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SDSU Prof Helps Hundreds Launch College Careers

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdTeq7WoCWI

Video published January 7, 2011 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Professor M.C.Madhavan is a Fulbright scholar and semi-retired economics professor at San Diego State University. He's led United Nations development programs and was an economist for the World Bank. But he may be best known for founding the San Diego Indian American Society which established the Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship. More than 400 San Diego students have received this award since 1984. Dwane Brown spoke with professor Madhavan and found out what motivates him to continue to make a difference in the lives of youth in San Diego and abroad.

Guest

Professor M.C. Madhavan, Fulbright scholar, economics professor at San Diego State University, and founder of the San Diego Indian American Society.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

THE PROFESSOR IS FULL BROUGHT SCHOLAR AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY. HE'S LED UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND WAS AN ECONOMIST FOR THE WORLD BANK BUT MAY BE BEST KNOWN FOR FOUNDING THE SAN DIEGO INDIAN-AMERICAN SOCIETY, WHICH ESTABLISHED THE A HOT A GANDHI SCHOLARSHIP. DWAYNE BROWN TALKED WITH THE PROFESSOR TOP FEND OUT WHAT -- TO FIND OUT WHAT MOTIVATES HIM TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF YOUTH IN SAN DIEGO AND ABROAD.

PROFESSOR, WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

THANK YOU.

WHAT'S THE GOAL OF THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM YOU STARTED 25 YEARS AGO?

THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM WAS STARTED BY THE SAN DIEGO SOCIETY. IT'S INTENDED TO PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENTS TO EVALUATE THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF GANDHI TO HUMAN KIND. AT THE SAME TIME IT OPENS UP THE OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENTS COMING FROM DIFFERENT INCOME BACK GROUNDS. WE HAVE THE GANDHI SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AND ANOTHER ONE IS WE GIVE FIVE SCHOLARSHIPS EVERY YEAR, PLUS STUDENTS FROM FAMILIES WITHOUT A COLLEGE EDUCATION. ON AVERAGE WE HAVE SUPPORTED 15 TO 20 STUDENTS OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS.

HOW ARE YOU INTRODUCING STUDENTS FROM SAN DIEGO STATE TO INDIA.

WE ARE ESTABLISHING IT THROUGH THE STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM. WE ARE TAKING THE STUDENTS THE SECOND TIME AROUND NOW STARTING DECEMBER 27th. IT WILL LAST FOR THREE WEEKS. THE STUDENTS WILL BE EXPOSED TO INDIAN VALUES AND INDIAN ECONOMY, INDIAN POLITICS AND INDIAN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. THEY'LL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT SEEN TYPHIC INSTALLATIONS AND --SCIENTIFIC INSTALLATIONS AND HEAR TOP SCIENTISTS ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES. THIS IS SOMETHING VERY UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT. IT'S SUPPORTED PARTLY PIE --BY THE INSTITUTION IN INDIA. OUR UNIVERSITIES THAT GIVEN MONEY FOR TRAVEL FUNDS THAT HELP THE STUDENTS FROM DIFFERENT ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS GET INTO THE PROGRAM. I WOULD SAY SEVERAL STUDENTS MAY BE CALLED WHAT --

SO 17 FROM SAN DIEGO.

AND THREE FROM GERMANY AND 10 FROM END YAHOO WHY DO YOU THINK THIS CULTURAL CROSSING OF EDUCATIONAL LINES IS IMPORTANT.

IN THIS GLOBALIZATION RIGHT NOW, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT OTHER THINK. IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT OTHERS THINK, CERTAIN CUSTOMS, THEN WE WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS. INDIA, YOU DON'T SHAKE HANDS. YOU DON'T NORMALLY EXTEND YOUR HAND TO SHAKE HANDS WITH A WOMANS IN SHE DOES SO. THESE KINDS OF SMALL THINGS WE NEED THIS LEARN SO WE'LL BE ABLE TO REALLY IMPROVE OUR OPPORTUNITIES FOR MAKING INCREASED INCOME.

PROFESSOR, YOU'RE ALMOST 80 YEARS OLD.

DON'T REMIND ME OF THAT.

YOU'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN AT LEAST A DOZEN DIFFERENT COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS. WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND BACKGROUND, YOU COULD BE RICH AND FAMOUS. YET, YOU LIVE SO MODESTLY. WHAT IS IT THAT DRIVES YOU?

WHAT DRIVES ME IS TRY BEING TO --TRYING TO BE USEFUL OTHER. I DERIVE HAPPINESS FROM SEEING OTHER PEOPLE HAPPY. IF I CAN DO SOMETHING TO HELP OTHERS, THEN I'VE DONE MY DUTY. THAT'S WHAT PUSHES ME TO DO THINGS WHICH I WANT TO DO.

PROFESSOR, THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU.

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