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Cougar Query: “This is my first visit to the U.S. and I’m really looking forward to it”

Name: Gunjan Sharma

My job is… to do research. I am here at BYU as a Fulbright-Nehru Visiting Scholar to conduct research in the area of higher education policy. I will also be making presentations on my research and other topics related to education in India during my term here. In India I work at Ambedkar University Delhi as a faculty member. I am at BYU till the end of May 2017. This is my first visit to the U.S. and I am really looking forward to the experience.

I’m currently reading… Global Education Inc. by Stephen J. Ball—and a lot of other books!

My experience with education policy in India and collaborating with BYU professors Julie Hite and Steven Hite …sparked my interest in my field.

My favorite research topic is… education policy. I specifically focus on issues of power politics, marginality and diversity. In India I did an ethnographic study that examined how the state policy on education implicates the lives of school children, teachers and parents in a slum context. Now I am studying higher education policy.

Experiences of fieldwork in a slum and of policy formulation in India …changed the way I view myself… personally and professionally because it made me more aware of my social location and agency.

On Saturday mornings… you’ll find me completing pending work or catching up with friends.

You’ll never find me without… an update on education policy in India.

If I could tell every student at BYU one thing, I would say... that they have access to excellent professors and resources. The Harold B. Lee Library is among the most well-resourced libraries I have seen.

I’m most looking forward to… interacting with more students and faculty at BYU. The BYU community is very welcoming and people here are great to talk with.

My favorite hobby is… My hobbies change from time to time. These days I am learning about music and literary traditions in the U.S.

The biggest professional challenge I’ve faced was... beginning to write and publish! This is also the most enjoyable part of my life as an academic.

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