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The $10,000 award was announced Nov. 18, 2011, during the SHRM Leadership Conference dinner in Arlington, Va. This is the third year for the award, which is named for Susan R. Meisinger, SPHR, SHRM’s former president and CEO.
The fellowship, which SHRM, the HR Certification Institute and the SHRM Foundation endow, is awarded to a SHRM member who demonstrates leadership in human resources.
Lewinski is assistant HR manager at KIK Custom Products in Elkhart, Ind., and is pursuing her master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in HR management. Among her goals is to advance her knowledge of accounting and finance.
She started graduate school in June 2011 and expects to graduate from Davenport University, in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2014.
In 2004, she received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology from Trine University in Angola, Ind., while working full time in management at LS Ayres Department Store in Mishawaka, Ind.
During her seven years in HR, she has held leadership roles at Patrick Industries Inc., Better World Books, BAX Global Inc., Emdeon Practice Services Inc. (now part of Sage Group) and LS Ayres Department Store.
While employed at her first job with May Company Department Stores, Lewinski became, at age 19, the youngest employee to be accepted into the company’s management training program.
Lewinski has been a SHRM member since 2006. She has served as SHRM Foundation representative for her chapter; in 2010, she was responsible for organizing a campaign to educate chapter members and raise funds to support SHRM Foundation initiatives. She sits on her chapter’s board of directors and is its college relations representative.
She wants to use her degree, she said, to teach college-level HR classes in business and career development. She plans to continue mentoring young professionals and remaining active in volunteer leadership roles with her local SHRM chapter.
“Working closely with the students has made it clear that the perception of HR is evolving into a true business partner,” she wrote in her Fellowship application, “not just a necessary administrative function.”
Obtaining her graduate degree, she noted, “will allow me to advance and be a driver of this change within my organization and my community.”
Answers to frequently asked questions about this award can be found here.
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