Manager, Diversity and Inclusion
Sharon is a native Minnesotan who grew up in the Rondo Community and moved to White Bear Lake because of the gentrification of the Rondo Community. Sharon worked for The Higher Education Assistant Foundation from 1984 – 1991 as the Minnesota Regional Coordinator for Federal Guaranteed Student Loans. She provided technical support for the guaranteed student loan program, and assisted in the recovery of defaulted student loans for Minnesota, Iowa, Chicago, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota
Sharon came to Mitchell Hamline School of Law in 1991 as a faculty administrative assistant, contributing to the overall effectiveness and professional administrative support to full-time faculty, visiting scholars and distinguished judges. Sharon currently works in the Office of Multicultural and International Inclusion as program manager.
Sharon earned a Masters in Public Administration from Bethel University and a BA in Business Administration from Metropolitan State University.
Sharon has been very active in numerous civic and community organizations including:
- School Board Treasurer – South Washington County Schools
- Steering Committee Member – YMCA Racial Justice
- Member of the National Association of International Educators
- Member of the Twin Cities Diversity Round Table
- Executive Board Member for Law School Diversity Professional
- City of Lakes Jack & Jill of America –Executive Board Member and Financial Secretary
- South Washington Educational Foundation Board Member
- South Washington County Education Equity and Integration Community Advisory Board
- Past member of William Mitchell College of Law Dean’s Diversity Council
- District Diversity Representative for Woodbury Senior High
- Past President of Parent Support Council – JJ Hill Elementary School
- Member of Washington County Foster Parent Association
- Past Member of the Selby-Dale Safety Committee
- Past Secretary for the Greater St. Paul Area Church Women United
- Past Fundraising Chair – St. Paul American Cancer Society
Momma Sharon, as she is affectionately called, is married to the Rev. Thomas Van Leer and they have 5 children;14 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; 36 foster children, and 22 great foster grandchildren.
Diversity and Inclusion