Girls on the Run

HR Specialist Receives Award for Case Study
November 9, 2015

Planning for the Girls on the Run 5k charity event resulted in $2k for Sonoma State Human Resources Specialist Erin Rock.

Rock, an alumna of SSU's Masters in Business Administration program ('15) received the "Best Student-Authored Case Award" and a $2,000 prize at the North American Case Research Association (NACRA) conference in Orlando, Florida earlier this month. Her case study and instructor's manual, Girls on the Run Sonoma County: Volunteers, True Strategic Assets, focuses on strategies to support Girls on the Run Sonoma County, a non-profit organization that helps girls develop life skills through conversation-based lessons and running games.

The case study evaluated the organization's ability and strategies to scale its technology, promotions, and volunteer functions to sustain recent growth in numbers and participation.

"My goal was to have a finished product that represented everything I learned in the MBA program, and I came away with so much more," says Rock. "Girls on the Run Executive Director Catrina Dierke made time to share insights and history about the organization and its mission, which really struck a chord with me. It's that personal connection and passion for the organization that helped me with my research."

Rock's research was initially developed as a final capstone project for her MBA course in strategic management this year.

"Erin displays exactly what it takes for a student to be successful--it takes hard work, dedication, and self-confidence," says Tammy Kenber, senior director of human resources at SSU. "She earned every bit of that reward, and through her hard work and dedication showed that anyone can achieve their goals with the right motivation and support."

Girls on the Run takes place Dec. 5 at 9 a.m. at Sonoma Mountain Village Event Center in Rohnert Park. For more information, see