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Jennifer Duncan, SHRM-CP,
Jennifer Duncan, SHRM-CP, of Huntington Beach, Calif., is the recipient of the 2016 Susan R. Meisinger Fellowship for Graduate Study in HR, the SHRM Foundation announced Nov. 18 during the Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM's) Volunteer Leaders' Summit in Washington, D.C.
The award, which provides funding for first-time master's degree students in human resources, was established in 2009 to help develop the next generation of HR leaders. It is named in honor of Susan R. Meisinger, who served as SHRM's president and CEO from March 2002 until her retirement in July 2008.
One winner is named annually to receive a fellowship of up to $10,000. Each fellowship is renewable for one additional year for a total of two years of graduate study and up to $20,000 total for the fellowship.
Duncan is a student in Cornell University's executive master's degree program in human resource management in Ithaca, N.Y. She graduated cum laude from California State University-Fullerton with a bachelor's degree in business administration and is a certified paralegal.
She has worked as human resource manager/business partner at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton; senior HR representative/business partner at Baxter Healthcare in Irvine, Calif.; and assistant eligibility supervisor at Riverside County Department of Social Services in Riverdale, Calif.
"I want to develop my competencies and continue my career because I know that in operational conversations where tough workforce planning decisions need to be made, I can be the voice of reason, the one to provide real data behind our human capital," she wrote in her application essay. "And the one to offer data-backed suggestions on how to do things, like cutting costs in other ways before deciding to go directly to layoffs."
Another reason she wants to develop her competencies, she added, is "because I know I need to be the one to remind leaders in a diplomatic—yet persuasive—way that treating subordinates like children and limiting transparency is not the best approach to have an engaged and productive workforce." She also said she knows it will be up to her to "offer real solutions and advice on a different approach."
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