Scholarship honors late SSCC staff member


The Jason Sharrett Memorial Scholarship has been established to honor the former Southern State Community College faculty member Jason Sharrett, who was able to inspire his peers, according to SSCC President Dr. Nicole Roades.

Sharrett passed away in November of 2022 from a pulmonary embolism. He graduated from Ohio University with master’s degrees in English and history. He worked for 14 years as an adjunct instructor at Southern State Community College before assuming the full-time position of distance education support specialist at the college.

“While Jason will always be with us in spirit, it is our family’s desire to memorialize him in a way that supports other young people in combining unique talents and interests through education,” said his mother Bobbi Newman. “We seek to honor the things he cared about and make a difference for future generations.”

Jason was a musician and a member of the local band Ultra Saturday. “He was very influential for the music scene around here, which doesn’t really do as much now as maybe 10 years ago, but when I first moved to town that was kind of the big thing that everyone hung out at the Colony on the weekends and rock shows were a thing, and he was one of the guys that really pushed for that a lot,” said Sharrett’s friend and former bandmate Wes Jett.

Sharrett started out playing drums in the band and ended up playing guitar and singing when Jett took over on drums.

“I had barely met the guy – I had known him for maybe all of a day or two – and he offers me a place to stay,” said Jett. “That’s kind of what started the band is I came up here to play drums one day with him and have a good experience, and then the next thing I know he’s offering me a place to stay. He gave me a place to stay, and I met my wife, so that one day shifted my life really.”

Sharrett’s friend of 25 years, Robert Sams, said, “He was just that person that no matter what kind of a day you were having, he would brighten it. We never had an argument. Even if we didn’t agree with each other, we respected each other enough to say, ‘I see your point of view,’ and we moved on.”

Sams said he was glad to see Sharrett reach his lifelong goal of becoming an educator and using his love for Japanese culture in his history lessons.

Southern State Community College President Nicole Roades said Sharrett was a gifted educator. “Some of the things that I felt were so compelling and made his passing more of a tragedy were his love for learning and his spirit in terms of trying new things,” she said.

“I think one of the most unique things that I found about Jason is while he was an instructor for the college teaching in the classroom, he had a really great ability to connect with other faculty members and help them improve their distance learning courses, and that’s not really a skill set that you see too frequently where you’ve got basically a faculty member that can do peer-to-peer training, so I felt like that was a unique gift that he had where he was basically not only being helpful to his faculty colleagues, but also because of his passion for learning he was also inspiring them as well,” said Roades.

Contributions to the scholarship fund can be sent my mail or online. Checks can be sent to Southern State Foundation, 100 Hobart Drive, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133, and credit card contributions are accepted online at

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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