IIIT-Delhi professor creates faculty fellowship in the name of another professor

New Delhi: Prof. Ponnurangam Kumaraguru (PK), Associate Professor at IIIT-Delhi in the Computer Science Department, has created a teaching and research fellowship for the fellow faculty members, from the funds he and his wife received after a US-based company Wombat Security Technologies was acquired by a leading cybersecurity company in the USA, Proofpoint Inc. The company was created on the findings of his Ph.D. thesis ‘PhishGuru: A System for Educating Users about Semantic Attacks’. The sale of Wombat Security Technologies to Proofpoint Inc. for $225 million last year presented an opportunity for Prof. PK, to give back to the profession and the institute IIIT-Delhi, where he has been a faculty member since 2009.

By a faculty member…for a faculty member… on the name of a faculty member…

They are dedicating this fellowship — ‘Prof Rajeev Sangal Faculty Fellowship’ — to Prof. Rajeev Sangal, who is currently a full Professor at IIIT Hyderabad.

Currently a Professor at IIIT Hyderabad, Prof. Rajeev Sangal was instrumental in setting up IIIT Hyderabad and was the Director for the period March 2002 – April 2013. Before joining IIIT Hyderabad, he was a faculty at IIT Kanpur for 16 years and received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Prof. Sangal was in the IIIT-Delhi campus for announcing the Fellowship.

“Prof. Rajeev Sangal has contributed to Indian Academics immensely and has helped many students like me achieve their goals. When we (my wife and I) decided to create a faculty fellowship from Wombat acquisition, his was the first name that both of us thought of, in the Indian scenario. We are very thankful to him for accepting to give his name for this fellowship. I hope the potential recipients of this fellowship will continue to inspire young minds, help shape their dreams and leave a mark in their fields.” says Prof. PK.

‘Prof Rajeev Sangal Faculty Fellowship’ will be awarded each year to a faculty having a wholesome impact on students. This will be an endowment fund fellowship. PK’s motivation for setting up this fellowship was multifold, including, the fellowship he had received during his formative years as a faculty, which was set up by another CMU Alum in Delhi, Mr. Hemant Bharat Ram, Class of 1989 Computer Science and Tepper School of Business.

“It is a matter of great pride that one of our faculty colleagues has instantiated a Faculty Fellowship in the Institute to encourage both teaching and research. This is one of those rare instances where an existing faculty member has set up such a fund. This will definitely help strengthen the research-cum-teaching ecosystem of the Institute.” says Prof. Ranjan Bose, Director, IIIT-Delhi.

Prof. Sangal himself was invited to inaugurate the fellowship and on the occasion, he said that “Teachers are role models for developing students, teachers are responsible for more than just academic enrichment. If you want to be a great educator, you must connect with your pupils and reach them on multiple levels, because the best teachers are committed to their students’ well-being both inside and outside the classroom. Great teachers not only teach by example but also lead by example in their life

for students and people to follow.” Prof. Sangal also added that he is overwhelmed with the respect and gratitude Prof. PK has shown to him.