PEMBROKE — Stephen Brooks has a heart for helping others.
For the past 18 years, countless students and community members have been on the receiving end of Brooks’ compassion as a Police and Public Safety officer with The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
“I enjoy the opportunity to meet people and help them out, whether it’s a dead battery to someone having domestic issues. That’s the one thing that drives me — the opportunity to help people on a daily basis,” Sgt. Brooks said.
The Pembroke native was recognized for his dedication recently when he was named UNCP’s Employee of the Year.
“It was definitely very humbling,” Brooks said. “It was an awesome feeling.”
Brooks was among several employees recognized during the annual Staff Awards Ceremony on June 6.
Tonya Locklear, an administrative assistant in the Biology Department, received the Changing Lives Through Education award. Locklear has worked for the university for 22 years.
“I was humbled to be recognized,” she said. “There are a lot of people here that do a lot for students. It’s about always having the students as our primary focus. We are here because of them.”
Locklear can relate to students’ needs because she is scheduled to graduate in December from UNCP with a degree in American Indian Studies.
Other awards were given to staff and non-teaching faculty in the categories of accountability, communication, collaboration, innovation, integrity and service. Receiving awards in each category were:
— Accountability: Angela Revels, Human Resources; Melissa Gainey, Undergraduate Admissions.
— Collaboration: Tony Lewis, Distance Education; Alesia Cummings, American Indian Studies.
— Communication: Ashley Oxendine, Center for Student Success; Bobbie Scott, Academic Affairs.
— Innovation: Nancy Fields, Museum of the Southeast American Indian; Student Health Services staff.
— Integrity: Charla Suggs, Counseling and Psychological Services; Robin Johnson, Center for Student Success.
— Service: Sandy Jacobs, Center for Civic and Community Engagement; Heather Romine, Biology Lab Manager/Research Specialist.
Mark Locklear is a Public Communications specialist for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Communications & Marketing.