Anitha Saravanan

Assistant Professor in Nursing

Anitha Saravanan

What year did you start working at NIU?

Where is your hometown? and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Chennai, India, and I live in Carol Stream, Illinois.

Where did you attend college and what degree(s) have you earned?

  • Ph.D. Loyola University Chicago, nursing science.
  • M.S. Loyola University Chicago, nursing (Adult Nurse Practitioner).
  • B.Sc. Madras University, nutrition and dietetics.
  • A.D.N. College of DuPage, associate degree in nursing.

In which department(s) do you teach?
School of Nursing

What do you like about working at NIU?
The diversity and the culture make me reflect back to my college experience in India. I also like the historic energy in the School of Nursing, which leads us through times of challenges. There is a strong commitment from nursing faculty, and I am glad to be part of this great group of extraordinary nurses!

What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
Huskies are precious, strong and passionate. The vision you have today can change a family, a community, a nation or the world tomorrow. So, go for it relentlessly!

Tell us about a research or engaged learning project you have led.
I am currently leading a project called Pain Hygiene Intervention. It targets older adults living in the community to help them manage chronic pain and comorbidities using a mindfulness-based intervention.

What do you hope students take away from your class?
I want them to feel empowered. I want them to enjoy every moment, and they should feel free to choose their own journey in life. I also want students to know that I trust, respect and appreciate them. Above all, I want them to know that they are precious to me and to this world that will be theirs tomorrow!

What is your favorite campus event?
The Nursing Pinning Ceremony.

What is your favorite memory of NIU?
Walking toward various campus buildings and exploring the historic energy inside and from outside, I love the presence of students and the inspiration that they give me to do what I do.

Who has influenced your professional path?
I have been blessed to have had several mentors in my career path. I would not be who I am today without them. All I am doing today is because of their support. I have a long list and do not want to miss anyone. I wouldn’t be here without my mentors.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a scientist. Then life took me on a different path. But today, I am a nurse researcher. So, I guess I am close.

Are you a member of or hold a position within a professional organization? If so, what organization? What is the purpose of that organization and how does being part of this organization benefit you in your role at NIU?

What community organizations are you involved in?
I am active in collecting and donating food and supplies for a local food pantry. I also volunteer for Feed My Starving Children and the Wellness Center for Cancer.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I meditate, do yoga, exercise, paint, make jewelry and write. 

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
I want to thank the NIU community for all that we do to improve students and bring them success!

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