Sonia Crandall.

Professor Sonia Crandall, PhD, MS '03, has retired from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. This marks the end of a remarkable 28-year career with the university, where she has made significant contributions and received the highest accolades in the community. 

Crandall joined the Wake Forest Department of Family and Community Medicine in 1994, was promoted and tenured in 2005 and remained in the department for 18 years. She transitioned to the Department of PA Studies in 2012, where she became the Director for Research and head of the Promotions Committee. 

In her role, Crandall spent most of her time working with faculty to help them with their research projects. “I mostly worked with faculty to help them develop their educational scholarship, so that they can get promoted at the institution,” she said. “That's been a great passion of mine.”

Two women, one with blonde hair and one with brown hair wearing sweaters while smiling and sitting at a desk with a vase.

One of the proudest moments of Crandall's career was being accepted into the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program. Coming from an education background, Crandall is especially proud of that accomplishment. “I’m not a clinician or a full-time researcher, so being an ELUM (fond name for the program graduates) is quite the honor,” she said.

She was also the Director of the Women's Health Center of Excellence for 11 years. In that role, Crandall helped create leadership programs that are still in effect today, including the early career program for women and the career development program for senior women. 

Among many other notable achievements and what Crandall describes as a major highlight of her career, Crandall received the 2022 Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA) Career Educator Award, which is the highest accolade given to distinguished medical educators with a strong record of educational service, leadership, and scholarship.

A Special Place

Two women in long sleeve shirts smiling for a photo together.

After such a long career in one place, it’s no surprise that Crandall has developed a deep connection to Wake Forest, especially the people she has worked with over the years. She said the camaraderie among faculty makes Wake Forest special, as does the ease of getting to know the students. “Compared to larger institutions, it's much easier to get to know your colleagues here. And I like that aspect of it,” she said. “It's more of a community.”

While many people have grand plans for their retirements – travel, volunteering, hobbies – Crandall has no definitive plans at the moment. She’s just eager to start the next phase of her life.

However, she did have some parting words of wisdom for the many faculty, staff and students she has gotten to know over the years. She advises people to not put off the things they love to do. “Don't wait to enjoy the things you enjoy,” she concluded. 

“Enjoy them now."