Askhari Johnson Hodari, Ph.D., has always been impressed and appreciative of the work ethic and professional and personal support he receives from Aeron Gault in the UAB Department of Psychology.

Aeron Gault always makes time to help the faculty and staff in the UAB Department of Psychology, whether it’s updating their computer programs, explaining how to use a computer program, or troubleshooting for a professor during a class. “Aeron is just an excellent employee and an excellent human being,” says David C. Schwebel, associate professor and vice chair of psychology.

If Hodari is having a technical problem in the classroom, Gault, director of information systems and senior systems analyst, comes right down to help. “He always is patient with me and always has smile to offer,” Hodari says. “I appreciate that more than I am able to express.”

Hodari also is appreciative of those moments when Gault takes that little bit of extra time with her to teach her how something works. And the personal support Gault has given her during a time when Hodari has struggled with some health issues has been encouraging. “When I don’t feel well, Aeron is one of those people who asks ‘how are you’ and actually waits for an answer,” Hodari says.
It is qualities such as these that led to Gault’s nomination and selection as January’s Employee of the Month.

“I’m quite thrilled to be nominated and honored to be selected,” Gault says. “I was impressed with the sheer volume of letters submitted on my behalf. It was quite amazing and definitely humbling.”

Gault says he was a bit shocked by his nomination “because I feel like this is a team effort in our department. It makes me feel wonderful that I am appreciated here in the department along with the others on the team.”

David C. Schwebel, Ph.D., associate professor and vice chair in the department, says when he informed his colleagues that he wanted to nominate Gault for the award, the response was overwhelming. “I got a deluge of responses almost immediately,” Schwebel says. “Clearly, Aeron has touched many people in our department.”

Schwebel cites Gault’s expert handling of computer glitches on major grant projects and his willingness to volunteer to help move furniture as other examples of his dedication.

“Aeron is just an excellent employee and an excellent human being,” Schwebel says. “I am proud he is part of our department and UAB should be equally proud that he is part of our university.”

And Gault’s caring and compassion for others doesn’t just shine at work.

A Louisiana native, Gault recently took vacation time to return to his home state and work with a Habitat for Humanity group that was building homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina. He went inside homes and cleared materials damaged by the floodwaters. He also helped with several homes along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“That’s where I’m from, and I wanted to give back to the community,” Gault explains. “That particular part of the country was just devastated, and I wanted to do something to help.”

Those in the department aren’t surprised by Gault’s willingness to help others.

“There are few people I would describe as uplifting, but I would apply this descriptor to Aeron,” says Rex A. Wright, Ph.D., professor of psychology. “UAB is extraordinarily fortunate to have him as an employee.”