What I love most about what I do: To walk into a school of 1,100 orphans and be greeted with a swarm of love is an unequaled experience. Their enthusiasm for learning and unfading happiness inspire me.
The most challenging part of my work: The Bangladeshi educational system is chiefly based on memorization and employs corporal punishment. Corporal punishment does not happen in my classroom, and I replaced memorization with an atmosphere in which kids are encouraged to speak, think creatively and ask questions.
How Dickinson prepared me for what I do: More than anything, Dickinson professors taught me how to approach problems or situations from a multitude of routes. Straightforward and efficient isn’t always the best way of navigating a challenge.
My favorite professor: Professor Edward McPhail [economics]. He is a great example of an educator who is thoughtful, intelligent, witty, engaging and compassionate.
The accomplishment I'm most proud of today: I helped build a school for 200 village girls. They had every disadvantage one could think of, and knowing that they are empowered now is something that keeps my heart beating.
What "engage the world" means to me: It's important to engage your world, because everyone creates the world around them. Genuine effort in whatever work fulfills you is more important than geography.
My favorite activity at Dickinson: I feel lucky to have been a part of such a close swim team, and I still e-mail daily with the guys from the team. Holiday dinners were unforgettable. To walk out of a hard practice and into a room with hills of bread and good food touched on some childish dream that I remember fondly.
Published August 22, 2012