Erika Lubeznik was born and raised in Michigan City. She has always loved the area, especially trips to the Indiana Dunes and going to the outlet mall. Growing up her parents Jerry and Sue always made sure that she saw everything the community had to offer. It is safe and fun, the best place to enjoy events during the day and campfires and walks at night.
She attended college at Purdue Northwest for a degree in Human Resources and started working in the Human Resources Department at the school before she even graduated. Starting as a student employee, she then has moved around the school from working in payroll, to being the Alumni Coordinator, to working as the Manager of Alumni Affairs, and now is the Development and Alumni Engagement Officer.
“I go out and raise funds for the university. I currently have the college of CHESS which is the College of Humanities Education and Social Sciences. I also do alumni engagement where I show up to events and make sure alumni are having a good time. I kind of feel them out to see what kind of events they would like to see in the future, and just keep in contact with them.”
She decided to stay with PNW because she really likes the atmosphere of the campus and she loves what they do for the students.
“My ‘aha’ moment that was probably most memorable was when I went to my first donor recognition luncheon at Purdue University Northwest. It was there that I saw how much more students are able to do because of the incredible donors we have at the University. You never forget the tears of a single mom with three children who one of our donors was able to assist through a scholarship. She was so overjoyed that day to meet the donor who helped her along her path. Now that young woman is out there taking on the world!” said Lubeznik.
Although she got her degree in Human Resources she loves the work she does for Purdue and the alumni community because it gets her out into the community and away from a desk. “I transferred over to Alumni Affairs, because I loved planning events and working with our alumni. Now with Development, I’m out all the time in the community. It’s very fun. I just like meeting new people and going to events. You get a good grasp of the community around you being in this position and with Purdue Northwest also being in Hammond, I’ve also grown to know Lake County very well, which is exciting.”
PNW hosts at least a monthly event for their alumni, who are welcome to bring their friends and family.
“Events are good for alumni to meet up, have a fun day, and keep in contact with people that they graduated with or members of the community. It’s just to get everyone out and engaged. That’s kind of what we do, we do exciting events to get people out into the community more, and get people to give back.”
She and her husband Sam Lubeznik love being a part of the community. They met through mutual friends, and have been together for 6 years and married for a year and a half.
“We get to be out in the community and help people, which is very exciting for both of us to do as much as we can, so we can give back to the communities where we grew up,” said Lubeznik. Between the two of them, they divide and conquer the area because each holds their own events. Sam and his father, Glenn, own the La Porte County McDonald’s restaurants.
Lubeznik has also been a part of the Rotary Club for the past two years, drawn to it because of the club’s mission of service above self.
“I just like the way that they give back. They are always helping with the Salvation Army and doing different stuff for the community. Rotary is a good group of people, a lot of business leaders I’ve grown to know, and I’ve made a lot of business contacts through there,” she said.
Lubeznik is also on the Lubeznik Center for the Arts board in Michigan City. LCA raises money for children to come to the art center and explore their creativity with the tools they may otherwise not have access to.
“It’s about getting children and their families together. They get people to realize the culture and the art in Michigan City.”
The Art Center was actually donated by Sam Lubeznik’s grandmother Shirley and grandfather Jack to the community, hence the name. Many members in the Lubeznik family are fans of art, and Erika has gotten involved in the same passions as her family.
With both her, and her husband’s passion and love for giving back, the community of Northwest Indiana are lucky to have them!