EOQ Recipients July – September 2021

Photos of the Employees of the Quarter

The Department of Human Resources would like to congratulate Brandy Darcey and Derrick Johns on receiving this honor.

Brandy Darcey, Office Supervisor III at the Department of Biological Sciences, has been selected as the Non-Exempt Employee of the Quarter for July-September of 2021. Brandy began her career at UMBC in October 2015 as Administrative Assistant II. She was promoted to her current position in March 2018.

Brandy was nominated by Melody Wright, Business Services Specialist at the Department of Biological Sciences. Melody describes Brandy’s experience and great attitude: “Brandy has proved to be a true asset to the department. She brought a knowledge base from her prior job that has enhanced the work being done within the departmental office. She quickly learned how to handle undergraduate student questions and problems. She facilitated any manner of faculty requests and projects, which were many, and always did it with a pleasant attitude.”

A staff member that Brandy supervises says, “She encourages me to learn new skills whether taking a seminar, participating in on campus training, or using campus resources. She makes suggestions when I have an issue and understands when I need to tailor them to my style.”

“As the Graduate Program Coordinator for her department, she coordinates 3 PhD programs and 2 MS programs” says Melody. “Brandy embodies a true customer service spirit, ensuring that the programs are well maintained and proposes changes that make a difference in the lives of our students. Brandy contributed significantly in the transition to remote working during the COVID pandemic. Brandy has updated existing forms and systems to be completely electronic. This has been very beneficial during the campus shut-down, and remote work situation.” The Graduate Program Director adds, “Brandy has been working to improve our graduate students’ records into a more manageable, digital, and searchable format, and moving away from paper.  This will be very helpful for us to get a better overview of what works in the program and what information we can use to predict student success or need for intervention.”

Brandy did not let COVID and the switch to remote work hinder her.  Melody says, “Brandy had to quickly transform our Visit Day event from being held live on campus to an online format in a matter of days with little experience in the use of online hosting platforms.  She also tackled the problems of holding department orientation for new graduate students.  No one would have known it was the first year of online orientation.  Brandy made sure that the graduate students remained on track in their degree program, and felt connected to the department during the remote work arrangement.  She frequently met with students via phone or WebEx, on their schedule even if it differs from her regular working hours.  We believe she has thrived under these challenges.”

Brandy received her award and was honored and proud to learn she was selected as the Non-Exempt Employee of the Quarter.

Derrick Johns, Lieutenant and Operations Commander in the Police Department, has been selected as the Exempt Employee of the Quarter for July-September of 2021. Derrick began his career at UMBC in April 2002 as University Police Officer II. He was promoted through the various ranks of University Police Officer over the years and was promoted to his current position in 2019.

Derrick was nominated by Wanda Soares Nottingham, Antonio Silas, and Emma Sellers from the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA). In describing his dedication and commitment to his work, the nominators say, “Derrick is a team player. His true spirit and character speak volumes to his dedication and commitment to serving our campus community. His commitment to the campus community is evidenced by the fact that he willingly volunteered to accept the role of Vice President for the BFSA committee.”

The nominators from BFSA recognize Derrick’s persistence in improving the UMBC community: “Derrick understands what it takes to be committed to helping his coworkers by stepping up to the plate and dedicating his time and professional resources. He has proven that he is genuine about promoting change within the UMBC campus community. His interpersonal and leadership skills are outstanding.”

“Derrick Johns has been certified in the state of Maryland as a defensive tactics instructor, a Krav Maga instructor (an Israeli form of self-defense) and a R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) instructor. Upon obtaining these certifications he began holding training classes for the officers of the UMBC Police Dept. to make them proficient in these trainings. He has put together and instructed several self-defense classes on campus for students, faculty and staff, to include Wellness Wednesday classes. He has assisted the Baltimore County Police Department with the training of their officers and recruits, in the police academy, in Krav Maga and defensive tactics on several occasions.”

Derrick received his award and was proud to learn he was selected as the Exempt Employee of the Quarter.

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.