Shashi Kanbur has a yearlong Faculty Fellowship through the President’s Office in support of two key initiatives: the Possibility Scholars and Global Laboratories programs.
Kanbur conducts many day-to-day activities of the Possibility Scholars program, launched by President Deborah F. Stanley to provide full funding and research opportunities for outstanding students who may not otherwise be able to study in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields.
“I develop grants to help support the scholarships and work with others to find grant support,” Kanbur said. “I try to publicize Possibility Scholarships with our partners in the Syracuse City School District, Oswego City School District and Syracuse Academy of Science charter school.”
The program launched with four freshmen this year — with an emphasis on first-generation college students — and Kanbur is working on a larger class for next fall.
The Possibility Scholars initiative dovetails with the Global Laboratories program looking to provide opportunities for students to study on all seven continents — from medicine in the Congo to ecology in Brazil to climate change in Antarctica.
“I try to encourage other faculty to make connections with research partners in other countries, to create programs and apply for funding to take their students abroad to do research for six to eight weeks,” Kanbur said.
To his new role, Kanbur brings the experience of taking students to a Brazilian national telescope facility in Minas Gerais, as part of a partnership between Oswego and Brazil’s Federal University of Santa Catarina. Kanbur hopes to take students to a telescope facility in Taiwan as part of a new Global Laboratory placement.
“We’re looking at experiences where students have a central role,” Kanbur said. l
— Tim Nekritz M ’05