Dr. Sharon Lee Rhodes joined the Office of Instruction, Planning and Technology in August of 2005 as the Dean of Economic and Workforce Development for the San Diego Community College District. She comes to the college district from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she was the Director of Corporate Relations.
In her position, Dean Rhodes provides leadership and oversight for the workforce and economic development programs for the San Diego Community College District, which is the largest provider of workforce training in San Diego County. Her responsibilities include interacting with local business leaders, workforce organizations and industries to maintain and expand connections with the District, its colleges—San Diego City College, Mesa College, Miramar College—and the Continuing Education centers located throughout San Diego. The San Diego Community College District serves more than 126,000 students each year, or nearly one in every 20 people in San Diego County. Dean Rhodes also serves as co-chair of the San Diego Workforce Partnership’s Youth Council, a member of The San Diego Foundation’s Civil Society Working Group, and Board of Director member of the United Way of San Diego County.
During Dr. Rhodes’ tenure as Director of Corporate Relations at UMBC from 1999 to 2004, the Corporate Relations Team led the fundraising efforts for the Campus, bringing in over 75% of the private funds raised. Through scholarships and sponsored research, Dr. Rhodes successfully cultivated and established multi-level partnerships between corporations and the university.
Prior to joining UMBC, Dr. Rhodes was at Pepsi-Cola Research Headquarters in Valhalla, New York from 1991 to 1999. As group manager, Dr. Rhodes led a new product development team responsible for tea and soft drink development in domestic and international markets. She was also adjunct professor of Chemistry at the University of Connecticut, and prior to joining Pepsi-Cola, a senior scientist at Clorox in Pleasanton, California.
Dr. Rhodes received her B.S. in Chemistry from California State University, Los Angeles and her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles.
A native of Hong Kong, Dr. Rhodes is married to Dr. Christopher A. Rhodes, a pharmaceutical scientist and graduate school classmate. The couple lives in Carmel Valley with their four children.