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Erika Biga Lee
University Graduate School

Last modified: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Memorial scholarship will support international graduate students

April 7, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Graduate School is offering a new university-wide scholarship to support international graduate students in a current IU master's or doctoral program on the Bloomington campus. The Santosh Jain Endowed Memorial Scholarship is an annual award of $5,000 and will first be awarded in 2011-12. The University Graduate School will begin accepting applications in spring 2011.

The scholarship honors the memory of Chaman Jain's wife, who was well known among international graduate students. Chaman Jain, a senior lecturer in SPEA, said he and his children felt very strongly that this is the way to continue her vision to support education.

Santosh Jain

Santosh Jain

"Education was important to her," he said of his late wife. "Anyone she met, any young student, she would always encourage them to go to school, learn and develop their career."

The scholarship offers financial support to a current international graduate student who has demonstrated commitment to service and education and plans to pursue a service-oriented career. The recipient will possess a track record of service to underserved or rural communities, humanitarian causes, or educational organizations in activities that support an improvement in the lives and opportunities to those in impoverished communities. Preference will be given to graduate students from South Asia, in particular those hailing from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Sikkim.

Santosh Jain was born in Lahore, India, which is now part of Pakistan. She first came to the United States from New Delhi, India, in 1970 with her husband and their two small children in order for Chaman Jain to attend graduate school at IU. Throughout the years, she supported her family as they pursued higher education, and was passionate about serving her community and promoting education. She was a founding member of the Indic Society of Bloomington, a group dedicated to assisting impoverished women and children in India. She was also well known in the graduate student community for her culinary skills. She died in November 2009.

"She was a creative chef. She'd take traditional Indian cooking and improvise to make it suitable to the American palette," Chaman Jain said.

Santosh Jain gave cooking classes at home and in the Bloomington community, culminating in the publication of her cookbook Vegetarian Nirvana in 2003. And each year on Thanksgiving, remembering the struggles of her own family in their first years in the United States, she would invite international graduate students to her home for a vegetarian feast.