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Antigone Sharris

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Antigone Sharris is currently the Coordinator for the Engineering Technology program at Triton College, River Grove, IL, being a strong advocate for student engagement, technology, diversity, and professional development. She is known for her work in advancing STEM education through experiential learning experiences designed for youth and adults, delivered primarily to youth in the Chicago area. The most notable of these programs being GADgET (Girls Adventuring in Design, Engineering & Technology), written up in the New York Times the first year of the program, and her support of delivering the WaterBotics program designed by the Stevens Institute in Hoboken, NJ while under their NSF Grant funding the scale-up of WaterBotics at the national level.

Career

She graduated from Lane Technical High School, Chicago, IL. She competed and won awards in both commercial arts and drafting competitions while in high school. Her interest in the technical arts resulted in her securing a degree in Education, focused on Industrial Arts Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne. Being the last graduate of this program at UIUC, Sharris saw the "writing on the wall" for Technical Education in the schools and what it would mean for the end customer, the manufacturers in the community, a lack of skilled talent when they want it. She was more keenly aware of this problem than other academics because she was working in the field while working on her degree.

She continued to work in the field while taking on an adjunct faculty position at Triton College, moving over to a full time faculty position and becoming the Coordinator of the Engineering Technology program in January 2000. As when she was an adjunct faculty member, she continues to work collaboratively with fellow faculty and staff, working to change how education works to better prepare students for work ready skills and sustainable employ-ability in today's ever changing work environment. This means making the program relevant for student and employer while making the program transferable to four year degree programs, mainly focused at the on-campus completion program with Southern Illinois University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Purdue University at Hammond, IN. The results of this approach includes Triton College becoming the go-to school for engineering technology talent and graduates of the program being able to move up into leadership roles at various manufacturers in the Chicagoland area.

Sharris is a member of the board for the Chicago section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Co-Chair for the AAUW TechSavvy 2016 Conference, and has been a long time mentor for the Proviso Math & Science Academy FIRST Robotics team (Team 2151). She has also ensured that Triton College is a member of the Tooling and Manufacturing Association, The Fabricators & Manufacturing Association, National Fluid Power Association and the American Mold Builders Association, having spoken at different functions of these associations on how to develop their talent pool from within and though partnerships with area community colleges.

Her long term goals include developing a S2TEAM2 Center (standing for Science, Sports, Engineering, Art, Mathematics and Music), a place for families to come and engage these subjects in meaningful ways and a place for educators to develop different techniques for the classroom.

Sharris is a graduate of Triton College and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Technical Arts Education from the University of Illinois, Champagne, a graduate certificate in Logistics and a Masters in Industrial Operations and Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

References

Antigone Sharris Wikipedia


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