Arpana Inman, associate professor of counseling psychology, will travel to her home of Bengaluru, India this October to begin a four-month stint as the College of Education’s next Fulbright Scholar.
While there, Inman
will study the changing dynamics of the Asian Indian family at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, one of India’s pre-eminent universities. Her residency will be with the institute’s department of mental health and social psychology, a training and research program whose students participate in intensive, three month clinical rotations.
Inman’s research on multicultural issues and South Asian-Asian American concerns has earned her international accolades. She recently received the Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions by the Asian American Psychological Association, where she served as vice president and as a co-chair of the AAPA’s Division of Women.
The Fulbright Scholarship
will allow Inman to immerse herself in Indian culture, where she’ll explore familial relationships and changing roles and responsibilities of its members. It will mark Inman’s longest homecoming since she left India 23 years ago to pursue her graduate studies in the United States and ties in perfectly with Lehigh’s stated emphasis on globalization in the university’s new Strategic Plan
“With increased globalization, India has become one of the world’s largest economies. It has a burgeoning middle class that is in a state of transformation,” Inman explains. “For most Asian-Indians, the challenge is striking a balance between its traditional culture and the new demands placed on it by a more a global marketplace.”
“The role of community and, to a greater extent, family, is rapidly changing,” she says, “and this has a lot of implications on issues ranging from family relations, to cross-cultural immigrant experiences, to acculturation, to the psychology of women and men, just to name a few.”
During her time in Bengaluru (the former Bangalore), Inman will teach graduate-level courses in family therapy, psychotherapy supervisions, and qualitative research. She plans to tailor the curriculum to address the Asian-Indian culture.
“An excellent opportunity”
Outside of the classroom, Inman will get to see firsthand the application of research. The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences is well known throughout India as a leading clinical and therapy institute.
Inman and her students in India will participate in and monitor intensive family therapy sessions.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Arpana to apply her research in an incredibly vibrant environment,” says Gary Sasso, dean of Lehigh’s College of Education
“Her work on multiculturalism and diversity has significant implications for those in the psychology arena,” he says. “Now, she’ll be able to apply her research in India, one of the world’s most interesting cultural laboratories. It’s a fantastic opportunity.”
Inman hopes to build a collaborative relationship with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences that extends beyond her four month stay.
“It’s my hope that this new relationship will create an exchange of cross-cultural ideas and a shared program of scholarly opportunities for both Lehigh and the institute,” says Inman.
-- Tom Yencho