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associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has received a 2020-21
College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) award for excellence in advocacy.
She was among nine
faculty award recipients selected throughout the College in a variety of
categories. CAS Dean John A. Pelesko recently surprised each of the honorees
with an in-person or virtual visit during a class or event to announce and
present the award.
Following are more
details about Rozovsky and the tribute Pelesko offered.
Sharon Rozovsky is
known as a collaborative colleague with a flourishing research career who has
contributed to many service roles within the department and beyond.
With Prof. Karl
Booksh, she has successfully led a Research Experiences for Undergraduates
(REU) program that provides students with disabilities the mentoring and
experience that is important for success in graduate school. The program works
to build a supportive community and provide role models for future generations
The 10-week program
provides students with a state-of-the-art chemistry research experience across
five sub-disciplines. In addition to research, the students engage in four
areas of mutually supportive career development activities. Students who have
participated in the REU program have gone on to earn Goldwater Scholarships and
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, highlighting the
success of this program.
Rozovsky has also
received a Unidel Grand Challenges Grant Award, “Designing Inclusive Futures:
Disability, Diversity, and Innovation,” which also has the goal of increasing
participation of students with disabilities in STEM-based research. She is
often interviewed for her experience on inclusiveness and teaching students
with disabilities in STEM.
At UD, she
shepherded Disability Support Services and the Chemical Hygiene Committee to
agree upon and adopt guidelines for allowing service dogs into labs. Other
institutions have since reached out to her for guidance in crafting their
service dog policy.
“I have found that
the best advocates are undoubtedly the people themselves, but often they are
either not really listened to or are outright excluded from certain parts of
life,” Rozovsky said. “This is almost immediately self-evident when working
with students with disabilities. … Thus, in my experience, efforts to improve
diversity and inclusion really means to listen to the affected people and to
act as the conduit for their voices and executioner of their ideas.
sometimes-challenging openness to differing, individual perspectives and the
observation of a large variety of student-faculty mentor pairings had a deep
impact on my ‘everyday’ work as a biochemist. It really changed how I mentor
undergraduate and graduate students in my lab and my efforts to give them an
active voice in their scientific work.”
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The honorees were
selected by the college’s Faculty Awards Committee, chaired by John Jungck,
professor of biological sciences, with members Richard Cunningham, professor of
theatre; Jennifer Lobasz, associate professor of political science and
international relations; and Brenda Shaffer, instructor in fashion and apparel
To read more about
all the award winners, see this article.
Article by College
of Arts and Sciences communications staff
Published Oct. 29,