With fields like artificial intelligence continuing to grow, undergraduate students are flocking to the University of Alberta’s Department of Computing Science to try their hands at developing the next-generation technology that will power our future. Sharon Gannon, undergraduate student advisor in the department, is one of the first and most important contacts for new computing science students.
Gannon, who has been at the University of Alberta for more than 30 years, is one of more than 1,000 staff members in the faculty. The countless and invaluable contributions of this group make the world go round in the Faculty of Science, and we are thrilled to introduce you.
Meet Sharon Gannon
Job title and area:
Undergraduate Student Advisor, Department of Computing Science
How long have you worked at the Faculty of Science?
What's a typical day like for you?
Well, things have changed a lot in 33 years. For example, most students communicate via email now, instead of coming in to meet in person. My days consist of handling student inquiries—whether it be scheduling issues, concerns, program checks, course selection, or personal issues. I am also the department timetabling contact. I work with the calendar changes, academic standing, and student awards.
What's the most common question people ask you about your job?
“Do you get the summer off?” I just smile and say, "Summer is one of our busiest times."
Favourite memory from work?
Since I have been here 33 years, there are lots of memories—so there is no one specific memory that stands out. I just like that I get to laugh and have fun most days.
Favourite place on campus?
Actually, it would be my office, I love that we are in Athabasca Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus, and right in the centre of campus.
Favourite thing about working at the Faculty of Science?
I work mostly with people in the Department of Computing Science, and it has been a fun 33 years. Everyone from staff to faculty to students have been awesome. My contact with Student Services in the Faculty of Science has been awesome as well. It has just been a great place to work.
What would you do for work if you didn't do this?
I am actually not sure what I would have done. When I was attending post-secondary, we had individuals from different companies, government, and agencies come to speak with us about their work. I knew right away that I wanted to work at UAlberta. I went for an interview and got the job. Two years later, I moved into my current role.