WHO SHE IS
Photo Janet Sassi
Gift Records Assistant, Office of Development and University Relations
TIME AT FORDHAM
WHAT SHE DOES
Brenda works with the University’s computerized records system. She processes any donation of stock, gifts in kind, mutual funds, checks, cash and credit cards. Prior to becoming a gift records assistant, Brenda worked as an assistant within the Department of Research.
Over the snow-packed Christmas holiday break, Brenda entered a record 557 end-of-year gifts in four days. Her director, Beverlee Cappeto, described her effort as “unprecedented. She kept us motivated throughout
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Brenda left the novitiate of the sisters of Mount Carmel and migrated to the United States in 1969 to join her siblings. She settled in the Bronx, and aspired to do geriatric nursing.
Since coming to Fordham, she has earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and has taken several courses in philosophy, visual art and economics, which has helped in her real estate business. She considers herself a philosopher and a “practitioner of thought.” Her day begins at 4 a.m. with meditation and exercise. These exercises quiet her mind and prepare her for the day. She arrives at the office at 6 a.m. to avoid train delays. Being an “avid existentialist,” Brenda’s ethics are not that of a thumb-twiddler, but rather one of “cause and effect. I am at the office to do a job.”
“Fordham has afforded me a privileged education and the ability to develop my business skills.”
BANNER IS BETTER
Brenda was introduced to the Viking software, which was replaced by Banner in 2007. Brenda’s department was on the receiving end of a streamlined data-entry system. “Banner gives us more tools to do a more efficient job of gift processing. Banner also affords us the ability to work autonomously.”
RIDING THE BULL
While out with co-workers, Brenda felt that the party was going nowhere; therefore, to “break the ice,” she took a shot at riding a mechanical bull. “It’s like work,” she said. “It had to be done!” After mounting the mechanical bull, the party took off. What’s next on the indomitably spirited Brenda’s bucket list? To skydive.
A minimalist and a member of the Sierra Club, she has done scuba diving, snorkeling and skin diving. An avid gardener, she teaches her neighbors organic gardening and rain water harvesting. She writes a neighborhood bulletin on organic gardening and hot and cold composting. She conducts garden tours, and teaches ways to choose to reuse. She does plumbing, carpentry, masonry, roofing and dry wall plaster. In the winter, she crochets, sculpts and paints. She is learning to read blueprints.