Volunteer Coach


Our HR Manager, Karen McKernan volunteers her time, knowledge and experience as a coach at her alma mater, Notre Dame of Maryland. She successfully completed the Leadership in Action Coaching course before beginning as a coach for the University’s graduate program. Her volunteer services support the Dept. of Business & Economics, specifically the Coached Leadership Practicum course. This course offers graduate students an individualized, real-world impactful learning experience which provides a hands-on opportunity to apply leadership learning in a business environment.  Karen volunteers with projects in the Human Resources discipline.

Her volunteer responsibilities include:

  • Communicating regularly with the coachee on an agreed upon schedule.
  • Attending the first class session and the final class session and video presentation.
  • Developing a professional relationship with the coachee.
  • Providing advice/counsel on the project plan and scope.
  • Providing non-directive advice/counsel during the execution of the project.
  • Availability by phone, email or in person as coachee requests or needs guidance.
  • Maintaining communication with the Program Director.

Karen spends approximately 4-5 hours per week helping her coachee learn, anticipate, predict, push back and deal with confrontation in a professional, respectful manner.  She reviews her work, reads her papers, offers suggestions, shares her professional experiences and HR connections and helps her gain confidence in herself and her abilities.

In December of 2017, Karen was recognized by Notre Dame of Maryland University for her exemplary service as a volunteer coach. The University frequently calls her to support their graduate students in this program. When asked why she volunteers, Karen said. “This is about giving back and willingly sharing my Human Resources knowledge and experiences with individuals just entering the field of HR. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than watching someone grow professionally”.