Sheila Turner has called UAB home for 28 years, and during that nearly three decades has earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues in the School of Dentistry, who don’t hesitate to sing her praises.
“She is committed to excellence and to doing a great job with a great attitude,” said Randall Fields, J.D., grants and contracts officer in the Office of Sponsored Programs. “If you want a job done right, give it to Sheila.”
During her years at UAB, Turner worked as an editorial assistant, office associate and administrative associate before beginning her current role as program coordinator in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. In each of those roles, Turner says she learned more and more about achieving a balance that enables her to get work done correctly in a timely manner.
“Whatever assignment I’m given, I rise to the challenge, and the personal satisfaction of meeting that challenge is my reward.”
“I’ll admit I’m a tad bit obsessive and compulsive when it comes to completing the task at hand,” Turner said. “Whatever assignment I’m given, I rise to the challenge, and the personal satisfaction of meeting that challenge is my reward.”
Professor Noel Childers, DDS, Ph.D., immediate past chair of the School of Dentistry, says he has known Turner since she began her tenure at UAB in 1991, and calls her extremely knowledgeable and valuable.
“Sheila is a very detail-oriented individual who takes pride in organizing her assignments,” he said. “She also is excellent at looking ahead to anticipate what she can do to make things go more smoothly. We truly are fortunate to have Ms. Turner in our department and school.”
“There was never a time when I couldn’t come into her office and ask her for something, ask her for help or just talk to her about lab and life. I always left her office smiling.”
Turner says one thing working at UAB has taught her is the ability to be receptive to change — to learn new things, adjust your perspective and continue to grow.
“You must be receptive to learning new things because if you stop learning you stop growing, and when you stop growing there’s nothing more to offer,” she says. “My years at UAB have allowed me to grow not only as an employee, but as an individual.”
Working with the diverse populations UAB welcomes to campus every day has been one of the greatest contributions to her personal and profressional growth, Turner says.
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“I’ve learned tolerance, acceptance and patience, all of which are needed when you work in such a diverse institution as UAB,” she said. “Having learned these qualities helps in everyday life as well.”
Turner’s colleagues note she is always available to be a helping hand, professionally and personally. School of Dentistry alumnae and former postdoctoral fellow Sandra Stephanie Garcia, Ph.D., says Turner is both “a listening ear and comforting friend to anyone who stops by her office.”
“There was never a time when I couldn’t come into her office and ask her for something, ask her for help or just talk to her about lab and life,” Garcia continued. “I always left her office smiling.”