Sharon Gilbert is the recipient of the 2016 Nathalie Molton Gibbons Alumni Achievement Award. Gilbert holds two degrees from UM, earning her undergraduate degree in counseling and guidance from UM in 1986 and completing her Master of Education in counseling in 1989.
Gilbert has worked with the TRiO Upward Bound program at UM for more than 20 years, serving as director of the program for the past 10 years. Throughout her tenure with the program she has worked tirelessly to provide students with academic and social support. Additionally, she works to develop programs that encourage students to obtain high school degrees and continue into secondary education.
In a letter of support, a nominator stated, “When Sharon is not working directly with her Upward Bound program, she is busy advocating for the program at both the state and national level. It seems she truly never tires of doing whatever it takes to make sure ‘her children’ get the educational services and opportunities they need.”
Gilbert has not only excelled in her position at UM, but is also dedicated in supporting the Montevallo community as a whole. In her role as the UM Annual Fund Chairperson during the 2014-2015 year, she was instrumental in raising nearly $150,000 in donations to support scholarships, research, technology and academic programs. She serves on the Montevallo City Council, holds positions on local PTO boards and serves at the state level for the Alabama Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (AAEOPP), among other achievements and honors.
“She is patient and supportive and manages to see the value everyone brings to the organization,” one friend commented. “She does all of this because she loves to see people grow and succeed. All of her work, all of her service, all of it, she does to serve, to nurture, to help. I know she does it all with no thought about award or accolade. That’s why she deserves this award.”