“My father made continual sacrifices that enabled me to become the person I am today,” said Shobana Radhakrishnan, director of engineering at Google’s Android TV in the United States. “Without him, I would not have been able to come to the US and launch a career in tech,” she added. Instead of flying high on the wings of her fulfilled American Dream, Indian American Shobana is passing on the value of her father’s sacrifices to her teenage children, international students and women in STEM.
In a tribute to her father, SS Radhakrishnan, Shobana recently instituted a scholarship for students in engineering and computer science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The SS Radhakrishnan Scholarship will provide international students much-needed support to overcome financial hurdles on their way to chase academic dreams in STEM.
Her father’s advocacy for women’s right to equal opportunities in education and career, despite his upbringing in a patriarchal milieu, is the foundation of not only the scholarship but also her successful corporate career. The way Shobana’s father had raised her inspires her to help girls realize their dreams in STEM and promote diversity as well as inclusiveness in the US system of education.
Being director of engineering at Google’s Android TV, Shobana shoulders demanding responsibilities towards her job and the organization. At the same time, she participates in various community services with equal dedication. She is a member of the board of a nonprofit foundation that supports the environment of local high schools. Apart this, she is committedly associated with a women-in-tech networking group.
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For nearly 20 years, she has been advocating racial and gender diversity in STEM through a number of initiatives and efforts. She founded the SS Radhakrishnan scholarship to pass on the values of her father, who helped her nurture her dreams, secure scholarships and come out with flying colors, despite having social pressures and financial hurdles. That’s why she incepted the scholarship for international female students aspiring to graduate in computer science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The first female engineer in the family, Shobana Radhakrishnan had got her father’s full support for her decision to study at the University of Illinois and make it big in computer science. In order to keep her father’s legacy alive, she is committed to helping girls tide over poverty and make their dreams come true.
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