An Iconic feminist who spreads women empowerment and motivates women to achieve greater heights. A great social reformer who works towards the upliftment of the socially backward, underprivileged and needy people, providing them a better quality of life. Her contribution in taking higher education to the under-privileged students is a commendable one. She is a person of professional excellence with compassion. She not only contributes to intellectual development by providing education opportunities, but also to the economic and social development of the nation through various initiatives that provides employment and empowerment.
A Ph.D. from the University of Madras, Dr. Mariazeena Johnson is the Pro-Chancellor of Sathyabama University; a category 'A' University declared by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). Dr. Mariazeena Johnson has been working relentlessly for the last 18 years in the field of education. Her research on Women Entrepreneurship focuses on challenges faced by women and their responsibilities in pursuing entrepreneurial ventures.
She is recognized as one among the 100 Women Achievers of India by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and honored by the Honorable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee in a reception hosted by him at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on 22nd Jan 2016.
Ques 1. Please share with us your experience in the education industry and what makes it the best industry to work in?
Ans. I am in the education industry from past 18 years. I am working with the objective of ‘Education for All’. I want to make higher education accessible to underprivileged students. Great Poet Bharathi said, “Providing education to needy students’ is nobler than other deeds like offering free meals and building temples.” It gives me more satisfaction to work in this industry as I am working for the noble cause of education.
Ques 2. Any of the significant challenges that you faced as the Chancellor of Sathyabama University?
Ans. Apart from offering quality education, Sathyabama University functions with full commitment towards Research and Development of societal importance with the enthusiasm to serve the community. Many of the educational institutions face problems relating to student enrollment, but we have never faced such an issue. But as a University with a strong research focus we have realized the necessity of opening to the international student market. There is heightened competition for share of the global student market. This is the challenge we right now encounter and we are prepared to meet this challenge as we have initiated all required steps for internationalization. A major challenge is bridging the gap between Academia and Industry. We at Sathyabama University strive to do this through Institution Industry Collaborations. Experts from Industry are involved right from framing need based curriculum to training the students to meet the corporates’ requirements. Another challenge faced by every educational institution is making the students employable and attracting good companies for student placements. We at Sathyabama University, besides making our students strong in fundamental education, equip them with all required skills that make them employable. We ensure that they learn application oriented engineering education.
Ques 3. How does your curriculum ensure industry’s best practices?
Ans. The programs and courses offered at the university have the flexibility to evolve and change in response to new requirements. The subjects that are offered are not only market-oriented, but also lead to the overall development of the students. The courses are designed carefully intending to give the learner exposure to the contemporary world and prepare them to meet the needs of the corporate world. The University makes the industrial experts to evaluate and to give their valuable suggestions to improvise the syllabus. Our curriculum gives equal weightage to practical and theory and includes Industrial visits, internship training program, and research to provide broad exposure to the students on experimental learning. We have introduced the Choice Based Credit System for all the Programs in our University. Students have the flexibility of choosing their courses offered by the departments and the faculty. Students are given professional training during the semester holidays. Students are encouraged to do their projects in collaboration with various Research Centers of the university and also from various Research Organizations in India and abroad. Students also have the option of spending a semester abroad in an Indian University or a Foreign University or in a Research Institution.
Ques 4. What goals do you have in your mind for Sathyabama University?
Ans. 1. To be one among the top hundred Universities in the world with meritorious achievements in the field of Science & Technology.
2. To produce competent students in par and excellence with the graduates from the various IITs across the country.
3. To nurture the student’s mind with a sense of societal outreach along with the technical development.
4. To improve the existing research leading to technology/product/entrepreneur development paving the way to acquire the first rank status among all the universities spread across the nation.
5. To serve as a valuable resource for the industry and to serve the community at large, and remain a source of pride for all Indians.
Ques 5. You pride yourself on the level of education and responsibility you impart here to students. How do you ensure the quality of education in your institution?
Ans. We follow an innovative and effective curriculum based on industry trends which is on par with international standards, we have qualified faculty, we have industry experts who contribute to curriculum development and share their professional experience with students. We emphasize on research and encourage our students to be involved in research. We provide learning, experience, and knowledge to students.
Ques 6. How do you build a positive school culture or climate?
Ans. Positive culture or climate can be created by making the employees aware of the vision of the organization. There must be proper system in place and everything must be system driven. Openness and transparency in functioning is essential for building a positive culture.
Ques 7. How do you tend to establish a relation with the students?
Ans. I am a student-friendly person who believes in the younger generation’s capacity and keen on inspiring them and provide all support to develop them as great assets to the country and to the society. I am always accessible to students and have direct and close contact with them. We have Student Development Cell (SDC) which has several clubs. The representatives of SDC and the clubs directly interact with me and share with me the all the matters relating to students. We have Dean-Student Affairs to deal with day-to- day issues concerning students. Students also communicate with me through mail.
Ques 8. How do you look at the growth of students through placement opportunities available at Sathyabama University? How do you wish to push the envelope further?
Ans. Sathyabama University has a full-fledged Placement cell that continuously monitors the employment opportunities available and arranges for the Campus Recruitments for the eligible students. Career Development Programs and Personality Development Programs are conducted for the student’s right from their second year. We ensure that our students are proficient with the expectation of the industry. The success rate of our placement earned the trust of parent and student community that is reflected in the sustained admission rate into our programs.
Ques 9. What is your philosophy of leadership? How would you describe your leadership style?
Ans. A leader must be someone who can empower others and be a change maker. I would like myself to be viewed as a transformational leader because transformational leaders never ask others to follow, but people follow them. This is because their mission is so wonderful. I initiate changes and inspire, motivate and empower my team members to work for the desired change. I am a motivator who believes in sharing the success and celebrating it with my team which make them run for more miles.
Ques 10. Any suggestions you would like to give to the current youth and the aspiring students?
Ans. As an educationist, I believe Educational Institutions must contribute to regional, state and national economic development initiatives. I wish every student to participate in this. They are the architects of the future India. Plenty of opportunities are available and the educational Institutions like us are there to support them. They must be responsible citizens by using the available opportunities appropriately and develop them as well as the nation.Last Updated - 10 Jul 2017