Sharon Knox

Staff Spotlight: Sharon Campbell Knox

Sharon Knox recently joined the College of Engineering as the coordinator for strategic initiatives in the Dean’s Office.

In this role, Sharon will help coordinate special projects related to the college’s strategic research and educational visioning processes and implementation of those visions thereafter.

In this edition of the College of Engineering’s Staff Scoop, we get to know more about Sharon.

Tell us about your path to UC Davis.

I came to Davis in 2001. My first connection to campus was as a family member: my husband at the time joined the faculty here. I was a grad student at another university and a young mom with a toddler and a newborn. My son Andy attended his first Picnic Day when he was 4 days old.

I began working at UC Davis in 2011 in the office of Pat Turner, who was then the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies. Pat gave me tremendous opportunities to learn and grow. Eventually I was hired to be lead writer for the campus 10-year reaccreditation report, which was like writing a master’s thesis about UC Davis. And when that was complete I took on a broader communications role.

What is your current position at UC Davis?

Coordinator for Strategic Initiatives in the College of Engineering.

What are your major job functions and responsibilities?

Working with Dean Corsi and the Associate Deans for Research and Undergraduate and Graduate Education to develop and implement a strategic visioning process. I am part of a team that is gathering perspectives to identify research and educational goals that will help the College strengthen its identity and purpose. 

What skill is most important in your job?

It’s a combination of careful listening, analytical thinking, communication, and project management.

What are you enjoying and looking forward to in this role?

I’m very excited to be part of creating and implementing a new vision for the College of Engineering. So much great work is being done in the college, and this planning process aims to identify areas that will build on collaborative strengths.

What is your favorite thing about working at UC Davis/in your department (so far)?

I have enjoyed the kindness and positivity of everyone I’ve met in the College. It makes a huge difference.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

Growing up, my family travelled and moved around a lot. I grew up in Malaysia, Taiwan, and Washington, DC. During my college and post-college my parents lived in Kenya, Denmark, and Estonia so I’ve had amazing opportunities to see the world. My brother never stopped travelling; he lives in Istanbul these days.

If you could do any job in the world what would it be?

Editing. It’s fun, challenging, and totally portable.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of work?

Skiing and swimming! I also love to read and write. I’m collaborating on a book about a Sacramento artist. And I love to watch rocket launches. My parents retired in Cocoa Beach, Florida during the heyday of the shuttle program. Now with the corporate space race launches have become very frequent and there’s a lot of excitement about going to Mars.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Yes! I married into an engineering family. My husband is a mechanical engineer who worked in aerospace and my late father-in-law was a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Davis.

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