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Kalavar wins Romano Diversity Recognition award

Jyotsna Kalavar, associate professor of human development and family studies
5/14/2012 —

Jyotsna "Josi" Kalavar, associate professor of human development and family studies, received the John Romano Faculty/Staff Diversity Recognition award. The award recognizes Penn State faculty and staff who consistently promote multiculturalism and demonstrate concern for the needs of multicultural students.

“This award was given in recognition of my efforts to internationalize the curriculum at Penn State New Kensington by instituting a nation of focus each year here,” she said.

Kalavar has worked to institute an annual nation of focus on the campus, beginning with China in 2007. Since the “Year on China,” the campus’ international focus has included Ecuador, India, Spain and the countries of Kenya and Tanzania. Last year, assistant professor of biology Bill Hamilton and Spanish instructor Maria Franco de Gomez were in charge of the focus on Kenya and Tanzania. Next year’s nation of focus will be Ireland. That effort will be led by instructor in communications Abhinav Aima and information sciences and technology program coordinator Gary Heberling.

A Monroeville resident, Kalavar joined Penn State New Kensington in 2001. Classes she teaches include those on infant, child and adolescent development, adult development and aging, health psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology. She enjoys working with her students.

“It’s a small campus, and I get to know my students well,” she said. “I greatly appreciate the very high level of collegiality at our campus.”

Her research mainly focuses on diverse experiences of aging. She has studied homebound seniors, immigrant seniors and those in long-term care institutions. She has received funding to support her research from the National Institute on Aging. She has presented her work internationally in China, Japan, South Korea, India, England, New Zealand and Finland.

“I like to research the area of transnational care giving, care giving provided by family members across national borders,” she said.

In 2004, Kalavar became the campus’ first Fulbright scholar. She traveled to India to study changes in that country’s elder care. Last May, she was awarded fellowship status by the Gerontology Society of America. She is also an international executive with the Association of Gerontology in India.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Bombay University in India and a master’s degree from the State University of New York. She completed doctoral studies at the University of Maryland and she took part in a National Institute on Aging postdoctoral program at the University of Michigan.

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