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Sheila Jaswal is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Program in Biochemistry and Biophysics and was named the College’s interim chief equity and inclusion officer in February 2023. As faculty equity and inclusion officer since July 2021, Sheila has been an advocate for equity and inclusion in the overall academic program, partnering with the provost and dean of the faculty to support individual faculty members and academic departments. Sheila spearheaded the collection and streamlining of resources to support faculty search committees in applying inclusive practices at each step of the hiring process. She was part of the team that created and launched the Faculty and Staff of Color Mentorship Program and the inclusive onboarding checklist for faculty and academic departments.
In 2016, with Amherst students, Sheila co-created “Being Human in STEM” (HSTEM), a unique course model that empowers students, staff and faculty to reshape their classrooms, laboratories and departments to create an equitable community that enables humans of all identities to thrive and flourish. The HSTEM model has been adopted by Yale University and Pomona College, among many other institutions nationwide, and a book, Being Human in STEM: Partnering with Students to Shape Inclusive Communities, co-authored by Sheila and two Amherst colleagues, Sarah Bunnell and Megan Lyster, was published in April 2023.