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CASTLE Seminar with Sheila Jaswal, PhD from Amherst College

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CASTLE Idea Lab @Drexel University

3401 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

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"From Protest to Progress through Partnership: Being Human in STEM" with Sheila Jaswal, Ph.D.

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Seminar Abstract:

When student protesters occupied the Amherst College library for four days in November of 2015, the campus community was transfixed by the painful testimonials shared by marginalized students about their experiences at Amherst as individuals identifying as Black, brown, female, queer, trans, disabled, international, among others. In response to letters from a Black neuroscience major and a non-binary biochemistry and biophysics major, every STEM department wrote a letter of support, pledging to work with students to address their concerns. The following semester, Chemistry professor Sheila Jaswal collaborated with students to develop a project-based course, titled “Being Human in STEM” (HSTEM), to actively engage STEM students and departments in learning about and enhancing inclusion in STEM settings.

Professor Jaswal will describe how HSTEM course projects and activities have continued the conversation started by students during the Uprising, connected STEM inclusion efforts across the Amherst campus, and produced resources such a website sharing all of the resources (www.beinghumaninstem.com) and the “Inclusive Curricular Practices” handbook, that has been used by STEM educators from high schools, colleges, universities, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence institutions. She will present evidence on the impact of the HSTEM course and practices on students, faculty and staff at Amherst, and provide examples of how a growing network of institutions, including Yale, Brown, Williams and University of Utah, are adapting the HSTEM model to their own STEM community needs.

About Sheila Jaswal:

Sheila Jaswal is an Associate Professor in the Chemistry Department and Program in Biophysics and Biochemistry and Director of the “Being Human in STEM” (HSTEM) Initiative at Amherst College. With a team of undergraduate researchers, she studies the interplay between protein stability, dynamics and function using a combined biophysical and computational approach. As the HSTEM Director, she facilitates a HSTEM course in collaboration with students, staff and faculty colleagues, organizes campus and regional HSTEM events, gives talks and workshops at colleges, universities and conferences nationwide, oversees a growing HSTEM network and collaborates with HSTEM affiliates at other institutions, and shares curricular and other HSTEM resources at www.beinghumaninstem.com.

About Drexel's Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence:

The mission of the Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence (CASTLE) is to employ an interdisciplinary research approach to generate knowledge that will support improved STEM education at all levels — from Kindergarten through Faculty.

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CASTLE Idea Lab @Drexel University

3401 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

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