Good-natured Dougherty-Bergeron keeps CFAR on track

bergeron insideMary Dougherty-Bergeron is UAB's Employee of the MonthFor 17 years, Mary Dougherty-Bergeron has been a fixture at UAB. She started in 2000 as a financial assistant in the UAB Center for Aids Research (CFAR), then became a program coordinator II in 2004 for investigators in the Department of Medicine’s Division of infectious Diseases, before returning to CFAR in 2009 as its financial administrator. In this role, Dougherty-Bergeron and her team manage more than $50 million in federal, state and foundation funding and contracts plus affiliations in Zambia, India and Australia, among other places.

Dougherty-Bergeron arrives early nearly every day, her co-workers say, ready to take on the pressures that come with the job.

“Her contributions have been integral to the ongoing success of CFAR and to ensuring that we are good stewards of our resources,” said Donna Porter, Ph.D., administrative director for CFAR and an associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

It’s easy to keep herself on task, Dougherty-Bergeron said, because she is passionate about doing the job efficiently and correctly — sometimes with a bit of creativity thrown in, which she said a place like UAB fosters.

“I enjoy getting to work with a group of people from different backgrounds, areas of expertise and perspectives, which allows me to literally learn something new every day. The ideas we share feed my drive to find the best way to get things done.”

“I enjoy getting to work with a group of people from different backgrounds, areas of expertise and perspectives, which allows me to literally learn something new every day,” Dougherty-Bergeron said. “The ideas we share feed my drive to find the best way to get things done.”

Working at UAB has afforded Dougherty-Bergeron many opportunities to grow, she said, specifically while working closely with research sites in Lusaka, Zambia, and Kigali, Rwanda. “These experiences expanded my view of the world in a way I would not have had otherwise,” she said.

Michael Saag, M.D., director of CFAR and a professor in the Division, said that Dougherty-Bergeron consistently thinks about how she can serve UAB, the projects she’s working on, the investigators involved and her supervisors; she always volunteers to collaborate projects such as retreats, strategic planning initiatives, and University-wide committees.

Each month, UAB recognizes an outstanding employee for their dedication, hard work and contributions to the university’s success. If you know of a great employee, you can learn how to nominate them for this recognition at uab.edu/humanresources.

“She is often the first at work in the mornings and among the last to leave every day,” Saag said. “Loyalty and dedication are Mary’s middle names.”

Much of Dougherty-Bergeron’s enthusiasm about her job stems from many fond memories of her time at UAB, from traveling with her CFAR co-workers to the compassion she experienced from colleagues during difficult times in her life. One her favorite memories, she said, is of the CFAR’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2013.

“So many people worked hard to commemorate that achievement,” she said. “I felt proud to be even a small part of that.”