Employee of the Month – Sara Clark

June 2018, BMT (Blood and Marrow Transplantation)

Sara Clark, a New Zealand expat who’s been at Stanford since 1990, is described by colleagues as “exceedingly pleasant.”  As an administrative associate for the BMT division (Blood Marrow and Transplantation) she’s “always gone above and beyond since day one.”

Her day-to-day work is far from simple, even by her own calculations.  As she describes, “I support the BMT Division Chief and three other faculty members in day-to-day tasks, and their labs.  I am also the post-doctoral administrator and I work on grant submissions.  My current big project which has consumed most of my time this year is working on the BMT Division Chief search (arranging the candidate visits).”

A staple of the department

Clark has been at Stanford nearly 28 years, and she’s been with the Department of Medicine since 2002.  In her words, “I came from New Zealand in February 1981 on vacation and never went back.”  She’s become a fixture in BMT, and they don’t know what they’d do without her.

“She organizes submission deadlines, compiles all projects, cores, and supportive documents while editing and formatting.  It's a herculean task, and with Sara's prowess and dedication Stanford BMT has earned continuing support for years,” David Miklos, MD, PhD, associate professor of BMT explains.

Marcia Gibbs adds, “It is most reassuring to know that requests will receive her extra attention to detail and I am sure that others feel equally fortunate to have Sara on the team.  She routinely manages to obtain the last item needed to complete a packet for submission to the department or school and is an absolutely delightful person.”

BMT division manager Tawny Wong says Clark is known as “an integral part of the BMT team.  I hear from multiple people, the Chief being one of them, that she's been the same dependable and kind team member since day one.  Sara always makes the time to do tasks that sometimes are outside of her job description, just to help those around her.”

Well-deserved recognition

For her part, Clark was shocked by the award.  “I was SO surprised, speechless and flattered,” she says.  “I had NO idea.  Everybody who knew kept the secret well.  I was on the start-up committee for the Employee of the Month and I saw so many deserving people who were nominated.  It is such an honor!”

But her colleagues were surprised the honor took so long to get here: “I cannot believe that Sara has not won this award,” Upi Singh, MD, professor of infectious diseases, declares. “She is incredibly engaged, hard working, detail oriented, professional and exceedingly pleasant. Working with her has been a pleasure.”

Jenny McGuire adds, “If anyone deserves to be employee of the month, it's Sara. She's the best! I don't know how she manages to remain so calm and easy-going even when the workload seems insane.”

Clark loves her colleagues as much as they love her.  “The people I work with, both in BMT and other departments, are wonderful and supportive.  BMT is like family.”

In her spare time, Clark enjoys traveling.  “I have two grand-daughters ages 6 and 21 months so I love spending time with them,” she says.  She also loves camping in her 5th wheel, and regularly returns to New Zealand to see her 96 year-old mother and other family and friends.