Last year, we lost a shining light in HR – Callie Zipple – to stomach cancer at the far too young age of 32 (and you can read my thoughts about her from a previous blogpost here). As a student and as a representative of SHRM, she was always striv…
I’ve been teaching for nearly 25 years, and have probably taught over 5,000 students. Few, if any, have combined the wit, charm, and intelligence of Callie Zipple. Callie is simply one of the best students I’ve had the opportunity to teach.
Sitting in my statistic course, she knew she could earn extra credit for attending bi-monthly meetings of the St. Norbert College SHRM student organization. After hearing from a HR professional in the area, and learning more about the profession, she was hooked. She became my advisee, chose to pursue HR as a career, and soon became President of that organization, and intern for the College’s HR department.
Through my conversations with Callie, she has demonstrated a strong respect for other people’s values and opinions. She greets others with an open mind, interested in learning their viewpoint on a variety of issues. Callie is also incredibly level-headed who handles conflict with remarkable aplomb. She is empathetic to her friends’ concerns. She remains relentless in developing a portfolio that will help her succeed in this field.
One moment stands out. I remember sitting in the parking lot of Time Warner Cable to get my cable box fixed, when my phone rang, and Callie was in tears on the other line calling me excitedly that she passed the PHR exam. It meant so much to her. As a teacher, you cherish and celebrate these success stories.
Her career has grown and flourished as she continued to pursue new opportunities and learn more about HR. She started in staffing and became a HR manager and generalist. She also gave back to the profession by volunteering in a number of roles with the Wisconsin SHRM State Council and as an inaugural member of the SHRM Young Professional Advisory Council. Today, she serves as the Field Services Director for SHRM for the upper Midwest. Very accomplished for someone so early in their career.
So, I was crushed to learn this weekend that she was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. At age 31. Stage 4 stomach cancer.
If anyone can fight it and succeed, it will be Callie.
However, even with great health insurance, the costs can be enormous here in the United States. So, like so many others, a GoFundMe account has been started in her name. You can learn more about it here.
So, if you have seen her speak at your chapter meeting, chatted with her at the SHRM booth, or simply been charmed by her in conversation, I hope you can help assist her in this fight.