Missouri State University - West Plains
Dr. Rajiv Thakur

Dr. Rajiv Thakur

  • Assistant Professor of Geosciences
  • West Plains, Missouri
  • MA, Political Science, University of Delhi
  • MA, Geography, University of Akron
  • PhD, Economic Geography, Indiana State University

Dr. Rajiv Thakur

I decided to specialize in geography only at the graduate level

What made you decide to specialize in Geography?

I decided to specialize in geography only at the graduate level when an opportunity presented itself with a scholarship at the doctoral level at Ohio State University back in 2002. I attained my second graduate degree in geography. My first graduate degree was in political science from the University of Delhi. The shift from political science to geography happened as I learned during my years (1994-2002) as a development practitioner in India that Geography was one discipline that would allow me to not only study and analyze complex issues such as poverty, unemployment and their spatial distribution at all scales, local and worldwide, but it would also facilitate understanding the complex connectivity of people and places.

What was your favorite course in college and why?

At the undergraduate level, I majored in political science at the University of Delhi. I was trying to build a career in international development consulting. I did work with the government of India and provided consulting services to GTZ (a German Bilateral Funding Agency) World Bank, UNDP and UNESCO in India on a wide variety of technical issues in the area of human resource development.

What do you find most rewarding about teaching?

Teaching is very rewarding and satisfying career. In particular, it is an opportunity to shape the lives of young individuals. With this responsibility comes great joy and pride. The teaching career also comes with the opportunity to research and publish, which is very gratifying.

What advice would you give current students or prospective students?

I always share with my students my passion for learning and understanding about the world. We live both in very turbulent and challenging times where it is significant that we understand the dynamic processes of globalization and diversity irrespective of what career path we choose to follow.

What would you say to a student interested in pursuing a career in teaching?

A student interested in a teaching career must invest time and energy in reading, writing and arresting opportunities of professional development, study away opportunities both locally and globally. In a world governed by information and communication technology ignorance is a matter of choice.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I like to listen to music, read, write, publish and browse through the Internet randomly (documentaries, YouTube for complementing my understanding of the world). I also enjoy cooking (Indian, Chinese and experiment with cooking). I like to play lawn tennis and enjoy water activities such as kayaking and river rafting.