltney has taught a number of human resource management courses including Staff Development and Training, and Advanced Human Resource Development. As a full-time HR practitioner, Dr. Gwaltney brings valuable real-world experience to the courses she teaches. And, having been a non-traditional student herself — earning her masters and doctorate degrees while working full-time and raising a family — she understands the life challenges that many of her online students face.

However, even beyond the daily juggling act, some of her online students face yet another challenge upon graduation. For many who are looking to transition into the HR field without prior HR experience, finding a job may mean that students need to apply for HR internships while in college.

“It’s sort of a Catch 22. You want to get into an HR position, but the employers are saying you don’t have the credentials, (i.e. you don’t have a degree), and then once you get that, the flip side is that you don’t have any HR experience,” said, Dr. Gwaltney.

Having found herself in a similar situation when she was beginning her career, Dr. Gwaltney remains highly optimistic for Limestone’s HR students. She believes that Limestone’s HR program is highly rigorous due to its experience-based curriculum and truly prepares students to kick-start or advance their HR career.

The one thing she suggests to all Limestone students who are pursuing a bachelor’s in human resource management is to get involved with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). SHRM offers affordable student memberships and has more than 575 local chapters that offer a range of activities where students can network.

As for her pastime, Dr. Gwaltney revealed she and her husband are huge St. Louis Cardinal fans. Every year since 1998 they’ve attended Cardinals spring training in Jupiter, Florida.

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