In her 17 years at UAB, Sonya Hardy has held eight different positions, including her current one as clinical trials manager for the School of Medicine Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, a position she held previously in the School of Dentistry Department of Periodontology. She’s also been an office service specialist, a research coordinator, a research technician, a program manager and a clinical trials administrator — and all according to a specific plan to follow her own ambitions and to improve UAB in the process.
“Applying for these positions was a strategic plan to learn the various aspects of research studies and what it takes to make research studies a success,” she said. “I consider each position a stepping stone that motivated my academic and career goals.”
Hardy’s co-workers reap the benefits of working with someone so driven. Maninder Kaur, assistant professor of periodontology, worked with Hardy for three years while she administered the department’s clinical trials, and calls her committed, earnest and experienced.
“I’ve had the opportunity to witness her strong work ethic, outstanding aptitude and sheer enthusiasm and diligence,” she continued. “She never shirks from putting in her best and leaves no stone unturned to make every project a success.”
“The work you do is a contribution toward the success of your team.”
Much of Hardy’s success she attributes to being able to work well in a team setting. Her colleagues have noticed, too, saying that Hardy is never too busy to help out a teammate.
“She understands the value of being a team member and pushes everyone around her to increase their contributions to the team’s goals,” said Ramzi Abou-Arraj, DDS, assistant professor of periodontology. “I frequently found her doing a task that was designated for someone else simply because she does not shy away from helping others.”
Hardy expressed that she can find that balance with her colleagues because she focuses on their efforts as collaborative rather than separate: “It all works toward one single goal,” she says.
“No matter the job title or role, your colleagues make a significant contribution to the success of your department and the success of research studies,” she said. “The work you do is a contribution to the success of your team.”
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.
One of Hardy’s favorite memories of working at UAB is when a supervisor asked about her career goals and listened as she explained the path she’d like to take.
“They actually listened and provided me with tools and learning opportunities that would, in turn, shape my career. They saw my potential, hard work and dedication,” she continued.
Now, Hardy wants to pay that forward: “Any way that I can give back to others who want to learn and grow in the area of research administration, I am more than happy to help them along the way,” she said.