The AU Faculty Spotlight is a series that recognizes faculty members who promote student success at AU.
Meet Dr. Sharrie R. Dean, AU’s new assistant professor in education. Learn more about her below.
Where are you from?
I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and raised here in Miami and in Nassau (Bahamas).
What are some of your hobbies?
I provide service for those who have challenges helping themselves and/or are underprivileged. As such, I work closely with my husband’s ministry; have founded a reading club for teenaged and unwed mothers; work as a member of Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow; and, in the last year, spoke to over 5,000 students about bullying, hazing, and negative peer pressure with my son, founder and CEO of Ben McNamee, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to ending this behavior. I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and of Phi Delta Kappa. I was just inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) International Honor Society at AU and am looking to revitalize AU’s chapter. I also love singing and shopping!
Where did you go to school?
I received a B.A. in Professional Studies at Barry University, an M.S. from Nova Southeastern University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Union Institute & University.
What brought you to AU?
While working at Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) as the Title I Administration Director, I had ongoing conversations with Mr. Ramon Sanchez (an AU adjunct), who was my staff member at the time. I thought AU was a well-kept secret! I believed that AU would be a sterling alignment for so many at M-DCPS and scheduled meetings with Dr. Ralph Martinez regarding AU recruitment and the education program. I appreciated what Dr. Martinez represented and loved his dedication to his vision for student success. My work at M-DCPS allowed me to serve as a conduit for AU’s recruitment efforts, enabling departments, staff, and parents in the school district to become acquainted with AU’s academic offerings and grant potential. I am so very thankful that Ramon introduced me to this phenomenal university!
Eventually, in 2011, I began working as an adjunct faculty member in education at AU. In 2013, I began working closely with the Ph.D. in Human Services program under Dr. Evangelina Alonso and became an adjunct in that program (now with Dr. Irene Bravo). And now I have come full circle, having been hired a few months ago as an assistant professor in the education, criminal justice, and undergraduate psychology programs.
What makes AU special?
From my first visit to AU, I noticed that people from the academic faculty to the maintenance professionals to the clerical staff were all pleasant and friendly. Everyone spoke and smiled with sincerity…no matter the language. I have since coined the phrase: At AU, you are more than a number. Everyone is more than a number. You are recognized for who you are, and that recognition speaks mounds for the university.
What advice do you have for students to maximize their success at AU?
Students should realize that AU’s professors and staff are approachable. We are here for you. When you succeed, it is wonderful! We welcome conversations that assist us in better meeting students’ needs. Through detail-oriented conversations, we can create a strengthened and successful relationship and design the best academic track for you, thus yielding a great education and beyond-great marketability in the work force…and for life!
Student Success Bonus Tip: If you are an education student looking to find professional development resources and build a lasting network of colleagues, consider joining Kappa Delta Pi. Reach out to Dr. Dean for more information at ext. 3105.