Sheetal Shah

Dr. Sheetal Shah is the Academic Director at Webster Leiden Campus-Webster University USA. As an educator and change maker at heart- she is a psychologist with a global orientation and has had the privilege of applying most psychological theories to different contexts in the real world for example, education, public health, leadership, global citizenship and grass roots level work.

She specializes in the field of counseling for chronic illnesses and trauma; her research interests are focused in the field of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. In 2012 she founded the Bijlmer project, a research project investigating the needs of victims of human trafficking and now volunteers with the intervention phase of the project called the Bridge2Hope. The Bridge2Hope is a research and intervention project ( that addresses the psychosocial and vocational needs of sexually trafficked women and men in the European Union.  This project has also been a successful experiential learning component for many courses that are taught in both the psychology and global citizenship programs and for faculty members in the International Relations and Media Communications departments at Webster’s Leiden campus. 

Part of her philosophy of teaching has been to connect students to real world problems, or what she calls the ‘classroom outdoors’ or ‘classroom in the community’ format. This approach focuses on using experiential learning components in the field to build on the theoretical underpinnings that students learn in the classroom.

Having studied both in India and the UK and having worked with an American educational system within a Dutch/European setting, her familiarity with diverse curriculums has helped her understand and effectively respond to the evolving needs and dynamics of the international student profile that universities cater to as part of their global network.

In the presentation she will focus on how COVID-19 has impacted academia, both with unique challenges and opportunities. The COVID-19 experience will influence and shape the educational paradigm for the next century…