Chitra Javdekar is the Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) division at MassBay Community College in Massachusetts. Javdekar oversees academic planning, program development and related grant activities in all program areas that she oversees that include life sciences, biotechnology, engineering, automotive technologies and computer science. MassBay’s STEM programs are offered at the Wellesley Hills, Framingham and Ashland campuses.
Javdekar holds a Ph.D. from Tufts University, a Master’s and a Baccalaureate degree in Civil Engineering from Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute (University of Mumbai), India. After several years of consulting work in India and in US, Javdekar joined MassBay as a full time faculty in 2006 in MassBay’s Engineering Program, and has taught several undergraduate courses, and provided leadership in new program development since then particularly in the advanced manufacturing field as the chair of the engineering programs.
INDIA New England News: Please tell our readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it?
Chitra Javdekar: I am passionate about the mission of the community colleges, which is about increasing access to affordable quality education for all. Community colleges are mostly two-year colleges that work with diverse student populations. I serve as the Dean of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) division at my institution, and am responsible for program development and to oversee staff who are responsible for operations and management. There is a lot of debate, innovation, collaboration and upheaval taking place in the field of education today. I enjoy the creative and collaborative aspects of my work very much.
INE: To which charitable, community and professional groups do you belong and why?
CJ: I have volunteered my time for many charitable organizations in the past, including the New England Marathi Mandal, or Brihan Maharashtra Mandal. But the organization that I have been a volunteer in for the last several years is Balagokulam of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh of the United States of America (HSS). The mission of this organization is to preserve Hindu culture and tradition while developing new volunteers. Volunteering does not come easy, at least not to everyone, because sometimes to get any work done, we have to learn to keep our ego aside and that is the hardest part. HSS has helped several individuals including me to be better human beings, better volunteers and better social workers. In this organization, I have seen some great people who have given their whole lives to the cause, and just looking at them has taught me something about perseverance, dedication and selfless work.
INE: What are your hobbies and interests?
CJ: I love to read, and to cook for my family and friends.
INE: In what way you feel you have most positively influenced or served the local community and your company/organization and professional field.
CJ: I think my biggest contribution is yet to come, but I am very proud of a professional mentoring program for undergraduate students at my present institution that I helped to develop and sustain the past three years.
INE: Your rare talent?
CJ: I am brutally honest to myself. I am not very talented!
INE: Your favorite books?
CJ: There are so many. When I was young, I used to read Agatha Christie a lot. As an adult, I now enjoy reading mostly non-fiction work.
INE: Your favorite quotes?
CJ: Uttishtha, Jagruta, Varannabodhata. (Arise, Awake, Stop Not ‘til Goal is Reached).
INE: Who inspires you the most?
CJ: My hard working family members especially my parents, and sister, but others too who have had some influence on me growing up and beyond.
INE: Your core values you try to live by?
CJ: All the work must leave a footprint for a better tomorrow.