Engineering Professor Invests Free Time into Mentoring Future Generations

Dr. A. Anil Kumar

Dr. A. Anil Kumar, a professor in Prairie View A&M University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, recently visited KIPP Academy Middle School where he spoke with more than 100 fifth graders about being prepared for their futures.

“They were very motivated and eager to learn,” said Kumar. “They are in the process of designing and producing prototypes, so they asked multiple questions on the process as well as what drove me to do what I am doing, who my mentors were, and what I would have done differently if I had another chance. One kid even asked me if I was ever arrested,” Kumar chuckled.

The PVAMU professor of nearly 34 years makes it his mission to visit schools across the Houston area as much as possible. He helps young students with inventions and various projects, while providing his mentorship.

“I have always been interested in school education, especially in terms of the depth and rigor of the material taught,” said Kumar. “I like to see every student in elementary, middle, and high school not as a school student, but as a future college student. So, instead of waiting for them to show up at PV and then trying to provide them preparatory courses, I like to work with them while they are still in grade school, providing advice so they will be ready for college.”

And, he hopes others will do the same, too. “Better prepared graduates will serve the community better through his or her own mentoring of the school students, they’ll be responsible taxpayers and potential employers, thus enhancing the community economic infrastructure,” said Kumar. “By volunteering, we’re contributing to the future of the community, state, nation and perhaps the world. We should all be involved in creating and sustaining such positive feedback cycles. Plus, interacting with kids is always a delight.”

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-This story by Marchita Shilo originally appeared in Academic Insights.

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