Jennifer Ryan

Image of Sheree Wilson and text ‘Congratulations. 35 years of service. Sheree Wilson. Auburn University Outreach Government & Economic Development Institute’

A mainstay of University Outreach, Sheree Wilson has made a lasting contribution to the administration of community outreach at Auburn University, with a career spanning more than 35 years and three outreach vice presidents and six department directors. She has made a tremendous impact on hundreds of co-workers, fellow university staff and communities across Alabama and beyond.

Currently, Wilson is the office manager for the Government and Economic Development Institute (GEDI), which provides training and outreach assistance to local, county and state governments, elected officials and personnel and economic development professionals. Originally, Wilson was hired in the College of Education’s Curriculum and Teaching department as an assistant in the In-Service Center, a unit which provided technical training for teachers. “My first day of employment at Auburn was so exciting,” recalls Wilson. “(Department head) Dr. Andrew Weaver was so pleasant and welcoming, and helped me feel comfortable in my new job.”

In her initial role, Wilson provided administrative support for In-Service instructors, assisted with the preparation of course materials and assisted program participants with course registrations. This first job helped Wilson develop her skills in scheduling, time management, program documentation, communications and client services, all of which became the hallmark of her later work in University Outreach.

In 1989, Wilson joined the Center for Governmental Services (CGS), a department of University Outreach, as a staff secretary. Over the years, her administrative proficiency and professionalism led to expanded responsibilities and roles in the center. “Each position change required a higher level of expertise in dealing with the departmental budget, tracking project expenditures, onboarding new employees, and ensuring the office operated efficiently,” recalls Wilson.

In 2015 CGS merged with another Outreach unit, the Economic and Community Development Institute, to form GEDI and Wilson assumed her current role of office manager. “We celebrate Sheree and her commitment to GEDI and Auburn University. Her years of service highlight her dedication to her job and all it entails. She is a vital member of our team at GEDI, and we thank her for continued contributions to our office,” said GEDI Director, Jeremy Arthur.

Wilson provides executive administrative assistance to the GEDI leadership team and oversees the daily office operations of the institute including payroll, timekeeping, human resources, purchasing, collections and more. However, her service to the University goes well beyond her job. Wilson has represented fellow Auburn employees on multiple staff committees including the AU Concessions Board, and currently she serves on the Staff Council and Parking Appeals Board. In addition, she was instrumental in coordinating and facilitating the Auburn University Educational and Cultural Tours in Cuba (CGS lead portion) and assisted with managing expenditures of a 4.2 million grant for expanding broadband technology throughout Alabama.

Sheree Wilson counts courtesy and mutual respect as keys to success in the workplace. “It is important in any position that you be polite, courteous, respectful and communicate with all employees throughout your office and on campus,” notes Wilson. “Everyone in any position is important, and respect has an influence in getting things done just a little faster as part of the Auburn Family.”

Drawing on her own successful tenure, Wilson has great insights for new Auburn employees. “Take advantage of all the education and training opportunities that Auburn University has to offer.” “Each year set the goals that you would like to accomplish, discuss these goals with your immediate supervisor and proceed to achieve your dreams,” explains Wilson. “Never lose sight of your goals, they will have an influence on you in years to come.”

“My future plan is to work until I’m ready to retire from Auburn University, and to continue working on my book about life’s journey,” says Wilson, who hopes to finish her book very soon. Wilson also plans to volunteer at non-profit organizations such as the local women’s shelter, kidney foundation, and cancer clinic, and to become involved in other community activities as well. “Most of all I’m looking forward to being able to spend more time with my two lovely daughters (we have been through a lot together in the past 13 years) and my grandchild (my little sunshine), travel to places I’ve never seen, and just enjoy life to the fullest.”

Last Updated: June 18, 2024