Brookhaven employee spotlight

Maria Elena Franco, Art Director

Illustration of Jessica Edwards.
Illustration of Jessica Edwards. (Maria Elena Franco)

Jessica Edwards

Learning Commons Librarian

How long have you been working at Brookhaven?

I’ve been at Brookhaven for seven months.

What do you enjoy about your job at Brookhaven?

Early on in my educational journey, I recognized my passion and love for life-long learning. Being a librarian and being here at Dallas College I get to kind of inspire that in other people. I really enjoy working with students and kind of helping them toward their educational journey, helping them reach their goals.

I had a really wonderful mentor early on in my career. She definitely inspired me. She was the type of leader that was very hands on with staff and she definitely took an interest in me early to try to mentor me. I saw the way she worked with others, being open to learning about them and being open to what their thoughts were and guiding them based on what inspired them. I really took that on and kind of modeled my own professional career and who I am as a person and as a professional based on how she treated others.



Illustration of Xzia Merritt.
Illustration of Xzia Merritt. (Maria Elena Franco)


Xzia Merritt

Follett Access Team Lead

How long have you been working at Brookhaven?

I started off as a temporary member in 2019. About a year ago, I became permanent part-time.

What do you enjoy about your job at Brookhaven?

The joy in working in the bookstore is that I come across all types of students of all ages – from early college high schoolers to 18, to older people in their 70s. I like talking to different people, meeting them and getting to know what they’re doing, like what path they want to walk on.

It’s very interesting to get a look at other people’s lives and what they want to be and what they want to do. It’s very nice meeting different people. And seeing my regular people too. They come into the bookstore and even if they’re only buying snacks it’s just good to see people’s faces. It gives more of that college student experience.



Illustration of Ryan Secord.
Illustration of Ryan Secord. (Maria Elena Franco)


Ryan Secord

U.S. History Adjunct

How long have you been working at Brookhaven?

Two years.

What do you enjoy about your job at Brookhaven?

I started at Brookhaven and just grew to love the environment itself. I went to Ohio University, and the small class environment really helped me learn. It’s a lot more intimate. And so Brookhaven seems like a very peaceful, small place if you want to think. Brookhaven’s campus is, in my opinion, the most conducive to thinking and education. It’s the most like a regular university campus that I find.

The students are great. What I intended to do is I stayed at Brookhaven so that people could take U.S. history I and II with me over and over, rather than bouncing from place to place and a lot of students want to take every class that I have so I just stick around mostly for the students. I would do this job for free. I love this job.



Illustration of Brenda Quezada.
Illustration of Brenda Quezada. (Maria Elena Franco)


Brenda Quezada

Career Connected Learning Support Specialist

How long have you been working at Brookhaven?

I was a work-study while I was getting my associate [degree] and then once I graduated in May [of 2022], I then came back in the fall as a full-time employee. So it’s going to be about six or seven months.

What do you enjoy about your job at Brookhaven?

My job title is working a lot with the ESL and GED students, so this is just really about helping them continue their education and to letting them know that it’s never too late to do something about whether it’s about a new language or continuing getting their GED. That’s what I love about it. Empowering the education system – doesn’t matter your age, your height, your color, your ethnicity. Education is for all.




Illustration of Tristan Munnerlyn.
Illustration of Tristan Munnerlyn. (Maria Elena Franco)


Tristan Munnerlyn

Campus IT Coordinator

How long have you been working at Brookhaven?

I’ve been here since last March. It has been about a year and a month. Before the reorganization, I worked in the former Social Sciences Division, which is now the Division of Law and Public Service, for nine years doing eCampus tech support and front desk duties.

What do you enjoy about your job at Brookhaven?

I enjoy that because of the small team, even though my stated main job duties are to answer phones and handle tickets, I do get to go out to classrooms, put my hands on things and solve problems with people instead of just routing them to others. That’s definitely my passion, and something I enjoy doing: Solving problems for other people. Here I get to do what I enjoy doing and I also get to handle the other side of things, which is something that I of course have been working here for more than a year, pretty decent at it now. I got to grow my skill set while still doing the thing that I enjoy the most.