Digital sciences director leaves for 13-day trip to India

Robert Walker

Robert Walker

Elizabeth Randolph

The director of Kent State’s School of Digital Sciences is traveling to India for 13 days to recruit students for the school’s graduate program.

Director Robert Walker left for India on Saturday. The trip is a first for Walker, who said that many schools do not have a graduate program for digital science majors.

“There really aren’t any other schools that offer this program,” Walker said. “Right now, it’s really an untapped market, which is good for us.”

Walker said he expects to meet with many potential students during his trip.

“We are having an open house early in the week for prospective students,” Walker said. “We expect almost 1,000 students to come to the open house.”

Many students who came to the United States from India are not always aware of Kent State before they arrive, Walker said.

“Some students research Kent State before they come here,” Walker said. “Others are recommended by their undergraduate programs or our office in India.”

Graduate computer science major Isnael Ala said he was not aware of Kent State before he came here from Pakistan in 2012 to pursue a master’s degree.

“A friend recommended me to Kent,” Ala said. “I did not know anything about Kent before, but now I really like it. It is a great place to study.”

Sophomore digital science major Giovanni Schieda said he does not see why administrators are currently going overseas to find students, but said it may end up being a beneficial search.

“I think they [the administrators] should try to recruit more people from America to our program first,” Schieda said. “But I do feel that it could be a positive thing in the end – the more the merrier.”

Ryan Fleming, adviser for the Office of Global Education, said it makes sense that administrators are searching for students overseas to work in the science field.

“On a practical note, many programs here only exist because of our international students,” Fleming said. “Many of our science and math programs would not exist without these students, or they would be a lot smaller. Part of the education process is learning from others who don’t think like you do. That juxtaposition between expectation and reality is where the learning happens.”

Walker said he is excited to see the prospective students in their home country.

“I’m looking forward to making the new connections and learning about the background of the Indian students,” Walker said. “I also want to recommend where they should go in our program and how to help them succeed.”

Contact Elizabeth Randolph at [email protected].