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TOWSON, MD, July 6, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ --"My goal is to give [students] support and guidance, and [help] them reach their true potential." So commented Dr. Shirish K. Shah during a recent sit down interview with Cambridge Who's Who Publishing. A native of India, Dr. Shah draws on the encouragement he received from his own teachers while studying for his undergraduate degree, and makes a conscious effort to impart the wisdom he has gained from his experiences onto his students. He attended a Jesuit university in his home country and recalled the words of a particularly insightful priest. "He [said to] me, 'Do you want to see the rest of your life in a golden cage, or do you want to see the world?' I chose the world."
Upon his arrival in the United States at the young age of 20, Dr. Shah attended Cornell University before transferring to the University of Delaware, where he earned his Ph.D. in chemistry. He also holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and physics from Xavier University. Now celebrating a career that has spanned over four decades, Dr. Shah holds positions as a lecturer and chemistry professor at the prestigious Towson University as well as Morgan State University. "I teach chemistry, physics, physical science, geology, environmental studies and math," he said, smiling. "Chemistry has been in my blood ever since I was young," he went on to say. During his tenure at Diwan High School in India, his math and science scores were excellent — a clear indication of the success he would eventually achieve as an educator. Nowadays, Dr. Shah stresses the importance of teaching students how to learn, not necessarily what to learn. "I work with [my students] in many ways. We [teachers] have to pay attention and listen to them and not [simply rely on them to listen] to us. I [teach] my students at their level — [never] moving too fast or too slow," he commented.
Although he has spent the last 12 years of his career at Towson and Morgan State, Dr. Shah also held teaching positions at Villa Julie College, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Coppin State University and Washington College, to name a few. In addition to his professorships, Dr. Shah worked as a project manager for MCI and a director of quality control for Vita Foods. He also served as a reviewer for NIH Grants for three years, from 1999 to 2002, and worked with a number of government agencies including local police and fire departments and the prison system in Jessup, Md. Proving that no student is unreachable or unteachable, Dr. Shah quickly established a rapport with student inmates. "The very first day I went in there, the classroom of 35 students asked, 'Are you scared here?' I said no, this is much better than Baltimore city streets." He laughed at the recollection and went on to explain that in utilizing his wit and personable nature, he was able to connect with his students. Dr. Shah made great strides with the inmates, obtaining video tapes and books to establish an auto mechanics program, drafting design program and computer programs. The inmates, he said, "...did a wonderful job."
Dr. Shah's notable work in two-way electronic communication was honored with the Grant Award by the Mayor's Manpower Office of Baltimore in Maryland and he organized the Science Education Symposium in Maryland from 1996 to 2003. He has presented at Lily Conferences on the East Coast and been published in local newspapers. He also worked on different projects involving water and wastewater treatment plans from 1982 to 1989. His undergraduate research was awarded by the National Institute of Health's Office of Science Education in 1999, and he was given the Science Policy Award in 2000, the Salute for Active Participation in National Chemistry Week in 2004 and the Best Co-Coordinator Award for a Chemagination Program by the American Chemical Society in 2005. Additionally, he was nominated for the International Peace Award in 2007 and honored as a "Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare" by The Marquis Who's Who Publication Board. He also gained international recognition by the American Biographical Institute and was honored with the Public Relations Award for communication by the American Chemical Society earlier this year.
Dr. Shah is certified in business management and has served as chairman of such organizations as the Chesapeake Section of Industrial Hygiene and the Maryland Chapter of the American Chemistry Society. Every bit as excited to embark on his 44th year of teaching as he was on his first day, Dr. Shah makes a strong case for the science field and offers insight into the elements that keep his career fresh. "Science is so important in the sense that every generation there is a new discovery. I just want to do the best I can to see the students really reach their true potential."
For additional information about Dr. Shirish K. Shah, please visit http://pages.towson/edu/sshah. Dr. Shah is also available for consult via phone at, 410-704-2720 or by Email at, [email protected].
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