The Department of Human Resources would like to congratulate Michael Meyers and Drema Wentz on receiving this honor.
Michael Meyers, Accountant I in Financial Services, is the Non-exempt Employee of the Quarter for July–September 2020. Michael began his career at UMBC in November 2006.
Michael was nominated by Zahira Meyers, Assistant Director in Human Resources. Zahira says, “Michael works very closely with the Human Resources (HR) to apply tuition remission to the student accounts of employees and dependents of employees. Tuition Remission has greatly evolved over the last decade starting from a paper based system that required significant manual edits, attention to detail, policy interpretation, and manual tracking and communication with the student, employee, and/or department. The paper based system required Michael to work closely with our group to think of and create innovative ways to increase the efficiency and management of the USM (University System of Maryland) paper forms. Michael served as an integral partner in utilizing shared folders in Box and the scanning of all of forms to eliminate paper forms between HR and the Bursars while the USM was working on a finalized a more electronic option. Throughout part of 2018 & all of 2019 Michael served as a contributor to the HR office and the USM office to test and provide feedback on the newly implemented Tuition Remission online system.
The USM Tuition System went live in July of 2019 and without Michael and the Bursar’s Office involvement, we would not have been the first campus to “go live” with the new system. The tuition remission system had been under discussion for at least 10 years and was designed in 2018 by the USM office. UMBC yields roughly 1300+ tuition remission applications each year. The USM worked with each of the schools to understand requirements, Michael was involved in the initial discussions and the rollout phase. Michael never hesitated to bring up important points and details related to the application of tuition remission to student accounts. When UMBC was the first institution to go live, Michael joined the HR office on the USM weekly calls to discuss our progress, bugs we worked out in the system, and future enhancements. Michael was able to assist the USM in understanding the application of tuition remission to student accounts and the features necessary to provide future reporting to the USM system’s payroll office for IRS tax purposes. In addition, with each new bug Michael proactively submitted requests to the USM helpdesk for troubleshooting. Michael joined HR to meet with two other USM schools (UMB & UB) to show them the HR and Bursar capabilities of the new system and how we were using it on our campus. One of the USM institutions has reached out for ongoing partnership with our Bursar’s Office to apply equations to the PeopleSoft system that enables the system to auto adjust the number of credits based on student enrollment. This cross functional sharing of information will foster a better USM wide application of tuition remission in future semesters. This type of initiative by Michael not only benefits UMBC but also helps UMBC maintain its leadership position within the USM and provides solutions for issues facing our system as a whole. UMBC was acknowledged by the System wide Senior HR committee (SHRC) for our leadership in the rollout of the USM’s new system for which Michael has been an integral part of.
Michael was presented with his award on July 23, 2020 during a WebEx meeting. In addition to his colleagues in Financial Services, Zahira Meyers attended to offer her congratulations.
Drema Wentz, Associate Registrar for the Office of the Registrar, is the Exempt Employee of the Quarter for July–September of 2020. Drema began her career at UMBC in January 2004 as a Coordinator of Event Scheduling for The Commons. She was promoted to Manager in 2013. Drema transferred to her current position in the Office of the Registrar in April 2018.
Drema was nominated by Pamela Hawley, University Registrar. Pamela describes Drema as “a hands-on manager who leads by example and is able to address complex system, policy and practice details while still focusing on larger strategic goals and visions and promoting the professional development of her team. While overseeing the daily operations in her charge, Drema has taken on a key role in the Instructional Scheduling and Space Task Force (ISSTF) as co-chair of a team exploring UMBC’s standard class time offerings with a focus on increasing flexibility.”
“Since transitioning from Campus Events to a leadership role in the Registrar’s Office, Drema has mastered scheduling, catalog and registration functions in PeopleSoft Student Administration as well as Accalog/Curriculog. She brought 25 Live expertise with her and has improved our use of the system in classroom assignments. In addition, Drema has quickly become an expert in UMBC’s class scheduling and registration policies as well as USM residency policy, and VA certification policies and practices.”
“Drema both completes and oversees a large volume of critical tasks, including the production of the fall and spring schedule of classes, the production of the online Undergraduate Catalog, PeopleSoft academic records access for faculty and staff, the building and maintenance of courses and enrollment requisites in the SA system, the residency classification) for tuition purposes) appeals process and the NCAA athletics certification process.”
“In her first year with Enrollment Management, Drema served as Maryland Charities Campaign co-chair for the division. Drema always keeps the overall mission of the UMBC, Enrollment Management and the Registrar’s Office front and center. During staff transitions she volunteered to oversee our veteran’s certification and residency classification services, areas completely outside of her scope of responsibility but which she recognized were in need of her leadership and managerial skills.”
Drema was presented her award during a surprise WebEx meeting on July 28, 2020. She was honored to have been selected.
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 October.