As a first year graduate student, I often have questions regarding department policies, how to perform mundane tasks like operating the copier or fax machine, and generally how to navigate the labyrinth that is the Art-Socy building. And whenever I encounter these issues, whether big or small, I know where to turn. I turn to Laurie Brown.
You may have seen her sitting towards the back of the front office, behind Gerry and Dhanashree. Somehow, I always seem to bypass everyone else and go straight to her. And she never lets me down.
Recently I played a quick game of question-and-answer with Laurie to get to know her better. I hope this short piece allows you all to catch a glimpse of the woman we know and love. Here are Laurie’s answers:
Dave: What is your “official” position in the department?
Laurie: My official position is Coordinator for the Chair.
Dave: What exactly does this mean?
Laurie: This job has various administrative responsibilities. Some of them are include assisting with the planning and implementation of events that the department has throughout the year, arranging for the travel of guest and job candidates, assisting with the appointment and tenure process of sociology faculty, supervising the student workers in the main office, working with the chair to execute his or her agenda, and assisting with the scheduling of classes.
Dave: How long have you worked for the University of Maryland?
Laurie: I have worked at the University for 5 years, including my previous position within the Aerospace Engineering Department.
Dave: What did you do for the Aerospace Engineering Department?
Laurie: While in the Aerospace Engineering department, I worked closing with the graduate director with the recruiting and admission of graduate students into the program.
Dave: Where did you grow up? Do you have any siblings?
Laurie: I grew up in Prince George’s County, MD and I have two older brothers and two younger step siblings.
Dave: What’s it like living so close to home?
Laurie: It is very convenient to live this close to where I grew up because the majority of my family is still in the area.
Dave: What are 5 things to do, that makes you happier than a calm?
Laurie: Reading a good book; attending church service; laughing with friends; eating a great slice of cheesecake; coming home from work on a Friday afternoon!
Dave: Which are better, cats or dogs? Why?
Laurie: I like them both, however, I have always had cats because they are more self sufficient and don’t need walking in the early morning hours on a cold day!
Dave: Five favorite movies of all time. GO!
Dave: What sorta music do you like? What sorta music do you dislike?
Laurie: I like contemporary Christian, soft rock, and old school R&B. I dislike any kind of music that has vulgar language.
Dave: What is your favorite part about working for the University of Maryland?
Laurie: I love the fact that faculty and staff also get a long winter and spring break!
Dave: Finally, tell me one thing that nobody in our department knows about you.
Laurie: I hate having a disorganized desk. At the end of the day, I always make sure that things are in order.
Laurie Brown is the Administrative Coordinator for the department.
Dave Strohecker is a first year PhD student.