National Writing Project

Introducing Sharon J. Washington, New NWP Executive Director

Date: December 4, 2007

Sharon J. Washington has nearly two decades of professional experience and scholarly work in social justice education, higher education administration, teacher preparation, outdoor recreation, sports, and the arts. Dr. Washington recently completed work as the Interim Director of Faculty Equity Programs at the University of California Office of the President in Oakland, California. Before moving to California, she held a number of academic positions, including Special Assistant to the President for Diversity Initiatives at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC, and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Spelman College in Atlanta. At Spelman, Dr. Washington worked closely with faculty on issues of governance and curriculum. 

Throughout her career, Dr. Washington has demonstrated a strong commitment to the importance of high-quality literacy instruction for all students, and professional development for teachers across the K–16 spectrum. As the Founding Director of Project SPIRIT at Springfield College in Massachusetts, Dr. Washington developed an advising system that improved student retention and graduation, created a teacher preparation mentor program with K–12 teachers, and led a collaborative K–16 partnership that designed and implemented an academic enrichment program to encourage high school students of color to attend college.

Dr. Washington was a tenured member of the faculties at both Kent State University and Springfield College, and a visiting faculty member at University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT. In addition, she was a Visiting Scholar in the Office of the President at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in higher education administration. 

Dr. Washington earned a Ph.D. in Education at The Ohio State University in 1988, an M.A. at Central Michigan University, and a B.S. at The Ohio State University. Her recent writings focus on multicultural alliances and coping with the emotional and intellectual challenges of teaching about social justice.

For more, read the press release about her selection.


Washington, S.J. 2007. "Fostering Women's Multicultural Alliances as an Academic Administrator." On Campus with Women 36 (1). Association of American Colleges & Universities online publication.

Bell, L.A., B. Love, S.J. Washington, and G. Weinstein. 2007. "Knowing Yourself as Social Justice Educators." In Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook for Teachers, 2nd ed., edited by M. Adams, L. A. Bell, and P. Griffin. New York: Routledge.

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