Renu Batra

Degree: Ed.D. in Adult Education and Human Resource Development

College/School: College of Arts, Sciences & Education

When Renu Batra started working on her doctoral dissertation, she chose to focus on a subject close to her home and her heart.

Renu, who was born in India, traveled to Mumbai to collect data that showed the male-dominated culture of her homeland was so strong that it suppressed the opportunity of urban, middle class women to pursue their education after they were married.

According to the research she conducted in earning her Ed.D. in adult education and human resource development, middle class women in India were not expected nor were they supported in earning more than a basic high school education because they were expected to put the needs of their families ahead of their own.

And while the Indian government developed literacy programs to educate the rural poor, similar opportunities did not exist for women of the urban, middle class, Renu said.

India can turn things around, however, if private corporations were to help fund opportunities for these women to develop home-based, income-generating activities that wouldn’t take away from their day-to-day responsibilities, according to Renu.

After commencement, Renu eventually plans to return to India and work at a private university or a board of education where she can make a difference by developing programs that can help urban, middle class women gain access to more educational opportunities.

Renu counted on Thomas Reio, Jr., associate dean of graduate studies at the College of Education, for his mentorship and guidance.