Joined USJ: 1983
Teaching, Research & Service
For Shyamala Raman, “teaching is a spiritual exercise.” The dynamic and energetic educator is a well-respected leader and effective advocate in professional and community organizations in economics, human rights and women’s rights, internationally and locally – reflecting her approach to teaching, research and service. “One enhances the other, and all revert back to my classroom.” She describes her pursuits as “positive externalities – you attend, you grow, you use what you’ve learned.”
Women in the Driver’s Seat
Her classes stress that women should be aware of economic issues, have multiple perspectives, and develop a critical literacy - she introduces the “concept of complexity” in global issues. “At any moment, women should be in the driver’s seat,” she stresses, raising consciousness and demonstrating the impact of women on the economy, and vice versa. “My responsibility is to constantly seek new ways to engage students.”
Rigor and Relevance
Raman is a strong proponent of students’ study abroad and fully integrating technology. “Macroeconomic indicators change. We can see real time events, from United Nations sessions to the latest Friday morning unemployment data, and discuss them in class.” It is a method she calls “just-in-time teaching. We have access to information worldwide; we don’t have to wait for a touring lecturer to come to town.” In economics, she says, a syllabus cannot be locked-in-place weeks in advance. To do so would shortchange students. “We are engaging enthusiastically in global issues, and we combine rigor and relevance. Issues change, so content changes,” she says, likening her courses to a “fresh baked cake,” where the ingredients change, but it’s always just out of the oven.
Ph.D., Economics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
M.B.A., Finance, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
M.A.L.S. ., Liberal Studies, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
M.A. Economics, University of Madras, India
B.A. University of Madras, India
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