Dr. Jamila Bookwala, Provost and Professor of Psychology, joined Gettysburg College in July 2023. She is the former Dean of the Faculty at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. Dr. Bookwala serves as a member of the President’s Council and joins the College as a Professor of Psychology. Dr. Bookwala has a wealth of administrative leadership experience in the areas of hiring and retaining a talented and diverse faculty; promoting excellence in teaching and scholarship; overseeing orientation and development programs for first-year faculty and leadership training for department heads and chairs; and faculty mentoring, development, and recognition programs. She also has experience in fostering high-impact and experiential learning opportunities—both inside and outside the classroom—and has played a significant role in curricular growth, assessment, and revision. She was recognized twice with the Daniel H. Weiss Award for Leadership and Vision for her collaborative work toward reaccreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and as a member of a strategic task force during the COVID-19 pandemic at Lafayette.
Dr. Bookwala is also a passionate teacher-scholar, dedicated to fostering an engaging learning environment for her students and faculty colleagues. She earned multiple awards for her teaching at Lafayette College, including the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Contributions to Campus Life, and the Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Award for Superior Teaching and Scholarly Contribution. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Gerontological Society of America, and the American Conference of Academic Deans. She has taught introductory and advanced courses in psychology, aging studies, and a first year seminar on the science of happiness. Her primary research interest is in the broad area of close social relationships and their role in aging well. Most recently, she published a co-edited volume that offers a record of the pathways of prominent women in psychology, currently in or near retirement, who have transformed the discipline and the academy (Reflections from Pioneering Women in Psychology, Cambridge University Press, 2022). She has published more than 60 works, which include journal articles, book chapters, and another edited volume. Her research program has been funded by various organizations including the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Bookwala is committed to creating an inclusive community and here too brings significant experience to the College. Serving as chair of Lafayette’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council, Dr. Bookwala worked with campus partners to foster and facilitate community dialogue and advance and implement strategic DEI projects. She recently authored a chapter in the fourth edition of The Resource Handbook for Academic Deans(2023, Johns Hopkins University Press) on the importance of working across different campus constituencies, offices, and groups to promote DEI goals. She also recently served on the American Psychological Association’s Board of Scientific Affairs Taskforce on Inequities in Promotion and Tenure and, as a 2021-22 Fellow of the American Conference of Academic Deans, worked with a group of leaders in higher education on a project that focuses on mitigating bias in peer observations of teaching.
Dr. Bookwala earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in social psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, in addition to a master’s in psychology from the City University of New York. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Xavier’s College, University of Bombay (Mumbai), India.