Dr. Usha Mukundan had a brilliant career- Distinction in B.Sc., First Class in M.Sc. followed by a Doctorate in Plant Physiology. She did post-Doctoral research in Plant Biotechnology, Hairy Root Cultures, at Louisiana State 'Varsity, U.S.A. in 1997, the area of her research being Downstream Processing.
The awards and prizes that she has won for academic excellence are many. To mention a few: College Meit Scholarship, Rameshwar Saboo Gold Medal for standing First among B.Sc. students of the R. J. College, the Nirmala Welingkar Prize for standing First among the B.Sc (Botany) students of the 'Varsity of Mumbai, National Merit Scholarship and UGC Career Award in Science.
She followed her natural bent to be a teacher and joined the R. J. College, where it did not take very long for her to ascend the different rungs of the ladder and reach the pinnacle, i.e. the Principalship of the College, in July, 2004. With her passion for excellence, she has done much to develop the Faculty of the College by organizing Faculty Improvement Programmmes.
She has been a Member of Board of studies in Botany of the Mumbai 'Varsity from 2002, member of the Faculty of science from March, 2004, NAAC Peer Team Member, Convener of Board of studies in Biotechnology of the Mumbai 'Varsity from 2008 and UGC XIth Plan Western Region Commitee member from 2009.
She has supervised research for M.Sc., M.Phil.and Ph.D Courses. 21 of her students have already completed ph.D. 10 are registered at present.
The research publications to her credit are numerous.
Many are the Overseas Assignments that she had. To name a few: International Conference at Kew Botanical Gardens, London, 1994, International Conference of IAPTC, Florence, Italy, International Conference of IAPTC, Israel, 1998, International Conference, Singapore 2000, INSA-KOSEF Scientific Exchange Programme, South Korea, 2003.
She is a Life Member of several Professional Bodies such as International Association for Plant Tissue Culture Biotechnology, U.S.A., Indian Botanical Society, Indian science Congress, The Orchid Society of India, Indian Society for Cotton Improvement, International Society of Plant Morphologists, Indian society for Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology and the Society for Biology and Biotechnology. She is an Executive Member of the Indian Botanical Society (2004-2007).
In short, Dr. Usha Mukundan stands out as a person with academic and professional achievements.
Ramniranjan Jhunjhunwala College
Head, Department of Botany,
Ramniranjan jhunjhunwala College