USINPAC congratulates Indian American Dr. Meera Chandrashekhar on her selection for Baylor University’s 2014 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching

Dr. Meera Chandrasekhar is one of three preeminent scholar/teachers from U.S. universities who have been selected as finalists for Baylor University’s 2014 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.

The Cherry Award is the only national teaching award with the single largest monetary reward of $250,000 presented by a college or university to an individual for exceptional teaching.
As Cherry Award finalists, each professor will receive $15,000, as well as $10,000 for their home departments to foster the development of teaching skills. Each finalist will present a series of lectures at Baylor during fall 2013 and also a Cherry Award lecture on their home campuses during the upcoming academic year.
The winning professor will be announced by Baylor in spring 2014.
Chandrasekhar is a Curator’s Teaching Professor of Physics, University of Missouri. The Indian American earned her B.Sc. degree in physics and mathematics from M.G.M. College, Mysore University in India, in 1968; master’s degrees in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India, in 1970 and Brown University in 1973; and a Ph.D. in physics from Brown University in 1976.
After a post-doctoral fellowship at Max-Planck-Institut in Germany, she joined the University of Missouri faculty in 1978.
Chandrasekhar’s teaching and research has been recognized with many honors, including the 2006 President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching from the University of Missouri, 2004 Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professorship from the University of Missouri, and the 1999 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the National Science Foundation.
She was honored in 2002 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology. She received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in 1985 and was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1992.
Chandrasekhar’s research interests are in the area of optical spectroscopy of semiconductors, superconductors and conjugated polymers, with an emphasis on high pressure studies.

She has a strong interest in the education of young students, and has developed hands-on physics programs for students in grades 5-12 and summer institutes for K-12 teachers, activities for which she has received several awards.

Source: IndiaWest

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Gargee Ghosh on her appointment as member of the President’s Global Development Council

US President Barack Obama has appointed an Indian-American Gargee Ghosh to a key administration post.

Ghosh, currently the director of Policy Analysis and Financing at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been appointed as member of the President’s Global Development Council.

“I am pleased to announce that these experienced and committed individuals have agreed to join this Administration, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead,” Obama said yesterday as he announced several key administration posts along with Ghosh.

Holding the current position at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, since 2012, Ghosh also held roles in global health and international economics with the Gates Foundation from 2004 to 2009.

Previously, she was a senior expert in the international development practice at McKinsey & Company, and also worked at Google and the Center for Global Development.

She is a member of the advisory board of the University of California San Francisco’s Global Health Group.

Ghosh received a BA from the University of Victoria, an M Sc in Economics from the University of Oxford and an MSc in international relations from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Source: Times of India

USINPAC congratulates Indian American actor and former Whitehouse staffer Kal Penn

US President Barack Obama has nominated popular Indian-American actor and former White House staffer Kal Penn for a key administration post of member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

The announcement came on Monday for The Namesake fame actor, who served in the White House during the Obama’s first term and played a key role in his re-election campaign last year, in particular attracting the youth in the run-up to the polls.

Born in New Jersey as as Kalpen Suresh Modi, Penn is an actor, writer and producer, who shot to fame with the Harold and Kumar film series.

From 2009 to 2011 he was an Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement with the Obama administration, serving as liaison to Young Americans, the Arts, and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Before joining the White House, he worked as an artist an actor in Los Angeles and New York, and was also an Adjunct Lecturer in Asian American Studies, Film Studies, and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

He served as a member of the Obama for America National Arts Policy Committee in 2008 and as a National Campaign Co-Chair in 2012.

Penn received his Bachelors in Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles.

“These fine public servants bring both a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their new roles.

Our nation will be well-served by these men and women, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come,” Obama said as he announced seven key administration posts.

As an actor, Kal Penn is known for his role portraying Dr Lawrence Kutner on the television drama series House, as well as the character Kumar Patel in the Harold and Kumar film series. He is also recognized for his performance in the critically acclaimed Mira Nair’s film, The Namesake.

Source: The Times of India

Walk World Walkathon Organization – Educate to Empower

AAPI-Tulsa Chapter has been in the forefront of organizing health educational walkathons through it’s sub-committee Walk World Walkathon Organization.
At the first WWW on 11-11-11 they promoted walking as the easiest way to exercise, and recycling for “Go Green World”. Countries from five continents participated in this walkathon.
At the second WWW on May 12, 2012 they promoted awareness of Hands Only CPR (CPR without mouth to mouth breaths).
At the third WWW on 12-12-12, they promoted childhood obesity awareness to help fight this national and global epidemic.
At the fourth WWW on Dec 16, 2012, they promoted “Unity in Diversity” and had friends from more than 30 different countries hold their national flags to indicate that childhood obesity affects everyone globally and that we are in this fight together.
On April 6, 2013, they organized the first ever school walkathon for childhood obesity awareness in Penn Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and educated the students, teachers and parents on how to tackle this epidemic. This is the first time that AAPI physicians got directly involved with their local communities and schools for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
National AAPI is now helping to do similar events in schools and communities across USA with the tag line Be Fit-Be Cool.

At these events they are promoting “Let’s Move” initiative, especially the ChooseMyPlate and Presidential Active Lifestyle Award efforts. Also the 5-2-1-0 concept developed by the American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau to fight this growing problem of obesity.
5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
2 hours or less of recreational screen time
1 hour or more of physical activity
0 sugary drinks. More water and low fat milk

Recently, Oklahoma Governor has proclaimed September Childhood Obesity Awareness month, urging individuals to show their support for this issue by wearing yellow. Yellow represents energy, motivation, pleasure, liveliness and optimism to help individuals lead healthy lifestyles. Sunshine yellow was chosen as sunshine is energizing like exercise that is being promoted to fight childhood obesity.

Presently, AAPI-Tulsa Chapter is trying to get President Obama to make a similar proclamation of Wear Yellow for obesity / childhood obesity awareness to promote healthy living. They developed a “50 States US flag” with the 50 State’s flags in an alphabetical order around the US stars & stripes flag to indicate our fight against childhood obesity in all 50 states.
We believe that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ when tackling this childhood obesity problem.


Uma Koduri, M.D., is Chair of National AAPI – Childhood Obesity Committee, Founder of Walk World Walkathon Organization and Founder and Past President of Tulsa chapter of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.


USINPAC Congratulates Dr. Vivek Murthy

Dr. Vivek Murthy has been nominated as Surgeon General of the United States

November 15, 2013; Washington DC: US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) congratulates Dr. Vivek Murthy on his nomination as surgeon general of the United States. The nomination, if confirmed will make Murthy the country’s 19th surgeon general for an office that was established in 1871. A graduate of Yale University, where Murthy earned a medical degree and an MBA, he will be the youngest surgeon general in US history. He will also be the first surgeon general of Indian origin, recognizing the immense contribution of the Indian-American community to health care in the United States. Murthy co-founded VISIONS Worldwide in 1995, a non-profit organization focused on HIV/AIDS education in India and the United States, where he served as President from 1995 to 2000 and Chairman of the Board from 2000 to 2003.
USINPAC Chairman, Sanjay Puri, congratulated Dr. Vivek Murthy and said, “It is a great honor for the Indian-American community and one of the highest appointments for an Indian-American. As a leader in the medical community, he is extremely well qualified to take on the role, and I am looking forward to his confirmation. I would also like to congratulate President Obama for reaching out to the best and brightest to serve in his administration.”