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Meet the Staff

Valerie A. Thomas, Associate Vice President, Human Resources
Phone: 410-455-3142

Valerie is responsible for the overall administration of the Human Resources Department to include: recruitment and selection, training and development, benefits, payroll, classification/compensation, HRIS and general policy administration.

Unit Directors

Lisa Drouillard, Director of Payroll
Phone: 410-455-1791

Lisa is responsible for managing payroll administration including audit compliance, dual employment, new hire onboarding paperwork, pay check distribution and training.

Jill Weinknecht Wardell, Director, Workplace Learning, OD and Wellness
Phone:  410-455-1442

Jill is responsible for providing training, organization development and wellness programming for the campus. Her work includes facilitating departmental meeting & retreats, leadership development cohorts, executive coaching, and strategic planning activities.


Zahira Meyers, Benefits Manager
Phone: 410-455-2479

Zahira is responsible for managing the HR Benefits unit and works with the State of Maryland and USM to ensure compliance with policies and laws. She provides advice and counsel to employees on complex benefit issues and provides training on benefit programs to include health, retirement, disability, life, tuition remission, and employee assistance programs.

Sara Shannon, Benefits Specialist
Phone: 410-455-3648

Sara is responsible for consulting with faculty and staff on pre-retirement planning, advising on benefit enrollment/changes, supplemental retirement, retirement plan selection, and evaluating tuition remission eligibility.

Classification/Compensation & Position Management

Sonya Garlington, Classification/Compensation Manager
Phone: 410-455-3258

Sonya is responsible for conducting job studies, salary surveys, and other wage administration projects related to the classification and compensation of campus staff and positions.


Kim Harris, Employment Manager
Phone: 410-455-2911

Kim is responsible for recruitment and selection for exempt and non-exempt staff as well as faculty recruitment. She coordinates the Employee of the Quarter Program. In addition, Kim is responsible for development and maintenance of the Human Resources website.

Sandy Vance, Employment Specialist
Phone: 410-455-2912

Sandy assists the Employment Manager in recruitment and selection of staff and faculty positions. She reviews and evaluates application forms, provides guidance on application procedures and provides technical assistance to hiring departments.

Rosemarie Mahoney, ATS Specialist
Phone: 410-455-1767

Rosemarie is responsible for assisting in the implementation of the PageUp applicant tracking system.  She provides training to new users; maintains security and permissions in the system; provides technical assistance; and assist with recruitment and hiring functions.

Employee/Labor Relations

James Abrams, Employee/Labor Relations Manager
Phone: 410-455-1638

James is responsible for providing advice, guidance and assistance to employees, administrators, managers and supervisors on a variety of employee/labor relations issues. He is also responsible to responding and representing management for unemployment claims.


Kia Johnson, Payroll Manager
Phone: 410-455-1833

Kia is responsible for the day to day payroll operations including addressing complex payroll issues, overseeing bi-weekly payroll processing activities to include troubleshooting issues, NRA tax treaties, VISA updates, dual employment and campus training.

Brittney Liles, Payroll Processing Specialist
Phone: 410-455-1051

Brittney is responsible for ALL Non-Resident Alien paperwork (students, graduate assistant, faculty, and staff) new hire pars, change pars, and supporting documentation. As well as reviewing and verifying Non Resident Alien forms (for tax purposes). She is also responsible for PeopleSoft payroll processing including Payroll Adjustments and Time Entry Corrections forms, Time Entry/Gross Pay reporting and payroll advances.

Vacant, Payroll Processing Associate
Phone: 410-455-2554

This position is responsible for all domestic student and graduate assistants new hire pars, change pars, and supporting documentation. Position is also responsible for any voided checks, over-payments, or stop payment check requests as well as check distribution process and signature authorizations.

Samantha Sutton, Payroll Processing Associate
Phone: 410-455-3857

Samantha is responsible for all domestic faculty and staff new hire pars, change pars and supporting documents. She is also responsible for pre-hires.


Sherrell McNamara, HRIS Manager
Phone: 410-455-3646

Sherrell is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities related to HR system data integrity, internal and external campus reporting, HR system security access and training, employee leave administration and audits as well as HR automation initiatives.  Sherrell ensures compliance with policies and bylaws.  She provides consultation to employees on time and leave issues, policies and procedures.

Denise Rollins, HR Specialist
Phone: 410-455-3695

Denise is responsible for the daily maintenance and quality assurance of employee demographic and job data with the HR system, data audit reviews.  She works with the payroll staff and campus departments is resolving issues that impact data integrity.  Denise also assists the HRIS Manager with reporting and leave matters.

Rashidah Sparks, HR Specialist
Phone: 410-455-2286

Rashidah is responsible for the review and coordination of Contingent I and II staff contract processing; the processing of criminal background checks for Contingent I applicants; review and entry of position management updates to faculty, graduate assistants, students and temporary positions in the HR system.

Workplace Learning and Wellness

Jessica McMurtrie, Program Management Specialist
Phone: 410-455-3285

Jess is responsible for administrative and technical coordination of training, organization development and wellness programming for the campus. She coordinates UMBC’s SkillSoft e-Learning program and provides technical support to the HR department.

Support Staff

Michele Kimery, Executive Administrative Assistant
Phone: 410-455-3849

Michele provides administrative support to the Chief HR Officer/Associate Vice President and the HR staff. She serves as the office manager for the department and is responsible for assisting the campus community and the public with general inquires.

Beth Holt, HR Associate
Phone: 410-455-2337

Bethann provides front desk customer support to the campus community and the public with general information requests. She also provides administrative support to the HR staff.