Message from SCICU President and CEO Jeff Perez –
During this Thanksgiving season, here at SCICU there are three things for which I’m deeply thankful.
They are, in alphabetical order: Brenda, Eddie, and Shay.
The SCICU staff members were already doing as much, and more, on behalf of our member institutions than organizations in bigger states with larger staffs. But in the last 20 or so months of the pandemic I have asked even more of them. They have fulfilled their normal roles under very trying circumstances while also taking on new duties in order to ensure SCICU colleges and universities were equipped to meet the needs of their students and campus communities during these unprecedented circumstances.
Brenda Torrence has worked at SCICU for 34 years. She knows everyone and possesses more institutional knowledge than the Library of Congress. She keeps the office humming, and, as our financial administrator, treats every SCICU penny as if it were her own. Brenda provides support for everyone in the office. We can perform our work confident in the knowledge that Brenda is our safety net.
Throughout the pandemic Eddie Shannon has been challenged to maintain the level of fundraising for SCICU programs on which the member institutions depend. The Scholars Program, Student Lifeline Grants, and the Student/Faculty Research Program were all fully funded. In fact, in the last year, thanks to Eddie’s efforts, SCICU fundraising surpassed its goals.
Shay Shealy West handles communications, publications, and SCICU’s technology needs. Throughout the pandemic Shay has made sure the myriad Zoom meetings have gone off without a hitch, while overseeing our newsletters, website, College Guide, and Annual Report. She’s also expanded our social media footprint – she coordinated with campuses SCICU’s “DoublePell” campaign, which resulted in more than 35,000 impressions and generated national attention for SCICU.
That’s right. For all that SCICU does, there are just four staffers, including me. Advocacy. Promotion. Fundraising. Institutional support. Pound for pound we are as encompassing and effective as any state organization in the country.
Because of Brenda, Eddie and Shay I have a lot to be thankful for.