Professor focuses camera on brighter future for Islanders

November 20, 2015   News   No comments

by SAMANTHA MAHLER
Staff Writer

The Mary and Jeff Bell Library will be selling canvas prints in an exhibit titled “Europe Through My Lens” by Dr. Mohan Rao to benefit the Desi Scholarship Fund.

The collection of prints showcases around 20 prints taken by Rao, a business professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, while on vacation in Europe. In addition, the exhibition features two prints of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi campus.

The prints from the “Europe Through My Lens” collection were taken during a two-week period in summer 2011 in which Rao and his wife visited England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

“When you go on these trips, you want to have light luggage, but because I’m so interested in photography, I have to get a camera before I go there,” Rao said. “It was a two-week trip— very hectic—but I’m glad I was able to take these beautiful pictures.”

Proceeds from each purchase will go toward the Desi Foundation Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund was founded in Dec. 2014 by  Rao, who is the associate professor of Decision Sciences. The first Desi Foundation Scholarship was awarded in August 2015.

The Desi Scholarship Fund is designed to give aid to qualified students of South Asian descent and or those who have studied in South Asia. By receiving a scholarship students from out of country are then eligible to pay in-state tuition, which is a fraction of what many international students pay.

“[The Desi] are very hardworking people. They value education a lot, but they can’t get to colleges to get an education because it is so expensive,” Rao said.

The Desi Scholarship benefits the Island University as well drawing in driven students with the desire to give back to their community after graduation.

“Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is trying to become an emerging research university. We want to attract high-quality students to come into graduate programs to do research, in particular, STEM areas,” Rao said. “By using scholarships, we can attract many high-quality students. Otherwise, they may not even show up.”

Jeff Janko, a library information specialist at the Mary and Jeff Bell Library, said modern-day technology, including photo sharing websites, have allowed for smoother business transactions.

“We have one lady who works in the library who’s very interested in purchasing a print for her sister as a gift,” Janko said. “She has taken pictures with her cell phone and I sent her a link to the Flikr slideshow that has all of the prints. They’ve been going back and forth trying to decide exactly what she wants.”

The “Europe Through my Lens” display will be available for viewing form Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, through Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, in the downstairs atrium of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library. The price of the prints ranges from $200 to $350.

“I hope that many students here would be interested in photography and would want to visit Europe and other places” said Dr. Rao. “It would be a good thing to visit other countries so you know their culture and to gain a better understanding”

The exhibit is free and open to all students, faculty, and members of the surrounding community during the library’s regular business hours.

Images of Dr. Rao’s digital photography prints from the “Europe Through My Lens” collection can be found online at www.flickr.com/photos/drrao/sets/72157659875986961.

For more information on the canvas print exhibit, contact Jeff Janko at 361- 825-2588 or email jeff.janko@tamucc.edu. One can also contact Dr. Mohan Rao at 361-825-2458 or email mohan.rao@tamucc.edu.

For more information on the Desi Foundation or to become a donor, please visit www.desischolarshipfund.org or e-mail Rao at mohanrao@tamucc.edu.

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