Career Center

In the Spotlight: Sheila Jaswal, PhD

"Pursuing a passion and a career at the intersection of research, communication and teaching"

Stanford Affiliation: Senior Research Fellow (04-06), Research Associate (07-08)
Department: Biology
School: Humanities & Sciences
Industry: Academia (Liberal Arts College)
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry
Location: Amherst College, Massachusetts

"My enjoyment of science has always derived from a mixture of different passions: the thrill of research and experiments, the challenge of clearly communicating scientific concepts to a range of audiences, and the rewards of helping students as they learn the practice of laboratory science and the process of creative and critical thinking crucial for research.  After following the science and focusing primarily on my research as a graduate student and through two postdocs, in thinking about the next stage of my career, I decided I wanted to explore finding an environment where I could more equally balance my passions.  This past fall, I submitted ~60 applications to a mixture of liberal arts colleges, and smaller research universities.  After an exhausting but exciting marathon of flying around the country for nine interview visits over five weeks, I was fortunate to receive offers from three liberal arts colleges, and was thrilled to accept an offer for Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Amherst College in Massachusetts.  In joining a faculty renowned for excelling at both research and teaching, and with an administration generously supportive of my research needs, I have found the right place to do research that excites me, train undergraduate researchers, and develop into an excellent teacher."

Sheila Jaswal
February, 2009

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