ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Dr. Karen Joest of the SUNY Oneonta Human Ecology Department has been named the 2010 Ashok Kumar Malhotra Seva Faculty Award. She will deliver the Malhotra Seva Lecture, an address entitled “The Sunflower: Finding Ourselves, Giving to Others," at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5, in the Craven Lounge of the Morris Conference Center. Admission to the presentation and the dessert reception that will follow is free and open to the public.
The presentation will detail Joest’s experiences as part of a group from SUNY Oneonta that traveled this past summer to an orphanage in Cusco, Peru named “El Girasol,” which translated from Spanish means, “The Sunflower.” There, she documented the hardships faced by street children in South America, and met several of the orphans who were the basis for the characters in Richard Paul Evans’ best-selling novel “The Sunflower.”
Joest will screen a video that offers a glimpse into the Peruvian orphans’ lives. A guided discussion will follow, focusing on the idea of developing the sustainability of orphanages like El Girasol.
A specialist in Child and Family Studies, Joest joined the SUNY Oneonta faculty in 2003. During the summer of 2007, she studied in South Africa through an international Fulbright Scholarship. Her research interests include feminist family studies, working with at-risk families, and the implications of incarceration for families and children. She holds a Ph.D.
from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.
The Ashok Kumar Malhotra Seva Faculty Award recognizes a SUNY Oneonta faculty member who exemplifies the ideals of compassionate service. SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Ashok Kumar Malhotra established the Ashok Kumar Malhotra Seva Faculty Award in 2008 through an endowment to the College at Oneonta Foundation, which funds an award of $1,000 to each year’s recipient.
The college provost names award winners based a faculty selection committee’s recommendations. Criteria for the award include performing community service locally, nationally, or internationally; demonstrating the ability to motivate and inspire others to perform community service; and integrating community service into the teaching and learning process.