Nitika Mehta is a master’s candidate in the department of Educational Psychology. She is from a small town in India and moved to the USA in 2021 to further her journey in academia. After completing an undergraduate degree in Psychology Honors from Delhi University in 2013, Nitika earned a gold medal award in 2016 for a master’s degree in Psychology. Along with her studies at the University of Arizona, she is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Educational Psychology.
As a child, Nitika endured a schooling system that was flawed at best. Up until the seventh grade, she was beaten, bullied, and ridiculed by her teachers and fellow students because she was not a “bright” student. Her attempts of being invisible to avoid that treatment translated into a person with zero self-esteem and inefficacious confidence in one’s self. That all changed for her when, with the support of her parents, she made the volitional decision to study at a public boarding school. That school, Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya, changed her life exceptionally for the better. She fell in love with learning because she could see the power that a wholesome educational institution holds in changing a student’s life.
After her graduate studies in India, Nitika worked with various schools and NGOs. These included populations from low SES groups, disadvantaged backgrounds, and students with special needs. She spent four years understanding how schools in India operate, and what needs to be done to foster a culture where inclusive education can be brought to the forefront. After finishing her masters at the University of Arizona, she plans to continue in the doctoral program. She believes this will equip her to fulfill her dreams of making education inclusive.
Nitika is the recipient of the Dolores R. Kaith Scholarship and the Morton & Malvene Wolstein Peck Scholarship at the University of Arizona. She has also been selected as the Erasmus Circle Scholar for the College of Education (2022). Along with these honors, she is currently a Paul Lindsey intern working with Inspiring Connections Outdoors (Tucson), an organization that provides outdoor opportunities for underserved youth of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.