UWC Mahindra College monthly newsletter

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Alumni Profile

Malika graduated from UWC Mahindra College in 2001 and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago in Public Policy. She then won a Fulbright Fellowship and went to the Dominican Republic to study MicroFinance.

After her Fulbright year she worked for CGAP, a microfinance research centre housed at the World Bank, from 2006 to 2008, and completed her Masters at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2010. She later worked for The Coca Cola Company managing public-private partnerships before moving back to India in July 2001, where she currently works at Mera Doctor, a start-up providing low-cost telemedicine services.

Vinay was in the Pioneer class at UWC Mahindra College (class of 1999) and went on to complete a BA in International Politics & Economics and Spanish at Middlebury College. As part of his Bachelor’s programme, he spent a year in Chile. After graduating from Middlebury College in 2003, he worked in the Democracy and Human Rights programme at the Inter-American Dialogue, a think-tank on Western Hemisphere affairs in Washington DC. In 2006, he began a PhD programme in Comparative Politics at Princeton University, leaving the programme with a Masters in 2011 in order to move to Pune to run the Centre for Communication and Development Studies, an NGO working on development and social justice issues.

In August 2012 Vinay will join UWC Mahindra College faculty as a history and math studies teacher. “Teaching has always been one of my core career options,” he says as he smiles over the familiar cafeteria tables. “What I enjoyed most during my time at Princeton was the teaching,” he adds, “and I see this as the perfect opportunity to explore whether teaching is a good long-term path for me. I am interested in pedagogy in general and could see myself going into curriculum development or education policy. Coming to teach here is really exciting! This campus has been so important to my personal and professional development and to see it through the eyes of a teacher is something I really look forward to….”

Vinay’s wife Malika will likely continue to work for MeraDoctor once they move onto campus but will be eagerly looking for ways to get involved in the college community. She feels that international development is a field where it is easy to get frustrated and jaded and looks forward to rejuvenating back on campus. For her returning to the college “is not about coming back, it is more about reconnecting with the idealism that I developed here, and using that connection to keep myself motivated. When I lived here it was when I felt the closest to those ideals and I find it invigorating to be in the same community again,” she says. “Campus is a touchstone for me.”

Vinay notes that when he came for his job interview it was after a 7-year absence. Despite rumours that life on campus had changed, he was delighted to find that the fundamental character of the school and the community remains unaltered. “Life on campus is just as I remembered it! Within minutes of being back I realized that the students were still as engaged as ever and the spirit of the UWC movement was still alive and kicking. That reassured me that applying for the teaching position was the right decision.”

UWC Mahindra College will have 11 UWC alumni on its faculty in August 2012, including representatives from the first 4 generations of alumni; quite an astounding achievement and surely a great motivation to current students. “We look forward to the next academic year and sharing our enthusiasm and skills to develop the ideals of the UWC movement and assist a new batch of “freshies” through their first year in UWC Mahindra College”.

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