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Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center
This is the internet version of the Kerala Center News letter. Vol.6 , 2000
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KERALA CENTER AWARDEES - 2000

The Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center has announced the recipients of its annual awards, which will be presented on November 11th evening at the Kerala Center at Elmont in Long Island, New York. This year’s awardeess are ten Keralites who have been selected for their outstanding recognition in their fields as well as for philanthropy and community service. The Guest of Honor at the Awards Banquet is Mr. T.P. Srinivasan, Deputy Ambassador at the Indian Embassy. The keynote address will be delivered by venture capitalist Sreedhar Menon. The following are the awardees:

Click on the names to read details


Dr. Abraham George

Dr. Babu George

John Abraham, M.D.

Dr. K. Sreekumaran Nair

Dr. Margaret Abraham


Prof. S. Sreenivasan

Dr. Ram K. Mohan

Jose Mundassery

Aleyamma Eapen

Marykutty Kuriakose



Dr. Abraham George - PHILANTHROPY

In 1995, Dr. Abraham George founded a non-profit charitable foundation in Bangalore -- The George Foundation. This foundation is engaged in several humanitarian projects in Tamil Nadu, and is also involved in environmental and other issues elsewhere. The George Foundation is currently involved in the following projects:

Shanti Bhavan -- a free world-class boarding school to accommodate 320 children from very poor backgrounds; Project Lead-Free -- screened 20,000 children for blood lead in 7 major Indian cities. Currently working in a newly formed National Committee appointed by GOI to implement lead poisoning prevention measures; Tillany Fine Arts Museum & Gallery -- to promote talented but poor artists and artisans; Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media -- a graduate school in journalism established in association with Columbia University to promote democratic values and institutions in India; Baldev Medical and Community Centre -- a rural clinic that offers emergency medical services, certain in-patient care, and health education; EDPS2000 Project -- to improve the working of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in Tamil Nadu. Already taken over the management of the Bagalur PHC that serves 79,000 people. Implemented computer aided early detection and prevention system to diagnose diseases in the absence of a physician. Women's Empowerment Program -- income generation for women through farming in 200+ acres of land provided to over 800 families, with the goal of enabling them to own land within 5 years
Abraham is currently the Chairman of eMedexOnline LLC, a start-up medical diagnostic company. Until last month, he was a Vice-Chairman at SunGard, a New York Stock Exchange listed firm, which recently bought the company he founded over 20 years ago. He is the author and editor of 4 books in international finance, and has published extensively in professional journals. Abraham holds an MBA, MS and PhD in business administration from the Stern School of Business, New York University. Prior to coming from India nearly 30 years back, he was a captain in the Indian artillery.

Abraham lives with his wife Mariam and two sons Ajith and Vivek in Boonton Township in New Jersey.


Dr. Margaret Abraham – SOCIAL SCIENCES

Dr. Margaret Abraham is an associate professor and chair of the department of sociology and anthropology at Hofstra University, in Long Island, New York. Her areas of specialization are ethnicity, migration, and gender. Her book, “Speaking the Unspeakable: Marital Violence Among South Asian Immigrants in the United States” was recently published by Rutgers University Press. Margaret has also presented papers at numerous conferences and published in various journals including Gender & Society, Violence Against Women Indian Journal of Gender Studies. She was the recipient of a Rockefeller fellowship. She is a board member of the Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (APICHA) and a national advisory board member for the National Evaluation of the Arrest Policies Program under the Violence Against Women Act Project of the National Institute for Law and Justice. She has been involved in research and activism in the field of domestic violence in the South Asian immigrant community for a decade.

In 1999, the organization Sakhi for South Asian Women honored her for this work. To quote a recent New York Times article written by Barabara Crossette titled, Amid the Isolation, Finally a Friend, “as a sociologist, Dr. Abraham said she saw abuse compounded by failure of social and legal services to deal effectively with poor, often illiterate, non-speaking victims of any ethnic group.” She is very closely and intensively associated with Sakhi. As is well known with assistance of many dedicated volunteers, Sakhi has made remarkable progress in finding emotional and physical shelter for battered women.

Margaret lives with her husband Pradeep Singh and six year old son Arun in Malverne, Long Island.


Prof. Sreenath Sreenivasan – JOURNALISM

Prof. Sreenath Sreenivasan teaches journalism Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism on courses including, “new media workshop,” "tools of the modern journalist" and "advanced reporting & writing.". In may 2000, he became founding administrator of the Online Journalism Awards, a new set of international prizes run by Columbia University.

Sree is also director of the school's part time program, a two-year program for working professionals who want to work full-time while earning a master's in journalism. He also works as a freelance journalist and has written for Time Digital, Business Week, the New York times, India Today, Rediff.com and Rolling Stone. he has been published in various other publications including the fiji sun (don't ask!), and has been a freelance producer for the "Nightly Business Report" on PBS and a reporter in India. In his spare time, Sree works as an editorial consultant on various new media projects, applying a "wrecking ball" to web sites. Sree is co-founder of SAJA, the South Asian Journalists Association, a group of 700+ South Asian journalists, in New York and other cities. Sree also serves as faculty adviser to Columbia University's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Sree was recipient of the group's "national faculty adviser of the year" award for 1998, and is active with the Online News Association, which he helped co-found in 1998.

Sree has a master of science in journalism from Columbia; a bachelor of arts in history from St. Stephen's College, Delhi and lives in Manhattan with his wife, Roopa Unnikrishnan, an internationally-ranked sports rifle shooter and a management consultant.


Dr. Ram Mohan – ENGINEERING

Dr. Ram K. Mohan, was born in North Parur, Kerala, India and immigrated to the United States in 1988. He is currently the Vice President and Director of Coastal Engineering at the engineering firm - Gahagan & Bryant Associates, Inc., in their Baltimore, Maryland, office. Ram is the first Malayalee and Indian-American, and the youngest person to be appointed as a full member of the Ocean Studies Board (OSB) of the prestigious National Research Council (NRC). Ram’s nomination is in recognition of the unique contributions in the areas of coastal & ocean engineering, marine environmental engineering and port & harbor engineering. As part of the NRC OSB, Ram will be involved in planning and implementing studies of national interest in the ocean and waterway areas to advise the federal government, including input in the formation of committees and selection of members for focus study areas. Some of the key projects that he is involved with are development of an advisory (policy) document on key ocean issues that require immediate attention for the next U.S. President (administration), review of the national shoreline management strategy for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and review of the current practices in setting environmental windows for marine construction projects for NOAA and USACE.

A 1993 Ph.D. graduate of Texas A&M University in ocean/civil engineering, he holds a professional engineering (P.E.) license in Maryland and is a member of several scientific journal boards (International Journal of Hydraulic Research, Journal of Marine Environmental Engineering & Editor, Journal of Dredging) and scientific committees (Chair, Marine Technology Society Oceanography Committee, U.S. Representative to Oil Spill Commission of the International Navigation Association, Member of the Shore Protection Standards Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Chair of the Technical Paper Committee of the Western Dredging Association). Ram has published over 80 professional papers and articles (including three book chapters/contributions) and is an adjunct faculty at the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering. A recipient of the IADC International Award in Dredging Engineering in 1994, Ram continues to be engaged in consulting and research activities in the dredging and coastal engineering areas.

Ram is married to Dr. Aparna Mohan (a physician who currently works at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health) and they live in Clarksville, Maryland, with their one year old daughter, Ankita Uma Mohan.


Dr. K. Sreekumaran Nair - MEDICINE

K. Sreekumaran Nair, MD, PhD, is David Murdock-Dole Professor of Nutrition and Consultant in Endocrinology and Metabolism in Mayo Clinic and Foundation. He did his medical studies in Trivandrum Medical College, Kerala, India, and completed his residency programs in internal medicine and endocrinology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Auckland University Medical Center, New Zealand, and Charing Cross Hospital, London. He further completed his endocrinology training and a PhD degree while working with Medical Research Council (Northwick Park Hospital, London, United Kingdom). In 1984, he joined University of Rochester as an Assistant Professor. In 1988, he joined as an Associate Professor at the University of Vermont, where he later on became the Director of Clinical Research Center and acting Director of Endocrinology. In 1994, he joined Mayo Clinic as Professor of Medicine, Mayo Foundation Clinician Investigator, and a Consultant in Endocrinology and Metabolism. He also directs the Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Diabetes Research Center, and a Program Project on Pathophysiology of Muscle Wasting. His research interests include pathophysiology of diabetes, proteonics, and muscle changes in aging.

Sreekumaran has published over 130 papers, including papers in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Diabetes, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Lancet, British Medical Journal, and Annals of Internal Medicine. He received Career Achievement Award from Mayo Clinic in 1992. He is Fellow of Royal College of Physicians (London) and American College of Physicians. He was elected to Association of American Physicians (AAP) and American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI). He has been a visiting Professor to various institutions, including Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden), Diabetes Institute (Karlsburg, Germany), University Hospital in Aarhus (Aarhus, Denmark), and Laboratoire de Nutrition Humaine (Clermont-Ferrand, France). He received many awards, including the recipient of “Stockholm Honorary Lecture” of ESPEN in 1998 and Henry Christian Award of AFCR.


Dr. Babu George – EDUCATION

Dr. Babu George was born in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. He received his B.Sc and M.Sc from The University of Kerala, an M.S from Niagara University and Ph.D from University of New Mexico, all in the field of Chemistry. Currently he is Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Sacred Heart University Fairfield, Connecticut. He is also the President of the Sacred Heart University Faculty Senate for the past three years.

He has published extensively an has made presentations in Chemical Education throughout the country. He has received over a dozen awards and citations including the National Catalyst Award in Excellence in Teaching Chemistry by The Chemical Manufacturers Association.

In addition to teaching and other contributions at the College level, his work with Pre-College teachers and children to improve science education have positively affected thousands of teachers and students.

Babu resides in Trumbull, CT with his wife Sosamma George M.D. and daughter Vimala George. He is very proud to follow in the footsteps of his father the late Mr. N. J. George.


Jose Mundassery – CORPORATE MANAGEMENT

Jose Mundasery earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Engineering College (Trivandrum) under Unversity of Kerala, and a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Management from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicao, Illinois.

Jose has been associated with Brown Boveri and ABB for the last 38 years in the Foundry Equipment Business. Jose is currently the Vice President of International Sales for ABB Metallurgy, which has the largest Induction Furnace Manufacturing Facilities, based in North Brunswick, New Jersey.

In addition to his corporate management schedule at ABB, Mundassery in 1996 started a paper mill in Meenkara, Palghat District. The facility, Kunnath Paper Mill employs about 200 people.

Jose lives with his wife Sarala in Princeton, New Jersey and have two sons, Appu and Vijoo. WCBS-Channel 2 reporter/anchorperson Sukanya Krishnan is daughter-in-law. Jose is son of the late Kerala Education Minister, Prof. Joseph Mundassery.


John Abraham, M.D. – COMMUNITY SERVICE

Service to the needy has been a motto for Dr. John Abraham who came to the U.S. in 1968. John is the founder and president of ‘Mission village India,’ a voluntary, people to people organization, rendering free medical service to poor villages of Indian since 1987. John is the donor of a free primary medical center for the village of Basarakodu, Andhra Pradesh serving 17 villages. Abraham also serves as the Medical Director of Project Christ International, a missionary organization rendering voluntary medical service various disaster stricken areas and poor villages the world over. In this capacity, John organized and conducted medical camps in many remote parts of the globe. As part of the medical mission camp of Marthoma Church, John organized and conducted free medical camps in rural areas of Kerala in 1998, ’99 and 2000.

A medical doctor by profession, John is in private practice of Dermatology and Cosmic Surgery in Staten Island. John is also contributing author of Dermatology section of the textbook, Ambulatory Pediatrics, Plenum Publications, 88.

Married and with three children, Abraham lives in Staten Island, New York.


Aleyamma Eapen – NURSING

Aleyamma A. Eapen is the Head Nurse at Coney Island Hospital’s Cardia Cath Lab. Aleyamma completed, a Bachelor of Science degree at St. Francis College, Brooklyn and Master of Science degree in nursing from California Coast University. Aleyamma is author of the book Cardiovascular Nursing, published by B.I. Churchil Livingston Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.

Aleyamma received National Safety Net Award for Quality Improvement from National Association of Public Hospitals and a Nursing Research Award from the Health and Hospital Corporation of New York. Aleyamma has published and in the process of published several research papers. Among them is “Music Therapy – A Cost Effective Method to Reduce Anxiety,” in Nursing Journal (1996).

Aleyamma has been interviewed by The Chief, New York Daily News, New York Time and KTV. A resident Brooklyn, Aleyamma is married and has a daughter.


Marykutty Kuriakose – SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Marykutty Kuriakose, a nurse by profession is an author and a speaker. A major accomplishment of Marykutty is being alive today after being misdiagnosed of a deadly illness by 22 doctors. After surviving that ordeal, Marykutty authored and published a book, Patients Don’t Lie, in 1999. The book addresses healthcare quality issues, particularly misdiagnoses, that are unknown to the public but lead to medical mismanagement, organ failures, function loses, disabilities and 17,000 deaths annually in the U.S. In the book, Marykutty also covered her personal experience as a destitute patient who was disbelieved, humiliated and partially diagnosed, and who, after two years and live failure, was correctly diagnosed finally and rescued by an Ayurvedic doctor in Kerala.

Since the book’s publication, Marykutty has done 34 radio talk shows across the country on the topic of medical errors. She was also featured on several Indian TV shows. She gives lectures to nursing groups and public at large to make them aware of the medical mistakes and help them protect patients and each other.

A resident of Chicago, Marykutty is married to Mathew T. Kuriakose with a daughter Sheena and a son Shajan.