MANGALDAI: Professor of Economics in Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Texas, Dr. Hiranya Kumar Nath, in continuation of his single-handed mission to promote awareness about the rich heritage and culture of Assam among the university community, has been instituting two scholarships since 2009 to non-Indian students of SHSU, the third oldest college or university in Texas which was founded in 1879.
The scholarships are the ‘Assam Scholarship in Economics’ and ‘Assam Scholarship in Honors Research’. This year’s Assam Scholarship in Economics has been awarded to Daylon Rogers and Michael McCarney, and the Assam Scholarship in Honors Research has been awarded to Jeffrey Belanger. These scholarships are awarded every year at Sam Houston State University (SHSU), USA and Dr. Hiranya Kumar Nath, who is a native of Mangaldai, established these scholarships with contributions from his own earnings.
Daylon grew up in a small town called Hutto until his father got a job in Houston, Texas. After high school, he studied international business and economics at SHSU where he devoted himself to study and hard work in a pursuit of excellence and being a good example to his peers. He recently graduated with the highest academic honours and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree.
A native of Willis, Texas, Michael is finishing his undergraduate studies with a major in Economics and a minor in History in December 2019. He will be pursuing his Master’s degree in Economics. Besides reading, writing, and playing tennis and video games, Michael has been consistently volunteering for the American Cancer Society at its Relay for Life events for the past six years.
Jeffrey Belanger spent most of his young life in Katy, Texas. After high school, he entered the US military service. After over 20 years of service, he is now pursuing an undergraduate degree in the biological sciences. He is currently studying wasps that are parasitic to cockroaches. He hopes to continue his entomological studies after graduating in the summer of 2020.
At the award ceremony held in the Honors College of the university few days back, Professor Hiranya Kumar Nath gave a brief introduction on Assam and talked about the works of Padma Shri recipient ‘Forest Man’ Jadav Payeng to highlight some of the rare humane values that exist in our society. He believes that such gestures and stories may help minimize –although at a much local level - the reputational damage and negative impression caused to Assam by biased and oversimplified media reports on a number of issues, including NRC, in major Western media outlets in recent times.
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