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January - March 2012

Employee of the Quarter
Award Recipients

Cassie Bichy
Kathleen Coleman

The Department of Human Resources would like to congratulate Kathy Coleman and Cassie Bichy on receiving this honor.

Kathleen Coleman, Business Services Specialist for the Graduate School, has been named UMBC’s Nonexempt Employee of the Quarter effective January 1, 2012 thru March 31, 2012. Kathleen began her career with UMBC in July 1998 as an Accounting Clerk I for the Bookstore. She was later transferred to the Comptroller’s Office in October 1999 as an Accounting Clerk II. Kathleen continued to advance in her career and was promoted to her current position in May 2008.

Kathleen was nominated by Dr. Janet Rutledge, Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education. “Kathy has shown an extraordinary skill in identifying inefficient or ineffective processes and substantially improving them” says Rutledge. “The range of changed processes is expansive, but several examples bear mentioning in particular. Prior to Kathy’s involvement, the Graduate School’s procedures for departmental payment of an application fee had not been updated to reflect the implementation of PeopleSoft, which caused confusion and delays for departments and the Graduate School. The new procedures take full advantage of the power of PeopleSoft and give departments more control over the process. A second example is the improvement in communications with departments supporting Graduate Assistants. There is now a standard form used to alert departments to errors or to request additional information; departments have reacted positively to the changes. Finally, Kathy has worked and continues to improve how UMBC administers prestigious fellowships (e.g., Fulbright International Educational Exchange Program) to graduate students. In all cases, the innovations have improved the quality of life at UMBC for other staff, faculty, and students. In terms of her technical prowess, Kathy was a key player in implementing the tuition remission aspect of PeopleSoft SA in the Graduate School. It is generally agreed that the process is both more effective now and less time-intensive.”

Rutledge continues, “Kathy’s presence in the Graduate School has been truly transformational. In collaboration with the Assistant Dean for Administration & Finance, Kathy re-engineered many of our Graduate Assistant procedures. Her talents played a major role in enabling the Graduate School to charge departments for Graduate Assistant tuition remission months earlier that we had before her arrival. To provide a concrete example, fall 2004 tuition remission was billed to departments on or about March 15, 2005, whereas fall 2010 tuition remission was billed on or about October 15, 2010. Additionally, Kathy has led the charge on improving the way in which the Graduate School processes Inter-Institutional Enrollment (IIE). This has led to discussions with other offices on campus and with Graduate School and Registrar personnel at other campuses. IIE students can now, thanks to Kathy, expect a much better experience.”

The Graduate School made the surprise announcement at a staff meeting. Kathleen was excited to learn she was selected as Employee of the Quarter. A healthy assortment of fruit, vegetables and snacks were served at the party to support those staff members participating in the ‘Biggest Loser’ weight loss group. 


Cassie Bichy, Interim Director for the Learning Resources Center, has been named UMBC’s Exempt Employee of the Quarter effective January 1, 2012 thru March 31, 2012. Cassie began her career with UMBC in October 1992 as a Specialist for Student Support Services. She also served as an Instructor for Student Support Services. Cassie was promoted to Assistant Director for the LRC in February 2008 and accepted the role of Interim Director in 2010. 

Cassie was nominated by Bobbie Troyer, Specialist for the Department of Human Resources. Bobbie says, “I’m a full time employee, a single mom, and I’m taking classes at UMUC to finish my degree in Business Administration. Cassie has for the past couple of semesters gone out of her way to help with the testing of my final exams. UMBC does not have a ‘testing center’ on campus, so instead of traveling to College Park to take my exams, Cassie has always arranged to have my exams taken here at UMBC. She works with the testing staff at UMUC to get my materials here on time and get the computers up and running by the time I get there. Every time I ask her for help, she never hesitates. I don’t think she realizes how helpful she is to me by doing this.”

Diane Lee, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, says, “Cassie is dedicated to students and their success. She has worked diligently throughout her career at UMBC to create and implement programs that benefit all students. Her leadership in the Learning Resources Center has been pivotal to the development of Supplemental Instruction, the planning and staffing of the Retriever Learning Center in the Library, LRC101A, and the extension of our early alert system to include transfer students. She has a deep ethic of care and high regard for each student.  Cassie is an outstanding leader and team member in the Office of Undergraduate Education. She supports her colleagues with the same generous spirit that she demonstrates in her work with students.” 

Andrea Spratt, former Director of the Learning Resources Center, says, “Cassie is a teacher’s teacher, with a desire to help students to be successful.   She listens when students ask for help and gently guides.   She has developed programs that have helped many students to graduate.   Cassie is a great choice for this honor and has truly earned it during her years at UMBC.” 

The Learning Resources Center coordinated a surprise celebration for Cassie on January 11, 2012. Many staff, colleagues and friends attended and contributed delicious homemade desserts. Cassie was overjoyed to learn she had been selected as the Employee of the Quarter.   She had tears of happiness in her eyes as she thanked and acknowledged everyone for their support and contributions.

Each recipient will receive a check for $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 for all the recipients.

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 March.

Learn how to nominate an employee that you feel is deserving of this award for the next quarter.

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