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Sharon Aiken-Wisniewski, Ph.D.

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Sharon A. Aiken-Wisniewski, Ph.D. serves as the Asst. Vice Provost for Academic Advising at The University of Arizona and is Professor Emerita in the Educational Leadership & Policy Department at the University of Utah. Her teaching focus includes courses on student persistence & retention, leadership, academic advising, and student affairs practice. Her service includes leadership roles with NACADA and NASPA, reviewer for various professional practice journals, and a Fellow for the Excellence in Academic Advising Initiative. Through rich narratives from students and colleagues as well as her 20 years of administrative work in roles such as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and primary role advisor and academic advising director, she has developed an understanding of the scholar-practitioner identity. 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. Her practice and scholarly activity have produced journal articles, book chapters, and a book.

Sharon, a first-generation student, grew up in rural Vermont and 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 recently co-authored a book with Dr. Rich Whitney and Dr. Deborah J. Taub focused on designing effective co-curricular programs in higher education. The Missing Competency: An Integrated Model for Program Development for Student Affairs encourages practitioners to engage with a model for holistic program development that highlights planning, assessment, and resource accountability. She is currently working on two forthcoming book chapters with scholar-practitioner colleagues. One chapter focuses on practitioner-scholars building a scholar identity through membership on a research team, and the second chapter investigates supervising the practitioner (e.g. academic advisor) in an academic affairs environment. She is a reviewer for the NACADA Journal, Journal of College Student Retention, Research, Theory & Practice, and Journal of Appreciative Education.

Last Updated: 7/14/22