• Dr. Mary Ann Bodine Al-Sharif currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the School of Education at UAB. She completed her B.A. in Religious Studies at Randall University, M.A. in English at the University of Central Oklahoma, and M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Adult and Higher Education at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Bodine Al-Sharif has worked in higher education for over 11 years as both a faculty member and student affairs and services administrator. She served as a Social Justice Graduate Research Fellow during her doctoral studies, and in 2019 was selected by the Ministry of Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE) Program as a Saudi Fellow. Her research interests are focused on current global movements in educational reform, international higher education, student development, and issues of social justice and advocacy within higher education. Specifically, she explores the lives of students who define themselves as living between worlds across issues of ability, race, religion, gender expression and the like.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2020 Making Meaning of the Mid-Level Administrator Roles in International Student Service Centers 2020
    2019 International Higher Education from a Global Perspective: A Special SeriesJournal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education.  4:143-147. 2019
    2016 Staffing for SuccessNew Directions for Higher Education.  2016:93-102. 2016
    2011 The need for change: Educational reformRace, Gender & Class Journal.  18:191-197. 2011
    2003 One woman's struggleAbsolute Literary Journal.  31:42-43. 2003


    Year Title Altmetric
    2020 A tale of two Sisters: A duoethnographical study of religious conversion 2020
    2020 Structures, Practices, and Policies to Support Community-Engaged Scholarship at the Community College.  172-186. 2020

    Research Overview

  • My own experiences as a student who has studied and lived abroad are what brought me to my research focus. I have always been a traveler, sojourner, and to a very broad extent a global nomad in higher education. I have learned to look at the world through a uniquely diverse lens. I recognize that my positionality, my relationship to my research, is driven by the social constructs that define my identity – race, gender, ethnicity, religion and the like, as well as the environment that I am in. That being said, the focus of my research is inclusive of the following areas within higher education:

    1) Exploring the lives of students who define themselves as living between worlds across issues of ability, race, religion, gender expression, and the like.

    2) Global movements in higher education.

    3) Student identity development – collectivism vs. individualism; with particular interests in how to better serve marginalized populations.

    4) Issues of social justice, institutionalized oppression and advocacy within higher education.
  • Teaching Overview

  • I believe that the power to teach is the power to change a life and many generations thereafter. Therefore, students must be able to move from theory to practice, and this can only be accomplished through collaborative interaction in the classroom, round-table discussions with focused activities, guided research opportunities, and supportive interactions with faculty. Because of this, I am a firm supporter of learner-oriented teaching which promotes learning that is both purposeful and lasting for students. Students need instruction that proves that the professor is both engaged and woke to current trends in research and practice. I believe that it is my responsibility to know who my students are, what kind of knowledge and experience they bring to the classroom, and what dreams and desires they want to accomplish in their learning environment. I believe that we have just as much to learn from our students as our students have to learn from us.
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education / Higher Education Administration, University of Oklahoma 2016
  • Full Name

  • Mary Bodine Al-Sharif