Sunday, August 30, 2009

Russel DeValois Scholarship

KIS recently established the Russell DeValois Scholarship made possible through an endowment fund established by the High School classmates of KIS alumnus, Russell DeValois. The intent of this particular scholarship program is to attract an Indian student who is likely to excel academically and one who can contribute to the public service, artistic or athletic life of the school. It enables a student who may not otherwise be able to attend KIS to afford such an education.

Russell DeValois graduated from KIS in 1943 and went on to earn his PhD in physiological psychology from the University of Michigan. He joined the faculty at Indiana University in Bloomington where his work on color vision became widely know. In 1968 Russ joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where he continued his color vision research and also began studying the perception of spatial information and how it is analyzed and encoded in the brain. Russ died 20 September 2003 as a result of a car accident that occurred during his return to California from the 60th anniversary reunion of his KIS graduation. Russ, 76, lapsed into a coma and died ten days later in Salt Lake City, Utah. Karen DeValois, Russ’ wife, was also injured in the accident, but happily made a full recovery.

The Russell DeValois Scholarship has been awarded to Neema Tshering for the 2009-2010 academic year. Neema was chosen because of her outstanding academic achievement during her grade 11 year and further, for her commitment to KIS’ Social Experience program. Neema’s mother is from Nagaland and her father is Tibetan. She accompanied her parents to the US when she was 4 and went to school in Chicago. Her father has a PhD in philosophy, studied the Old Testament and is currently involved in missionary work in Guwahati, Assam. Her mum has studied psychology and is a Counselor. Neema moved back to India with her parents when she was 14 and has been a student at KIS for the past year. The soft spoken Neema has several interests. She is good at basketball, soccer and track. She has learnt both piano and flute and loves dancing. Neema is extremely concerned with environmental issues and is enthusiastic about pitching in and volunteering with the Social Experience department whether it is to help clean up the town or plant trees to renew the ever dwindling tree growth. This has won her accolades. When asked what she’d liked to do after graduating in 2010 she firmly and confidently stated that she wants to be a doctor. “I want to be able to help people and be financially stable myself” she says. Neema will apply for a scholarship to go to the US and study medicine but cheerfully adds “If that doesn’t work I will apply to medical colleges in India. I only know that its medicine I want to study.”

As a school, we are proud of Neema and the talents she has brought to KIS and wish her well as she dreams and prepares for her future as a doctor. KIS is also proud of the achievements and legacy left by Russell DeValois, and grateful to his classmates and all who contributed to the Russell DeValois Scholarship.
Alika Khosla
Development Officer