Krishnan Returns in Concert and Classroom
By Dawn Medley
Srinivas Krishnan has twice shown the Mary Baldwin community how skilled he is on the tabla, an Indian hand drum, and at sollukattu, rhythmic chanting, in concert. As founder of Global Rhythms world music ensemble it is tempting, but incorrect, to assume he spends all his time learning and practicing music. Each ounce of talent he displays in performance is matched — perhaps even surpassed — by proficiency and interest in other areas. Environmental engineering, teaching, cooking, and philosophizing, to name a few.
Recently named artist-in-residence for the college’s new Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement, Krishnan will explore many of his eclectic interests with students, faculty, staff, and community members during a visit to Staunton September 17–23. His stay will culminate with a free public concert — with musicians and vocalists from MBC and Global Rhythms — at 7:30 p.m. September 22 in Francis Auditorium.
During his visit, Krishnan will transition between classes on Asian women, dance, women’s studies, India and Pakistan, leadership, interpersonal communication, social work, and more. As special treats, he is scheduled to cook with students in a Global Nutrition course at the President’s House and have breakfast with Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership cadets and their commandant. He will also rehearse with choral groups that will perform with him in concert, lead workshops with Honors Scholars, and address MBC recruiting in India with students, faculty, and staff.
“The range of activities included in Srinivas Krishnan’s visit is a perfect example of how we can integrate international awareness into all courses and events on campus,” said Heather Ward, director of international programs at Mary Baldwin.
Krishnan joins a talented and energized staff as a member of the Spencer Center, the college’s newest hub of activity set to open October 11. Named in honor of MBC President Emeritus Samuel Spencer and his wife, Ava, the Center provides a physical space and leadership for the college’s global and service endeavors — which are not always mutually exclusive. In addition to Ward’s role, Director of Civic Engagement Julie Shepherd, new to MBC this year, is building on positive relationships between community agencies and the college on several fronts. Bruce Dorries, assistant professor of communication, hopes to identify opportunities to bring more attention to the college and to coordinate and partner with other institutions with civic and global programs as faculty-in-residence. Faculty fellow Roderic Owen, professor of philosophy, and staff fellow Andrea Cornett-Scott, associate vice president for enrollment management and student life, will undertake specific projects that further the concept of global citizenship. Artist-in-residence Claudia Bernardi will use her background in human rights activism and visual art to promote “art for peace.”
Krishnan is a former colleague of MBC President Pamela Fox at Miami University of Ohio, where he continues to teach. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from Saint Xavier University and master’s degrees in toxicology and environmental management from Miami University (Ohio). Before joining the faculty at Miami and touring the world with Global Rhythms, Krishnan was employed by Proctor & Gamble, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Defense, and Battelle Memorial Institute, a global science and technology company in Columbus, Ohio.