ISV Spotlight Award Winner: Yashwant Prakash Vyas

Yashwant Prakash Vyas is the ISV Spotlight Award winner! Learn more about this prestigious award and why Yashwant was selected.

We want to take the time to make sure students are recognized for their hard work and dedication to making their campus inclusive and internationalized. We created the ISV Spotlight Award to put the spotlight on a student who not only cares about his/her campus community, but also takes an active leadership role.

Yashwant Prakash Vyas was selected as the fall 2014 ISV Magazine Spotlight Award winner because of his passion and dedication for making the community at Texas A&M a better place. From making others feel welcome, to taking care of the environment, his involvement includes participating in several student groups, such as the International Student Association, the Student Government Association Diversity Commission, the India Association, the Aggie Replant, Texas A&M UNICEF Chapter, and the Aggie Orientation Leaders Program, just to name a few. Yashwant is also involved in the Future Former Students as a student ambassador and works as an Ask Us Aggie worker in the library.

He has received several awards for his dedication to the Texas A&M community, including the Buck Weirus Spirit Award for demonstrating high involvement and creating positive experiences throughout the Aggie community.

“Yashwant’s story is unique as to the level of engagement he has had in leadership and outreach programs,” Dr. Suzanne Droleskey, Executive Director of Global Program Support  shared. “He has been recognized many ways for his active participation and embodiment of the Aggie Core Value of ‘Selfless Service’”.

Yashwant shares why he is so passionate about making the world a better place and his experience at Texas A&M University.

A little about me

Howdy! I was raised in a small village (now a district in the state of Maharashtra) in India called Nandurbar. I was very blessed that my aunt and her husband saw fit to sponsor me at one of the finest junior colleges in India. Her support never wavered and she even encouraged my desire to transfer internationally to Texas A&M where I could better utilize my talents and qualities.  My journey to A&M and the kindness I have received from people during this journey of struggles inspires me to serve others. I am both humbled and proud to be here.

Why community service is important

An influential Indian Hindu monk, Swami Vivekanand, taught his followers, “There is no religion bigger than Humanity and serving people.”  Service of any kind is important because it is a contagious act of making this world a better place to live. If I am able to serve someone though my service and make a positive difference in his/her life then there are high chances of that person helping someone else in need and giving back to the community.

Leadership to me is…

I was a leader in India as well, but after transferring to A&M in fall 2012 I grew and evolved as a leader more because of the opportunities I got here. I have learned that leadership is not about making popular decisions. Instead, it is about making ethical decisions and serving the people that we represent. Leadership and service go hand-in-hand.

The Aggie Spirit

As an international student from India, I tell you honestly, “Howdy” made no sense to me. But after spending one day with the Aggie family and witnessing people’s genuine love for this place and willingness to help others, the Aggie spirit overtook me. “Howdy” quickly replaced “Namaste” and became my formal way of greeting people. The next day I updated my Facebook status with a “Howdy!” My friends and relatives in India thought I had lost my mind after such a short time in the U.S.

Career Goals

Although electrical engineering is my career path, my long-term career prospect is to use my leadership skills and expertise to serve people at a global level. After my bachelor’s degree I aspire to pursue a master’s degree in public service and administration with a certification in nonprofit management and international affairs. I hope to work for the United Nations in the future.

Yashwant was featured in the fall 2014 issue of International Student Voice Magazine.

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Information for this article came from Yashwant’s profile as submitted by Dr. Suzanne Droleskey, Executive Director, Global Program Support at Texas A&M University. 

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