How long have you been at SMCM?
I started working part-time in the Development Office in May 2006, and then transitioned to the Alumni Office full-time in August 2007, where I have been for the past 5 years. What path led you to St. Mary’s? After 20+ years of teaching/directing preschool programs, I was ready for a career change. My husband, Dr. Jeff Byrd has been on the faculty since 1990 and I have shared his love of the campus community and involvement with the students by attending and supporting many functions and events over the years. I knew many of the faculty and staff already and was overjoyed when a position which interested me became available. It is so rewarding to get to know the current students and then continue to reach out to them as alumni.
What do you do by day?
My weekly duties include assisting alumni by phone and email to reconnect to St. Mary’s, updating records, planning alumni chapter and campus events, maintaining the alumni office budget, ordering supplies, and coordinating with many other offices on campus.
What do you do with your evenings/weekends?
Evenings and weekends this summer and fall were spent working in the community garden, canning vegetables, and making some great refrigerator pickles. I also keep very busy as the treasurer of the First District Catholic Aid Society. For the past three years a group of parishioner volunteers from St. Cecilia, St. Michaels, and St. Peter Claver Catholic Churches have been operating a non-profit “helping hands” organization to assist clients residing in the First District (Hermanville Rd south to Pt. Lookout) with rental and utility payments. This past year we helped 87 clients with over $13,000 worth of aid. If you or someone you know in the First District needs our help, please have them call 240-925-9354 and speak to one of our volunteers.
What is your favorite off-campus lunch spot?
My favorite off-campus lunch spot would have to be my own house since I only live a mile from campus and scoot home at lunch almost every day. It is a nice break from sitting at my desk and I get to throw in a load of laundry or clean house for a half hour during the day which frees up more of the evening for other activities (like coming back to the College to watch a sporting event or theater production or musical performance).
What would colleagues be surprised to find out about you?
I have knitted over 200 preemie caps for hospitals, and sewed over 200 chemo caps for cancer treatment centers. If anyone wants my patterns, I’m willing to share.