A Letter from India: CIIE Board Member David Dix Visits ILEP-KSU Alumni in India

Last week, CIIE received messages from Mr. David Dix, one of CIIE Board Members, who is now on a three-week trip in India with his wife, Janet. David and his wife are there to visit with three former visiting scholars from the US Department of State’s International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP). During the ILEP graduates’ time at Kent State University, David and Janet served as their Friendship Families. This trip marks the second time that David and his wife have visited some of their Friendship Family international teachers in India, extending the friendship beyond the program.

It looks like a terrific vacation and as a Board member, David is serving as an excellent ambassador of Kent State University. These ILEP graduates are English teachers and now principals of their schools. “I think the Read Center has made a real contribution to the schools where the ILEPers teach. They bring a lot of new ideas and enthusiasm to these schools. It was making a positive difference”.

From Travel Diary of David and Janet Dix: In Charkhi Dadri

Picture of student assembly to welcome David and Janet Dix


We visited 2012 ILEP graduate Rudrendra Basak, who now serves as principal of the Apeejay School in Chaukhri-Dauti, a town in western Haryana, India. This wonderful assembly of these talented students made Janet and me feel proud to be representing “unofficially” Kent State at the Apeejay School. Kent State’s reach is worldwide.



Picture of Janet Dix with Rudrendra Basak








Rudrendra Basak, Janet Dix, and talented students from the Apeejay School.


Picture of David and Janet on their trip in India









Rudrendra Basak, David and Janet Dix, student dancers, teachers and a local politician.









In Mumbai

Picture of Janet Dix with Rudrendra Basak

In dynamic Mumbai, India, we visited Maniben M.P. Shah Women’s College of Arts and Sciences where 2015 ILEP graduate Prabha Nair (on the left in photo) educates young women in a multitude of disciplines. Prabha is also in charge of a sophisticated mass media program. The graduates find jobs in journalism, advertising, social media and design. The College is free and works with youngsters of modest economic backgrounds, but there is a tuition based self-funded division as well. The College provides education from preschool through Bachelors degrees. Prabha is teaching and doing well despite the loss of her husband a couple years ago, who had heart issues. As always, Prabha is lively and caring and loveable. We had a wonderful day touring her college, meeting faculty, administrators and trustees, seeing the students, and taking in a few sites in Mumbai.





Picture of David and Janet Dix, with Prabha Nari, and Shri Sha




Shri Pravin Shah (standing next to Janet), a trustee and major benefactor of the College, gave us a tour of the College. Shri Shah did his engineering post graduate work at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and is familiar with Kent State University. On the tour, he shared that he wants young people to experience activities beyond cell-phone addiction, a global problem. He has also pushed the College to go entirely to solar power. We were impressed with the progressive attitudes exhibited in so many programs. Prabha Nair is part of all this. She had Janet (who has her PhD in counseling psychology) work with graduate students. She had me meet with undergraduates in her mass media program. We also visited the College’s child development center which bears similarities to the one at Kent State. The curriculum where applicable is International Baccalaureate. Very impressive! A good school for Kent State to consider having linkages. Kent State and the Read Center have a presence in bustling Mumbai thanks to ILEP and Prabha Nair.

Picture of Janet Dix visiting pre-college lab


Us visiting students in a pre-college lab where they are working on environmental awareness projects.

Picture of environmental awareness project Kite












Students' kite from environmental awareness projects.



Picture of David and Janet Dix, Shri Shah and the College's solar power












Shri Shah showed us the solar power units on the college’s rooftop.


Picture of child development center








At the College’s child development center









We will be visiting more schools and sending you more stories soon!

POSTED: Monday, January 20, 2020 - 8:35pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 3:48pm
David Dix, Dr. Linda Robertson, Sitang Jittapirom M.Ed.