Customers appreciate Cooper’s ‘tireless work ethic and wonderful attitude’

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Sandra Cooper, an environmental services specialist at UAB for seven years, said she doesn’t really have bad days. Why? Because she takes pride in her work — something she learned from her mother.

“I got my work ethic from my mom,” said Cooper, whose dedication to her job earned her the title of UAB’s Employee of the Month for November. “She never met a stranger, and everyone was crazy about her. She did things the way I do.”

Those ways include excelling at her work duties, getting to know each of her customers and always providing a listening ear — because you never know what people are going through, she says.

“God gives me a listening ear,” Cooper continued. “A customer might have had a death in their family or one of their pets may have died. One time, a customer was having a panic attack. I’ve been through that, so I know about it and could help.”

“She maintains a terrific attitude even as she does a very difficult job, and her friendliness is one of the perks of working on our floor.”

Cooper’s customers are grateful for that attentiveness, her colleagues say.

“Sandra makes our floor a nicer place to work in more ways than one,” said Tom Brannan, vice president for Advancement. “She maintains a terrific attitude even as she does a very difficult job, and her friendliness is one of the perks of working on our floor. I and everyone else on our floor appreciate her tireless work ethic and wonderful attitude.”

For each one of Cooper’s assigned tasks, she says she strives to take it a step further: If she’s cleaning the floors, she goes out of her way to dust the walls. At the end of the day, she empties the trash and wipes down the toilets, just like she does each morning.

“Everything is shining once I’m finished,” she said.

Cooper often is responsible for training new employees, and colleagues say she is patient, thorough and clear in her explanations and always introduces them to ensure they feel part of the 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

“I remember the first time I met Sandra Cooper like it was yesterday,” said Brenda Evans, record management specialist in the Office of Gift and Biographic Records. “She was one of the most professional, friendly and polite people I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to during that time.”

“She loves people, works hard and always tries to lift the spirits of those around her,” echoed Beverly Matlock, director of compliance audits and reporting. “I believe these characteristics represent all that is good at UAB.”

Cooper says her main focus is getting familiar with her customers and making sure they are satisfied with her work — after that, she says, everything else falls into place.

“If you do your job and do it right and make sure you satisfy your customers, you’re straight at the end of the day,” she said.