Dr. Dryer, Professor Biddy honored for advancements in STEM education

Published on May 4, 2022

NORTH EAST, Md.: The Northeastern Maryland Technology Council bestowed high honors upon Cecil College administrative and faculty members for their STEM education work. Those honored this spring from Cecil College at the Eleventh Annual NMTC Visionary Awards were Vice President of Academic Programs, Dr. Christy Dryer, and Assistant Professor of Mathematics Brandie Biddy.

NMTC connects collaborative leaders in academia, industry, and the federal government to build a STEM-educated workforce and advance innovation and technology to expand the state’s economy and protect national security. The 2022 Visionary Awards Gala was held on Wednesday, April 20.

Biddy received the Mentor Award for her work to ensure students in developmental math courses receive the support and assistance to be successful. She is also credited with spearheading the creation of a data science course and a data science degree which are anticipated for approval this summer. She chairs the data science committee at Cecil College.

Mentorship is more than theory to Biddy but is deeply rooted in her past. Beginning her collegiate education by taking developmental math courses at Cecil College, Biddy excelled in her undergraduate studies before earning a Master of Science in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University.

Determined to give back to others from similar backgrounds, she began her career at Cecil College in 2013. Proud to be the only member of her extended family to have earned a college degree, Biddy is active with student organizations on campus, mentoring the Student Math League and Geekdom Club. Biddy volunteers by sharing her knowledge, expertise, and time to inspire mathematics students at Cecil College and other faculty members in the Mathematics and Engineering department.

Biddy is an inspiration to her developmental math students and students who major in mathematics or engineering.

Dr. Dryer received the “Leader Award” for her consistent contributions to building the STEM-educated workforce and advancing Maryland’s innovation and technology base within a public venue. Under her leadership, Cecil College’s Cybersecurity program achieved NSA recognition, and the Visual Communications program created a drone certificate. Also under her guidance, the Engineering program developed a partnership with Frostburg University and the biology department developed an Associate of Applied Science in Bioproduction degree with articulation with Thomas Jefferson University.

During the pandemic, she supported faculty by facilitating the development of practices to optimize the College’s impact on students and expand a variety of online course formats and tools.

Increasing access to higher education is a passion of Dr. Dryer’s. She was instrumental in Cecil College taking the lead on an innovative collaboration between seven community colleges to increase opportunities for students across Maryland. The newly formed Maryland Education Alliance (MEA) has created opportunities for students to earn the desired associate degree or certificate by completing course work uniquely offered by another community college.

The MEA currently consists of Anne Arundel Community College, Carroll Community College, Cecil College, Chesapeake College, College of Southern Maryland, Harford Community College, and Prince George’s Community College. These six community colleges serve nine eastern, southern, and central Maryland counties.

Dr. Dryer serves on many boards and committees on behalf of Cecil College.

A total of 12 Marylanders were honored this year for STEM-educated workforce development and advancing our technology and innovation base to grow the economy and protect national security. The NMTC awards gala is supported by leaders and contributors from industry, government, and education.

The 2022 Visionary Award honorees are as follows: Visionary: Larry Muzzelo, Deputy to the Commanding General, CECOM, APG; Leader: Dr. Christy Dryer, Vice President of Academic Programs, Cecil College; Jaclyn (Jackie) Madden, Professor of Biology, Harford Community College; and Adam Bogner, Chief Signals Intelligence, U.S. Army C5ISR Center. Awards in the Innovator category include Dr. Eoin O’Driscoll, Director Critical Infrastructure Protection: DSA, Inc; Mark Butkiewicz, VP Applied Technology Operation, SURVICE Engineering; and Dr. Vishnu Marla, Material Scientist, multiple patent holder, W.L. Gore; Mentor: Brande Biddy, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Cecil College; Dr. Chi-Chin Wu, Materials Scientist, U.S. Army Research Laboratory; and Dr. Edward Schmidt, Senior Science Society, U.S. ARL (Ret.) Rising Star honorees are Sarah Patrick, Information Science Student at the University of Maryland, and Olivia Webster, Biomedical Engineer, U.S. Army Public Health APG.

Previous NMTC Visionary Award winners from Cecil College include Dr. Mary Way Bolt, Dr. Veronica Dougherty, Dr. James Morgan, Barbara Morton, Kathleen Kunda, Dr. Diane Lane, Dr. Ebony Roper, and Kayla Ross, Kim Sheppard, and Jacqueline Wilson.