In 2008, Dr. Renu Khator became the eighth Chancellor of the University of Houston System and the 13th President of the University of Houston (UH). More recently, she was honored as the recipient of the 2013 President’s Award for Region III presented by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Since becoming president, Dr. Khator has helped UH soar. The university has achieved national recognition from the Carnegie Foundation with Tier One status, which refers to universities known for world-class research, academic excellence, and an exceptional student body. Tier One status indicates he highest levels of innovation, creativity and scholarship. Located on such an extraordinary campus, it’s no wonder that the University of Houston NSCS chapter has achieved great success as well. UH has achieved Platinum STAR Status for the last four out of five years and is among NSCS’s most active and engaged chapters. NSCS’s accomplishments at UH have not gone unnoticed. When asked to speak about the importance of community service organizations such as NSCS, Dr. Khator mentioned the chapter’s successes and what their contributions mean to the Houston community. “First, let me say how very proud we are of our UH chapter of NSCS,” she said. “Their track record of service to the Houston community is tremendous. Such service-minded organizations on college campuses all across the country are making invaluable contributions to their respective communities. Not only does this provide an enormous amount of help to the communities, but it also gives the participating students first-hand, real-world experience outside their classrooms. That’s definitely a win-win situation.” From growing up in a small town in India to achieving her master’s degree and doctorate, Dr. Khator is no stranger to student success. Her inspiration to work in higher education started during childhood when she realized she wanted to achieve the highest degree possible. According to Dr. Khator, “that was illogical for a girl growing up in a small town in India and in a community where there were no role models for that – but bold dreams are rarely logical,” she said. “I was so lucky to come to the United States of America, the land of opportunity, and get my master’s and doctorate. Along the way, I was so impressed with the way that higher education can change lives and improve the world. I knew I wanted to remain in that field.” Having written her own success story, Dr. Khator’s personal achievements serve as an inspiration to students who consider her a role model. She is certainly proud of her accomplishments in leading the
team effort to achieve Tier One status. However, she mentions student success as one of the most satisfying things about serving the UH community. “There are many things I find very satisfying about serving as UH’s president,” she said. “If I had to point to one thing, it would be Student Success – using our university’s resources effectively to help our students reach ambitious goals.” When asked to touch upon the importance of honor societies and how students can set themselves apart in their undergraduate and postgraduate careers, Dr. Khator mentioned the immeasurable value of such organizations. “Membership in such societ-
“I believe honor societies such as NSCS offer individual members a sense of personal fulfillment. It’s a reminder of your hard work, your intelligence, and your commitment to community service. ies is a mark of distinction that will certainly serve students well as they move forward in their educational and professional pursuits,” she said. “They are like glowing gold stars on graduate school applications and employee resumes. Beyond that, I believe honor societies such as NSCS offer individual members a sense of personal fulfillment. It’s a reminder of your hard work, your intelligence, and your commitment to community service. It’s also a great opportunity to meet and form friendships with like-minded students.” Although she has achieved much success in her career, Dr. Khator admits that it’s not always easy and that there are challenges. She offers guidance for students looking to become leaders in their fields. “My best advice is that if you are going to dream – and everybody should dream – dream big,” she said. “As an immigrant woman, I have always known that I had to work harder to climb the ladder, but you recognize the challenge. You accept it, and you move forward.” For Dr. Khator, self-awareness is the key.
To learn more about the University of Houston NSCS chapter, visit: nscs.org/university-houston The National Society of Collegiate Scholars