Dr. Sharon Onevelo Watkinson, Ph. D.
Professor Emeritus, Department Co-Founder
Dr. Watkinson earned her Ph.D. from New York University, and MA from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Here at NU, Dr. Watkinson has directed many productions including the Focus Award-winning J.B. and Good Woman of Setzuan. She has acted frequently in local and university theatre productions including Women Times Women, the title role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, Madame Ranevsky in The Cherry Orchard, Helene Hanff in 84 Charring Cross Road with Buffalo Ensemble Theatre, Melissa in Love Letters, the Princess Kosmonopolis in Sweet Bird of Youth and General Cartwright in Guys and Dolls at Artpark. Seven years ago, she returned to the stage in a production of Twelve Angry Jurors with the St. Stephen’s Parish Players. Six years ago at Niagara, she performed the role of the Narrator in Into the Woods. Dr. Watkinson has made TV and radio commercials for local agencies and for ten years (1984-1994) produced and hosted "P.S. Niagara U.," a cable television program that aired in the Western New York area. A recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences "Outstanding Teacher Award," she also received the first Joseph P. Ganley, C.M. Award for her contributions to theatre both at the university and in the community. In 1997, she was the recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences’ "Excellence in Service Award." In 1999, she received a special commendation from the Eugene O'Neill Society for her efforts in successfully organizing the first international conference on Eugene O'Neill held in Hamilton, Bermuda. In January 2005, she was honored by the university with the Vincentian Mission Award. In October 2018, she was awarded the “Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award” at the University’s Annual Alumni Reunion Weekend. And in May of 2019, she was presented with the Spirit of N.U. Theatre Award at the 34th Annual Friends of Niagara University Theatre Gala. Simultaneously that same evening, Reverend James Maher, Niagara’s President, announced the first endowed Professorship of Theatre and Vocal Performance in the name of Sharon Onevelo Watkinson for her outstanding contributions to the University and the Theatre Department. Dr. Watkinson’s most recent accomplishment has been the successful implementation of a London, England Theatre Study Abroad Program for NU theatre majors, now in its twentieth year. Currently an Adjunct Professor, Dr. Watkinson served as Chair of the Department of Theatre and Fine Arts from 1990 to 2018.