N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 19, 1998
Discipline / contribution: international service
Citation / biographical information:
Sharon Capeling-Alakija was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where she completed her elementary and secondary education. She obtained her BEd. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1966. She contributed significantly to the strength and well-being of campus political life at the University and it was here that her outstanding leadership qualities became apparent.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
In 1966-1961, Sharon was a history teacher in Saskatoon. From 1967 to 1972 she was Department Head and teacher in Tanzania and Barbados, teaching English as a Second Language. In addition to enhancing the effectiveness of African NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) through training and networking, she was responsible for the recruitment, selection and training of CUSO (Canadian University Service Overseas) volunteers posted to 35 developing countries. She also developed a textbook in Tanzania for teaching English as a Second Language. From 1972 to 1974 she was Coordinator, CUSO’s Local Committee in Ottawa; and from 1974 to 1977 she was Coordinator, CUSO’s Orientation Department in Ottawa. From 1978 to 1979 she was Director, CUSO’s Human Resources Division, responsible for the selection, training and supervision of a staff ranging in size from 35 to more than 100. From 1977 to 1982 she was Director of CUSO’s Public Affairs and Program Funding, responsible for increasing positive coverage for CUSO, and for the production, distribution and editing of CUSO’s quarterly magazine. From 1982 to 1989 she was Director, CUSO West Africa Region, responsible for overall planning, development, implementation, and securing resources for CUSO in Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, and the Gambia. From 1989 to 1994 she was Director of UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) in New York, dealing with development issues including environment, refugees, trade and developing initiatives for UNIFEM in favour of the international women’s movement to assist women at policy and grassroots levels.
She has since been promoted to one of the top administrative positions within the United Nations, that of Executive Coordinator, United Nations Volunteers. Sharon Capeling-Alakija has had a most distinguished career. Throughout her career she has made an outstanding contribution to the betterment of the less fortunate of the world. Sharon is a widow and has three grown sons.
Degree presented by: Senator Ed Hobday
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