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Why Penn State New Kensington graphic with outstanding faculty member Dr. Jyotsna [Josi] M. Kalavar


Why Penn State New Kensington?  Outstanding Faculty

If you ask her, it’s the best of both worlds.

Our small campus allows her to get to know her students well, and, at the same time, our University’s resources take her and her research around the globe.

Distinguished faculty like Dr. Jyotsna [Josi] M. Kalavar, associate professor of human development and family studies, make Penn State New Kensington a great place to learn. Since joining the Penn State New Kensington faculty in 2001, Kalavar’s achievements are numerous.

As a part of an interdisciplinary team of Penn Staters, Kalavar has traveled to Africa three times for her research. In 2004, she became the campus’ first Fulbright scholar. She spent the 2004-2005 academic year in southern India, researching the emerging phenomenon of “pay and stay” elderly care homes in urban areas. In 2011, Kalavar was awarded fellowship status by the Gerontological Society of America.

Shortly after returning from her Fulbright experience, Kalavar wrote a Penn State grant to establish the Country of Focus program at the campus in an effort to increase students’ global competence.

left quote Students need this exposure to be competitive in this global economy. They need to be more aware of the similarities and differences in our ways of thinking,” Kalavar said. “Over the course of four years, students who complete a baccalaureate degree here get four chances to study four different countries/regions of the world. These experiences are ones the students would otherwise not get.” This effort also earned her the 2012 John Romano Faculty/Staff Diversity Recognition Award.

Kalavar teaches a variety of courses about aging and human development, and students from all disciplines have the opportunity to have her for a class. Beyond the classroom, she balances her family life and her personal interests, like learning and teaching Sanskrit in the community.


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