“When I started working at the dental school, I heard that there were many long-time employees here. Now I know why.”
Sandra Shuhert is one of two full-time designers in the Design and Photo Services Division. Every day she creates visual communications that help connect our faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors to each other and the outside world. Alumni mailings, annual reports, invitations to events, and clinic and program brochures are all in a day's work.
In addition to her work in Design and Photo, she also served on the Committee for the All School Advance (also known as the C3 Advance), a ground-breaking concept that brought faculty and staff together to focus on communication and building working relationships. "It was great to be in on the ground floor of a whole new idea…and to work with people from throughout the school."
Sandra did not originally set out to be a graphic designer. She majored in special education and took that training to the non-profit sector, focusing on job training and placement for disabled adults. She later moved into program management, developing programs for Jewish Vocational Services, whose clients included Russian émigrés as well as people with disabilities.
After several years in the field, Sandra decided it was time for a career change and enrolled in the graphic design program at California College of the Arts. A temporary assignment at the dental school followed, which soon evolved into a permanent position. "When I started working at the dental school, I heard that there were many long-time employees here. Now I know why."
Weekends find her in a completely different role as a singer/soloist with the Glide Ensemble gospel choir at the Tenderloin's Glide Memorial Church.
"I've been a singer all my life, and when I came to Glide 17 years ago and heard the choir I really fell in love with gospel music… I joined the choir the very next week!" In addition to two standing-room-only services at the church in San Francisco every Sunday, the choir is often invited to perform at events and fundraisers all over the Bay area and has been featured in the television series Nash Bridges and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, as well as in the recent Will Smith feature film, The Pursuit of Happyness. Sandra has no plans to ditch her day job for a full-time singing career, however. She loves what she's doing here. "The work itself is a lot of fun, and the challenge is in finding the best way to reach the school's diverse audiences. I enjoy conveying the Dugoni message and representing all aspects of the school in the best possible light."
Outside of work and her performances with Glide, Sandra spends time hiking and beachwalking with Otis, her nine-year-old black lab. "He's much more athletic than I am, but I try to keep up!" She also travels whenever she can - most recently, spending three glorious weeks on New Zealand's South Island.
Of her job, she says, "It's been a perfect fit for me, and it's an incredibly supportive environment. I truly enjoy all the people I work with… and I'm still learning new things every day."