Sharon Day: Full-Time Clinical Worker, Charity Worker and Peloton Lover
Most can agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a trying time for almost everyone’s personal lives. Quarantine, social distancing, and working from home are the new normal. After what feels like 95,694,845 days of quarantine, morale and motivation seem to be at an all-time low. However, Sharon Day ’00 has thrived mentally, physically and professionally during the pandemic. Her motivation in her career, volunteer work and extracurricular activities rubs off on others and can inspire others out of a COVID slump.
Sharon Day is a clinical trial manager at ICON plc Pharmaceuticals, one of the world’s largest contract research organizations. In this role, she helped spearhead clinical trials for the COVID vaccine. Day oversaw trials that included 44,000 participants in more than six countries, and she personally worked on the COVID study that went before the FDA for emergency use protocols early in the pandemic.
Despite her busy work schedule, Day still makes time to do a considerable amount of volunteer and charitable work. She became president of the Junior Woman’s Club of Raleigh at the beginning of 2020. “Busy is an understatement; hectic is the keyword. It is the little things that you take for granted. We had our last in-person meeting in March 2020 and have been meeting over Zoom ever since.” Day stated that she feels very fortunate to be a part of a group that always is looking ahead for ways in which good can be done, and community involvement is always crucial. The Junior Woman’s Club of Raleigh is a women’s organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service and leadership. Day has helped bring doughnuts to the health care workers of the North Carolina Heart & Vascular Hospital and delivered holiday meals for residents and families of patients at the Hospice Home at Transitions Life Care in Raleigh. She also visits North Carolina Food Bank sites to stock and sort supplies, and she reviews and manages JWC scholarship recipients.
In addition to her volunteer work, Sharon has found a passion for fitness on her Peloton in the little spare time she has. Receiving the fitness bike for Christmas in 2019, Day decided to bike 150 miles every month. Not only has she met that goal, she has exceeded it. One month she biked 500 miles on a whim. In 16 months, Day has ridden the Peloton over 800 times, totaling over 5,000 miles, and has lost 30 pounds. Her favorite thing about the fitness program is the community she has found within it. Her favorite instructor, Cody Rigsby, has an intense following. The fitness instructor affectionately calls his fans the Boo Crew. As she was scrolling through Facebook, Day found a Boo Crew Facebook group, a group that she is now the proud moderator of. “It keeps me sane. It is a nonexclusive, inclusive group of people who lift each other up. It is so positive to connect with people like that,” Day fondly said about the Boo Crew.
In a true full circle, the Boo Crew also connects to Day’s professional and volunteer work. During the 2021 Women’s History Month, the crew decided to donate to various women’s organizations, one that just happened to be the Junior Woman’s Club of Raleigh. The Boo Crew leadership team sent Day a special pair of Peloton shoes for her birthday in March. Both the Peloton and the Boo Crew have given Day a sense of hope during the pandemic, “If you surround yourself with a lot of positivity, it is hard to stay down. I want to be a part of something that is going to bring up the tone. We’ve had enough bad in the world,” said Day.
“If you surround yourself with a lot of positivity, it is hard to stay down. I want to be a part of something that is going to bring up the tone. We’ve had enough bad in the world.”
Day’s fantastic work ethic dates back to her time at Peace. She came to Peace in the fall of 1995 to study biology, ultimately switching to communication studies during her junior year. However, her science background helped to lay the groundwork for her career. Studying and working full time as a student, Day has always kept a busy schedule. She had a work-study job in the Biology department and served as a dorm hostess for Ross Hall. Day also worked off campus in a hair salon, where she networked with clients who worked for pharmaceutical companies. Day stated that she got her first job out of college because of a haircut.
Following her graduation from Peace, she completed a Durham Technical Community College program, where she graduated with high honors in clinical trials research. The science background that she received at Peace gave her an advantage for her second degree. She then worked for a few pharmaceutical research companies before landing a role at ICON plc Pharmaceuticals, where she has worked for the past 17 years.
PEACE Magazine, the award-winning publication of William Peace University, published annually.