JULY 2011
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News

Building USF's Profile in India

Story submitted by Shobana Daniell

Aruna Dasgupta, left, and Shifali Kumar visit with the Multicultural Office at USF.

With a focus on international research and teaching, the University of South Florida is in the forefront of global engagement. Its latest move to increase the footprint is the opening of a new office in India.

USF’s newest international initiative is focused on finding new opportunities for academic research, supporting current faculty work, providing links to alumni and business partners and identifying exceptional students seeking an international university experience.

USF has more than 40 faculty of Indian heritage, 300 international students from India, numerous faculty conducting research in India and three summer study abroad programs that take USF students to India. Additionally, USF is home to the Center for India Studies, whose mission is to enhance academic research and curricular understanding about the subcontinent. 

The USF office in India is supported by Provost Ralph Wilcox and the regional chancellor for USF Polytechnic Marshall Goodman. They envision the office creating system-wide opportunities.  

“As a system,” Goodman said, “USF offers diversity in research, academics, and economic development providing the ideal opportunity for intellectual exchange in India and among the USF system.”  

Initial operations began in March with the opening of an office in New Delhi. USF hired Aruna Dasgupta and Shifali Kumar, two representatives who will oversee operations. Serving as director, Dasgupta previously spent nine years working at the American Embassy in Delhi as a country program coordinator. She brings a wealth of knowledge about Indian universities and international protocol. Before her work at the embassy, she served as an editorial consultant to agencies, including UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) and WHO (World Health Organization).

Kumar is head of recruitment and has spent the last nine years working in international student recruitment for a London-based university where she was the regional director for the liaison office in India. She notes that while USF is recognized in India, her visit reinforces the numerous opportunities for international students on the campus.

For more information, visit http://global.usf.edu

OVER 400 ATTEND TAMPA Community Health Fair

Story provided by Dr. Renuka Ramappa

More than 400 attendees took part in the 13th annual free Community Health Fair at the Hindu Temple of Florida Community Hall in Tampa. This volunteer-run community service has been a tradition at the temple since 1998. Over 30 physicians and several volunteers worked to bring free screenings and health information services to the public.

About 150 participants had their blood screened for cholesterol, hemoglobin level and blood sugar levels. Many attendees were benefited by dental consultations, eye exams and osteoporosis, hearing checkups, cancer alert information, breast examination, digestive disorder and imaging services and had their blood pressure, weight and body fat analyzed. For the first time, the fair introduced health insurance information (Humana) and a weight loss clinic. Dr. K.V. Sundaresh, a local infectious diseases specialist, offered an educational discussion on infections while on the road.

Also on the agenda were raffle prizes, jewelry, sari sale, clowns, face painting and of course delicious vegetarian food prepared by the temple kitchen.

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