Commemorating Sharon Stewart's gift of excellence and leadership

March 30, 2018

It is my pleasure to congratulate Dr. Sharon Stewart on her upcoming retirement. Sharon embodies the College of Health Sciences qualities of excellence in all she does. She has made significant contributions to advancing child language and literacy, improved allied health education, and cultivated the leadership potential of faculty, staff, and administrators. We know she will continue to make a lasting impression as she begins her next season outside the College.

I suppose I represent a unique perspective in that I followed Sharon’s nearly four years as interim Dean of the College.  Four years is hardly interim, and Sharon’s leadership kept the College focused, leaving a healthy and vibrant College for her successor.  I am the lucky one who benefited from her commitment to ensure CHS was in a good place when she stepped aside as Dean. But, the most amazing aspect of Sharon’s tenure as Dean is the grace, professionalism, and friendship she showed towards me from day one of my agreement to join the College of Health Sciences.

In great detail, Sharon began to teach me about being a Dean, the intricacies of CHS, and the landscape of UK. When I arrived, our relationship became even closer and I always felt I had a wise friend my corner. Most new deans need to find mentors, enroll in workshops, and attend seminars to acclimate to new roles and responsibilities. But, my mentor was built into my office, always there and available.  And, although I was unaware of it at the time, Sharon spent much of our time together getting me up to speed—making sure she taught me what I needed to know, and more importantly, gracefully teaching me what I didn’t know I needed to know.

Sharon is a “woman of heart,” and a woman of many dimensions and talents.  We are all fortunate to be on this journey with her.  She is wise, dedicated, compassionate, and tirelessly gives of herself for the sake of others.  She is a highly regarded colleague and will always remain a valued friend.