Sharon devoted more than four decades to a career rooted in her passion for creating opportunities for access and student success at four Alberta postsecondary institutions. Now President Emerita of Bow Valley College, Sharon was hired to lead the college through a transition from a provincially-administered institution to a board-governed college. Over the two decades of her tenure as President and CEO, Bow Valley became the largest and fastest growing college in Alberta, welcoming some 15,000 students from 142 countries each year, while expanding campuses in the region surrounding Calgary and extending educational services to more than 20 other countries.
Building on three degrees from the University of Calgary (BA, BEd, and Masters of Communication Studies), Sharon’s career has led her through progressively more responsible academic and administrative roles at Bow Valley College, Olds College, Mount Royal College (now University) and the University of Calgary. When honoured with a Blackfoot name and headdress, her ceremonialist chose the name Niipaitapiaissksinimatstohki, which translates to Lifelong Educator.
A lifelong committed volunteer in her profession and community, Sharon has been recognized with the Alberta Order of Excellence, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Alberta Centennial Medal, Calgary Award for Education, as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, and with her profession’s national Distinguished Service Award. She has received honourary degrees from Olds College, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, and the Alberta College of Art and Design.
Sharon currently serves as a Director of the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation, as Past Chapter Chair of IWF Calgary, as a Member of the Alberta Order of Excellence Council, as a Director and Committee Member of the YWCA Calgary Board, and as YWCA Transformation Campaign Advisory Committee.