Jacob Varkey is a man dedicated to education. This is, perhaps, nowhere more evident than in his work with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). In conjunction with the HHMI and HSU's Pre-Medical Association, Jacob has helped many an aspiring undergrad attend leading medical schools across the country.
According to Jacob, Humboldt State's commitment to the community is part of why this program has flourished. "The reason we are so successful is the kinds of students we attract here. For the most part they are service-oriented. And that's a big plus. Many of the students have indicated that they want to serve the community."
In addition to working one-on-one with pre-med students, Jacob is also involved with the California State University's Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP). Thanks to a generous grant from the National Science Foundation, Jacob and the AMP are working to give students from traditionally under-represented backgrounds a boost when it comes to the sciences.
Outside of the classroom Jacob counts gardening (he has over 100 rhododendrons on his property, although many, he says, were "inherited" from the previous owners) and traveling among his hobbies. This year, in fact, Jacob is taking an opportunity to spend roughly six months in his native India on a sabbatical that includes an opportunity to teach at his alma mater, the University of Kerala, in the state of Kerala on the country's southern tip.