Duke University at Durham in the U.S. state of North Carolina has appointed Usha Rajagopalan as its first Hindu chaplin. Ushaji began her part-time role at Duke on August 1, 2011 and will provide guidance for the Hindu Students Association and represent the group on Duke's Faith Council and in the university's Religious Life program. The Hindu Student Association at Duke, which was founded in 1998, organizes scripture studies, Hindu festivals and Hinduism Awareness Week.
Duke Today writes
Usha Rajagopalan is fluent in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam, and comes to Duke with degrees from Annamalai University in India and the University of Maryland. She has been leading Hindu worship services in the Triangle area and received the 2009 Kathryn H. Wallace Award in Community Service from the Triangle Community Foundation.
"Hinduism, or Sanathana Dharma, is not a religion but a practice, a way of life," Rajagopalan said. "Deepening understanding of their inner world as they pursue their academic goals allows Hindu students at Duke to receive a holistic education and to practice their Dharma or way of life."