EOQ Recipients January – March 2022

The Department of Human Resources would like to congratulate Lori DeThomas and Eloise Grose on receiving this honor.

Lori DeThomas, Academic Program Specialist in the Registrar’s Office, has been selected as the Non Exempt Employee of the Quarter for January-March of 2022. Lori began her career at UMBC in 2006 as a temporary Office Assistant.  She was hired in 2008 as an IT Data Entry Operator Lead in the Registrar’s Office.  Lori was promoted to her current position in 2009.

Lori was nominated by Renee Eisenhuth, Program Coordinator in the Division of Professional Studies. In describing her accomplishments and dedication to the department, Renee says, “I started contacting Lori DeThomas in the Registrar’s Office when I started at UMBC in 2013 for inter-institutional forms.  Since that time I have had to utilize her expertise in inter-institutional enrollment, veterans’ affairs, and records. Her customer service is always outstanding, responding quickly and thoroughly to what is needed. Even when I was not sure who I needed to contact she always assisted and directed me the right way. Even after not contacting her for two years, when I submitted a help ticket, she made sure to ask me how I have been.

Most recently, Lori assisted with an urgent student matter for one of my graduate students. The request was sent to her after 4 p.m. She could have easily left the item for the next day, but she did not. She worked with the student to make sure the item needed was generated.

I want to recognize Lori for her outstanding contribution to the Registrar’s Office mission to provide the UMBC community with high quality service.”

Lori was presented her award during a virtual staff meeting and was surprised to learn she was selected as the Non Exempt Employee of the Quarter.  Pam Hawley, University Registrar, shared Lori’s contributions and achievements with the staff to offer her congratulations.  Lori was proud to be selected as EOQ and was grateful for the recognition, particularly as it comes near her retirement from UMBC.

Eloise Grose, Assistant Director, Applied Learning & Community Engagement for the Shriver Center, has been selected as the Exempt Employee of the Quarter for January-March of 2022. Eloise began her career with UMBC in August 2012 as a Program Coordinator in the Shriver Center.  She was promoted to her current position in 2018.

Eloise was nominated by Lori Hardesty, Associate Director, Applied Learning & Community Engagement for the Shriver Center. In describing her work, Lori says, “Eloise possesses a deep sense of responsibility, emphasizes thoughtful stewardship towards our community partners, and provides exceptional customer service skills to keep our stakeholders front and center. From a StrengthsFinder perspective, the majority of Eloise’s Top 5 Talents fall into the ‘Executing’ category:  Arranger, Adaptability, and Consistency. Plain and simple, Eloise is the most reliable “do-er.”   Eloise is a steadfast resource in order to maximize student experiences, a top priority for UMBC’s strategic plan. Over the years, Eloise has taken the lead with our Service-Learning Interns, who through a cascading model, oversee the leaders of various service sites, which broaden our reach through community engagement.  She strives to develop their skills and abilities to prepare them in service and in life.”

“Over the years, Eloise has been involved with several AmeriCorps VISTA projects including Arbutus Middle School Achievers, an afterschool program; College JUMP, a refugee youth mentoring program; and Retriever Essentials, a program to assist UMBC students with food insecurity.  In addition, Eloise leads UMBC’s Campus Compact’s Newman Civic Fellows selection process.”

“In March 2020, the pandemic shut everything down quickly. As the consummate teammate, Eloise was the first to pull up her sleeves to figure out how to work through a challenge, if and where appropriate, to add a lightheartedness to make it fun. Eloise, Kasey, and I spent our 2020 Spring Break testing out Blackboard Collaborate in preparation of online connections to maintain connections, provide support, and strengthen communities.  These activities gave students the opportunity to connect with other students during this time in an academic setting while also fostering structured conversations around mental health, self-care, and ways to remain engaged with others socially during this time of physical distancing.”

“As a result of the pandemic, the needs and work of our partner organizations (nonprofits, K-12 schools, etc.) have changed. Many of our partner sites have had to change their programming, which has affected the involvement of UMBC students. Eloise is the staff liaison to the Esperanza Center, which was the first site to convert to online engagement in April 2020.  Students traditionally drive to Highlandtown in Baltimore City to the site where they work one on one with a different adult English Language Learner each week. Esperanza transitioned to a new format where volunteers log in at a given time and work with the same partner each week.  While Esperanza Center has always been a popular site, UMBC students, clients, and Esperanza Center staff have felt that the online format is in some ways preferred to in-person work.  The travel barrier is eliminated, the longer term match has been beneficial to all parties, and UMBC students have consistently reported they feel more comfortable and prepared to give their lessons and work with their partner,” says Lori.

Eloise has had a great impact on students through one of her first projects at UMBC. Mitsue Wiggs, Meyerhoff Scholars Assistant Director, describes the impact it has made: “After working with Eloise to formalize the process through PRAC, we have seen such growth and commitment to service learning and overall community commitment among our scholars. Our scholars have a much stronger civic engagement throughout their tenure at UMBC. By introducing service in the early stages it forms a foundation of experiential learning. Now, 5 years into our designated PRAC, our students seek out civil opportunities and are very likely to continue throughout their undergraduate experience. We also find our graduates will trace much of their transformation at UMBC to the early experience of PRAC. As a program we are indebted to the Shriver Center, and more specifically, to Eloise. Her positive attitude, deep concern for improving our communities and outreach among students has been a catalyst for transforming the experiences of our scholars.”

Colleagues both on and off campus value Eloise’s perspective, sense of responsibility, and commitment. Eloise has taken an active leadership role through the year serving on program and scholars selection committees, Baltimore Collegetown Network’s LeaderShape Program, and the UMBC Professional Staff Senate (2015-2017).  Eloise has presented at conferences and currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for Soccer Without Borders.

Lori concludes by saying “I am deeply grateful for Eloise’s contributions and hopeful that she can be recognized and celebrated on a broader campus level.”

Eloise was surprised and proud to learn she was selected as the Exempt Employee of the Quarter. She was most excited to share the news with her husband and baby daughter.

Recipients receive $500, a special parking space, one day of administrative leave, a certificate, his/her name on the Employee of the Quarter plaque and an invitation to the annual Service Award Ceremony.

Human Resources offers special thanks to everyone that nominated an employee for the award. Previous nominations received will be eligible for consideration for one year from the date received. The next Employee of the Quarter recipients will be selected in April.