Sharon Carlson Returns in New Admissions Role

Gordon College is pleased to welcome back Sharon Carlson as director of school relations. Since earning her Gordon degree, Sharon ’88 served in three different roles between 1997 and 2006: director of housing, assistant director of the A. J. Scholars program and resident director of Bromley Hall. Her husband, Chris Carlson ’87, is currently the dean of student success has served at the College for 27 years. The Bell had a chance to get to know a little bit more about her and her new position.

Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Billerica, Massachusetts—only about 20 minutes from here! It’s one of those Massachusetts town names that’s not pronounced anything like it looks [bill-rick-a].

What were you involved in as an undergrad at Gordon?
I had a great Gordon experience. I was a resident assistant, I was in student ministry leadership, I was part of the deaf ministry and I was on the core leadership team for student ministries.

You earned your master’s degree in pastoral counseling at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1993. What did your graduate program entail?
My interest was in spiritual formation, and the M.A. allowed me to focus my projects and papers in the area of student development. It also gave me a foundation in counseling that has been very important in my work with students. I did my master’s thesis on faith development and mentoring with college students, and I actually did my research with students here at Gordon.

Where else have you worked with students?
I left Gordon in 2006 and went to work at Covenant Christian Academy in Peabody, Massachusetts. I started as the dean of students and helped them start a high school program. A year later, we had our first class of ninth graders, and in 2010 we graduated our first class of 15 students. I also served as assistant head of school and interim head of school at Covenant before leaving in 2015.

In 2015, you started your own education consulting firm called Carlson Education Consulting, offering services to clients in college guidance, educational coaching and career counseling. What excites you about bringing this experience back to Gordon?
My role is to help cultivate Gordon’s relationships with high schools and other Christian organizations, such as youth groups and camps. I am excited to bring my experience in school administration and college guidance to the “other side of the desk” so that Gordon can support and serve those who are guiding students in the college search process. I will work with the admissions counselors and add a layer of organizational relationship to the student relationships they are developing.

Are these “organizational relationships” primarily with private, Christian schools?
No. It could be public schools, private schools that aren’t Christian schools or international schools. There are many schools with whom we already have strong relationships and we want to maintain those, as well as further develop our connections with other schools for whom Gordon would be a great fit for their students.

Where will you be headed on your first trip?
I’m about to head to Colorado next week! I will be attending five Christian college fairs in the Denver area and Colorado Springs. I hope to meet with school administrators and students while I’m there as well.

What can your family be found doing for fun on the North Shore?
We enjoy going to Richardson’s down on Rt. 114 for mini-golf tournaments and ice cream. Every year in June it’s how we celebrate my daughter and my husband’s birthdays, our wedding anniversary and Father’s Day, which all happen in the same week!