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Choosing a Major Why Study in the U.S. Excelling With Integrity

JULY/AUGUST 2019 Rs. 20


New Horizons

With aU.S.


How doYou Choo


Students planning to pursue higher studies in the United States should keep a few key factors in mind while picking a major.

Photographs Š Getty Images


rom economics to anthropology, environmental biology to astronomy, musical theater to accounting, students have a huge array of choices when it comes to picking a major. For many, the decision can be daunting. But keeping a few key factors in mind can help you make a strong and informed choice.

Money matters How much will you need to earn post-college to meet your financial obligations? A lot of information is available online about average salaries and expected growth for jobs in specific fields. So do your research and keep money in mind as you make your pick.

Look at location Do you aspire to be a professor? Remember that choice professorships can be rare and competitive, and may require you to move far away from home. Or think of opportunities close to home. Is your home city a hub for clean energy start-ups, for instance? If so, perhaps a major in business, environmental engineering or design could set you up for success when it comes to landing a great job nearby.


How do You Choose?


Building the Robots


Strength and Structures


Why Study in the U.S.


Study the Mind


Interview Insights


Science of Air and Space


Fair Strategies


Interpreting Information


Excelling With Integrity


Understanding Social Life


Legacy of Liberal Arts


Business of Arts


AES: Transforming Education



Get inspired Choose a major that excites you. The more inspired you are to learn, the more you’ll get out of your studies and the better prepared you’ll be to launch a successful career. The following pages will explore some majors and the associated career options that you can pursue.


Courtesy Lake Superior State University


Courtesy American Embassy School

Whom are companies trying to hire most? For instance, if you see postings everywhere for data scientists, artificial intelligence (AI) specialists or user interface/user experience (UI/UX) designers, and those disciplines intrigue you, looking at computer science study programs can be a great way to start.

CONTENTS Courtesy Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Watch the job market

V O LU M E L X N U M B E R 4

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July/August 2019

Editor in Chief Conrad W. Turner

Reviewing Editor Karl M. Adam

Editor Deepanjali Kakati Associate Editor Suparna Mukherji Hindi Editor Giriraj Agarwal Urdu Editor Syed Sulaiman Akhtar Copy Editor Shah Md. Tahsin Usmani

Art Director/ Production Chief Hemant Bhatnagar Deputy Art Directors / Production Assistants Qasim Raza, Shah Faisal Khan Editorial Assistant Justina Bosco

Front cover: Students of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University work with Honeybee Robotics on a free-flying unmanned robotic spacecraft for asteroid resource prospecting and characterization. Photograph by Daryl LaBello/EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University.

 Articles with a star may be reprinted with permission. Those without a star are copyrighted and may not be reprinted.Contact SPAN at 011-23472135 or

Printed and published by David H. Kennedy on behalf of the Government of the United States of America and printed at Thomson Press India Ltd., 18/35 Delhi Mathura Road, Faridabad, Haryana 121007 and published at the Public Affairs Section, American Embassy, American Center, 24 K.G. Marg, New Delhi 110001. Opinions expressed in this 44-page magazine do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Government.

Strength and Structures By MICHAEL GALLANT

Earn a degree in

architectural engineering and help Above and below: Architectural engineering students at Kansas State University learn to accurately construct models and design plans to help make buildings safe and functional. Below left: An architectural engineering student at Illinois Institute of Technology uses standardized concrete cylinders to test the strength of concrete during a laboratory course.

Courtesy Illinois Institute of Technology

Photographs courtesy Kansas State University

buildings stand tall for decades to come.



he creation of a new building may begin with an architect’s dream and finish with a builder’s hammer, but many important, and largely invisible, steps happen before an inspired design becomes a permanent manifestation of wood, metal or stone. For instance, floors and walls are planned to hold adequate weight, while roofs are designed to withstand the weather. Electrical and plumbing systems are woven into a building’s DNA and fire safety provisions are effectively integrated. Construction materials are sifted through and chosen for durability, safety, efficiency and practicality. And that’s just the beginning. For every modern building erected, who handles these disparate but vital calculations? “Most people understand that architects determine a building’s form and function,” says Kansas State University (K-State) Associate Professor Ray Buyle, “but architectural engineers are the ones who make a building work.” Buyle is the head of K-State’s GE Johnson Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science. Also known as ARE, architectural engineering is a little-known but hugely important discipline that keeps buildings standing and functioning, safely and correctly, in every aspect. Think of it as “a hybrid of civil engineering, mechanical engineering and environmental engineering, with a splash of architecture,” says Brent Stephens, chair of the department of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). “In addition to taking classes in core civil engineering areas and learning key aspects of structural engineering, students blend in mechanical engineering courses to prepare them for designing energy, electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems.” The multidisciplinary education of architectural engineering students doesn’t stop there. They can also expect to study topics like differential equations, physics and thermodynamics, says Stephens. Students can further benefit from studies associated with building science, including construction management, fire safety systems, energy modeling and beyond. It’s all in the service of making sure that the conceptual designs provided by an architect are built properly and can stand as permanent structures, says Michael Rich, a New Yorkbased designer, with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, To share articles go to JULY/AUGUST 2019 5

Courtesy Kansas State University

Architectural engineering is a choice major for students who are disciplined, who have an analytical thought process and who have an ability for creative problemsolving.


New York. Since architectural engineering is such a technically rigorous field, students with a passion for STEM subjects are well positioned to thrive, says Rich. STEM is the commonlyused acronym for the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Buyle sees architectural engineering as a choice major for students “who are disciplined, who have an analytical thought process and who have an ability for creative problem-solving.” Stephens adds that ideal students are those “who want to make buildings, and the world, better places, whether it be by reducing their impact on energy and the environment, or improving the indoor environment, or advancing structures to do things we haven’t done before.” A knack for communication and collaboration can also help architectural engineers thrive, says Rich. “Architects may push for radical or physically difficult designs, while engineers often want the simplest, most logical solution to a problem,” he continues. “It can be the engineer’s job to bring an architect back to reality.” In practice, architectural engineers are uniquely positioned to bridge that gap

between artistic visions and physical realities. “Architectural engineers know that to make truly sustainable and high-performance buildings, everyone has to be at the table at the beginning of the design process, working in an integrated manner, acknowledging each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and trying to work toward a common goal,” says Stephens. “That, to me, is what architectural engineering is all about, and why I think it has a bright future.” K-State and IIT each offer dedicated architectural engineering programs. And, both institutions welcome international students into their classrooms and laboratories. If you’re interested in studying at either, be sure to check out their special offerings, including IIT’s multifaceted International Center and KState’s scholarship and internship opportunities for engineers-in-training. Job opportunities can be plentiful and profitable for program graduates. But, before you begin dreaming about a future salary, Buyle advises selecting your educational institution wisely. “Make sure to choose an ABET [Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology]-accredited program that is teaching-focused, rather than research-

ARE at Illinois Institute of Technology

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


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Photographs courtesy Illinois Institute of Technology

ARE at Kansas State University

Far left: Kansas State University students work on an architectural engineering design project. Left: Architectural engineering students at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) pour concrete, which they’ve designed and mixed themselves, into standardized test containers for a laboratory course. Below left: IIT students assemble rebars and ties for a concrete beam, during a junior-level course.

focused. The architectural engineering courses should preferably be taught by faculty members with extensive industry experience in the design profession, rather than by faculty or graduate teaching assistants with little or no industry design experience,” he says. “Inquire as to the program’s level of involvement with the ARE industry consulting firms that regularly hire the program graduates, and ask what the program’s job placement rate is upon graduation.” Regardless of the institution you choose or your first job after graduating, a career in architectural engineering can be both wonderfully challenging and hugely rewarding. “The greatest joy of the discipline is walking through or driving past a completed structure and knowing that you were an integral part of the design of something that will be serving the community for the next 50 years or more,” says Buyle. Rich echoes the sentiment: “To have an influence on the built world, to see that project realized and to actually walk through a space that only previously existed on paper, is an incredible feeling and a massively rewarding experience.” Michael Gallant is the founder and chief executive officer of Gallant Music. He lives in New York City. JULY/AUGUST 2019 7


graduate degree in psychology from a U.S. university can open the doors to a career with many rewards—exploring the intricacies of the human experience, advancing theoretical research and helping individuals in need. Psychology is also a fast-growing and wellpaying field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for instance, estimates that jobs for psychologists in the United States will increase 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, with a median yearly income of $79,010 (Rs. 54 lakh approximately) in May 2018. Students interested in pursuing a degree in psychology can choose from hundreds of highly-regarded schools. Many of these also offer financial assistance in various forms. Although most psychologists work in health care facilities, schools, government organizations and similar settings, a psychology degree can be utilized in many ways, notes Sethuraman Panchanathan, executive vice president of knowledge enterprise development at Arizona State University (ASU). “An education in applied and clinical

psychology can certainly be utilized in a variety of professions that require a working understanding of human behavior, beyond the traditional avenues. This might include business, law, education, marketing and communications,” says Panchanathan. “Understanding how the human mind works will also be an asset in occupational environments where the symbiotic relationship between human and machine continues to evolve,” he adds. “The more we understand the capacity humans have for adapting, handling change and thriving in a changing workplace, the more seamless the integration of artificial intelligence will be.” “Indian students planning to apply to ASU should have the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree, with an equivalent of 3.0 GPA [grade point average] in the last two years of coursework,” says an ASU representative, noting that “many students from India have a three-year bachelor’s and a two-year master’s, which are equivalent to the U.S. four-year bachelor’s. Applicants must take the Graduate Record Examinations

Study the Mind By STEVE FOX

Designed by

The discipline of psychology is wide and varied, and so are the career opportunities.


will spend about $55,000 (Rs. 38 lakh approximately) overall if they finish in five years and $66,000 (Rs. 45 lakh approximately) if they finish in six years. The Ph.D. is a good investment, notes Laurie Chassin, director of graduate training in psychology at ASU. “The overwhelming majority of our doctoral students secure a position immediately upon graduation. It is rare that a student would not have a job or post-doctoral position already lined up before graduation,” she says. “Graduates of our doctoral programs take up jobs as faculty members in

Photographs courtesy Pomona College

From right: Sethuraman Panchanathan, executive vice president of knowledge enterprise development at Arizona State University; Richard Lewis, chair of the psychology department at Pomona College; and Adam Sapp, director of admissions at the college.

Courtesy Arizona State University

(GRE). Students from India need to also demonstrate English proficiency through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or other mechanisms.” Students who complete ASU’s two-year Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program will spend about $102,000 (Rs. 70 lakh approximately) overall, including living expenses and health insurance. Those who complete the Ph.D. program, which includes a master’s and provides for significantly reduced expenses for students who take research or teaching assistant jobs,

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Psychology at Pomona College

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Psychology at ASU

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Right: The programs offered by Pomona College and Arizona State University (below) help students understand how psychology can be applied to real-world problems.

The overwhelming majority of our doctoral students secure a position immediately upon graduation. 10 JULY/AUGUST 2019

universities or teaching colleges, which combine their skills as researchers and teachers. They may also take up research jobs in industry, government, medical schools, health care or other nonprofit settings. Graduates of our clinical program may also take up jobs providing clinical services in hospitals, schools or community mental health facilities or as supervisors or program evaluators in these settings.” The road to these and other occupations often starts with an undergraduate degree in psychology, says Richard Lewis, chair of the psychology department at Pomona College, a liberal arts institution located in Claremont, California. “Our program’s emphasis on critical thinking, data analysis and communication skills prepares students for a broad range of careers,” says Lewis. “Most of our graduates eventually go on to obtain an advanced

degree, with a third of them earning a doctorate.” Pomona College’s admission requirements are demanding, but flexible. “Pomona does not have GPA or standardized testing minimum requirements,” says Adam Sapp, director of admissions. “Applicants from India who are interested in Pomona should complete either their national curriculum or international high school curriculum. In addition to high school transcripts, Pomona requires letters of recommendation from a counselor and two teachers, standardized test scores (SAT or ACT), two student-written essays and a completed Common Application.” Pomona is a four-year college, with the total cost of attendance for the 2019-20 academic year being $76,836 (Rs. 53 lakh approximately), including tuition, fees, room and board, books and personal expenses. Almost half of all international students receive some type of financial aid, which could include student work allotments and grant-based scholarships, the latter coming directly from Pomona and not subject to repayment. “Students from India are well-represented on campus,” says Sapp. “Our admissions team spends time in India nearly every year to recruit students. On average, international students make up between 11 and 13 percent of all students at Pomona. The college enrolls students from about 60 foreign countries, and India is always near the top of the list of overall international student enrollment.” Steve Fox is a freelance writer, former newspaper publisher and reporter based in Ventura, California.


Science of Air and Space By JASON CHIANG

With international governments and private companies focusing on space explorations and increasing efficiencies, a degree in aerospace engineering has become quite sought-after.

Courtesy Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Courtesy Georgia Institute of Technology

erospace engineering focuses on the design, construction and maintenance of aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, missiles and weapons systems. People who pursue it as a career path get to work with some of the most complex technologies in the world, and engineer future breakthroughs. They are employed primarily in manufacturing, analysis and design, research and development, and in governmental bodies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for aerospace engineers in the United States was $115,220 (Rs. 81 lakh approximately) in May 2018, with expected growth of 6 percent from 2016 to 2026. The demand is being sustained also by the need to redesign aircraft to reduce noise pollution and have better fuel efficiency. As international governments refocus their space exploration efforts, new companies, like Elon Musk’s SpaceX, have also emerged to provide access to space.

Above: A student inspects the low-speed wind tunnel, a stateof-the-art facility for experimental research, at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. Left: The Daytona Beach, Florida, campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. To share articles go to JULY/AUGUST 2019 11


Photographs courtesy Georgia Institute of Technology

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), with campuses in Florida and Arizona, offers a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering (BSAE) program, which prepares students to solve complex challenges in design, propulsion and systems for aircraft and super-crafts. It offers them the chance to learn real-world, on-the-job engineering principles practiced by companies and government agencies around the globe. The BSAE degree focuses primarily on the engineering of mission-oriented vehicles, with courses in aeronautics, airplane and space vehicle design, structures and propulsion. Graduates enjoy an extremely high job placement rate—96 percent are employed or have chosen to go on to higher education within a year of graduating, according to the university. They are sought-after in the aerospace and aviation field, including by industry leaders like NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and SpaceX. Mandar Kulkarni, assistant professor of aerospace engineering at ERAU Daytona Beach, says that the university’s main goal is to “provide a comprehensive education to prepare graduates for productive careers and responsible citizenship, with special emphasis on the needs of aviation, aerospace engineering and related fields.” He adds, “All foreign citizens and Americans living abroad who apply for admission are 12 JULY/AUGUST 2019

Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Tech

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

DAVID MASSEY/Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Above left: A helicopter simulator at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering.

Above: Students of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University work on the Eco Eagle project at its Eagle Flight Research Center facility, in Daytona Beach. Eco Eagle is a piston-gas electric-hybrid aircraft.

Above: Students at a work session at the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering.


Courtesy Georgia Institute of Technology

WILLIAM BUMGARNER/Courtesy Wikipedia

DARYL LABELLO/Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Left: A student of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (below) works on a free-flying unmanned robotic spacecraft for asteroid resource prospecting and characterization. Below left: A student laboratory session at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering.

automatically considered for the EmbryRiddle Scholarship, created in honor of the university’s namesake,” making ERAU a great option for international students considering aerospace engineering as a career. Students from over 141 countries attend ERAU, and the admissions staff understands the complexity of the international admission process. The university provides support on matters like immigration regulations, housing and health insurance. Its admissions representatives also organize information sessions through the year in various locations worldwide.

Georgia Tech Each year, more than 1,200 students from around the world come to Atlanta, Georgia, 14 JULY/AUGUST 2019

to study aerospace engineering at the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). It has more than 40 tenure-track faculty members and many cross-disciplinary research collaborations. College education is a significant investment, and prospective students must weigh tuition, fees and other expenses against their future earning potential. Keeping this in mind, Georgia Tech offers a full range of options to help offset financial costs for students who qualify based on need, academic excellence or area of study. This includes competitive scholarships, financial aid, earn-while-you-learn co-op and internship programs, and research opportunities for stipends or class credit. “Our students get ample opportunities from the very first semester to participate in design-build-fly competitions, undergraduate research, minors or certificates, and vertically-integrated projects,” says Lakshmi Sankar, Regents Professor and Sikorsky Professor at the school. “We also provide many opportunities for study abroad in locations worldwide. Students may also pursue an undergraduate thesis, a combined BS/MS [Bachelor of Science/Master of Science] program focusing on research, or a program that focuses on international experiences.” Jason Chiang is a freelance writer based in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.

Right and below: Baylor University’s department of statistical science is a growing program, with 12 faculty, 30 graduate and 50 undergraduate students.

Interpreting Information By JASON CHIANG

Photographs by JEANNE HILL

tatistical science is usually defined as the science of learning from data, and of measuring, controlling and communicating uncertainty. It provides the necessary guidance for new scientific and societal advances, and informs crucial decision-making. In this digital age, statisticians have more data than ever before to drive new and innovative areas of study. According to a Forbes magazine article, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each

day, and that pace is only accelerating with the rapid growth of the Internet of Things all over the globe. Statistics programs focus on theories and methods of data collection, tabulation, analysis and interpretation. Graduates typically pursue careers in business, academics, industry, government, medicine, publishing, scientific research and many more diverse fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for a statistician in the United States was $92,600 (Rs. 64 lakh approximately) in May 2018. With data-driven analytics and statistical analysis becoming increasingly important in all global industries, the programs of the School of Statistics of University of Minnesota (UMN) and the department of statistical science of Baylor University in Texas are options Indian students can consider.

With the rapid growth of Internet of Things, the demand for statistical science graduates has been increasing steadily. To share articles go to JULY/AUGUST 2019 15 statistics

Department of statistical science, Baylor University

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School of Statistics, UMN statistics

Photographs courtesy University of Minnesota

Old and established

Above: Ford Hall, home of the School of Statistics of University of Minnesota. The school’s faculty and students (top) work with collaborators across the campus and around the globe, including research groups and local companies.

Statistics graduates pursue successful careers in fields like business, academics, industry, government, medicine, publishing and scientific research. 16 JULY/AUGUST 2019

Founded in 1851, UMN is a public research university located in Minneapolis. It welcomes over 7,000 students from about 130 countries. Its faculty and students work with collaborators across the campus and around the globe to create meaning from vast amounts of new information. This research requires not only existing statistical models and methodologies, but also creating and developing models, methods and software to address new and evolving challenges. “Our courses are taught by internationally distinguished faculty,” says Matthew Dangel, administrator at the UMN School of Statistics, “including many elected fellows of major statistical organizations such as the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the International Statistical Institute. Many faculty members are or have been editors of major journals. Several professors are the recipients of awards for excellence in teaching.” He adds that the school also provides opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and professional development through the university’s Institute for Research in Statistics and its Applications (IRSA). “Students are encouraged to work as research assistants for IRSA’s Statistical Consulting Center, where they receive handson experience in solving challenges for realworld clients,” says Dangel. “Furthermore, students gain access to IRSA’s conferences, workshops and short courses, where their knowledge of statistics and data science is applied across disciplines to address critical

challenges of the 21st century.” Dangel adds that statistics graduates pursue successful careers in fields like business, academics, industry, government, medicine, publishing and scientific research.

New and innovative Baylor University is a private university and has a total enrollment of over 17,000 students, including those from 91 countries. Although the university first administered Ph.D. and Master of Arts (now Master of Science) degrees in statistics in 1991, the undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in statistics was initiated in 2005. Since then, the program has had an increasing number of students express interest in the major. A minor in statistics has been added to provide an attractive option to students entering graduate school or exploring professional career opportunities. The department provides quality statistics instruction at all levels, to help discover and disseminate statistical knowledge and develop scholars, skilled professionals and leaders, sensitive to the needs of society. “We are a program that focuses on both theory and methodology, with a strong emphasis on modern computational methods,” says Jeanne Hill, senior lecturer of statistical science and undergraduate program director. “The mission of Baylor University is to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service.” Jason Chiang is a freelance writer based in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.


Social Life


Sociology students seek to understand how society works, and are equipped to enter a wide range of professional fields.

Above: Professor Ivan Ermakoff teaches a political sociology class at the University of WisconsinMadison. Above right: Associate professor Hana Brown (center) with sociology students of Wake Forest University. The department chair is Joseph Soares (right).

Photographs courtesy Wake Forest University



or Indian students considering studying abroad, a degree in sociology can help them gain a broader understanding of how society works. It can also open up a breadth of career opportunities. Sociologists study a broad range of topics, including family, friendship groups, intimate relationships, education, culture, politics, economics, crime, inequalities, health issues and environment. They learn to deal with challenging problems creatively, conduct research, develop analytical and critical thinking skills and communicate ideas effectively. Wake Forest University, a private university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has about 120 undergraduate students majoring in sociology. Most choose from one of the department’s three concentrations: business and society, which could lead to finance, marketing and other corporate careers; crime and criminal justice, for careers in criminal justice or to go on to law school; and the

social determinants of health and well-being, which prepares students for careers in public health or for medical school. About half the students who complete the program go on to graduate school. About 15 percent of the sociology majors are international students. They are “well served by the business and society concentration,” says Joseph Soares, department chair, “because it looks at global market forces and how markets are structured by social forces. We give students up-to-date market information, and get them to analyze it and understand what’s going on.” “Our business and society students do very well in the job market; they get high-paying jobs,” he adds. The well-resourced campus has small classes for better faculty-student

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Sociology at University of WisconsinMadison

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Sociology at Wake Forest University Above and left: Students and faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s sociology department attend a talk by sociologist Matthew Desmond (right), author of the Pulitzer-winning book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.”

Graduates are going into private sector jobs with companies like Google and Facebook, as senior scientists evaluating the massive amounts of data being collected and what it means.


engagement. The sociology class size, for instance, is capped at 35 students. The tuition fee is about $55,000 (Rs. 38 lakh approximately) per year, plus additional charges for housing, meals and so on. More than 56 percent of its undergraduate students receive need-based and merit-based financial assistance. The university offers a range of grants, scholarships, work-study and subsidized loans to meet the financial needs of the students. Another option for students interested in sociology is University of Wisconsin-Madison, which has a long history as a leading research institution. Its sociology department has about 250 undergraduate majors, about 10 percent of whom are international students, as well as 120 graduate students, and nearly 25 percent of them are international. Graduate studies in sociology at the university is a Ph.D. program. It does not have a master’s degree program in this subject. Many international graduate students return to their home countries after their studies to join university faculties. Department Chair James M. Raymo says that for students with a serious academic interest in the field, it is very useful to study in a country with a strong tradition in sociology. “It is important to study in a place with a long history of rigorous research in the discipline. This lets students return to their countries with an ability to really understand the subject and participate in the international arena.”

For undergraduate students, American or international, who are not residents of Wisconsin, tuition is about $37,000 (Rs. 25 lakh approximately) annually. Admissions for graduate studies are quite competitive, and only about 15 percent of applicants are accepted. There are no particular academic requirements, though research experience, for example at a think tank, increases the chances of acceptance. Once accepted into a graduate program in sociology, or other social sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, students should have no financial worries. “Unlike law, business or medical school, we guarantee our students—assuming good performance—five years of support,” says Raymo. This includes all tuition payments, social benefits like health insurance and a living stipend. In exchange, graduate students work as teaching or research assistants, typically for 20 hours per week. Graduate students in sociology choose from about a dozen specializations, including political sociology, economic sociology, demography and ecology, and medical sociology. Students must write a book-length research thesis to earn their Ph.D. degrees. Many of those who earn a Ph.D. degree in sociology take up jobs as researchers or policy analysts with government, international organizations or think tanks. Increasingly, says Raymo, “graduates are going into private sector jobs with companies like Google and Facebook, as senior scientists evaluating the massive amounts of data being collected and what it means.” Burton Bollag is a freelance journalist living in Washington, D.C.

Courtesy College of Charleston

College of Charleston alumnus and abstract artist Brian Rutenberg.

Business of Arts By CANDICE YACONO

Arts management programs equip students to apply business administration techniques and processes to the world of art. JULY/AUGUST 2019 19


or students who love the arts but are also interested in business, studying arts management may be the perfect way to blend their passions. An arts management program teaches such disparate topics as grant writing, fundraising, accounting and arts finance, with concentrations in one or more forms of visual or performing arts. Graduates go on to work in a range of settings, from museums, art galleries and opera houses to digital streaming start-ups and dance companies. They may even go on to represent famous artists. Arts management is a global industry, and there are several institutions to study it in the United States. Undergraduate applicants can consider the College of Charleston in South Carolina; for graduate school, students can consider American University in Washington, D.C.

“Charleston is an international tourist destination and a city steeped in arts, history and culture,” says Karen Chandler, director of the program at the College of Charleston. “A U.S. degree in arts management is a good investment for prospective Indian students as it will equip them with the arts, business and managerial skills required to manage nonprofit and for-profit arts and cultural institutions in the United States, India and throughout the world. Students will also learn how to manage, promote and raise funds for performing and visual artists.”


EHPIEN/Courtesy Flickr

TED EYTAN/Courtesy Flickr

Photographs courtesy College of Charleston

Southern hospitality

Students from about 61 countries attend the College of Charleston. All freshman international students are considered for meritbased scholarships. Undergraduate students at the College of Charleston may minor or major in arts management. They may also opt for a concentration in music industry. The college even has a student-run record label, called 1770 Records. The undergraduate program may be combined with any other degree as a double major or minor. When undergraduates complete their studies, they go on to jobs like performing arts event management, production, marketing and development, as well as museum curation and artist management. Students say the university’s location at the center of a national arts hub allows them to directly engage with the arts community through internships, volunteering, guest speakers and other perks. Work-study is available for students, allowing them to get paid as they gain job experience working on campus. All students in the program complete an arts-oriented internship as part of their requirements. “Internships are often completed in arts and cultural institutions in Charleston, though students have also completed them in other U.S. cities,” says Chandler. These include institutions like the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and arenas like Madison Square Garden in

Photographs courtesy Kochi Biennale Foundation

New York City. Students can opt for a new one-year graduate certificate program in arts and cultural management, which can be taken by itself or as part of two master’s degree programs in public administration and creative writing. Students can take this certificate program in-person or online.

Capitol of culture American University in Washington, D.C., offers a Master of Arts program that trains students in arts management as well as

finance, marketing, fundraising, governance and leadership, cultural policy and communication fundamentals necessary for their career. The program prides itself on its global connections, network of graduates and professionals, and bonds with major foundations and arts institutions. It can be completed full-time in two years. Part-time study is available; classes are scheduled in the evenings, making it a perfect choice for working professionals and those seeking a career change. The program has a 39-credit RON COGSWELL/Courtesy Flickr

Left: Karen Chandler, director of the arts management program at the College of Charleston (top left and above left). Below: A Volkswagen Beetle, decorated with Indian motifs, at the American University campus. Below left and below far left: The Katzen Arts Center at American University provides state-of-the-art instructional, exhibition and performance spaces for all the arts disciplines.

Top and above: Nicole Marroquin, artist and associate professor of art education at School of Art Institute of Chicago, speaks at a conference in Kochi. Partnered by U.S. Consulate General Chennai, it explored the systemic shifts within the larger frameworks of art education. The conference was organized in conjunction with the Students’ Biennale, an exhibitory platform which ran parallel to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (left), in March 2019.


Graduates go on to work in a range of settings, from museums, art galleries and opera houses to digital streaming start-ups and dance companies.

curriculum. According to the International Affairs Office, U.S. Department of Education, “Credit hours or units represent a mathematical summarization of all work completed, and are not the same as the actual classroom contact or instructional hours. U.S. institutions use credit formulae to record all types of academic work, not just taught courses.” American University’s arts management program includes both research work and professional practice. Students gain hands-on experience by creating a master’s portfolio and working with local organizations in the Washington, D.C., area or spending one semester at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, focusing either on art and business or


art museums, galleries and curating. In addition to required classes, students complete 12 credits of electives, as well as a 5-credit capstone course tailored to their interests and needs. A thesis option is available for students who want to work in research or study for a doctorate. A shorter, 15-credit Certificate in Arts Management and an 18-credit Certificate in International Arts Management, offered in conjunction with the School of International Service, are also available for students who aren’t seeking a full Master of Arts, but still want a rigorous one-year program. Candice Yacono is a magazine and newspaper writer based in southern California.

Arts Management, American University

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Arts Management, College of Charleston

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“Witness,� a dance performance by the students of the College of Charleston.


Building the Robots By MICHAEL GALLANT


t’s easy to think of robots as fantastical science fiction inventions; automatons that live only in books, movies and the imagination. But the reality is quite different. From farms to factories, medical facilities to mining operations, robots, large and small, are increasingly playing an important role in lives and industries around the world. Regardless of whether these highly-complex machines are harvesting crops, assembling products or helping patients recover from surgery, they would be nothing without the experts who design them. Robotics engineering—the art, craft and science of creating and applying robots—is a


Courtesy Lake Superior State University

Want to create the high-tech machines of the future? A degree in robotics engineering might be a good fit for you.

young but rapidly growing area of study in the United States. An increasing number of American institutions, including Widener University in Pennsylvania and Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Michigan, are offering dedicated majors in the field. And, for the right student, earning a graduate or undergraduate degree in robotics engineering can be a remarkable experience. Nick Lubeck is a freshman studying robotics engineering at Widener University. He describes the discipline as an alchemy of electrical and mechanical engineering, with a focus toward computer science. “Robotics engineering can be applied to any industry that exists,” he says, “so

a wide range of knowledge must be given as a basis. Then, it splits into more specific fields and applications.� When it comes to classwork, robotics engineering students like Lubeck engage in a wide range of fascinating challenges. Deep studies into computer programming and electrical, mechanical and manufacturing engineering are key, says LSSU Robotics Director Jim Devaprasad. Xiaomu Song, associate professor at Widener University’s department of robotics engineering, emphasizes the importance of studying physics, mathematics, circuitry, microprocessors, kinematics, machine design, artificial intelligence and

Photographs courtesy Widener University

Above: Lake Superior State University Robotics Director Jim Devaprasad (left) instructs a student on use of robotics simulation software. Below: Widener University offers the option to pursue dual degrees in robotics engineering and other majors like mechanical engineering and computer science. Below left: Xiaomu Song, associate professor at Widener University’s department of robotics engineering.

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Often, for every robot used in the field, there are two new jobs that become available.

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Lake Superior State University

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Widener University

Photographs courtesy Lake Superior State University

Courtesy Widener University

Above: A Widener University student with WUbot, a robot which helps students learn robotics programming. Above right: Lake Superior State University Robotics Director Jim Devaprasad (left) with a senior level mechanical engineering student, in the robotics lab. Above left: Lake Superior State University offers its students hands-on experience with high-tech machines and the opportunity to partner with leading industries and corporations to develop capstone projects. Left: Widener University provides students access to modern, well-equipped laboratories and computer facilities, and exposure to real-world aspects of the engineering profession.

mechatronics as well. Broader skills like communication, creativity and strategic thinking can also be key to success in robotics. “Being inventive in solving problems and having the ability to communicate these solutions are vital to any engineering discipline,” says Lubeck. Widener University and LSSU make it easy for international students to find out more about their robotics programs and apply to join the fun. Students from India should expect to provide a variety of documents, including proof of proficiency in English and standardized test results demonstrating the skills and experience needed to thrive as a robotics engineer. Both institutions also offer an array of scholarships and financial aid options. LSSU, for instance, offers a dedicated robotics scholarship to incoming freshmen. And through the university’s One Rate Tuition program, students from around the world pay the same lower rate of tuition as those from Michigan. Widener University offers opportunities like the #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship, which covers a minimum of 50 percent of tuition costs for selected international students. Other scholarship opportunities include the chance for incoming engineering students to receive free laptops. For those who receive an undergraduate or a graduate degree in robotics engineering, Devaprasad describes outstanding career opportunities, flexibility and earning potential. There are “tons of job opportunities all over the world,” he says, “with a variety of industries and businesses already in robotics or looking to get into robotics.” Furthermore, the work is great fun, he says, emphasizing that it’s hard to get bored with such vast opportunities in so many

different fields. What sort of student should pursue a degree in robotics engineering and help meet the global demand for new experts in this discipline? “Anyone who is interested in technology and its applications in industry and day-to-day life,” says Devaprasad, as well as those who have “a desire to help solve problems and make human life better.” The world of robotics does, however, present its own unique challenges. When entering the workforce, Devaprasad warns, newly-minted robotics engineers should be ready to face perceptions like robots replace people and that the growth of robot usage will lead to massive unemployment. “Actually, so far, studies have shown that in industry, robots do not replace people, but do displace people, with a greater need for people with skills, education and training,” he says. “Often, for every robot used in the field, there are two new jobs that become available.” For Lubeck, “The biggest challenge that robotics engineers face is failure. You can say that for any major, but robotics engineering sets the bar for failure as a challenge. Improvement and development is the basis of robotics. And when that fails, it does not feel good.” No matter how bad it may feel, though, Lubeck advises persevering when engineering projects don’t go as hoped for, working hard and never backing down from a problem. “Seeing something work is one of the greatest feelings that you can have,” he says. “With robotics projects, there’s really no limit or end to what you can do.” Michael Gallant is the founder and chief executive officer of Gallant Music. He lives in New York City. JULY/AUGUST 2019 27

Why Study in the U.S. By BHAVVNA JOLLY


U.S higher education offers a unique value proposition, and grooms students to address challenges faced by their communities, countries and the world at large.



or over a century, the United States has been one of the most sought-after destinations for students and scholars seeking high-quality education and research opportunities. The confluence of people from diverse backgrounds, experiences and ideologies has created a pluralistic society, which cultivates creativity and promotes independent thought, inquiry-based learning and equal opportunity. These tenets are also the hallmark of the U.S. higher education system, which has produced world leaders, change agents and citizen ambassadors. It is no surprise then that U.S. universities have produced, for instance, the highest number of Nobel laureates and most of the chief executives of companies on the global Fortune 100 list. U.S. institutions are also among the top global higher education institutions to influence inventions and innovation. Statistically, the United States has been the most preferred destination for higher education among international students. In 2017-18, there were 1.09 million international

students in the country. Data from the Open Doors reports, based on U.S. Department of State-funded annual surveys of the number of international students in the United States, reveal that since 2000-01, the number of international students in the country has almost doubled, with China and India being the top two countries of origin. Furthermore, the number of Indian students studying in the United States has almost doubled in the last six academic years. The U.S. higher education system, represented by more than 4,700 accredited institutions of higher education, has the capacity to nurture large cohorts of students. U.S. classrooms are a meeting ground of multicultural perspectives as well as academic and socioeconomic backgrounds. This diversity helps students become more emotionally intelligent, situationally aware and tolerant toward differences. Classroom discussions, for instance, are not only more enriching, but also compel learners to understand problems from all vantage

Emerson College’s academic facility in Los Angeles is designed to expand the interactive and social aspects of education.

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Montgomery College

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Oklahoma State University


Courtesy Manmohan Thorat

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Courtesy Dilpreet Singh

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points. Students, thus, come up with solutions that work for people in different contexts. “Universities in the United States, especially Berkeley Law, have great diversity. My class of 120 students had people from 49 nations,” says Dilpreet Singh, advocate-on-record, Supreme Court of India. “It gave me an opportunity to draw a great comparative perspective, in terms of academics, life and relationships.” Another noteworthy aspect of the U.S. higher education system is the sheer number of areas of study. This gives students the freedom and flexibility to customize their learning experience. At the undergraduate level, students are encouraged to explore a breadth of subjects and academic themes, before they dive deep into their majors. In fact, several U.S. universities offer undergraduate students the opportunity to enter their degree programs “undecided,” without declaring a major area of study—a rare phenomenon in international education. Graduate students have the flexibility to chart their own course within their interest areas, through the specific research they choose to pursue. “I went to Montgomery College, a community college in Maryland, and transferred to the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, where I double majored in accounting and finance. I had the flexibility to complete 150 credits in 3.5 years, which is otherwise a five-year course-load,” says Lavanya Prakash, technical accounting lead at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C. “Upon graduation, I landed a great job at Ernst & Young. I loved the experience of studying in the United States because I was able to study everything from maths to science, and not just focus on one subject in the initial years.” Students can choose the type of institution they want to attend, the class size they deem conducive to learning, the professors they want to engage with, the research oppor-

From above far left: U.S. university alumni Dilpreet Singh, advocate-on-record, Supreme Court of India; Lavanya Prakash, technical accounting lead at Booz Allen Hamilton, Washington, D.C.; and Manmohan Thorat, EducationUSA coordinator, USIEF Mumbai.

tunities and facilities they want to access, the internships and post-study work options they would like to avail, and the cities and economic regions in which they want to be located. American college campuses follow the philosophy of building purposeful architecture that complement learning through constant engagement with spaces, people, resources and processes. “I completed a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, with a minor in sociology, from Oklahoma State University. Of all the countries, I chose the United States because I was in tune with the culture, and I’d always admired the country and its values,” says Manmohan Thorat, EducationUSA coordinator at United States-India Educational Foundation, Mumbai. “My educational experience was extremely rich in terms of the knowledge I acquired at Oklahoma State University. Whether in student groups, classes, conferences or internships, I could do justice to my interests and capabilities.” These and many other remarkable features of U.S. higher education form a robust instructional paradigm, which has empowered thousands of graduates to build meaningful lives and careers. They have contributed to strengthening their communities, built visionary organizations and addressed the challenges facing the world. While education systems and students’ motivation to acquire knowledge keep evolving through the ages, the success stories of U.S. university alumni are examples of the power of quality education. Bhavvna Jolly is a senior program officer, EducationUSA, at the United States-India Educational Foundation, New Delhi.

Interview Insights By SUPARNA MUKHERJI


Alumni interviews

are an important part of the U.S. university admissions process and help find the right candidate for an institution.

he admission process at U.S. universities is quite rigorous. Not just for prospective students, but also for the institutions. Given the large, and growing, number of applicants every year, admissions officers often find it difficult to meet and review all of them. But, universities do have a loyal group of alumni who are happy to get involved in the process, by interviewing prospective students. One such alumnus, with about a decadelong experience in conducting interviews, is Eugene Bae. He holds a master’s degree in technology and policy as well as a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Bae currently works as an Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer in the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. Excerpts from an interview.

HEMANT BHATNAGAR Eugene Bae, alumni interviewer for MIT, and Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.

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Alumni interviews provide a way to get some additional perspective on a student’s background, interests, passions, motivation level and so on. 32 JULY/AUGUST 2019

Could you please tell us a bit about your role as an alumni interviewer for MIT? I was looking for ways to give back to MIT, because of the great education that I received there. One of the ways was to participate as, what we call, educational counselors. They are part of a global alumni network, which assists the MIT admissions office in its evaluations of applicants. I’ve been doing it for about 10 years. I started in Beijing, did it in Korea and I am looking forward to continuing this here in India. The educational counselors’ work is really focused on the undergraduate admissions process. Students’ application packages typically include their transcripts from high school, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, awards, recognitions and so on. All these things are very quantitative and descriptive. But, as MIT and many other institutions understand, a kind of personal connection is important to assess whether or not a student would be a good fit for the school. An institution utilizes its alumni network around the world to meet prospective students. We tell them what a great institution it is, share our own experiences about what we did during our time there and answer questions that they might have to help them determine if the institute is the right fit for them. Alumni interviews provide a way to get some additional perspective on a student’s background, interests, passions, motivation level and so on. What are some of the main qualities that interviewers look for in their candidates? I think that each university has its own criteria and way of evaluating students. Universities usually look for someone who is intellectually stimulated, a self-starter, intellectually curious; someone who has demonstrated maturity, communicates well; someone who is strong in the different academic disciplines. That said, I look for students who have demonstrated that they have a deep and active passion for the field of study they’re interested in. I’m keen to know how they have taken their interest in a field and done something to demonstrate a passion for it that goes beyond just “I like it.” The second thing that we look for is

students who are a good match for the institution. We sometimes look for that indescribable, intangible quality of someone who is just, for lack of a better word, brilliant. Someone you meet and, within five minutes of a conversation, you are just awed by their intellectual stimulation, rigor and enthusiasm. You feel that this person would make a tremendous contribution to your alma mater. Educational counselors need to express these qualities through examples and anecdotes. I use the interview process to get to know the students—Why are they the way they are today? Who shaped their interests? What life events? What encouraged them to pursue a particular field of study? I have a few questions that I ask. But, the conversation really goes in the direction that the students want to take it; I’m just along for the ride. Do you have any tips for a successful interview? Number one: prepare. I don’t mean that you look in a mirror and rehearse lines—that becomes pretty obvious to the interviewer. What I mean is spend some time asking yourself some serious questions, like “Why do I want to go to this institute?” “What is it that really interests me about that school?” “What would I do if I were given that opportunity?” “Is there something special about this institute versus many other great universities?” The second thing I would say is that students should be honest with themselves. When a person starts talking about something that they are genuinely passionate about, you don’t have to spur them on to talk about it. Genuine interest and passion just flow out of that person during the conversation. I’m not saying that you have to know everything about the institute. I try to discern if a student has deep passion about something, whether it be a social, economic, political, religious, academic or scientific issue. We want to understand what are those passions and what is it about you that is unique or different. Also, be on time, be respectful and dress appropriately for the interview. And lastly, and this is the hardest part: try to have fun. I know that the application process is a stressful time and getting a call for an interview with alumni can seem overwhelming. But, just go out there, do your best and enjoy yourself.

Courtesy EducationUSA, USIEF

Fair Strategies

A guide for prospective students on how they can get the most out of U.S.

university fairs.


or many prospective students, attending a U.S. university fair is an essential part of the journey toward choosing the right university, and crafting a successful application. Students get to have one-on-one conversations with university officials, who are the direct source of information, learn about the unparalleled opportunities that exist in the United States, share ideas with peers and get expert advice on admission tests, applications, funding and more. Preparing well for these events can give students the confidence to create meaningful connections with the representatives of the schools they want to attend. EducationUSA at the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) has been organizing “Study in the U.S.” fairs for almost two decades and helping students get the most out of them. Students must ask themselves some


important questions when they begin considering higher education in the United States. • What do I want to study? • Where do I want to study? • What characteristics must the university or college possess? • Which characteristics are not important for me? Answering these questions will also help students derive the most out of the university fairs.

Before the fair Students should research the colleges and universities ahead of time to find those that match their criteria. There are more than 4,700 accredited institutions of higher education in the United States. Students have their own unique expectations from college

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Courtesy @USAndChennai

We think of international students as a wonderful way to share our values and develop relationships with future scientists, business and political leaders. We think that’s an enriching thing in American education. It’s really a two-way street of benefit.

Above: Full house at the U.S. Embassy India-led student visa session at the EducationUSA U.S. University Fair 2018 in New Delhi. Below right: Prospective students interact with a U.S. higher education institution representative at the event.

Academic Programs in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Source:

EducationUSA India Fair 2019 EducationUSA is the official source of information on higher education in the United States. It is supported by the U.S. government, and offers accurate, current and comprehensive information to prospective students. This year, the EducationUSA India Fair will cover 10 cities in the country, from August 30 to September 12. Log on to for more information about the fair.

Photographs courtesy EducationUSA, USIEF


—Caroline Casagrande, Deputy Assistant Secretary for

life, and the choice of the university must be influenced by these expectations. Students may have different parameters for shortlisting colleges. But, they must keep in mind the preferred course, costs, geographical location, size, climate, facilities and proximity to family, among other factors. Students should make a short and crisp list of questions to ask the U.S. university representatives at the fairs. Since most U.S. universities review applicants holistically, admissions representatives can’t tell students if they will be admitted to a program until they apply. Questions about GRE, SAT or GPA cutoffs and other profile review requests are generally not productive. Instead, students should focus on asking questions related to what they want to study, their research interests, job outcomes and so on. “The EducationUSA fairs have always been very productive, with interested students and parents,” says Melissa Tixeira, International Recruitment Adviser for Colorado State University. “Students should always ask questions on campus life, housing and meals, scholarships, career service center, job fairs, etc. and avoid questions on immigration and permanent residency, full funding, essay or statement of purpose edits, etc.”

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During the fair Students should attend the presentations by university representatives at the fair. These give an overview of the programs they offer. It is important for students to budget their time and maximize their interaction with the university representatives. If the conversation becomes lengthy and detailed, students can always suggest a second meeting in-person, over the phone or Skype. Having a list of questions in advance could help them stay on track. Students should take notes about all the valuable information collected from university representatives. Write down any general impressions and anything that needs to be remembered accurately. This exercise will help in taking decisions and writing application essays.

After the fair If students are unable to get responses to their queries, they should write to the representatives after the fair and also thank them for their time. This will help to showcase genuine interest in the specific university. It is great to know what you want to study and pre-select your major based on your interests and academic needs. At the same time, it is also important to stay open to other possibilities. Representatives might share information that gets you excited about a program you may not have considered initially. “Grab a business card from a representative and feel free to reach out to her/him with any questions about application requirements, status and more,” says Katherine Beczak, assistant director, Office of Part-Time and Graduate Enrollment Services at Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. “We are happy to be your point of contact and liaison with the university. That’s what we’re here for.” Rupali Verma is an EducationUSA Adviser at United States-India Educational Foundation, New Delhi.

Excelling With Integrity By STEVE FOX

Right: Integrity Peer Educators at University of California San Diego promote integrity (far right), educate students on ethics and advise students who have been reported for academic integrity violations.


Tricia Bertram Gallant, director of the Academic Integrity Office at University of California San Diego.



U.S. universities expect students to work with honesty and integrity, and avoid all forms of academic dishonesty.

housands of students dream of studying in the United States, home to some of the world’s best higher education institutions. But some of them often underestimate the workloads, the deadlines and the examination routines. The demanding environment might tempt some to sacrifice integrity—in other words, to cheat or indulge in unethical behaviors like plagiarism, collaborating on assignments meant to be done alone and buying term papers online. Students cheat for a variety of reasons, notes Tricia Bertram Gallant, director of the Academic Integrity Office at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and an expert on integrity and ethics in education. These include the “pressure to obtain a university degree in order to have a secure livelihood, the contract cheating industry, and ignoring the problem for too long by many schools, colleges and universities around the world. The Internet has made it easier,” she says. “And students sometimes make bad decisions.”

Academic integrity is defined by the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) as a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to the six fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage. ICAI is a consortium of learning institutions, founded to combat cheating, plagiarism and academic dishonesty in higher education. The organization also helps cultivate cultures of integrity in academic

Photographs courtesy University of California San Diego

reporting it to authorities. But, while violations carry consequences, the program is educational rather than punitive, with an emphasis on “excelling with integrity.” Integrity Awards are given annually to campus community members who exemplify and promote academic, research and professional integrity. Most students reported for cheating at UCSD take responsibility for their actions, Bertram Gallant notes, and are directed into an Integrity Mentorship Program. The 10week program puts them in touch with educators, who help them explore strategies and techniques for achieving academic success with integrity. This approach, which requires the students to write essays explaining why they cheated and then complete several other assignments, can turn their experiences into positive “teachable moments.” “Our point is that just because students make a bad decision and cheat once, it doesn’t mean that they are ‘bad persons,’ whom the university should expel,” says Bertram Gallant. “As educational institutions, universities have an ethical obligation to help students learn from their experiences.” In guiding students on how to avoid the many potential pitfalls that violate academic integrity, she suggests applying three primary questions: • Values: Is the action honest, respectful, responsible, fair and trustworthy? • Standards: Is the action prohibited by an instructor’s or the university’s academic integrity policy or honor code? • Exposure: If the action was known to a professor, would it be acceptable? Most of all, Bertram Gallant notes, students should be proactive in determining what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of academic integrity. “People who don’t ask questions are more likely to mess up,” she says. “They should assume things are going to be different here [at a U.S. university], do their homework to find out what’s expected of them and use the university’s resources to find answers to whatever questions they may have.”


Academic Integrity at UCSD

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communities across the world. It says, “Promoting the fundamental values of academic integrity in education requires balancing high standards of integrity with the educational mission, as well as compassion, and concern.” At UCSD and other U.S. universities, it is fundamental, says Bertram Gallant. “Academic integrity is so important because it means that you will experience a fair education and your degree will be an honest, respectable and trustworthy symbol of your knowledge and skills. Without integrity, there can be no education or learning,” she says. “Why do so many international students choose to study in America? Because the market value of American university degrees is high, and the reason it is high is because of integrity.” While UCSD has a rigorous program to promote and enforce academic integrity, Bertram Gallant notes that its objectives extend far beyond the time students spend on campus. “With an emphasis on academic integrity,” she says, “universities are developing professionals and leaders who will continue to act with integrity and create fair, respectful, responsible, honest and trustworthy organizations and relationships. A true democratic society can only exist if the majority of people and organizations act with integrity.” UCSD encourages those who witness cheating to respond by interrupting the behavior, redirecting the person to more ethical choices, engaging others for help or

Why do so many international students choose to study in America? Because the market value of American university degrees is high, and the reason it is high is because of integrity.

Steve Fox is a freelance writer, former newspaper publisher and reporter based in Ventura, California.

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Legacy of



Despite their size, the impact of a small liberal arts college experience can often be everlasting. 38 JULY/AUGUST 2019

mall liberal arts colleges, which are characterized by an emphasis on undergraduate education and a commitment to the liberal arts, represent a unique institutional model. Born in the U.S. higher education system, it is now exported globally. What impact do these colleges have on students? The students acquire skills that they carry with them into their futures and the world. Most credit their undergraduate education at small liberal arts colleges for shaping many aspects of their lives. The liberal arts as an ethos is, perhaps, the most significant takeaway for majority of the students. Take, for example, Apple Inc. cofounder Steve Jobs, who attended Reed College in Oregon for just a semester, but continued to praise its benefits in guiding his mission late into his career. He championed the cause of “technology married to the liberal arts and humanities,” and also famously credited a calligraphy class offered at Reed College for influencing the “beautiful

typography” of the first Macintosh computer. I graduated from that college about four decades after Jobs attended it, in 2014. Its most significant impact for me so far has been the inculcation of an openness to multiple possibilities in my professional and academic life, as well as a genuine curiosity and appreciation for knowledge across different disciplines and domains. Mira Kamdar, class of 1980, who has had a distinguished career in journalism and policy, echoes this sentiment. “When I graduated from Reed with a degree in French, I thought a Ph.D. and a career in academia were the next natural steps for me...But, since then, I have veered in many directions, writing and researching mostly about India...A strong foundation in the liberal arts allowed me to hold my own across many contexts,” she says. Even for those who follow through with their academic goals, the experience of studying at a small liberal arts college is a defining choice. Jason Swinderman, class of


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Reed College

Sarah Lawrence College

Liberal Arts 2015, majored in biology at Reed College and is now a Doctor of Medicine/Ph.D. student at the University of California, San Francisco. While the liberal arts are often viewed as limited to the humanities, for him, it was the education in the sciences that really stood out. “The commitment to taking ownership of scientific research in the lab and classroom, as an undergraduate, is quite incredible,” says Swinderman. “And, it may be hard to find that kind of emphasis in the sciences in other educational settings.” Another distinctive aspect of these colleges is the sense of community, and the commitment to building it. Mirra Savara went to Reed College in the 1960’s from India, and then came back to become a leader in the women’s rights movement. She looks back at her time at the college as “monumental,” as she got her first taste of movements, organizing and activism by getting involved in protests and movements. The campuses nurture a commitment to

causes, whether international, national, local or even specific to the college, thereby empowering students to act on behalf of their communities. The small student bodies can often be viewed as a limiting factor, but for Sumudhu Jayasinghe, that is exactly what she cherishes. “It teaches you that no matter where you go, finding and building community is important,” says the 2013 batch student of Sarah Lawrence College, New York, “even when you are in much larger settings that encourage anonymity.” Small liberal arts colleges may account for only one percent of the undergraduate student population in the U.S. higher education landscape, but for that one percent, the experience can be an education for a lifetime.

Above far left: Reed College offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in 40 majors and programs. Above and above left: Sarah Lawrence College is known for its low student-to-faculty ratio and highly personalized course of study.

It teaches you that no matter where you go, finding and building community is important, even when you are in much larger settings that encourage anonymity.

Archit Guha is an EducationUSA Adviser at the United States-India Educational Foundation, New Delhi. To share articles go to JULY/AUGUST 2019 39


Transforming Photographs courtesy American Embassy School



American Embassy School The

in New Delhi provides American education with an international perspective to help students be responsible and compassionate global citizens.


n September 1963, SPAN featured an article on the American International School in New Delhi. It said, “American students learn with children whose homes can be found on every continent…in a well-equipped, newly constructed complex of buildings that was specially designed to create a pleasant and functional environment. This is the American International School of 1963. It was not always so.” In the next several decades, the school would undergo many more transformations, in terms of its student and faculty strength, campus size, facilities, teaching methodologies, and even its name. It is now known as the American Embassy School (AES). But, what remains unchanged is its goal—the pursuit of knowledge and excellence to develop “responsible and compassionate global citizens.” AES provides students, from prekindergarten through grade 12, American

education with an international perspective. “About 80 to 85 percent of our teachers have international experience,” says Jim Laney Jr., director of the school. “We have a very small percentage of local students…We do have many Indian-heritage students, but they are from Los Angeles or London or Australia or other places. So, they also bring in their international perspectives.”

Change at heart The school started as a small set-up on Janpath in 1952 as the American School, moved to a new campus in Chanakyapuri in 1963, and is now spread over nearly five hectares. “The facilities have developed since the 1960’s,” says Laney. For instance, “The school started with one small gymnasium in the early 1960’s and, now, we have one very large gymnasium and one smaller gymnasium, plus other outdoor spaces like a swimming


Above left and above center left: Flexible learning spaces at the American Embassy School allow students and teachers to move around through the day in different tasks in different groupings. Top, above, left, center left and above far left: Through its various activities, facilities and resources, the school nurtures the intellectual, physical, social and emotional development of its students and community members.

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Left, below left, right and center right: Glimpses of various activities at the American Embassy School. These celebrate the diversity among its students from about 56 countries as well as the international perspectives of its faculty members. Far Right: Jim Laney Jr., director of the school, with students.


pool. We have a beautiful theater for students’ performances. Libraries are really important for us; we have two now. We have robotic spaces and makerspaces, where kids with creative spirit get involved. We have the space, the tools and the teachers who can guide them.” AES also has many other facilities, including indoor and outdoor stadiums, playgrounds, meeting areas and art studios.

Modernizing practices While the buildings and facilities were being adapted to meet the growing needs of the school’s community, so were the educational practices. “It’s more important than ever before to be able to work with people from diverse backgrounds with different experiences…to understand cross-disciplinary connections,” says Laney. AES, for instance, has an India Studies Program, which helps students learn about the host country. Its recent India Week celebration featured Indian music, dance, food and activities like yoga. “We also had artisans, who came from different parts of India, to

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teach the kids and give them firsthand experience of working on those arts and crafts,” says Czaee Chagla, the school’s marketing and communications manager. AES builds in ways for students to collaborate and learn together and from one another, as well as give back to society. “Eighty percent of our high school students…are part of community service. And, it’s really at the core,” says Ylva Kovacs, the school’s director of admissions. Thus, the school motto: Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve. “Another aspect we emphasize is giving kids tools and opportunities to develop their critical thinking skills, find ways to think together about a problem and to encourage those kinds of conversations from different perspectives,” says Shirley Droese, the school’s director of curriculum and professional learning. Technology plays a huge role in supporting the new ways of teaching and learning. “It’s a way for students to personalize their own learning,” says Droese. “It brings the world into the classroom more authentically, especially

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It’s more important than ever before to be able to work with people from diverse backgrounds with different experiences.

for teachers to utilize some of these resources that wouldn’t necessarily be available otherwise, except maybe through an encyclopedia or a book.”

The road ahead AES is now experimenting with flexible learning spaces, where students and teachers can move around through the day in different tasks in different groupings. “We divide kids up not based on a roster, but on what we are teaching and on what they need. And the most important part is the emphasis on what they need,” says Susan Vernon, a grade 5 homeroom teacher. “We typically have them working with peers or with teachers in smaller groups, so that there’s equity and access to the materials by all, not just a few who are confident.” “We are talking about collaboration and creativity and communicating with one another and just following your own passions,” adds Laney, “while you are learning the mathematics and the science and the reading and writing that we want you to learn if you’re 10 years old or 16 years old.”



pollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon. Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 commander and the first man to walk on the moon, took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera. The July 20, 1969, lunar landing was an unprecedented achievement—a milestone in human history. How did it happen? It was the result of decades of relentless scientific development as well as courageous astronauts who were determined to explore the unknown. Technologies that are common today came out of Apollo space research. CAT scans, computer microchips, cordless devices and satellite television are but a few. Scientific knowledge gained from NASA programs continue to enhance the quality of life today.

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Photographs courtesy NASA

Text courtesy ShareAmerica

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