Sharon McDowell - 2009 Outstanding Staff Award

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When current students, prospective students and their parents, or even bewildered faculty members seek help at the School of Mathematics' Academic Programs Office, they are ably assisted by Sharon McDowell and Genola Turner.

Sharon McDowell, who now deals principally with undergraduate matters, joined the School in 2003 as a Staff Assistant for the interdisciplinary MS Program in Quantitative and Computational Finance. From then until 2006, she provided invaluable support to founding QCF Director Dr. Robert Kertz, and due to their devotion and hard work, the QCF program is now one of the most successful interdisciplinary programs at Georgia Tech.


At the same time, we recognized that we could serve our students better by setting up a single point of contact for students with questions about our programs, or questions and problems involving registration, transfer credit, and so on. To meet this need we established the Academic Programs Office. We weren't quite sure what form this office would take, but over the last few years it has been developed and largely defined by Sharon's and Genola's dedicated efforts.

Sharon had the ideal background for the new Academic Programs Office. Since she had worked at Georgia Tech since 1984, she knew people across the campus. She had served as an academic assistant and secretary to the Dean in the College of Management, and she had studied management, computer science, and business administration at Georgia State University and Clayton State College. She is cheerful, sensitive to students' needs, notices problems quickly, and solves them effectively. Her contributions go well beyond her official duties in the Academic Programs Office. For instance, during the last two years she has volunteered for our High School Mathematics Competition, taking charge of registration, fee collection, ordering food for the approximately 400 student competitors, coaches, and Georgia Tech volunteers, and working cheerfully and tirelessly on the day of the competition.


Given all of this, it's no surprise that we enthusiastically nominated her for Georgia Tech's Outstanding Staff Performance Award in 2009, and no surprise that she won this award in a university wide competition.

Outside of Georgia Tech her principal interests are her family and her church, where she teaches both adult and children's Sunday School. In addition to her expertise, skill and dedication, we all appreciate Sharon's attitude. In her own words, "I've worked with students, faculty, and staff. But the most rewarding is serving students. My goal is to make every student feel that someone really cares. My greatest joy is to serve others." All of us in the School of Mathematics agree with Enid Steinbart, Director of Advising and Assessment, who says, "Sharon makes coming to work a very positive and productive experience."


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: nmcleish3
  • Created: 04/12/2017
  • Modified By: nmcleish3
  • Modified: 04/12/2017


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