Retired professors create endowment for hands-on learning experiences for Drury students at Hem Sheela Model School and Tribal School in India 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., November 27, 2019 — Two longtime Drury University professors have made a generous donation to the university to further expand international learning opportunities for students. This endowment will bolster the hands-on learning experiences offered to undergraduates as part of the Your Drury Fusion curriculum.

Drs. Rabindra and Protima Roy retired from the Drury faculty in 2016 after teaching for more than 90 combined years in their Drury careers. Natives of India, the Roys established the Hem Sheela Model School in their home country in 1995. Hem Sheela is a comprehensive K12 school where all instruction is in English. The Roys have also established a tribal school for first-generation learners in India, the Protima Child and Woman Development Center.

Hem Sheela became a sister school to Drury University in 2002, and since 2004 Drury students studying education and child development have traveled there to gain international student teaching experience. Now, the Roys are donating $200,000 to create the Hem Sheela and Tribal school Experiential Learning Endowment, which will provide annual grants to Drury students for traveling to Hem Sheela for living expenses, travel costs, fees, tuition associated with internships, student teaching, research and other hands-on experiences.

“This experiential learning grant will provide mutually beneficial real-life experiences for Drury students as well as students of Hem Sheela and the tribal school,” says Dr. Protima Roy.

“This endowment is unique and it is an extraordinary milestone in strengthening the sister school relationship between Drury and the Hem Sheela and tribal schools,” says Dr. Rabindra Roy. “Drury students will travel to India every year to study tribal culture, conduct research, and take part in a variety of relevant hands-on projects.”

The first grants have already been awarded by a selection committee. The awardees are: Ryan Kuhl, a biology major from Wichita, Kansas; and Megan Tersteeg, a biochemistry major from St. Charles County, Missouri. The students will travel to Hem Sheela with associate professor of chemistry Dr. Madhuri Manpadi in December.

Fusion Experiential Grants

Your Drury Fusion guarantees students will graduate having completed at least three hands-on experiences that challenge them to solve real-world problems.

Drury’s faculty encourage students to dream big when it comes these projects, and the university has created a series of Fusion Experiential Grants to help turn students’ original ideas into reality. Individual students or teams of students will use the grants to engage in real-world challenges or activities that stretch beyond the theoretical, providing hands-on learning opportunities that are critical to thriving in today’s complex, ever-changing world.

Their proposals can be professional, entrepreneurial, humanitarian, scholarly, creative, and/or experiential in nature. They must, however, result in a finished project that can be shared, presented, or otherwise discussed in a professional academic format on campus.

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