At Home Anywhere, but Particularly in Teaching
The path of Raju Dandu’s life has been long and winding, running through multiple countries with very different cultures before his arrival at Kansas State University. The mechanical engineering technology professor was born and raised in Andhra Pradesh, India, but left when he turned 18. “I never thought I would be a teacher or have a Ph.D. or an engineering degree or be in the United States. There was a road of opportunity and I just moved forward, not knowing where it was taking me,” he says. He has a facility for languages, though, which has helped him adapt at every point along the way. In elementary school, he studied Telugu (his native language), English, and Hindi.
Dandu went to community college in India at Andhra Polytechnic, studying automotive engineering, and then pursued thermal and nuclear engineering in what was then Czechoslovakia at the Slovak University of Technology, taking a year to learn Czech and Slovak. “Sometimes, when you’re a kid, something sparks in you. Nuclear energy was that for me,” says Dandu. His career path next took him to Libya, to a Soviet-led nuclear research facility. There he learned both Russian and Arabic, but English was the common language that united all of the workers in the facility.
Coming to the United States, Dandu entered North Dakota State University. At the time, he recalls, “nuclear energy was not very popular. It was difficult to find jobs, so I pursued my Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.” But he still wasn’t finished wandering. Under the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, he took a job at the University of Turabo in Puerto Rico, where he helped establish an engineering program taught in English (but he still picked up Spanish along the way).
Dandu finally put down roots when he returned to the Midwest in 1997. He teaches mechanical engineering technology at Kansas State Polytechnic, with an emphasis in design. All of his years of cultural and industrial experience have proved fruitful in his teaching. Long accustomed to diversity in people and places, he ran a National Science Foundation-funded scholarship to increase associate and bachelor’s degrees among underrepresented but academically talented students.
With the guidance of mentors, Dandu became involved with ASEE in 1998. Climbing from the position of campus representative to section rep, then chair-elect and section chair, he is now the Zone III chair. “My goal is to enhance the value of membership,” he says. He also wants to “raise the visibility of ASEE at all levels—not just including educators, but beyond to the parents and the industry community.” Wherever his career path leads, it’s likely to include ASEE.
Call for Nominations
The ASEE Nominating Committee, chaired by Most Immediate Past President Louis Martin-Vega, requests member participation in nominating board officers for the 2019 ASEE elections. Officers to be nominated for Society-wide Board positions are: President-Elect; Vice President, Finance; Vice President, External Relations; and Chairs of Professional Interest Councils I, IV, and V.
- All nominees must be individual members or institutional member representatives of ASEE at the time of nomination and must maintain ASEE membership during their term of office. Nominating Committee members are not eligible for nomination. The slate of candidates selected by the committee will not exceed two candidates per office.
- Candidates for President-Elect must be active members who have served or are serving on the Board of Directors. Because ASEE is a Department of Defense contractor, candidates for President-Elect must currently be U.S. citizens and undergo a security clearance. Candidates for Vice President, External Relations shall be limited to those members of the Society who have previously served or currently serve on the Board of Directors. Candidates for Vice President, Finance shall be individual members or institutional member representatives of ASEE.
- Candidates for Chair of the Corporate Member Council and Chair-Elect for Zone II and Zone IV will be nominated and selected by their respective councils and zones, as the ASEE Constitution stipulates.
- Each proposed candidate for a Society-wide office should submit a first-person biographical sketch of fewer than 400 words that documents career contributions, ASEE offices held, awards and recognitions received, and educational background. Include comments on leadership qualities, ability to collaborate with others to achieve objectives, and willingness to serve if elected. Self-nominations are accepted. For nominations for the office of President-Elect, please include a statement summarizing why you think your nominee is a good candidate for the position. A listing of members who meet constitutional eligibility requirements for the offices of President-Elect and Vice President, Member Affairs is available from the executive director’s office at ASEE headquarters.
Nominations will be accepted electronically at email@example.com. Please include a subject line that begins with the words “2019 Nomination” so that it can be forwarded to the Nominating Committee. Please be assured that your nominations are confidential and will be seen only by the Assistant Board Secretary and Members of the Nominating Committee. The deadline to submit nominations is June 1, 2018.
Nominations postmarked by June 1, 2018, will also be accepted by mail. Please mark the envelope CONFIDENTIAL and address it to Louis Martin-Vega, Chair, ASEE Nominating Committee, ASEE, 1818 N Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036.
If you have any questions, please contact Laura Byers at (202) 350-5762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.