Cooper is UAB’s Employee of the Year

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sandra cooper streamSandra Cooper, environmental services specialistSandra Cooper, environmental services specialist, is UAB’s Employee of the Year. Cooper was chosen from the Employee of the Month award-winners during a 13-month period ending in August 2019.

Cooper will be the guest of honor at an invitation-only ceremony and reception in November honoring her with the highest non-academic employee award.

“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 told the UAB Reporter in when selected as Employee of the Month in November 2018.

”Sandra makes our floor a nicer place to work in more ways than one.”

– Tom Brannan, vice president for Advancement

Cooper was praised for excelling at her work duties, getting to know each of her customers and always providing a listening ear. 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.

Cooper said she doesn’t really have bad days, because she takes pride in her work — something she learned from her mother.

HR to revamp Employee of the Month program

For the past 41 years, UAB’s Employee of the Month/Year program has recognized outstanding employees for their dedication, hard work and contributions to the university’s success. Now, these awards — the highest honors reserved for staff at UAB — are getting an upgrade.

UAB Human Resources is temporarily pausing the nomination and selection process to build a better one that emphasizes UAB’s shared values in action and also can be submitted online. The changes are prompted in part by feedback about recognition programs provided during the Campus Engagement Survey earlier this year, said Chief Human Resources Officer Alesia Jones. 

“Our employee of the month/employee of the year program has been in place since 1978, making it one of the longest-running traditions within HR,” Jones said. “Still, we want to ensure that the program grows and matures along with the university, that it reflects and aligns with our values and makes good use of enhanced technology now available to us.” 

Jones said she hopes to relaunch the employee of the month/ year program by late spring or early summer and offers assurances “this valued program will be back new and improved.” 

“I got my work ethic from my mom,” she continued. “She never met a stranger, and everyone was crazy about her. She did things the way I do.”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.”

Congratulations to the monthly award-winners

August: Tammy Sharp is the 'person who will not let you down,' colleagues say

September: Cheryl Freeman says UAB has ‘inspired me to be better’

October: Sonya Hardy ‘never shirks from putting in her best’ into each of her roles

December: Rich Searles is Preventive Medicine’s go-to person for tech support

January: Kris Boyle is ‘a rock’ for the Collat School of Business

February: ‘Every office needs a Stacey,’ Stacey Smith’s colleagues say

March: ‘If you want a job done right, give it to Sheila,’ Dentistry colleagues say of Sheila Turner

April: Ashton Kornbrust is ‘always willing to help with a smile on her face’

May: Chris Seidenfaden’s talents are ‘gift to a population in need’

June: Despite his high-octane role, colleagues have ‘yet to see Tucker Dillard sweat’

July: Anna Threadcraft embodies UAB’s wellness mission, colleagues say

August: Joe Talty’s skills are ‘critical to a smooth operation’ for Collat’s graduate programs