AJ Carlson Conference scheduled for September 28 – Herald Democrat

Amherst College Professor Dr. Sheila Jaswal will present the Austin College AJ Carlson Lecture on Wednesday, September 28 at 5 p.m. in Mabee Hall at the Robert J. and Mary Wright Campus Center. His talk will focus on “Being Human in STEM: Promoting Equity and Inclusion on Campus through Student Partnerships.” A welcome reception will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the same location. Both events are free and open to the public.

Jaswal is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Biochemistry and Biophysics Program. She teaches Introduction to Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics and Human Being in STEM. His research focuses on how proteins fold and move to perform essential cellular functions. She is also responsible for faculty equity and inclusion, working to help faculty thrive in scholarship and teaching.

His role was instrumental in advancing Amherst’s Being Human in STEM (HSTEM) initiative. With a team of undergraduate researchers, she studies the interplay between protein stability, dynamics and function using a combined biophysical and computational approach. In the spring of 2016, she and her students developed the “Being Human in STEM” (HSTEM) course model in which students conduct academic inquiry, studying both local experience and literature on diversity in communities. STEM, then design tools and interventions to improve their STEM community and sense of belonging. As HSTEM Director, Jaswal facilitates the HSTEM course in collaboration with students, staff, and fellow faculty, organizes on-campus and regional HSTEM events, delivers lectures and workshops at colleges, universities, and conferences nationwide, oversees a growing HSTEM network, collaborates with HSTEM affiliates with other institutions, and shares curricular and other HSTEM resources

Dr. AJ Carlson and the Johnson Center

This Austin College lecture honors the late Dr. AJ “Jack” Carlson, who joined the History faculty at Austin College in 1962. He also served as Dean of Humanities for many years and served as l a leading advocate of liberal arts education. He retired as a professor emeritus in 1994 and remained active in the campus community until his death in 2014.

The conference is sponsored by the Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching, which is led by Dr. Andrea Overbay, Associate Professor of Mathematics. The center hosts several events throughout the year, featuring presentations by Austin College professors and guest speakers.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international studies, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, engaged teachers and adventurous, hands-on learning opportunities.

Angela C. Hale