On August 1st, 2022, Ms. Taruna Sadhoo succeeded interim director Dr. Corinna Singleman as the new Director of Honors and Scholarships and Macaulay Honors at Queens College following the retirement of Dr. Ross Wheeler in November 2021.
“Education is the vehicle for changing, transforming, and empowering people.” This is the ethos espoused by Ms. Taruna Sadhoo as the new director of Honors and Scholarships and Macaulay Honors at Queens College. Ms. Sadhoo has devoted most if not all of her professional career to the advocacy of higher education for students all over the globe as indicated by her impressive credentials. Notably, she spent time volunteering and teaching internationally in countries such as her native Guyana, China, and Ethiopia. Additionally, she worked with UNICEF USA to go to colleges, high schools, and communities throughout the country to raise awareness for global issues.
In 2019, she began working as the Director of Experiential Education at Queens College overseeing the CUNY Career Launch, CUNY Service Corps, and Big Buddy mentoring program. All of these vital experiences serve as stepping stones that have prepared her for this monumental role.
As an alumnus of Queens College, Ms. Sadhoo credits the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship Program as the impetus for her career in high education. Through an international internship with Save the Children in her junior year as part of the program, she traveled to Ethiopia to survey the efficacy of the informal schools implemented by the organization for underserved children.
Ms. Sadhoo recalls a salient point of conversation being girls’ education and how that inspired her to amplify the voices of marginalized communities by providing access to education. Ms. Sadhoo comprehends the transformative powers of education firsthand from her experiences as an immigrant from Guyana and from the dearth of opportunities for her industrious mother. She characterizes higher education as a ‘gateway to transforming someone.’ She ultimately capitalized on the opportunities afforded to her by education and earned a Master’s in Higher and Post-Secondary Education from Columbia University.
In regard to her new responsibilities, Ms. Sadhoo underscores her desire for all Queens College students to inquire about the various scholarships and honors tracks offered by the school. There is something for everybody regardless of how far along they are in their college career whether they are a transfer student or even a senior. She caters to every Queens College student and is conscientious of their academic needs. As for the challenges the job poses, Ms. Sadhoo is slowly acclimating to the learning curve of experiencing her first academic year.
Ms. Sadhoo has already made an immensely positive impression on the student body. Macaulay Honors College senior and computer science major Brandon Marsh stated, “To me, Taruna has been nothing short of a champion of those she works for, whether it be advocating for them, introducing new opportunities and perspectives, and helping them grow as professionals and ultimately as people. I know that she’ll excel as the MHC director.”
Once she completes the first cycle, Ms. Sadhoo will be able to better telegraph the needs of students and faculty. Her top priorities during her tenure as a director are to expand Queens College community outreach, promote greater diversity on campus and increase honors and scholarship opportunities for students year-round.