Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Indira Rajagopal Oral History Interview, February 12, 2018

Oregon State University

Transcript Index
Search This Index
Go X

0:10 - Early Years

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So, what was your upbringing like?

Segment Synopsis: Discussion of childhood, including childhood walks with parents, traveling with her epidemiologist father, the National Institute of Disease Control, her “feisty” grandmother, and her mother’s passion for making science accessible for children in rural India.

Keywords: biological sciences; books; brakes; Calculus; childhood illnesses; college towns; communicable diseases; Darwin; elephants; English; epidemiologists; equal partners; fathers; grandmothers; heart conditions; hospitals; hunting rifles; India; influences; intelligent women; jokes; jungles; living world; mothers; mountains; National Institute of Communicable Diseases; naturalists; Northeastern India; oldest children; parents; poets; potatoes and rice; rain; remote areas; rhinos; schools; science; scientific names; scientists; snake bite kits; tigers; trading; trails; translations; travels; tribes; unusual upbringings; walking; wildlife sanctuaries; World Health Organization; World War II Jeeps; zoology; zoology professors

Subjects:

11:45 - College Education

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Eventually, my family moved to New Delhi…and I attended college in New Delhi.

Segment Synopsis: Discussion of moving to New Delhi, deciding on a major, a book called The Coil of Life that helped her choose biochemistry, research she completed during her undergraduate years, attending the Indian Institute of Science, and her experience at UC-San Diego that turned her away from academic research.

Keywords: academic sciences; Bangalore; bigshots; biochemistry; books; capitols; cell differentiation; cells; chemistry biology; colleges; cutthroat; detail-oriented; disillusionments; DNA; doctorates; enthralling; experiments; firsts in the field; genetic material; graduate institutes; high schools; illnesses; Indian Institute of Science; intense; juniors; laboratories; learning; letters; libraries; majors; marriages; math; media; mothers; New Delhi; Oregon State University; PhD programs; physics; plant calluses; post-doctoral work; principal investigators; professors; reading; sciences; seven million people; slime molds; stories; The Coil of Life; thesis defenses; travels; undergraduates; uninspiring; United States; universities; University of California-San Diego; viral infections

Subjects:

23:34 - Teaching at Oregon State University

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: [W]hen I came to OSU, it was a huge relief to find that there were people who were marvelous scientists that didn't stomp all over people.

Segment Synopsis: Discussion of her first years at Oregon State University, including starting at Oregon State University as a postdoc, her first experience as an instructor, becoming an official instructor, past TA experiences, and teaching at Oregon State University.

Keywords: biochemistry department; biochemistry teaching labs; biology department; careers; chances; Chris Mathews; classrooms; courses; curiosity; department chairs; encourage; enzyme kinetics; equations; excited about learning; fearless learners; frustrations; graduate education; human beings; human place; hypotheses; hypothesis testing; instructors; interrelations; laboratories; math; modifying; observations; official positions; Oregon State University; postdocs; required classes; research; sabbatical; satisfaction; scientists; separation; sharing; stressful; teaching; teaching assistants; young

Subjects:

39:33 - Changes in the College Classroom

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Have you seen any shift in the demographics and the sorts of students you see in your classes?

Segment Synopsis: Discussion of the equal gender ratio and ethnic diversity (and lack thereof) in the biochemistry department at Oregon State University and the higher amounts of structure students want in classes.

Keywords: biochemistry; caution; demographics; differences; discussion boards; diversity; ethnic backgrounds; freedom; guidance; ideas; instructions; learning; mistakes; Oregon; participation; pre-college experiences; prescriptive; pressures; progress; pushing; ratios; structure; students; teaching; techniques; unknowns

Subjects:

50:16 - Advising Students

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Have you ever, besides teaching, have you ever advised students? What's that like?

Segment Synopsis: Discussion about advising students, including mentoring students as an instructor, advising students who resist taking Bacc Core courses, students who were later grateful to be pushed into certain classes and activities and out of their "boxes," and getting contacted by students after they graduate.

Keywords: adulthood; advisors; Bacc core courses; backgrounds; boundaries; boxes; Cambridge; challenges; choices; classes; colleges; contributions; curiosity; development; encouragement; enrichments; ethics; expectations; faculty; heritages; homes; ideas; identities; interactions; long-term relationships; mentoring; paths; personalities; productions; relationships; resisting; roles; social interactions; students; successes; teaching; theater; trust; tutors; unofficial; weddings

Subjects:

76:25 - Gender Experiences

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Is there anything else that you want to talk about?

Segment Synopsis: Discussion of gender, including the differences between educated and rural India and their views of women, women in educated spaces and classrooms, expectations of women's appearances, dual-working households, differences in work breakups between genders, the gender breakdown of students who received the Goldwater Scholarship, and the Women's Basketball team at Oregon State University.

Keywords: accomplishments; advising; American women; appearances; attention; Barry Goldwater Scholarship; basketball games; careers; colleagues; committees; critical; daughters; dual-working households; education; friends; India; little girls; math; meetings; opportunities; policies; professors; respectfulness; sciences; status; tenure; tyranny; urban educated populations; women; Women’s Basketball

Subjects: