What made you decide to become a professor?
A: My father is a retired chemistry professor who had a long and fruitful career. While his encouragement led me to entertain the idea of becoming a professor, it is my parents’ example that fuels my choice to do this every single day. My father’s humble beginnings in a village without running water or electricity in Bogra, Bangladesh; both of my parents’ survival of the 1947 independence and partition of India and Pakistan; their survival of the 1971 genocide and liberation war in present-day Bangladesh (and the horrendous loss of family members and friends in that conflict); their immigration to Australia and later the U.S. and the blatant, extraordinary racism they survived in both places; and the fact that they began their lives all over again in the U.S. at the age of 40 in a country halfway around the world in which they knew no one, cut off from all of their family and friends, are remarkable enough. READ MORE