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GPI: Santosha Adhibhatta - Environment, Society, and Sustainability professor

Courtesy of LinkedIn

By Leighah Beausoleil


What is your educational and professional background?

I have a bachelor's in electronics and communications engineering from India. Then, I did my master's in electrical engineering from the University of Houston and my Ph.D. in physics at the University of Rhode Island. So that's my educational background. As a professional, actually, my very first job was teaching. I started teaching at Framingham State a few years after I graduated. I had to take a break because of my family, but after things got settled, I started to teach at Framingham State. I started as a visiting lecturer teaching one course. And now, I am an assistant professor. I teach mostly the engineering courses on campus, and I also have taught physics courses. I also taught a math course and I also taught some labs.

Why did you choose to teach at FSU?

Well, for starters, I wanted to teach - that was what I wanted to do after I graduated and we moved to Massachusetts. Then, I was looking for jobs and I actually came for the interview at Framingham State. I applied for, I believe, a lab instructor position at Framingham State and then I came in for an interview, and they offered me a position to teach a course. I looked at the campus. I liked it because it's a nice, small campus and I saw everyone saying, “Hi,” the students saying, “Hi.” … So I thought, you know, this is a nice place and I got the job and I started and I love it.

What do you like most about working with students?

Because of the small class sizes … the best part is I get to know everybody - and because I teach mostly lab classes. But even by the second week, I know their names. Then, being able to interact with them. I really like my classes to be interactive. So I keep telling my students, “You have to talk. You have to talk. You have to talk,” and because of the small class sizes, I think even the students feel more comfortable and I feel more comfortable with them. It's not too overwhelming for either one of us. And having especially the lab courses, it gives me time to interact with them more closely, especially engineering. I have a degree in engineering, so I get a chance to work on these fun projects with students and I tell them all day, “We are doing this together, so I'm learning with you.” And that's the best part because we learn from each other.

What is something that students would be surprised to know about you?

Everyone knows that I'm scared of roller coasters. I hate roller coasters. I don't think they're surprised. But oh, yeah, I failed my first physics exam, and now I have a Ph.D. in physics. So that might be, I guess, surprising. Everyone raises their eyebrows and they’re like, “What? You failed?” But now I have a Ph.D., so things change.

What are your hobbies?

Most of the time, I just spend time with my family and go on long walks. I love to go on walks. We go on small trails, especially in the summer. They go every weekend on trails - riding the bike. So you know, that's what I like to do. And hosting - we have parties - so I like family gatherings.

What advice do you have for students?

Just hang in there! That's all I can say. Hang in there!` Just because one thing doesn't work out doesn't mean nothing works. I mean, I'm a very good example of that. I was told I was not going to finish my Ph.D. because it's tough and I'm a woman. But don't listen to others. Listen to yourself. Because only we can really know what we can do. Because if I had listened to others, I wouldn’t have ended up here. So that's all I can tell. Just hang in there and get the help you need. If you need help - you need to ask.



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