Staff members at Washington University School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery are essential in supporting the institution’s mission of excellence in clinical outcomes, research and education. By providing various management, administrative, technical, financial, marketing and communications needs, staff members allow our healthcare professionals to serve patients in the most efficient way. Meet one of the department’s staff members, Emily Shepherd, below!
Emily Shepherd is a Business Director for the Department of Surgery. She is from St. Louis, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from University of Missouri–St. Louis with a minor in Sociology and a Master of Business Administration degree from University of Utah.
Could you provide a description of your job?
I am a Business Director in the Department of Surgery, responsible for Research Administration. I manage a team of 10 amazing staff and we work with faculty to submit grants for research projects and to manage the awarded budgets.
How long have you worked at the Department of Surgery?
What brought you to WashU?
My roots are in Saint Louis. After college, I worked at the University of Utah for about 10 years and when I had the opportunity to return to Saint Louis and work at Washington University, I jumped at the chance.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Every day is different, which is a blessing and a curse. I love working with my team and supporting the research in our department. I love being a research administrator. Even though I’m not a researcher, I get to help facilitate research and that has great meaning for me.
What is your favorite thing about your coworkers?
I am so fortunate to work with great co-workers. Our grants team is very supportive and we all help each other with sharing information, coverage, and support. This is also true for the wider research administration community at Washington University. Everyone on the Surgery leadership team is fantastic and I am honored to be a part of it.
When have you felt most proud of your work?
It is so rewarding when a big grant that I’ve worked on is awarded. I love seeing stories highlighting our faculty members’ research and knowing that I had a small part in the process. I also love it when someone compliments one of my staff. They are amazing and I love hearing from faculty and staff with kudos for them!
Is there a memorable moment from your job you could share?
I particularly enjoy managing large projects – from big grant submissions with complicated budgets to construction. When Kiran and Nupam Mahajan joined the faculty in 2018, I was able to work with them to move and set up their labs and then to renovate their permanent lab space in Cancer Research Building. I was also involved in the renovation in the Clinical Sciences Research Building for Surgical Oncology and HPB research. Walking through newly renovated lab space and knowing that it will be the home for groundbreaking discoveries is an amazing and humbling experience.
What is your favorite thing about living in the St. Louis metropolitan area?
I love Saint Louis. The people, the red brick, the Arch, Forest Park, O’Connell’s, Ted Drewes, trees, short commutes… all of it!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My free time is currently filled with local government and community organization. I am running for Webster Groves City Council and this is the first time I’ve run for office. Running a campaign has been a steep learning curve and outside of my comfort zone, but I am learning a lot and really enjoying it. There is a lot of overlap with the skills I use at work (budgets, working as a team, finding creative solutions).