On December 15, 2017, Professor of Multimedia Journalism Vandana Pednekar-Magal delivered the commencement address to graduates of Bowling Green State University.
In her remarks, Pednekar-Magal stressed the transitional nature of college graduation, and advised graduates to reflect on their experiences and prepare to respond to life’s challenges as they emerge.
“Your intellectual pursuits, your diligence, your academic work in college, has equipped you with ways of knowing, of making sense of happenings in the world in much more imaginative ways, in free thinking ways,” Pednekar-Magal reminded the graduates.
After earning a B.A. and M.A. at Bombay University and working as a journalist, Professor Pednekar-Magal received her Masters’ and Doctorate degrees from Bowling Green State University.
Along with her teaching and academic scholarship, Pednekar-Magal has produced two documentary films: “Divided by Language: Indias Newspapers,” and “From Somewhere Else,” in which she interviewed several people who had recently immigrated to the United States.
Discussing the “forcibly displaced people” from Bosnia and Sudan who she interviewed for “Somewhere,” after they settled as refugees in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Pednekar-Magal asserted, “I have no doubt that their power to hope and imagine is what sustained them through their struggles.”
As her speech concluded, she applied this lesson to the graduates themselves.
“While it is fair to say that the world is constituted by forces outside of our control, there lies within us, the power to constitute the world based on our responses towards it,” Pednekar-Magal said.
Video of Professor Pednekar-Magal’s address can be streamed at BGSU’s website. Her remarks start at the 31:20 mark.