Padmini Shankar | I wanted to #AchieveMore to make my parents, teachers, and my child proud!
My Journey to #AchieveMore
About 30 years ago, I came to the United States with four small suitcases and a four-year old child. With a broken marriage behind me, I came to this country to seek a new life for my child and myself. With the blessings of my parents and the tremendous support of many kind people here, I succeeded in completing my Master’s and Doctoral degrees. It was a huge challenge to be a full-time student, work campus jobs to earn money, and take care of a young child. But the sacrifices of my parents and the future I wanted for my child kept me focused on my academics. In the beginning I did not have a clear vision regarding my career, but the brilliant mentorship, unfailing support, and vast kindness of my PhD faculty advisor inspired me to pursue a career in teaching. I vowed to make a difference in the lives of students just as she has in mine.
As a professor today, the joy and pride I feel when teaching and mentoring students are indescribable. My goal is to equip my students with relevant knowledge and skills, so they can be successful in any career path they choose. I encourage my students to aim high and work tirelessly towards that goal. And I tell them it is totally fine if they fail; like the GPS that recalculates to get us back to our destination, they too can reevaluate their situation and strategies, and get back on track and confidently head towards their goal. I believe it takes dedication and tenacity to make it work against all odds. I know, because I only have to look at my frayed brown suitcase to realize what an incredible journey it has been to #achievemore!