Diverse Faculty Make EIU A Leader in International Education
In the world of higher education, diversity is one of the premiere buzz words. Many universities have a diversity initiative in place to ensure successful recruitment and retention of culturally diverse students, staff, and faculty. At Eastern Illinois University, diversity is one of the underpinnings which make this university the special place that it is. While our student body consists of a plethora of different cultures, our faculty is also a cornucopia of individuals from all corners of the globe. In fact, according to the Office of Study Abroad over 100 of EIU’s faculty have lived in a country outside the US.
One of Eastern Illinois University outstanding international faculty members is Dr. Mukti Upadhyay. Born in a small rural farm community in Nepal, Dr. Mukti Upadhyay’s humble beginnings and extraordinary passion for learning and student success has made him one of Eastern Illinois University’s premiere international faculty members. Education was so important to his large family that his father, along with other members of the community, established the first elementary school in his village.
Dr. Upadhyay’s eagerness to learn led him to a larger town where he attended high school and some college. Upadhyay later moved to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, to finish his undergraduate degree in Economics. He would later transition to Thailand where he received his Masters degree under the prestigious Ford Foundation Scholarship. Dr. Upadhyay’s journey soon took him to John Hopkins University where he received his PhD in Economics.
Dr. Mukti Upadhyay serves as the current coordinator for the graduate program in Economics. His research focuses on developmental economics; a branch of economics which focuses on the economic aspects of the development process in low-income countries.
“The location and the people” is what Dr. Upadhyay said attracted him to Eastern Illinois University. The small peaceful setting of Charleston, Illinois reminded him of where he grew up. He enjoys Eastern Illinois University because it is student focused institution and a great place to cultivate ideas. This along with amazing colleagues makes Eastern Illinois University “the best place to be”.
Dr. Upadhyay believes that international students enrich Eastern Illinois University campus immensely. “International students contribute quite a bit to the campus. Just by being here international students give domestic students the opportunity to learn about their culture first hand. They are a major part of the diversity here at EIU”.
Upadhyay embodies the type of diversity that lives on the campus of EIU. Diverse people, diverse backgrounds, makes Eastern Illinois University what it is. To check out more information about EIU's diverse faculty experiences check out our international expertise database.
Dr. Mukti Upadhyay (far left), graduate coordinator for economics, presents Md. Tanvir Pavel the Mary Bear McClay Scholarship.