Sheikha Jameela Bint Mohammed Al-Qasimi

Honorary Degrees

California State University, Chico

Sheikha Jameela Bint Mohammed Al-Qasimi earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in statistics from California State University, Chico  in 1983. Soon after, she returned home to the United Arab Emirates with a deep passion to change the world for the better. She became the director for Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) and today serves as its chairperson.

For nearly 40 years, Sheikha Jameela has been instrumental in establishing  services for individuals with disabilities and their families, including schools serving children with deafness and hearing issues and children with cognitive and developmental challenges or who are neurodiverse. . Working with her team at SCHS, she has  pioneered innovative programs that feature  music and art therapy and offer athletics and recreation opportunities. She also has helped secure college scholarships for students to ensure equitable access to education. 
Sheikha Jameela is a model for international best practices in helping people achieve economic and social independence, and in creating greater societal support and inclusion. She has worked tirelessly to empower individuals with disabilities by offering quality education, assistive technologies and the latest therapies, while advocating for their comprehensive rights.

Among her many memberships and affiliations, she is a founding member of the Board of Trustees for the Arab Network for Autism, Inclusion International-MENA Region and the Arabian Gulf Autism League. Awards recognizing Sheikha Jameela’s groundbreaking advocacy include the Gulf Cooperation Council Award of Humanitarian Work, the United Nations Development Program UAE Accolade for Distinguished Achievements in Humanitarian Services and an Award of Merit from the UAE Red Crescent in recognition of her efforts on local and regional levels.

At Chico State, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences named her a Distinguished Alumna, its highest honor. She is also a member of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences VIPs and a member of Chico State’s Middle Eastern Alumni Network. In 2011, Sheikha Jameela invited a group of students and faculty from the University’s Adapted Physical Education Program to assist in a camp in Sharjah City for individuals with disabilities, serving campers from age 12 to 16 years old who are deaf or have an intellectual or physical disability.

In recognition of her commitment to equity and empowerment, impactful humanitarian efforts dedicated advocacy and generous lasting support of the campus, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Chico are proud to confer upon Sheikha Jameela Bint Mohammed Al-Qasimi the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.