Brenda Merritt-Smith, 2012
- Emergency Preparedness Technician
- DSC employee since 2008
Degrees and schools where awarded: AS in Business Administration and Management, and BAS in Supervision and Management (2014), Daytona State College
Career/Professional honors: It was an honor to be selected project manager for a $500,000 Emergency Management in Higher Education grant awarded to the college by the U.S. Department of Education, which has helped the college plan and practice its response to critical incidents. I also have earned numerous certificates in emergency management from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Editor’s note: The EMHE grant awarded to Daytona State was the largest award given to any college or university that year. The two-year project, Operation Safe Campus, allowed the Daytona State to update its Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) to promote a four-phase approach to emergency management and added an epidemic/pandemic flu plan, as well as a protocol for preventing campus violence. With this grant, the college improved its mass notification system, enabling persons on all campuses to be alerted to emergency situations via auditory and visual means using the “Giant Voice” speaker system, and accompanying LED screens. The number of campus safety officers completing National Incident Management System training surpassed expectations and a series of CPR/AED trainings certified over 350 employees and students. An interactive online training module designed to increase awareness of emergency procedures among college employees also has been completed by 750 faculty and staff. A video of similar content has been integrated as part of new student orientation and is viewed by several thousand students each semester.
Outside interests: Attending church, shopping, music and attending plays.
What did you do prior to joining Daytona State College? I was a police officer with the Daytona Beach Police Department. I retired in October 2004.
What projects are you working on right now? I am currently preparing emergency drills and revising the college’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) and the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).
What has been the most rewarding thing about your Daytona State College experience? Having the opportunity to work with all areas and departments at the college to bring emergency preparedness to everyone.
What is one goal you still hope to achieve in your career? To complete my BAS degree in 2014.
One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: I ride and own a motorcycle.
Last book read: “Act Like and Lady and Think Like a Man” by Steve Harvey.
If they could bottle your personality what would the label read? Faithful.
If you could have a dinner party and invite any four people, dead or alive, the guest list would be: My mom (Rosa, 2010), my daughter Ashley, and President and Mrs. Obama.
The Daytona State of Mind to me means an opportunity to excel in any direction I choose to work hard.