By a faculty member…for a faculty member… on the name of a faculty member…
Prof. Ponnurangam Kumaraguru (PK), Computer Science Department, IIIT Delhi created a teaching and research fellowship for fellow faculty members, from the funds he and his wife received after a US-based company Wombat Security Technologies was acquired by a leading cyber security company Proofpoint Inc. PK’s Ph.D thesis – PhishGuru: A System for Educating Users about Semantic Attacks contributed in creating Wombat Security Technologies. The sale of Wombat Security Technologies to Proofpoint Inc. for $225 million last year presented an opportunity for Prof. PK, to give back to the profession and the institute IIIT Delhi, where he has been a faculty member since 2009.
This fellowship is named Prof. Rajeev Sangal Faculty Fellowship and had been dedicated to Prof. Rajeev Sangal, Professor, IIIT Hyderabad. Currently a Professor at IIIT Hyderabad, Prof. Rajeev Sangal was instrumental in setting up IIIT Hyderabad and was the Director for the period March 2002 – April 2013. Before joining IIIT Hyderabad, he was a faculty at IIT Kanpur for 16 years, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Prof. PK says – “Prof. Rajeev Sangal has contributed to Indian academics immensely and has helped many students like me achieve our goals. When my wife and I decided to create a faculty fellowship from Wombat’s acquisition, his was the first name that both of us thought of, in the Indian scenario. We are very thankful to him for accepting to give his name for this fellowship. I hope the potential recipients of this fellowship will continue to inspire young minds, help shape their dreams and leave a mark in their fields.”
Prof. Rajeev Sangal Faculty Fellowship will be awarded each year to a faculty member having a wholesome impact on students. This will be an endowment fund fellowship. PK’s motivation for setting up this fellowship was multi-fold, including, the fellowship he had received during his formative years as a faculty, which was set up by another CMU alumnus in Delhi, Mr. Hemant Bharat Ram, Class of 1989 Computer Science and Tepper School of Business.
Prof. Ranjan Bose, Director, IIIT-Delhi says – “It is a matter of great pride that one of our faculty colleagues has initiated a Faculty Fellowship in the institute to encourage both teaching and research. This is one of those rare instances where an existing faculty member has set up such a fund. This will definitely help strengthen the research-cum-teaching ecosystem of the institute. I believe that we all have a responsibility to give back, and this gesture will motivate our students, faculty and alumni to give back to the institute.”
During the fellowship announcement at IIIT Delhi Prof. Sangal said – “Teachers are role models for developing students, teachers are responsible for more than just academic enrichment. If you want to be a great educator, you must connect with your pupils and reach them on multiple levels, because the best teachers are committed to their students’ well-being both inside and outside the classroom. Great teachers not only teach by example but also lead by example for students and people to follow.” Prof. Sangal also added that he is overwhelmed with the respect and gratitude Prof. PK has shown to him.
On this occasion, Prof. Pankaj Jalote, Professor and founding Director of IIITD said – “The lessons of life that go beyond the chapters are not learnt in classrooms, the impact of a good teacher is greater than just the academic. This is a great initiative PK has taken to recognise such role models on the name of one of his role model, Prof. Sangal.”
Mr. Kiran Karnik, Chairman of IIITD who was also present for this occasion said – “It also is important to give back what we earn, for the greater good, the satisfaction we get by giving is great. I congratulate PK and his wife for this initiative and the positive change it can trigger.”