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Indian American professor selected as ‘Piper Professor’

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Houston, Jun 14 :  Indian American Professor Saleha Khumawala has been chosen as a Piper Professor by a Texas-based non-profit organisation for superior teaching at the college level.

Khumawala, Robert Grinaker Professor of Accounting at the C T Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston (UH), is the 12th faculty member of the varsity to get the honour.

The honour is given only in Texas to those who provide superior teaching at the college level the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, which was founded in 1950.

In its 60th year, the Texas-based non-profit organisation supports charitable, scientific and educational undertakings. Every year it selects 10 people from the state and honour them.

“This is a tremendous recognition that illustrates the amount of teaching and various opportunities that I have been afforded throughout my career. I could not have done this without the support I have received from my family, particularly my husband, my colleagues and my students. I am truly indebted to each and every one of them,” Khumawala said in a statement.

While she grew up in India during the 1950s, Khumawala interest in education came from the lack of education her parents received.

“Their lack of education was the main reason that I and my siblings’ education was paramount in our family. For nearly five decades, teaching has been my calling,” she said.

“Through all this, my proudest accomplishments are my students – those who overcame odds and were the first in their family to graduate from college, those who sat on a plane for the first time to go to India, and those who have now gone on to found businesses or become leaders of Big 4 accounting firms,”  she  added.

Khumawala is also the founding director of the Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship (SURE) Programme. She leads the Study Abroad India Programme, which is a 17-day trip to various cities in India that includes visits with officials and government, corporate and educational institutions.

“The work done by Professor Khumawala is truly awe-inspiring. Her achievements embody the ideal faculty member at the University of Houston – an individual dedicated to research, teaching and service,” UH senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, Paula Myrick Short said.

“It is through the achievements and efforts of individuals like Dr Khumawala that UH continues to move the needle as a Tier One institution.”

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