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Shara Davis Headshot


Chief Research, Data, and Analytics Officer

Shara Davis currently serves as the chief research, data, and analytics officer for Achieving the Dream. She has also served as a holistic student supports coach and a guided pathways consultant throughout her eight year tenure with ATD. Shara retired from Lorain County Community College in 2017, an ATD LMA winner, where she served as dean of research, institutional effectiveness and public services. 

Shara spent 32 years working in a community service function with special emphasis on community education and capacity building. She has extensive experience in market research, leadership and civic engagement, and has formal training in facilitation techniques, strategic planning, and change management. Shara led the Public Services Institute at LCCC and served more than 500 community-based organizations, local governments, and community collaboratives region-wide.  

Among Shara’s greatest accomplishments was serving as project director for a philanthropic initiative that engaged 20,000 people over 18 months and culminated in an economic development agenda for a 16 county region of Northeast Ohio. For these efforts, Shara was awarded a Key to the Region. In 2007-2008 she was also called upon by Ohio’s Chancellor of Higher Education to help develop a new community college in eastern Ohio using innovative partnership models. 


M.A. (Political Science) | University of Akron 

B.S. (Criminal Justice, minor in Sociology) | University of Akron 

Past Experience 

Dean of Research, Institutional Effectiveness and Public Services | Lorain County Community College 

Dean| Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, Lorain County Community College 

Accreditation Liaison Officer for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) | Lorain County Community College 

Chair, Student Learning Assessment Council | Lorain County Community College 

Assistant Director for Research,  Center for Urban Studies | University of Akron

How has education changed your life/your family? 

As the oldest of 5 children and a first-generation college student, college was a significant confidence booster for me. I was extremely fortunate to have faculty and other mentors from higher education who saw more potential than I saw in myself. Postsecondary attainment coupled with 32 years working in higher education has opened doors, created immense opportunity, and most important – provided me the means to help my children through college and onto a path of self-sufficiency and economic and social prosperity – something I hope will be passed onto to my grandchildren. I am blessed!  

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