GOPIO-CT Outreaches To Indian American Academics In Connecticut

As part of the GOPIO-CT’s outreach to the university faculty, the chapter joined hands with Quinnipiac University for a Meet and Greet Program on Friday, April 22nd at Clarion Hotel in Hamden, CT. It was an event where GOPIO members and other community organization representatives had a networking reception and an open mike interaction followed by an Indian dinner. Academics were from Quinnipiac, Yale, University of Connecticut and University of New Haven. This is first time Indian American and Indic academics from these schools came together on a Pan-Indian platform.

After the networking Meet and Greet, the program started with a welcome by GOPIO-CT Executive Vice President Prasad Chintalapudi who then introduced GOPIO Founder and current Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham. Dr. Abraham, spoke on the journey of GOPIO over the years since 1989 and how, the Indian Diaspora community which was outside the political mainstream in many countries changed over to political mainstream in countries with large Diaspora population.

Dr. Abraham also spoke on the Welcome Dinner for new students from India at the UConn Business School at Stamford and Hartford campuses organized by GOPIO-CT and hoping to do the same in the Hamden/New Haven area.

Dr. Abraham also mentioned that the Indian Am3rican academics could play important roles in correcting misinformation on India and the Indian American community, as for example the recent statement by University of Pennsylvania professor Amy Wax.

This program to reach the academics was initiated by GOPIO-CT Board Member Prof. Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox, who has also been a Democratic Party candidate from the assembly district in Trumbull.

“It is a pleasure to have faculty members from Quinnipiac University, Yale University, the University of New Haven, and from the greater South Asian community come together to discuss shared connections and opportunities for collaboration and we look forward to hosting future events that will incorporate students and continue to build programming that serves the local community and highlights the many important contributions of the South Asian community in Connecticut,” said Prof. Gadkar-Wilcox.

Academics who participated included Prof. Ravi Dhar, American behavioral scientist, an expert in consumer behavior and branding, currently the George Rogers Clark Professor of Management and Marketing at Yale School of Management; Prof. K. Sudhir, James L Frank Professor of Private Enterprise, Management and Marketing & Director of the Yale China India Insights Program (CIIP) Yale School of Management; Prof. Shyam Sunder, James L. Frank Professor Emeritus of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Yale School of Management; Prof. Ramesh Subramanian, Gabriel Ferrucci Prof of Computer Information Systems, Quinnipiac; Asha Rangappa, Former FBI agent, Senior lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, and a commentator on CNN; Kamal Upadhyaya; Professor of Economics and Business Analytics, University of New Haven; Prof. Narasimahan Srinivasan, Associate Professor Marketing, UConn School of Business; Prof. Ewa Callahan, Associate Professor of Interactive Media and Design, Quinnipiac; and Prof. Mohammad Elahee, Professor of International Business, Quinnipiac.

Connecticut Association of Physicians of India (CAPI) was also represented at the event with Dr. Subbarao Bollepalli (Former President of CAPI), Dr. Veena Vani and Drs. Raminder (Micky) and Rachna Walia. The program was sponsored by Wire and Plastics Machinery manufacturer Rakesh Narang and his wife Neelam along with Prof. Wyn Gadkar-Wilcox who is Professor of History & Non-western Cultures, Western Connecticut University.

In the interactive session many new ideas were shared. Plans are ahead to continue this network and to organize a Welcome Dinner for the new students from India in September in central Connecticut and at the UConn, Storrs campus.

Over the last 16 years, GOPIO-CT, a chapter of GOPIO International has become an active and dynamic organization hosting interactive sessions with policy makers and academicians, community events, youth mentoring and networking workshops, and working with other area organizations to help create a better future. GOPIO-CT – Global Organization of People of Indian Origin – serves as a non-partisan, secular, civic and community service organization – promoting awareness of Indian culture, customs and contributions of the Indian Diaspora through community programs, forums, events and youth activities. It seeks to strengthen partnerships and create an ongoing dialogue with local communities.

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