We’re so pleased to welcome Brandy Johnson to the Discover FSHN Series! Brandy is a Food Science and Human Nutrition Department administrative assistant who keeps the department running behind the scenes. Read on to learn about her essential administrative daily duties, her background in the US Secret Service, her dedication to her adorable family, and the foods we would find in her refrigerator right now!
Tell me about your role in the FSHN department. What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
My official title is Administrative Support Assistant 1, and you will find me at the reception desk in the administrative suite. My daily activities are reception duties which include processing payroll, receiving and sending mail/packages, ordering office supplies, and helping faculty and staff with room, vehicle, and parking pass reservations. I act as backup both for Ryan (Purchasing) and Kelly (HR) in their absence.
How did you get into administration and what is your favorite part of the job?
I started in administrative work in 2012 after leaving what I thought would be my life-long career, when I decided that my skills and abilities would be best utilized in a support role. In the years since, I’ve thoroughly enjoy being able to support and assist others through my work. I am a social butterfly, so my favorite part of the job is daily interaction with my coworkers along with faculty members and other staff!
What did you do before joining the FSHN department?
Prior to starting at FSHN, I stayed home for three years with my two children. I decided to take a break from working full-time to soak up that time with my kids while they were little. I was so blessed to have that as an option. Before that, I worked in both accounting and asset forfeiture where I was able to actively support law enforcement in day-to-day activities.
Can you tell me about your experience in the US Secret Service? How did you get involved?
I worked for the United States Secret Service in the Uniformed Division for about a year, ten years ago. My field of study is in criminology (BA from UF), so I actively pursued a career in law enforcement after graduation. This was an opportunity that I could not pass up when it was presented! I received excellent training and had the privilege of working with outstanding individuals in law enforcement. After six months of rigorous training, I was assigned and worked at the White House for the duration of my employment. That was such a fun and exciting time for me, from working late nights to the travel. It was during this time I realized that my family was so much more important than my career, and I decided to leave that position and go into a support role.
What do you like to do in your free time?
You will find me spending time with my kids! They love going to the park and playing outside, so on most afternoons that is where you will find me. I used to watch tons of Food Network in my younger years, and I enjoy cooking healthy meals for my family. In addition, I absolutely love to grocery shop. I also enjoy walking the aisles at both Target and TJ Maxx. I’m a total Florida girl who loves the hot weather! My favorite place to go is the beach, and I try to go as often as I can.
If I opened your refrigerator right now, what would I find in it?
It’s grocery shopping day, so right now you would find last night’s leftovers (creamy pesto pasta with sausage, sun dried tomatoes, and broccoli), eggs, orange La Croix, cheese, and some baby carrots.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I have lived in North Central Florida most of my life save my stint in DC. Before moving to Gainesville for college, I grew up in a rural area just west of Jacksonville. I have been married to my high school sweetheart since 2008, and we have two children: Mason is six and Carly is three. My family and I love to travel, even if it is only locally! Some of our go-to places are Disney World (pre-COVID of course) and St. Augustine. Our favorite thing to do while traveling is grabbing coffee and eating at local restaurants. We are big foodies and frequently enjoy taking trips to stop by local BBQ spots.
Note: Some images in this post were taken prior to national guidelines of face coverings and social distancing.
Interested in learning more about the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department? Read more here!
P.S. The Discover FSHN Series highlights the unique experiences of UF’s Food Science and Human Nutrition students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Want to read more about the amazing work going on in the FSHN department? See our previous features below:
Savanna Curtis, Food Science (M.S.)
Carley Rusch and Matthew Beke, Nutritional Sciences (Ph.D.)
Alexa Hosey, Dietetics (MS/DI)
Vicnie Leandre, Food Science (M.S.)
Rufus Theophilus, Nutritional Sciences (Ph.D.)
Amber Fritsche, Dietetics (MS/DI)
Dr. Naim Montazeri, Food Science/Food Virology
Dr. Jeanette Andrade, Dietetics
Dr. Zhiyong Cheng, Nutritional Sciences
Dr. Juan Andrade Laborde, Global Nutrition
Dr. Razieh Farzad, Food Science