Explore UAB

Editor’s note: This year was untraditional in many ways including the way we celebrate people who leave the department in retirement. While we didn’t have a traditional party, we continue to celebrate one of our longtime employees, Kathy Coleman. The following was written by Yabing Chen, Ph.D., Jay M. McDonald Endowed Professor in Laboratory Medicine and Vice Chair, Faculty Development and Education.

Kathy Coleman received her bachelors’ degree in Business Management from University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa.  She joined UAB Department of Pathology in 2003 as an Office Associate I in the Division of Molecular & Cellular Pathology.  She has since worked in different areas of the Department, including the Chair’s office, and moved up in the ranks to Office Associate II and Administrative Associate.  During her 17-year tenure at UAB, Kathy has provided excellent administrative support to many faculty members in the department.

I have been very fortunate to work closely with Kathy since starting my role as Vice Chair for Faculty Development and Education in January 2017.  Kathy’s wealth of knowledge about departmental administration and different UAB and HSF financial and administrative systems facilitates my role in assisting our faculty and trainees with their professional development and education needs. With her help, we updated the Department of Pathology promotion and tenure guidelines, generated manuals to standardize departmental faculty mentoring, evaluation, and promotion process.  Kathy is very organized and takes the initiative to follow up with faculty and trainees on their requests. She always takes pride in getting her job done at its best.  

Kathy’s dedication has made the transition of the MCP pathology seminar to the centralized departmental Grand Rounds smooth.  For all departmental Grand Rounds and Named Lectures, Kathy became the face of UAB Department of Pathology to contact and provide administrative support to the invited speakers from all over the country and international institutes.  I have heard so many compliments about her professionalism and warm hospitality. 

Kathy is a very kind person.  Her nice demeanor is infectious and affects everyone she has worked with. I enjoyed working with Kathy, as her kind personality spills over reflecting in her positive attitude towards the job.  She understands the importance of her role to facilitate the process and improve work efficiency.  We have encountered many difficulties over the years, but Kathy would always work with me to find a solution.  Her kindness, commitment and professionalism are also witnessed by many faculty in our department (see below).   I am extremely grateful toKathy for all her help, and congratulate her for her well-deserved retirement.

Following are a few comments from faculty from divisions throughout the department:

Gregory Davis, MD, Division Director, Forensics: Kathy Coleman quietly and effectively managed the Department of Pathology for years, taking care of all the niggling details that are necessary but that no one ever volunteers to do. Kathy kept the Department calendars and took care of getting everyone the continuing education credits that we need for attending Grand Rounds. Because she is quiet it is only now that Kathy has retired that the Department is going to realize just how much work she did to keep the Department running smoothly. I predict that if you have not already wished for Kathy’s return, then you soon will.

Eason Hildreth, PhD, Assistant Professor, MCP: Kathy is an exemplary citizen of the Department of Pathology and UAB. However, she is an even better person. From this, I feel everyone she interacts with is a better person because of Kathy.

Xu Feng, PhD, Professor, MCP: Kathy is very skilled, responsible and professional. Her hard work and dedication greatly contributed to the success of my research. Moreover, she is so pleasant to work with. I wish her a very enjoyable retirement.

Upender Manne, PhD, Professor, MCP: Kathy is an excellent person to work with. She always said, "how can I help you" and if she needs to find out from others, "let me figure out and get back to you." I thank and appreciate all the help she has provided and I congratulate on her retirement.

Adam Wende, PhD: I had the pleasure of working directly with Kathy Coleman for the last three years. Although a relatively short portion of her time helping UAB it immediately became clear what an instrumental part of Pathology Kathy is. She is amazing to work with. She was really the heart of the Path Grand Rounds that we worked on together. She was always there first setting up and would usually send me an e-mail answering the question I was going to ask her that afternoon… She has insight and could anticipate any need and take care of it before it became a problem. I am happy that I had time to work with Kathy and though I am very happy for her retirement I will miss her just as much.

Selvarangan Ponnazhagan, PhD, Professor, MCP: Kathy served us all in many capacities, from administration to pathology seminars to grant submissions. Her dedication, sincerity, and punctuality have been nothing but stellar. Some shoes will be hard to fill in and certainly Kathy's will be one. I join the UAB Pathology family in extending my warmest wishes for a well-deserved and wonderful retirement!

C. Bruce Alexander, MD, Professor Emeritus: Kathy is a superb colleague with excellent administrative skills. Her devotion to others and the Department was exemplary! As a colleague I applaud her attention to detail and follow through. We wish her well in retirement!

George Netto, MD, Department Chair: Kathy is always in the ultimate professional! In the last four years she has assured the success of our Grand Rounds and educational programming. She will be sorely missed in our department.