Staff Spotlights: Sarah Kesler

Sarah Kesler

Senior Administrative Manager - Disability Resource Center and University Testing Services

Achiever - Input - Empathy - Context - Harmony


 

Sarah was nominated by a colleague, who had the following to say:

Sarah brings warmth, creativity, and professionalism in her role as the Senior Administrative Manager. She is the first to volunteer to roll up her sleeves and pitch in to support the departments, division, and the University. Sarah leads by example and is pragmatic and solution driven. She is also the most organized human being I have ever met.


 

Are you from Georgia? If not, where are you from? (i.e., where do you call “home”?)

I’m an Athens native and have always lived in this area.

 

How long have you worked at UGA?

I’ve worked in the DRC and UTS for 12 years and another UGA position for 8, so a total of 20 years.

 

What does a “day in the life” look like for you at work?

My main focus is most often working with the budgets and HR procedures for DRC and UTS, so there are a lot of spreadsheets involved [smiley face]. My job also involves helping the leadership in my departments keep things running smoothly. That can mean helping design processes to handle things we need to do, working with FMD, researching UGA policy, or just general troubleshooting. There can be a lot of variety, which I enjoy.

 

What are three things you love most about your job?

I like that it gives me an opportunity to do the kind of work I’m good at, which is focused on numbers and policy, in an environment that’s very people oriented. There’s also an element of problem solving in my job that I really enjoy; I like finding creative solutions to problems. Finally, I really enjoy the people I work with. In both DRC and UTS, I get to work with people who really care about what they do and how it helps others.

 

Who do you look up to/ admire?

I’ve been lucky in both of my positions at UGA to have supervisors who balanced the needs of the office with kindness and support for me as an individual. I’ve learned a great deal from their examples and look up to all of them.

 

What are things that you do for fun/hobbies?

One of my favorite pastimes is genealogy. I’ve been researching my ancestors for about ten years and have traced some lines back as far as the 1600’s. I also enjoy crafting. I make jewelry, crochet, and sew among other things.

 

What might be something that you would like other staff to know about your job?

I’d like staff to know that my job is varied. I work with budget and HR functions most often, but I’m available to help with many other areas.

 

What might be some ways that staff could collaborate or partner with you?

I volunteered as a trainer during the launch of the UGA Financials and OneUSG Connect systems a few years ago, so I’m pretty comfortable with both of those. I’d be happy to help anyone new to them or having problems using them.

 

Anything you would like to share that you would like other staff to know about you?

I love reading and music. I’m always looking for recommendations for new things to read or listen to.

 

What advice would you have for new staff joining UGA Student Affairs?

My advice is to treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you extend to others. Don’t expect yourself to be perfect right away; do your best and be gentle with yourself.

 

What is one question you wished we asked and what is the answer?

I love talking about my pets, so I wish you’d asked about them. I have a dog named Ace the Bathound and two large tortoises named Torterra and A’tuin.

 

What is the coolest thing you have ever done and why?

I once went swimming with sharks! I was inside a cage, and it was so scary climbing down into it. But once I was there, seeing these amazing animals swimming all around and below me, I forgot to be scared because it was so incredible.

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Staff Spotlights: Sharing the stories of staff in UGA Student Affairs