The Accelerating Excellence In Translational Science (AXIS)Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science

Human Resources

Department Summary:

The Department of Human Resources is an integral partner in the university community and recognizes that employees are CDU’s most valuable resources. We are dedicated to adding value to the university's mission by providing positive, quality services to our employees through the administration and communication of benefits programs; employee relations; personnel actions and records management; job and career opportunities; policies; performance management; training and development; and employee resources in an environment that fosters trust, mutual respect, sensitivity and diversity. Human Resources specifically assists researchers by establishing HR procedures and methods; monitoring and evaluating HR practices; and advising and assisting researchers and managers on HR related matters.

1.What kind of services do you provide for researchers?
HR professionals advise and assist researchers on HR related matters, which is seen as our most significant area of responsibility. HR consults with researchers on an array of topics such as formal training programs, work/life balance initiatives, employment law and work authorizations, employee interviews and recruitment techniques, performance evaluations and constructive feedback, corrective action, and dealing with difficult employees. HR professionals also address concerns related to OSHA health and safety, workers compensation, and ergonomics evaluations.

HR provides management support in accomplishing the organization’s objectives. The services and support HR provides to researchers include:

Recruitment and Hiring (job descriptions, position postings, pre-employment background checks and physicals, reference checks, work authorizations, and orientation)
Benefits (leaves of absences, reward programs, paid time off accruals, retirement plans, benefits enrollment, changes, and deductions)
Workplace safety (workers compensation, OSHA compliance, accident investigations, ergonomics evaluations)
Employee Relations (coaching, mentoring, disciplinary guidance, grievance and complaint resolution, ethical decision-making, employee communication, and retention programs)
Compensation (benchmark, position re-classification, and job descriptions)
Training & Development (performance evaluations, leadership development, management training, career development, FMLA, and employment law)
Legal Compliance (advice on policy and procedures, compliance with regulatory requirements, APMs, employment handbooks, internal and external reporting, and employment law.)
HRM (personnel files, PAF processing, organization charts, information requests, compliance and internal reports, unemployment claim processing, and exit interviews)

2.Describe a typical interaction with a researcher.
We handle a tremendous variety of researcher needs and each situation is different. Here’s one example of how we helped a researcher recently.

A researcher was in need of assistance to properly complete a PAF. The PAF did not properly capture, for processing, the faculty member’s situation since he was currently compensated out of one college yet would be assuming a staff position with a new research grant in a different college. HR sent the researcher an email to seek clarity on what was needed in order to properly process the PAF. A subsequent phone call was received from the researcher seeking a better understanding of the situation on the PAF and what was needed to accomplish their goal of completing the PAF. Rather than continue the exchange regarding the PAF over the phone or via email, the researcher elected to visit HR. Upon arrival, an HR professional advised the researcher of exactly what information was needed to complete the process. The researcher used the tools in the HR office to complete the PAF and the PAF was processed on the spot. The exchange of information was necessary to finalize the process and to ensure the information was not only accurate, but that the researcher was compensated on time. The researcher was pleased with the services provided and expressed his gratitude about the outcome. HR was not only provided an opportunity to learn about the purpose of the new grant, its services, and constituents, but HR provided customer service in the form of expertise and the utmost care. HR’s goal is to resolve problems utilizing a team approach and, whenever possible, encourage visits to the HR department where positive interaction with HR staff continues to be the bridge that transforms relationships at CDU.

3.Tell us one thing researchers might not know about your office.
In HR we often say that “HR needs HR from time to time.” While HR is responsible for ensuring others seek assistance, HR personnel do not always seek assistance for themselves. Users of HR do not realize the stress that can sometimes come with being an HR professional: addressing employee and management conflicts, crisis management, irate individuals internally and externally, resolving complaints and grievances, employee relations issues, keeping the peace, and many more tense situations cross our desks each day. So how does HR at CDU continue to put on a smile day in and day out? As HR, we use quotes from movies to brighten our days. We call it Humor Therapy.

We’ve been known to quote from such movies as Shrek, A Few Good Men, Surf’s Up, Madagascar, and The Color Purple. In HR, we are not big fans of finger pointing, so one of our favorite quotes is from Shrek, “I don’t care whose fault this was, just get it sorted! And could someone please bring me something fat, fried and smothered in chocolate!”

When it feels like a day filled with chaos at CDU and there’s a need to put the day into perspective, another Shrek one-liner is “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, is this not the most perfect kingdom of them all?” When HR feels like today is the most challenging day and we are at our wits’ end, several lines from Surf’s Up snap us right back into shape with a laugh, “I love my job. I have an amazing job”, or “Oh well, well this is, that’s great. As long as we’re all having fun, right?”

To experience the funny side of HR, visit us at Cobb 286. You can laugh right along with us because sometimes, we all just need to laugh once in a while!

4.What are your plans to improve research services in the future?
HR has identified recruitment as a key service that is in need of improvement for researchers. As part of HR’s goals and objectives for the 2012 calendar year, HR met with Matt Cullen and Anthony Williams in the Information Services department to discuss improving CDU’s recruitment processes. A part of that discussion focused on implementing an online employment application process, integrating job identification codes with the online application process to route employment applications to the HR Jobs Inbox and the GP Employment Tracking database, and routing resumes simultaneously to the hiring manager and HR to improve screening, interviewing, and hiring times. After multiple discussions with researchers and the CDU hiring community in general, it is apparent the recruitment process can be enhanced significantly. By partnering with I.S. and soliciting the feedback of CDU’s hiring managers, HR feels confident services in the area of recruitment will be improved before the end of the year.

5.What’s the best way for researchers to reach you?
Researchers can visit the Department of Human Resources Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 5:00pm. HR staff can be reached by phone by calling the front desk at (323) 563-5827 or by emailing the respective HR Consultant of the Day (HR COD). For generic HR related questions, an email can be sent to the HR Department email at

HR Staff Member Specialties:

Kimberly R. Mebane
Workers Compensation, OSHA Compliance, Employee Relations, Employee Recognition Program, Employee Trainings, Exit/Separations, Leave of Absences, Compensation

Kimberly Leung, PHR
Recruitment and Hiring Processing, Background Checks and Pre-Employment Physicals, New Employee Orientation, Benefit Reconciliation, Employee Relations, Compensation

Stephanie Freeman
Retirement (Enrollment/Changes), Data Entry (PAF Processing/Benefits/Personal Info Changes), I-9 Compliance, EDD Claims, Verification of Employment, Personnel File Maintenance

April Miller
Front Lobby Reception, HR Scheduling (Appointments/Meetings), Employee Discount Tickets Program, Verification of Employment, Monthly Birthday Celebrations

The Research Resource Spotlight series focuses on the offices and departments at CDU that are available to help researchers enhance their productivity and excel at translational research. It is produced by AXIS (Accelerating Excellence in Translational Science) which is funded by NIH-NIMHD grant #U54MD007598 (formerly #U54RR026138).

Human Resources (HR)

Cobb Building, Suite 286





Sunday, April 01, 2012

      Toni C. ELBoushi, D.M., P.H.R.
Chief Human Resources Officer

      Kimberly R. Mebane
Human Resources Manager
(323)- 563-5834

      Kimberly Leung, P.H.R.
HR Generalist

      Stephanie Freeman
HR Administrator

      April Miller
HR Clerk II

The researcher used the tools in the HR office to complete the PAF and the PAF was processed on the spot.

To experience the funny side of HR, visit us at Cobb 286. You can laugh right along with us because sometimes, we all just need to laugh once in a while!

HR has identified recruitment as a key service that is in need of improvement for researchers.

Stop by HR and check out our waiting area. There’s lots to learn!