Anan Narayanan education started back home way before he decided to come to the United States to study.
"I am from India. My native place is a small village in India called Palakad in Kerala, but I grew up and spent most of my life in Chennai, which is a metropolitan city. One of the biggest cities in the south," he says.
“I did my schooling there and I did my undergrad studies in Engineering Electronics and Instrumentation from Shanmugha College of Engineering which is in Cumberland and after my undergrad in Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering I looked at my options for higher education and Auburn seemed to be very promising," Anan says. "The kind of infrastructure and the kind of research program that the university has and I decided to join Auburn. It’s been two years since I have been doing a graduate program at Auburn and it seems to be awesome so far.”
The 24-year-old is working on a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. He says education has always been a part of his life due to his upbringing.
“Education is very important to me because I come from a background where I am a Hindu by religion and in India education is also an object of worship,“ he says.
“We have a goddess for education and even as a child there was a tremendous amount of importance that was given to educational background and I believe that growth is not possible without education not just material growth, even spiritual growth is not possible without education,“ he says. “The kind of rich tradition the country I come from, science and education, science and religion go hand-in-hand. To me it occurs that science and religion are two different things, but there are different ways of speaking about the same thing."
“In a religious front a spiritual front and current and materialistic, I think education is very very important aspect of my life," he continues. "I owe much of it to the spirit I got from my family, from my upbringing, from my school I think that is the reason why I invest so much interest and importance on education.”
Besides his research, Anan enjoys several campus activities at Auburn.
“I love Auburn football. I’m a fanatic about Auburn football. I come from a country where cricket is a religion. I mean it is the most important sport. I have not really recognized any sport other than cricket back in India but after I came I started loving football. I mean Auburn football is something that is very close to my heart,” he says.
“Other things that I am involved in at Auburn is that I use to be the president of India Student Association. India Student Association is one of the largest and most dynamic international student groups at Auburn. It’s an honor of great pride to be associated and to lead an organization of around 250 members,“ he says.”
“Currently, I am serving as the president of the International Student organization. We have over 1,000 international students on campus and our office serves as a liaison for all international students their concerns, the common problems that international students share in a foreign country and it is a way of helping each other out and making our stay in America more pleasurable,” he says. “There are the two organizations that are very close to my heart and I have spent most of my time working on and these are things apart from my research that takes up most of my time that I have been involved in doing things like that.”
Anan has a way to go before he completes his doctorate degree, however he does have an idea what he will do once he finishes.
“It depends on a lot of factors. The way your research goes, the kind of experimental research that you get, how lucky you are and I am guessing that I will get done in another two years,” he says. “So it’s five, five-and-a-half years and I think that I will go back home, but not immediately. I will work for a couple of years getting some international exposure, get a global perspective of business, management, research and academia and then go back to India and serve my country that is where my clients are. A couple of years I would give myself before I go back home for good.”
Anan shares his thoughts with other international students about being in the United States.
“America is a fantastic place. It is a land of opportunities. It is a very immigrant-friendly country,” he says. “To all internationals I would ask that they share the kind of wonderful experience that I have shared in this country and not lose a moment and I would like to wish them the very best.”