Sharon Barnes was announced as the 2023 recipient of Jefferson State’s Distinguished Retiree Award during the annual Retiree Luncheon event on Nov. 2.
Barnes was also a recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Member Award before she retired from JSCC in 2001. She began her service in 1977 in the Radiologic Technology department, after previously studying in that area at Jefferson State.
Barnes said the family environment among employees and the quality of education provided to students were the pillars of her time at the college.
“I never, ever had any doubt that a student that was in my class or any other class on this campus was getting a top-notch education,” Barnes said. “So I was always very proud of Jefferson State for that.”
After retirement, Barnes moved from Birmingham to northeast Alabama. She served six years on the Board of Directors of Fort Payne Main Street and was a member of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce.
She obtained real estate licenses in both Alabama and Georgia.
In her free time, Barnes sponsors recreational teams in local youth leagues and sponsors music events to promote local musicians. She created the May’s Gulf Music Festival to support the Dekalb Children’s Advocacy Center and JSU’s Canyon Center to address the needs for at-risk and underprivileged children.
She volunteers at Fort Payne First Methodist Church and serves on the finance committee. She participates yearly in a fundraiser for the Dekalb Library and supports the Boom Days heritage festival.
Jefferson State accepts nominations each year for the Distinguished Retiree Award. Anyone who retired from the college can be nominated, and they are evaluated based on their post-retirement accomplishments or contributions in the following areas:
- Health, physical, cultural, or social well-being of the community (local, state or national)
- Education at any level
- Enrichment of the lives of those in his or her community
- Other contributions or accomplishments not included above
Nominations can be submitted at jeffersonstate.edu/retiree beginning in January 2024.