Kudva Initiates Diversity-Focused Classes at Carl Becker House
Named house professor and dean of the West Campus undergraduate residence Carl Becker House in fall 2017, Associate Professor Neema Kudva, CRP, was charged with hosting classes within the community that tackle issues of tolerance and diversity on campus, as part of a university initiative for undergraduates who live on West and North Campus.
Becker House is one of five undergraduate residences sharing the West Campus house system mission to form a community of students and faculty gathered in a spirit of inquiry and active citizenship.
During the fall semester, Kudva introduced three 1-credit Special Topics in Planning classes. Led by Kudva, Becker Café: Human Flourishing in an Age of Globalized Complexity, brought a range of speakers into the Becker community. Cornell University Becker in Service, or CUBS, connected student volunteers in organizations and communities throughout Tompkins County. Thriving Red: The Pursuit of Excellence and Well-Being, taught by Assistant Dean Amanda Carreiro, focused on positive psychology techniques for residents of West Campus. In addition to the special topics classes, Kudva's seminar Current Issues and Debates on NGOs also met at Becker House in the fall.
Kudva sees her role at Becker House not only as a service to the university but also as an extension of her life's work helping to shape creative living-learning communities — much like what she and her colleagues are building at the Nilgiris Field Learning Center in Kotagiri, India, where Kudva is the faculty lead for the collaborative research and learning partnership between Cornell and the Keystone Foundation. "I'm bringing what I have learned there and through my teaching [in CRP] and research on participation in community-based planning processes on campus to my work as house professor. It is hard work!" says Kudva.
Kudva also directs the International Studies in Planning program at Cornell and is affiliated with the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, the South Asia Studies Program at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and the visual studies program. She joined the CRP faculty in 2001 and has been a faculty fellow at Becker House since 2005.