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Shirish Lala

“A postdoc was just a great opportunity to give myself a little bit more time and explore those new questions that I really became passionate about towards the end of my PhD.”

School of Education

Mind, Brain & Teaching, EdD 2021

Academic Clinical Coordinator at Daytona State College

Shirish‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss what inspired Shirish to pursue a doctorate in education coming from the field of occupational therapy, how he implements his doctoral training to more effectively teach both his patients and incoming doctoral students in his field, and the different ways he finds teaching to be a grounding experience and a source of spiritual and emotional connection.

Learn More About Shirish‘s Story

My parents have been a significant part of everything that I have accomplished in life. This image depicts me with my parents in our ancient home in Mumbai, India in the mid-1980s. From these humble beginnings, we have been fortunate to create a home for ourselves in the United States. My parents played an active role in supporting me throughout my academic and professional journey, including my doctoral coursework. I have been blessed with several accomplishments because of the values and freedom that my parents instilled in me. This image holds a lot of value as I learned to read and write in this room. My parents would scold me and my siblings for scribbling with our pencils on the walls, but acknowledged our creativity and provided us with the best resources they could find.

This image was taken last year at my doctoral graduation. My parents had not witnessed me walk for either my Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees. After enduring some of the dissertation through the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt a sense of exhaustion. However, I was enormously grateful and proud to be able to graduate and have my parents watch me walk across the stage for the first time. My mom was in tears, and my dad was unbelievably proud. Life is full of myriad experiences. But on days such as this one (May 20, 2022), I felt that despite the trials we had witnessed as a family, I had turned around the situation through the power of education. My mom never got to finish her education due to sociocultural pressures in India. When I held the diploma, my heart exclaimed loudly—”This one’s for you Mom!”. I know she sensed it too.