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EOQ Recipients October – December 2020

Photo of Employee of the Quarter Employee of the Quarter Photo

The Department of Human Resources would like to congratulate Steven Wicker and Willie Santiago on receiving this honor.

Steven Wicker, Accounting Associate of the Division of Professional Studies, has been selected as the Nonexempt Employee of the Quarter for October-December of 2020. Steven began his career with the University System of Maryland in 1996 working at both University of Maryland, College Park and University of Maryland University College.  He transferred to UMBC in September 2018.

Steven was nominated by Bridget Stone, Director, Finance & Administration, of the Division of Professional Studies. In describing his work ethic and contributions to the University, Bridget says, “Whenever a problem is presented Steven jumps at the opportunity to volunteer. Most recently, when we were required to work remotely because of COVID-19, Steven volunteered to get the mail every week from campus, scan into Box and distribute via email. He also took care of mailing checks and deposit slips to Student Business Services for processing. It doesn’t matter if the task is part of his job responsibilities. For instance, when one of our instructors was having difficulty setting up her online class, Steven stepped in to provide assistance to transition her class online. His technical background has been an asset to the payroll team, as well as the Division.”

Bridget continues to praise Steven’s work and character in saying that “No task is too small or insignificant. He has helped multiple staff members move furniture and supplies, not mention decorating tips. His customer skills are exceptional. He is very patient and will go out of his way to assist others. He communicates well and is a pleasant person to work with. He is constantly looking for ways to simplify processes for his customers.”

Bridget describes Steven’s innovative contributions: “Steven routinely uses his technical skills to recommend and create improvements to the payroll process. He updates and maintains our website for New Hire faculty paperwork and he has created numerous DocuSign forms to automate the approval of several HR documents including the PAR form for PT instructors, Pre-Hire form, Substance Abuse form, GA Completion of Duties, and the Telework Agreement. He is currently working on a DocuSign form to submit all new hire paperwork to UMBC Payroll. His database skills have been effective in simplifying payroll reconciliation and tracking of employee’s pay.  Steven requested to attend the REX HR report work group meetings and his feedback as a front line user of payroll data has been helpful in the report development process.  Last summer he attended the Data Exploration Workshop through the UMBC Training Centers which focused on developing data literacy.  In addition, Steven was involved in providing feedback and guidance during the DPS contracting system conversion.”

Bridget adds, “Steven is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership with a goal of opening his own business after he retires. Prior to coming to UMBC, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science while working at College Park and raising his family.”

Steven was presented his award during a virtual meeting and was surprised and proud to learn he was selected as the Non-exempt Employee of the Quarter.

Willie Santiago, Concert Coordinator in the Department of Music, has been selected as the Exempt Employee of the Quarter for October-December of 2020. Willie began his career at UMBC in June 2016.

Willie was nominated by Linda Dusman, Professor and Chair, of the Department of Music.  Linda says, “Willie has been an outstanding concert coordinator.  The music coordinator was a brand new position created when the Music Department moved to the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building.   We had no processes in place and Willie created all our policies and procedures for scheduling, back of house stage management, box office, and website marketing of our events—over 125 concerts a year. Willie mastered all the complex technologies required for the Earl and Danielle Linehan Concert Hall and Music Box, and created a course for our music majors to learn effective concert management skills so they could compete for internships and employment in this area.  He is the liaison for any external concert presenters who contract to use the Linehan Concert Hall, and in every case these professionals have commented to me that Willie’s customer service has been exemplary. His position requires working late at night and on weekends with all sorts of odd unpredictable hours. Willie has never once called in sick, and has never been late. He is the most reliable employee I have ever worked with in 30 years in higher education.”

One of the major tasks that Willie does is facilitating concert production. Linda continues, “I feel confident saying that if not for Willie’s hard work and dedication, UMBC’s reputation as a wonderful place for musicians to perform would not be what it is. His attention to details, making both students and professional performers comfortable in the knowledge that all the details related to correct stage set up, correct use of our expensive instruments (including concert grand pianos worth $150,000), and the correct and safe use of the many technologies now employed in producing concerts make our concerts shine. We represent UMBC publicly in every concert we produce, and Willie’s attitude and professionalism contribute significantly to UMBC’s reputation in the region.”

Linda finally mentions Willie’s artistry. “Willie continues to work as a free-lance professional flutist and continues his education in flute performance by attending summer workshops during his vacation leave. In this way he is a great example to our students of continuing to develop as a musician while being fully employed in an arts administration field.”

Willie graciously received his award and was honored to be 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 January.