Thursday, May 30, 2013

Congratulations to 2013-2014 Santosh Jain Endowed Memorial Scholarship Recipient

The University Graduate School wishes to congratulate all recipients of awards and fellowships. We have chosen to feature a recipient in this article to especially honor Saurabh Betawadkar the recipient of the 2013-2014 Santosh Jain Endowed Memorial Scholarship.

The Santosh Jain scholarship honors the memory of the spouse of Chaman Jain, a senior lecturer in SPEA. Santosh Jain was well known among international graduate students. She was born in Lahore, India, which is now part of Pakistan. She first came to the United States from New Delhi, India, in 1970 with her husband and their two small children in order for Chaman Jain to attend graduate school at IU. Throughout the years, she supported her family as they pursued higher education, and was passionate about serving her community and promoting education. She was a founding member of the India Society of Bloomington, a group dedicated to assisting impoverished women and children in India. She was also well known in the graduate student community for her culinary skills.

The 2013-2014 recipient, Betawadkar, is from Hyderabad, a city in southern India. He has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Biotechnology from Sri Ramaswamy Memorial (SRM) University, Chennai. Betawadkar says he has always been fascinated with science and all of its wonders. “Thus I chose Biotechnology as a major” to learn more about science. During his undergraduate years he had a strong inclination towards protecting and preserving the environment. This is why he chose Environmental Sciences as his major at IU.

“Nature has been my passion,” says Betawadkar. And his main research interests are the “discovery and use of technology that while supporting our needs also conserves the environment.”

Among his many achievements, Betawadkar counts the Santosh Jain award among the highest. He says that receiving the award is “an encouragement which I have received from the world for the work I have done and provides me with a boost to believe in my way of looking at the world and keeps me going.”

Betawadkar’s passion for the environment goes back to his undergraduate days at SRM University. He was an active member in a club called Eco-Youth which worked for environmental conservation on the SRM campus as well as Chennai. As a member of Eco-Youth he also participated in a social education street play titled “Tigrave,” focused on protecting endangered tigers. He was also active in educating peers about environmental stewardship.

Betawadkar continued his environmental work after his time at SRM University by working with a friend to promote environmental conservation in Dhanbad, India. He worked with school children in a program called “Moksh.”  They taught the students “the basics of English and also tried to instill environmental values into them. Suarabh says, “I have always felt it was my duty to help the needy and will always do so.”

Betawadkar looks “forward to a career in committed environmental science and humanitarian activities.”

Once again congratulations to Saurabh Betawadkar, the 2013-2014 recipient of the Santosh Jain Endowed Memorial Scholarship.