About Devi Bhargava
As an international student who arrived in the United States in 1964, Devi became familiar with the pitfalls and struggles that affected foreign students. Devi developed a passion for assisting international students as they made their way – both academically and culturally – through Madison College, within the greater Madison community and even throughout the United States.
Devi was an internationalist. Her activities in Madison and at Madison College are testament to her fundamental belief in the importance of international cooperation, embodied by international students.
Devi started out as an active member of the International Club at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the India Associations in Madison. She was a member of the Gandhi Centenary Committee (1968- 69), President of the Association of Indians in America (1981-1982), and a member of the University of Wisconsin – Madison Chancellor’s Committee on Minority Concerns. Devi also acted as a cross-cultural counselor with Aurora Health care, specializing in working on marriage and family issues within the Asian community and mediating inter-generational conflict; she was a Guest Lecturer for the University of Wisconsin – Madison Asian American Studies course; and she directed the annual Indian exhibits at Madison College for many years. Most importantly, Devi acted as a one-person welcoming committee in Madison for incoming students from India and eventually the greater international community. Devi certainly had a knack for helping international students feel at ease as well as optimistic about overcoming the culture shock experienced by students studying abroad. She gave to all of them her seemingly endless supply of love, affection and generosity.
Independent, patient, and determined, with a strong sense of humor, Devi was a model for international students adapting to culture in the United States. She embodied the principles that serve to remind us of the importance of international cooperation and empathy for those from different cultural backgrounds, and the powerful influence one person can have in the community. As we honor Devi through this scholarship, may we all strive to be such a great person.