Sharon A. Aiken-Wisniewski (she, her), Ph.D., is the Asst. Vice Provost for Academic Advising and Affiliate Faculty in the Center for the Study of Higher Education. She has held a variety of advising focused positions during her 30-year career that range from primary role advisor and faculty advisor to advising director and Associate Dean. In a previous AVP role, she focused on quality and accountability of campus-wide academic advising for supporting the institutional mission of student retention and completion. She is an active member in professional organizations with leadership roles in NACADA and NASPA, a reviewer for the NACADA Journal, Journal of College Student Retention, Research, Theory & Practice, and Journal of Appreciative Education, a Fellow for the Excellence in Academic Advising Initiative, and a research affiliate for the Collaborative for Higher Education Research & Policy at the University of Utah.
Her research focuses on the scholar-practitioner identity in higher education. Through rich narratives from students and colleagues as well as her advising and administrative roles, she has developed an understanding of the importance of this identity within the realm of empowering students for success. Her research agenda centers on questions that emerge from interactions with scholar-practitioners, administrators, and students as they design programs, policies, and processes for student success. During her tenure as a clinical professor at the University of Utah, she facilitated classes for future academic advisors and student affairs practitioners, participated on campus-wide committees such as Academic Senate and published multiple journal articles, book chapters, and a book.
Sharon grew up in rural Vermont and is a first-generation college student, practitioner, and faculty. She attended the University of Maine at Presque Isle for a B.A. in Political Science. An early adopter of distance education, she completed an M.S. in International Studies from Troy State University while living in the United Kingdom and a certificate in enrollment management from the University of Florida as she shuttled between Utah and Vermont. Next, she returned to the traditional classroom for a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah. She has lived in the United Kingdom, Germany, and a variety of U.S. locations; never misses an opportunity to try a new recipe, and values time to read and hike with Alan and her Boston Terrier.