Archive for the ‘Academics’ Category

Sikh Kirtan Courses at Hofstra

Good stuff, perhaps I will check it out. These courses are taught by Bhai Baldeep Singh and Dr. Gurnaam Singh, so it’s serious stuff and they are for-credit courses as well.

The first course will be taught by Bhai Baldeep Singh (Delhi, India), a 13th generation Sikh Kirtan exponent (vocalist, percussionist, string player), Instrument Maker, Lecturer, Archivist, and founder of ANAD Conservatory: An Institute of Sikh Aesthetics and Culture. The second course will be taught by Dr. Gurnam Singh, a Performer of Gurmat Sangeet, and Chair of Sikh Music at Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, and author of a series of influential books and articles, with two decades of experience in research and teaching). The courses are being sponsored by an Endowment gifted by Dr. Hakam Singh to establish a Chair in Sikh Music at Hofstra University in conjunction with the HCLAS. A key attraction for each course will be a public concert that each Instructor will perform (see the concerts).

These two chairs, the Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies, and the future Sardarni Harbans Kaur Chair in Sikh Musicology, alongside subsequent workshops, lectures series, and a developing curriculum, will make Hofstra University’s Religion Department unique in the world, promoting a locus dedicated to the exploration and advancement of the study of the Sikh tradition from religious, philosophical as well as aesthetic and performative perspectives.

hosftra sikh music courses

Full Details at Credit Courses - Sikh Studies

Congrats to Anisha Kaur, who won the staff recognition award at the University of Connecticut for her outstanding work over the last five years as an academic advisor.

Full story: UConn Kicks off School Year With Celebration

Academic advisor Anisha Chanana is receiving the staff recognition award this year. Chanana advises hundreds of students a year and administers the Links program, which is intended to get struggling students off academic probation.

But for Chanana, 28, the recognition is bittersweet. After five years as an academic advisor at UConn Stamford, and after being nominated every year for the University of Connecticut’s advisor of the year award, Chanana is leaving UConn next Friday to get married and move to Canada.

Congrats on the wedding as well, Anisha! And thanks, Sachdeep, for the tip.

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  • Sikhi Web Seminars

    So the Sikh Research Institute is spinning up some web seminars, using WebEx. Sikhri has a track record of producing solid, well-researched, and academically defensible content. You can sign up for the web seminars at the link below. Registration is free — so go for it. I signed up for all of them. Yay. I first heard about them on sikhpulse.

    Sign Up For Sikhri Seminars!

    Note to Sikhri folks–I’m going to assume you are paying for WebEx. There are free/cheaper tools that do the exact same thing. Try for Adobe’s version (ConnectNow), for a startup competitor, and Google Doc’s own Presentations feature that allows syncronized content presentation over the web. How do I know this? My day job.

    Check out this amazing video clip from the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

    Here’s the full article: Teaching Not Preaching in CA Bible Belt

    Now take a minute to contrast this situation with what’s going on in New York City schools. I present to you the direct quote below:

    But in Modesto, the lessons aren’t about distant cultures, so much as about the student at the next desk.

    “So the only religion that actually requires the wearing of the turban would be what faith?” Taylor asked her students.

    “Sikhs,” students answered.

    Jaskirat Brar, a devout member of Modesto’s Sikh community, may stand out at Johansen High. But thanks to the world religions course he also fits in.

    “Kids get to learn what I am and clear up misconceptions they have about me,” he said.

    “Because we have the world religions course, the students are aware of what’s happening in our community and that certainly is something to celebrate,” Taylor said.

    “Probably the best thing that I learned [is] how to respect the cultures and the religions and what they believe,” one student said.

    Great job Modesto School District! You guys are an example for the rest of the country.

    surreygill.jpgFriend of sikhswim Inderpal Singh put in some effort and raised $10,000 from the Sikh community to create a $1,000 yearly scholarship in honor of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Excellent work Inderpal Singh!

    Full Story: Surrey Leader.

    Sikhs spread knowledge, good food

    Washington Square News has an excellent article on a langar hosted by the NYU United Sikh Association. The article describes a win-win situation for all. The NYU students get some good food and expand their horizons by learning a bit about Sikhs. The NYU Sikhs get to do some seva (selfless service) and serve everyone a free meal in the time-honored tradition of the Sikh faith. I hope many more college Sikh organizations can follow the lead of NYU — they even have a full week of activities planned. Special thanks to Kate Thuma for her well-written article!

    Darsh Singh: Always a winner

    darsh singh
    Darsh Singh is the man. And this article does a great job of telling us why. It’s always great to see folks that maintain the ideals of Sikhi and translate them directly into success in all aspects of life. Anyway check out the full article. Kudos to Bhajneet Singh for reporting this to the sikhswim staff when the story was first reported.

    Always a winner – that’s Darsh Singh

    Sikhpulse reports that the Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey omits Sikhs. I checked it out and sent the following email to I encourage you to do the same.

    Hi Pew Forum!

    I’m very impressed by the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. Interviewing 35,000+ people is quite a feat.

    But I’m suprised to see not even a brief mention of Sikh Americans–the most visible religious minority in America.

    Please take a look at this recently released US Department of Justice video titled “On Common Ground” for some detailed info on Sikhs:
    quotes: “…world’s fifth largest religion…there are over half a million Sikhs in the United States…distinctly separate from Hinduism and Islam”

    Is there anything we can do to be included–in an appendix or a revision? It seems that you’ve produced some historic research, and we would love for Sikhs to be part of it–is there anything we can do going forward? What do you recommend?

    Thanks for your help!

    - Savraj Singh

    Earlier this year, the Sikh community in California pushed for the revision of a textbook, and the board of education listened. The textbook contained an inappropriate image of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion. Stickers will be distributed to cover the image, and new prints of the textbook will be revised. Wow. All I can say is it’s a great example of Sikhs getting together, pushing for change through the right channels and the right ways, and our government reacting appropriately in response to concerns. Check out the New York Times article: Bowing to Sikhs’ Call, California Wants Textbook Change. What brought my attention to this incident was an article I read in Reform Judaism Magazine, which highlighted the incident as an example for how Jews should take action for similar errors in textbooks. Many have cited the Jewish community as a great community for all minorities to model in the United States, so it’s exciting to see that the Jewish community is giving us props. Congrats to all that made this happen.

    Tarun SinghWow, this is great news. Congrats to Tarun Singh, the winner of a $10,000 Sikh scholarship from the Sikh Scholarship Foundation. The fact that we have a Sikh Scholarship Foundation that actually awards scholarship is amazing, and the winner, Tarun, is excellent. Though I’ve never met him, my brief correspondence with him has been rewarding in itself.

    Let’s not forget how great an achievement this is. Zillions of small groups award scholarships for various reasons in the US, and are usually backed by very large funds and endowments. And now we have a foundation dedicated to awarding budding Sikh youth that are on the path to success by society’s standards as well as Sikhi’s standards. Yes!

    If I were in school now I’d apply for this scholarship!

    Congrats again Tarun Singh! The full press release from the Sikh Scholarship Foundation is after the jump.