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Dr. Sharon Hamill: Serving the Community

By David Ogul

Dr. Sharon Hamill believes in paying it forward.

“I was fortunate to have CSU and UC professors who invested in me, a first-generation college student,” said the Cal State San Marcos psychology professor who also serves as the faculty director for the CSU Institute for Palliative Care at CSUSM. “It is a gift to be given the opportunity to do the same for others.”

In fact, Hamill embodies CSUSM. She is the former chair of the Cal State San Marcos psychology department, the program director of the University’s new child and adolescent development major, and the faculty director of the CSU Institute for Palliative Care at CSUSM. And she is at the forefront of research into the emotional and psychological impacts on teenagers and young adults who find themselves caring for family members afflicted with deadly diseases.

The recipient of the 2015-16 Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award—the highest honor presented at Cal State San Marcos—Hamill is also an active member of the San Diego Coalition for Compassionate Care and the North County Action Network, and she volunteers at the St. Francis Soup Kitchen. Her research led to the development of a Caregivers’ Handbook, which was published by the Work-Life Coalition and Aging and Independence Services.

“The energy, innovation, quality education and commitment to our community exhibited by CSUSM faculty, staff and students can be felt throughout the region because of our activism and engagement with educational institutions (K-12, community colleges, and universities), health care agencies, environmental organizations, and businesses,” said Hamill. “We don't just learn about the world around us, we work collaboratively with our community to make it a better place.”