Those who know Rima Berry-Hung are already aware of the positive energy she radiates. And, if you aren’t familiar, step into her office. There are pink chairs, uplifting quotes and a few stickers with the number 26.2.
That number reminds UM-Dearborn’s newly named human resources director of her run in the Chicago Marathon and in the Dearborn Martian Marathon. “People may have seen me training on campus when I did these a few years back,” she said.
With the U-M journey she’s had, you can see that Berry-Hung is someone whose persistent steps push her toward achieving goals — for herself, her team and her campus.
Berry-Hung previously served as UM-Dearborn’s HR associate director. Prior to that, she was HR director at the School of Education in Ann Arbor. She’s also had roles at UM-Dearborn as HR lead consultant, senior generalist, associate and assistant; and in Ann Arbor as HR functional analyst and the HR coordinator at the Stamps School of Art and Design.
And before that? She was a UM-Dearborn student.
Berry-Hung has a UM-Dearborn Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and anthropology and a Master of Arts degree in communication from Eastern Michigan University.
“I’m so happy to have spent so much of my life with the University of Michigan. Caring for people deeply and sincerely is the Michigan way. It’s our culture; it’s at the core of who were are,” she said. “It’s something I feel is very important. My parents came here from Lebanon to build a good life for me; I am first generation. I want to honor their hard work with gratitude and live by their example. Kindness, caring and positive thinking go a long way.”
Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs Jeff Evans said Berry-Hung’s inclusive leadership style and U-M longevity made her a natural fit for the position.
“Rima's succession, growth and development at U-M over the last 18 years is an exemplary example that has come as a result of her hard work, dedication and team impact in all of her experiences,” he said.
Taking her experience, Berry-Hung said she plans to continue building the campus’ inclusive community practices, focus on staff and faculty growth and development, and make sure all know that her office is a comfortable place for people to come. She said that is a must — especially since HR plays a major role in handling challenging situations.
Berry-Hung knows that she’s got the right team around her to continue helping people on campus find successful solutions.
“My team is awesome. Some of these people have been here for years, others have recently joined and bring new energy,” said Berry-Hung, who first met HR senior consultant Renee Mainor when Berry-Hung worked in the office as a UM-Dearborn student. “But no matter when we got here, we’re all working toward the shared goal of making this campus the best place possible. We’re poised to really provide great support for our campus.”
Berry-Hung is grateful for the education she’s received from her UM-Dearborn degree — she said cultural understanding and communication are essential in HR. She’s thankful for the letters of recommendation that people on campus have written to support her career path. And she’s appreciative of the mentors and professors she’s had.
“The people on this campus have helped me get to where I am. All that time they spent grading my papers, critiquing my writing and speaking with me about graduate school has led me to today,” she said. “I want to give that same level of dedication and service. Know that if you want to talk, I’m here.”
And — when you do find that time to connect — know there is a pink office chair waiting for you.