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Published 8/3/2005

Owens Findlay-area Campus Professor Gives Gift of Education in Many Ways

Owens professor of business technologies, Siva Sakthivel poses for a picture outside the new Findlay-area Campus. FINDLAY - In her native country of India, Siva Sakthivel was instilled with the ideal that obtaining knowledge and skills through educational learning was a way of life. However, even more important was passing on that wisdom to others. This philosophical belief has never wavered for Sakthivel and is what continues to drive her to touch as many lives as possible as an Owens Community College educator.

“Education is taken very seriously within the Indian culture, and my native roots have taught me the importance of continuously obtaining knowledge and wisdom,” stated Sakthivel, who serves as an Owens professor of business technologies on the Findlay-area Campus. “I see it as my duty to impart whatever education I have onto my students. They are the future leaders of this country and therefore deserve the best that I have to offer.”

Immigrating to the United States 22 years ago with her husband, Sachi, Sakthivel has been giving back to others for a considerable amount of her life’s journey, which first began half way around the world as a high school English teacher in India. Now residing in Bowling Green, she has been passing on her knowledge about accounting and business finance to students as an Owens faculty member since 1996.

However, for some reason educational instruction within the classroom was not enough for Sakthivel. In the back of her mind she always had the desire to do more. “I was a little unpleasantly surprised that a college education was so expensive in this country,” Sakthivel explained. “While teaching, I come across many motivated students with no familial or financial support to pursue higher learning. As a staunch believer in the value of education, I wanted to help these students by more than just teaching.”

For that reason, four years ago she made the decision to establish her own scholarship program with the intention of recognizing a current Owens Findlay-area Campus student who exhibits outstanding leadership within the local community. Titled the Findlay Leadership Scholarship, the award has been presented annually to students since the 2002-03 academic year. This past year marked the first time that two individuals were honored as $500 scholarship recipients.

Modest in discussing the scholarship program, Sakthivel does not view the additional financial resources as a gift, rather an investment in the community, country and humanity as a whole. “In today’s competitive working environment the need for knowledge is increasingly imperative,” she stated. “The gift of an education is a contribution that lasts a lifetime. I am grateful for the opportunity to give such a meaningful present that is close to my heart and my Indian roots.”

For Owens student and Findlay Leadership Scholarship recipient, Judy Theis, the financial assistance has been invaluable in her pursuit of a college education. “This scholarship means the world to me,” said the Findlay resident, who is majoring in e-business. “As a non-traditional student, I could not continue my education without the financial support of scholarships. These opportunities have given me hope.”

And hope, along with a lot of hard work, determination and perseverance, are just few of the tangibles that are leading Theis to her eventual goal of graduation in 2006 and a career within digital media.

“Siva’s commitment to making a difference in students’ lives through her many educational gifts is admirable,” said Judy Ennis, Owens executive dean of the Findlay-area Campus. “I applaud her advocacy and generosity toward serving others.”

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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