Professional Development Scholarships

1. Certification Exam Reimbursement.  These scholarships reimburse members for the cost of SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams and HRCI (PHR, SPHR) certification exams.  Eligible applicants must be active GSHRM members.  Requests may be made after certification is received.  No other source of funding (such as reimbursement by your company) may be available for your use. Reimbursements will be granted to the first 10 approved requests in a calendar year. The application may be found here. Contact Stephanie Brown for details. Top Five Ways Your Organization Benefits from Your SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP

2. SC SHRM State Conference Attendance. The South Carolina SHRM State Council will host its 25th Annual South Carolina SHRM State Conference, held September (dates and location to be announced). GSHRM provides two scholarships that reimburse recipients for basic registration and room-only costs (2 nights), and are available to active GSHRM members that would not be reimbursed by another source of funding (such as reimbursement by your company).  GSHRM accepts scholarship applications from January 1 through June 1, 2020. Two recipients will be selected among properly completed applications. The application period is closed but will reopen January 1, 2020. Contact Kellie Brown with questions.


The 2020/21 scholarship application submission period opened October 1 and will close December 2, 2019.

GSHRM provides scholarships for dependent children of members. The Center for Scholarship Administration, Inc. (CSA), an independent, non-profit organization, independently administers the program.

This newsletter gives the eligibility requirements for this scholarship. A questions and answers sheet is also available. 

Please contact the Scholarship Administrator with any questions:

GSHRM Walter L. Martin Memorial Scholarship Administrator
Elisabeth Pate
Phone: (864) 268-3363
[email protected]


Reflections from GSHRM Member Bob Hunt:

I worked at Milliken with Walter for 10 years. He was an HR Director working out of the Corporate Office in Spartanburg and I was an HR Manager at Drayton Mill, Saluda (SC) Mill, Gayley Mill and Magnolia Finishing Plant during that time frame.

I would describe Walter as a quiet, non-boastful professional who kept his focus on the task at hand. Back in those days there was a lot of pressure placed on the HR function as it was changing rapidly. Walter’s approach was to handle the heat with calm and class. He could get the attention of his HR Managers if necessary to get them back on task.

Walter believed in the benefits of GAPA/GSHRM as an organization to develop new HR talent coming into their first assignment and would offer a helping hand if asked.

Reflections from GSHRM Member Marie Sitter:

I remember Walter from my first moving to Greenville and joining GAPA. He was the consummate HR professional and a mentor to many. 

Reflections from GSHRM Member Willis E. Tisdale, Jr.:

I knew Walter from my manufacturing days in Fountain Inn when he was the Director of HR for Grainger. There was a Golden Strip business luncheon every month and since I was a newbie to HR, Walter made it a point to speak with me at every meeting I attended just to see how life as a HR professional was going. He was so positive, laid back and easy to talk with, unlike many of the type A folks I saw day to day in manufacturing. Later when I moved to Shriners Hospitals I was fortunate to became more involved in GSHRM and became a board member serving with my friend & mentor from my Fountain Inn days. Not only was Walter a HR professional, he was the mayor of Lockhart, SC and used the leadership skills honed as mayor and HR professional to be the consummate GSHRM Board member. He was calm, firm, fair and open to compromise when necessary.  When things went awry in a board meeting Walter Martin was there to bring folks back in focus. Most of the time he was the calm within the storm but he could also be the storm when needed. I recall that Walter was one of those who, after studying the GSHRM bank account, noted that we needed to find a way to spend some of that money in a positive way. The Board settled on a scholarship for the children of GSHRM members. Shortly after the scholarship was created Walter was diagnosed with cancer and after a hard fought battle died at the young age of 54. Shortly after that, the GSHRM board voted to change the “GAPA” Scholarship to the Walter L. Martin Scholarship in honor of a friend and leader we all cherished & missed.

Walter Martin’s leadership lives on within those of us whom he mentored as an HR professional and during his brief but impactful time on the GSHRM Board.  I had many mentors during my time spent as a GSHRM board member but Walter Martin was one of the most important of those mentors.  I use the skills he exhibited daily as an Human Resource professional, as President of GSHRM and as two-time President of the SC Healthcare Human Resources Association. I can only hope that I am as positive a leader and mentor as my friend Walter.