Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Akhil Reed Amar to be honored by GOPIO-CT

Four Indian Americans to be honored at annual gala.

AB Wire

GOPIO-CT awardees to be honored at the Awards Banquet. From top left, clockwise, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Prof. Akhil Reed Amar, Dr. Vinod Srihari, Moh Sharma, Dr. Geroge Joseph and Nisha Arora
GOPIO-CT awardees to be honored at the Awards Banquet. From top left, clockwise, Senator Richard Blumenthal,
Prof. Akhil Reed Amar, Dr. Vinod Srihari, Moh Sharma, Dr. Geroge Joseph and Nisha Arora

NEW YORK: U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, Akhil Reed Amar, are among five individuals who will be honored by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin – Connecticut chapter (GOPIO), at its annual awards banquet on June 20, at the Stamford Hilton Hotel, in Stamford.

Apart from Blumenthal and Amar, the others selected to be honored are: Dr. Vinod Srihari, Nisha Arora and Dr. George Joseph.

Blumenthal will receive the ‘Friend of India’ award, said GOPIO in a press release. The senior U.S. Senator from Connecticut serves several important Senate committees. He is the ranking Democratic Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and also serves on the Senate Committees on the Judiciary, Armed Services, and Commerce, Science and Transportation. With increasing US-India cooperation in defense, commerce and science & technology, Blumenthal helps to improved bilateral relations between the two countries, said GOPIO.

Four Indian Americans were selected to be honored for their achievements in professional and community service.

Prof. Akhil Reed Amar is being recognized for his achievement and contribution to Arts and Letters. Prof. Amar is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, teaches constitutional law at both Yale College and Yale Law School. Author of several books, his work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society.  Favorably cited by Supreme Court Justices in some 30 cases, he regularly testifies before Congress at the invitation of both the Republicans and Democrats.  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2008 received the DeVane Medal—Yale’s highest award for teaching excellence.

Dr. Vinod Srihari is recognized for his achievement and contribution in medicine. A graduate of University of Rochester where he received BA and MD, Srihari completed psychiatry residency and research fellowship training at Yale before becoming a member of their faculty in 2005.  His clinical work and research has been focused on the care of individuals with schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses. Since 2006, he has served as the founding director of an Early Intervention service for adolescents and young adults with psychotic disorders at the CT Mental Health Center in New Haven.

Titled STEP, the program completed a pragmatic randomized controlled trial and has now launched a public education campaign, titled Mindmap to hasten access to care. Srihari is also an Associate Director of Yale’s Psychiatry Residency Training Program.

Nisha Arora, co-founder of Indian Community Center (ICC) of Greenwich will be honored for Community Service and Promotion of Indian Arts and Culture. Arora is the COO of ARCIM Advisors LLC, a commodities hedge fund in Greenwich.  She has been serving the community for the past 10 years. ICC promotes Indian arts and culture in the Lower Fairfield and Westchester areas.  ICC’s programs include visual and performing arts, culinary experiences and a speaker series highlighting Indian-American leaders.   The organization also has a recurring seniors program and a children’s program teaching language, bhartanatyam, tabla and Indian history.

Dr. George Joseph, Deputy Director of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University is honored for his contribution to International Relations and Connecting India to the USA. He also supports Yale’s engagement, strategy, and visibility in South Asia.

Since 2007, Dr. Joseph has devoted significant time and energy to advancing the Yale India Initiative and has held additional responsibility in the Yale OIA overseeing the development and the delivery of leadership programs for academia, government, and civil society convened by Yale’s faculty and schools including the India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program that over seven editions engaged more than eighty Indian parliamentarians.

Apart from the main awards, The GOPIO-CT President’s Young Achiever Award will be presented to Moh Sharma, who serves as a Policy Advisor for the House Democratic Caucus under Chair Xavier Becerra. She was previously an APAICS Fellow and then a Legislative Aide to Congresswoman Judy Chu and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).  Earlier, Sharma had worked for several government agencies and public institutions as well as serving in several non-profit and advocacy groups.

Commenting on the award selection, GOPIO-CT President Shelly Nichani said, “We select the awardees who have made an impact in our society and/or those who provide outstanding service.”

GOPIO Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham said, “GOPIO-CT chapter has done a great service promoting Indian culture and values to the new generation as well as promoting India to the larger society.”

Prominent guests who will attend the event include Rep. Jim Himes (D, CT 4th District), Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, Connecticut State Senators Carla Leone and Toni Boucher, and author/actress Moura Moynihan.

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