Shuvam Saha (Student)
Growing up in the Indian city of Kolkata, population 4.5 million, Shuvam Saha’s parents instilled in him a deep appreciation for education. They made sacrifices to support and encourage his success, and now as an MSU aerospace engineering and mathematics double major, Saha said he dedicates all his work to them.
Saha has always excelled in the classroom. He humbly admits that he catches on quickly to new academic concepts, especially in math and science. In India, he ranked No. 15 out of about 150,000 students, and his quest for gaining new experiences led him to look at colleges in the U.S.
When considering American universities, he narrowed his focus to 10 institutions and eventually chose MSU because the Department of Aerospace Engineering was flourishing in various research areas Saha found interesting, particularly structural analysis. MSU scholarships helped solidify his choice.
Once on campus, Saha had a lot to learn, but when he took the initiative to visit nearly every office on campus in search of a student job, he not only found part-time employment, but he also learned about many student resources along the way. Once settled in, he became anxious not only to progress with his studies, but also to help other students be successful in their course work.
“The American community gave me something that I was looking for, and that made me want to go out and help students,” said Saha. He now routinely helps those studying in classes such as physics, calculus and chemistry.
Saha became involved a university program offered by The Learning Center called Supplemental Instruction. The free academic program designed to help students succeed in historically difficult courses provides relaxed study sessions, led by students who have successfully completed the courses in previous semesters. (http://www.tlc.msstate.edu/tutoring/supplemental/ ) He also has served as a peer mentor through the PAWS program (Peers Assisting With Students) offered by the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center.
In addition to working with formal university programs to support other students, Saha began helping his friends and neighbors study during his time living in Hull Hall. News about Saha’s ability to help spread, and he connected with several students who asked for private tutoring.
“They somehow loved it, and they spread the word,” he said.
Saha said that while time-consuming, he enjoys the many tasks of maintaining his own studies, helping others, and enjoying college life with many good friends. Time management is important to his daily routine: waking at 3 a.m. to study until class time, and continuing work and studies through the evening.
“It gets tiring,” he said, but, “things are going good for me.”
When he sees someone who needs help, he can’t resist the opportunity to offer a hand.
“There’s one thing I can’t do. I can’t say ‘no,’” he explained. “I enjoy what I do.”
He plans to keep the studies going long after he finishes his undergraduate degree, and while he’s considering other universities for graduate school, he said he would be very happy to stay at MSU.
“This has become a home now,” he said.