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Sara Cockerham (right) accepts her award from Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs. (photo by Kristen Chavez)

Sara Cockerham was named Manager of the Year in the College of Arts & Sciences for outstanding accomplishments in leadership and management in the department of sociology.

Sara Cockerham, department manager for sociology, has won the 2018-2019 Manager of the Year Award. The award was presented at the College’s Award in Management luncheon on April 17.

The award is given annually to a business or administrative manager in recognition of outstanding accomplishments, including leadership and teamwork; creativity, innovation and resourcefulness; technological expertise; and effective human resource and budget management.

Cockerham joined the department as manager in June 2016. Under her leadership, which is framed by a “forward-thinking, forward-looking” mentality, she has inspired her colleagues to thrive in their positions. Her leadership style is based in teamwork, which has fostered positive relationships between staff members in the department. Through her positive attitude, she has transformed the staff culture and improved the performance of the sociology department.

Throughout her position, Cockerham has shown creativity, dedication and foresight in meeting the needs of the department.

Cockerham’s contributions to the sociology department include:

  • Successfully managing funds to renovate lounges, offices, a computer lab and two conference rooms.
  • Using skills in financial management and accounting to successfully develop a new system for budgets in the department.
  • Developing staff manuals and working with staff to create or revise position guides.
  • Engaging in active coaching and helping staff troubleshoot problems and streamline processes in the department.
  • Improving support for graduate students including recruitment and ongoing progress.

Cockerham’s work has been recognized by other campus units. She has engaged in collaborative efforts with other social sciences departments such as political science, history, anthropology and public policy. She also works with the Arts and Sciences Foundation to improve communication with alumni and donors and has served on search committees for the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office and other departments. She was also selected to serve on the Administrative Managers Advisory Council and the Operational Excellence Finance Functional Redesign Team.

“Sociology has been extraordinarily fortunate to have Sara Cockerham managing our department,” said Andy Andrews, sociology department chair and Matthew Mason Professor of Sociology. “She has taken on major projects and made significant contributions to sociology, the College and the University.”

Overall, Cockerham’s creative resourcefulness and optimistic thinking has left an impact on the department and on the broader University.

By Lauryn Rivers ‘21



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