The Department Celebrates the Retirement of Ms. Brenda K. Chick
Twenty-two years ago, a plucky and friendly Ms. Brenda K. Chick joined the Department of Computer Science as a member of the Chair's office staff. There, she handled everything from keeping the chair's calendar, to answering important phone calls, to handling APT paperwork and other important files. After a few years, she became the Department's Coordinator for Facilities. In that position, she has capably managed large- and small-scale projects--everything from building new rooms, to painting and carpeting A.V. Williams, to managing repairs after flood damage--always ensuring that everything in our buildings is working and in good repair. She has provided excellent advice about the Iribe Center as well.
Until this year, Brenda was the staff organizer for Maryland Day and the High School Programming Contest, where she helped introduced hundreds of young people to computer science. Throughout the years, she assisted with countless visits from visiting scholars, graduate students, and high-profile visitors and she welcomed many faculty, staff members, and graduate students to the Department. She helped them design their offices, choose furniture, or simply settle into life in A.V. Williams. She capably managed the mail room and an excellent staff of professional and student workers, and sponsored the creation of a new app for the mail room to manage packages and notifications (it's very close to a launch date).
Brenda helped countless lost undergraduates find their way around the building, get to advising appointments, and she even drove some of them to the health center if they were too sick to walk. She consistently volunteered for undergraduate events--from the Career Fair to Casino Night. She single-handedly lobbied the university for accessible doors on the bridge of CSIC this year, and she has always helped ensure our security and the security of our belongings. A source of advice and encouragement, Brenda's ability to connect with people is inspiring, and her kindness and friendliness were the reason that we as a community never had to wait too long for any building projects. She quickly and quietly solved problems before we became aware of them, and she even knows whom to call when you get a parking ticket!
Even though she spent a lot of her time giving incisive advice and solving problems for everyone in A.V. Williams (and sometimes for people outside of the building), she still found time to pursue her interests in art, reading, and travel. As many of you know, she creates beautiful stained glass sculptures. Now that she is retiring, we expect that she'll create even more wonderful art. We have been so fortunate to have worked with such a creative, brilliant, kind, and thoughtful individual.
In short, we will miss her.
Be sure to celebrate Brenda today and thank her for everything.
Best wishes to you, Brenda!
The Department welcomes comments, suggestions and corrections. Send email to editor [at] cs [dot] umd [dot] edu.