Jennifer Sheridan has been named interim associate dean for inclusion, equity and diversity for the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering.
Sheridan, the executive and research director of the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI), will lay the strategic groundwork for the college’s efforts as it continually strives to create a welcoming, inclusive environment in which all members can learn, innovate, create and achieve their potential. The college also aims to become a national model for fostering inclusion, equity and diversity in engineering and to inspire change in engineering colleges, and beyond, across the nation.
As WISELI’s executive and research director, Sheridan develops and oversees the workshops and grant programs administered by the institute, as well as its research and evaluation, including six waves of the Study of Faculty Worklife climate surveys.
She is a member of the WISELI team that is nationally recognized for educating faculty about unconscious/implicit bias in academic settings, including the hiring process. This team designed and has delivered more than 200 faculty workshops related to implicit bias on the UW-Madison campus since 2004 and has delivered workshops or talks on the topic to over 40 campuses or groups of campuses outside UW-Madison since 2005. For her contributions to this work, Sheridan earned the College of Engineering Equity and Diversity Award in 2020.
Specializing in social stratification and quantitative research methods, Sheridan received her PhD in sociology at UW-Madison in 2001. Her graduate work focused on the social origins and implications of occupational sex segregation. Her publications cover topics such as measurement of occupational standing, long-term effects of childhood abuse, and her current line of inquiry, the status of women in science and engineering.
The college is conducting a national search for a permanent associate dean for inclusion, equity and diversity.