"Because I came to the United States as an international student, I always want to be there for international students. I know what it is like to be in their shoes."
In fall 2012 I traveled from India to the U.S. as an international student. When I started applying to be a professor, I knew I wanted to be a part of a community and a family. The family feel was the first thing I noticed at Hardin-Simmons. Professors kept their office doors open to encourage other professors and students to communicate freely. I could tell that these professors didn’t want to just know their students’ names; they wanted to share in their lives.
Today, HSU is home away from home. For me, walking into another professor’s room is like walking into a brother or sister’s room. I appreciate the continued support I get from my colleagues. Professionally, we work well together with research projects and conference trips. Personally, my colleagues have done an extraordinary job of giving me a sense of family even though I am far from home.
There are so many people here who are genuinely concerned for my wellbeing. When I started my work here, my mom was going through an illness. Everybody in my department was there for me. It was so nice to have a faculty that cares about me. That’s not something you would see at a lot of universities.
Because I came to the United States as an international student, I always want to be there for international students. I know what it is like to be in their shoes. I understand the difficulties and challenges they face. Last fall I helped start a support group for international students to provide that connection and to help them psychologically using my expertise in counseling.
Sometimes I have freshmen in my introduction to psychology classes who have no idea what career they want to pursue. I love to see them have that lightbulb moment when they realize that psychology is what they want to do. That’s really rewarding for me. It’s nice to see that I can be a part of their developmental process. Since so many people have supported me through my journey to the United States, I want to support each of my students on their journey through life.