Sharon Callahan

Sharon Callahan
’83 French Business

Professional Bio

As part of Sharon's degree program, she studied with Penn State at the Institute Universitaire de Technologie in Nice, France. She moved to Washington, D.C. after graduation, and in 1985, began a 34-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency, where she had a diverse career spanning several mission areas, including Counterterrorism; Counterintelligence; Africa; East Asia; and Cyber. She served overseas in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and represented the Agency for two years at the FBI’s National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force. She retired at the end of 2019 as an Executive Manager, receiving the Agency’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. Sharon currently works part-time as an instructor and mentor with the Agency’s new hires. She also completed a certification in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) and works with students from other countries who are learning English. She maintains proficiency in French, Spanish, and Italian, and enjoys participating in the College of the Liberal Arts’ Mentor Program as well as serving as an Alumni Admissions Volunteer for Penn State’s Undergraduate Admissions Office. Sharon is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and currently resides in Herndon, Virginia. She has a daughter, Emily, who graduated from Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications in 2018.

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Rock Ethics Institute research associate Yael Warshel is poised to receive a book award at the International Communication Association’s annual meeting for her pioneering work in the book “Experiencing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Children, Peace Communication, and Socialization.” Her book, a critical examination of peace communication interventions and their effects on children in conflict zones, has received international acclaim, with this being the book’s second major accolade.

Penn State University Libraries’ Open Publishing program recently launched a new Open Access monograph. “The Future of Foster Care: New Science on Old Problems,” edited by Yo Jackson and Sarah Font, is a collection of expanded conference proceedings from the 2019 conference of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, a national leader in research designed to influence public policy that better protects vulnerable children from abuse.

P. Gabrielle Foreman, Paterno Family Professor of American Literature and professor of African American studies and history at Penn State and a 2023 MacArthur Fellow, embarked on a decade-long creative endeavor that culminated in her recently released edited volume, “Praise Songs for Dave the Potter: Art and Poetry for David Drake.”

WPSU uncovers the stories that unveil the triumph, grit, caution and legend that make up the history of the commonwealth in a new digital series titled “Past PA.”

Janet van Hell, a longtime Penn State faculty member in the College of the Liberal Arts’ Department of Psychology and director of the Center for Language Science, was recently promoted to distinguished professor of psychology and linguistics.

Liberal Arts Professor of English and Asian Studies Xiaoye You’s new book on rhetoric in early imperial China offers insights into how ancient rulers built and maintained an empire, and what that may reveal about contemporary issues.

Nearly 100 Centre County high school students visited Penn State’s University Park campus on April 12 to participate in the fourth annual Language and Linguistics Day hosted by Penn State’s Center for Language Science.

The Penn State Consortium on Substance Use and Addiction recently hosted its fourth annual conference in the HUB-Robeson Center at the University Park campus. 

An interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers have received a $442,750 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, to support a multi-faceted, three-part study that observes how gay and bisexual men search and find HIV prevention information — specifically information about pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, a medicine that when taken as prescribed, is very effective at preventing HIV.

Two Penn State professors — one in history and the other in art history and anthropology — have collaborated on a three-pronged project that will spark conversation and awe about the art, culture, science and history of Andean peoples.