Teaching and research assistantships have helped Jency Sundararajan stay at the leading edge of one of the world’s most amazing fields of study: nanotechnology. The uses of this emerging science pervade every aspect of modern life — from the manufacture of sunscreen and golf clubs to growing synthetic bone for prosthetics to liquefying coal and turning it into gas, thus revolutionizing the way energy systems function. The Department of Physics at University of Idaho’s College of Science is one of the premier departments in nanotechnology research, which is precisely why Sundararajan chose to pursue her doctorate at UI.
Sundararajan arrived in Moscow in 2006 to join her husband — also a graduate student at that time — and has concentrated her research on nanofabrication, nanophotonics, nanoplasmonics and the electrical and opto-electrical characteristics of nanostructures. A native of the state of Tamil Nadu in India, she had previously been a physics lecturer at Holy Cross College in her home town of Trichy. As a woman with a science career, Sundararajan is a role model to her students.
“Whenever I talk with my friends, I feel glad about being an example and encouragement to continue higher education in science,” she said.
“Financial assistance is important for an international student such as myself to pursue higher studies in the U.S. It helps pay the tuition and fees, room and board, books and other supplies to live and study here.”
“I could not have imagined the last six years without financial assistance."
Additionally important, she says, is that as the mother of a 4-year-old daughter, Betsy, the financial assistance has helped with the cost of her education while having other expenses.
“During my pregnancy, I was advised not to work in the lab due to safety concerns until two months after my delivery,” she said. “I maintained my full-student status and full financial assistance by teaching undergraduates.
“The assistantship money is a great help and motivating factor to further my research and overcome the economic hardships,” she said. “It gave me the chance to achieve my goals in every stage of my degree — and here I am very close to the successful completion of the degree. I couldn’t have gotten to this stage with the financial assistantship. I am highly indebted to the University of Idaho and the Department of Physics.”