Ryerson University: Tapping Potential Through Education

“I was tremendously fortunate to have a good education and I really believe it makes all the difference in the world,” says Mr. Jha, the Nepalese- and Indian-educated Chief Operating Officer of Osellus Inc. and Chairman of the POA Educational Foundation.

Aditya Jha

Aditya Jha

The Foundation has made a $105,000 gift to Ryerson for an endowed scholarship fund that will benefit South Asian students. Beginning this fall, the POA Educational Foundation Graduate Scholarship will provide a $5,000 grant to a student in Electrical and Computer Engineering, who is from Nepal, of Nepalese origin, or from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or Thailand. The scholarship is eligible for a 2:1 match from the Ontario Graduate Scholarships or Ontario Graduate Student Scholarships in Science and Technology programs.

The POA Educational Foundation funds information technology initiatives in South Asia and Canada. It was founded by Mr. Jha and two of his business partners, who, together in 1998, founded ISOPIA Inc., a Canadian software company that was acquired three years later by Sun Microsystems. In 2002, the three entrepreneurs started another software company, Osellus Inc., as well as Osellus Asia Pacific Company Limited in Thailand.

Shortly after creating Osellus, the three businessmen established the POA Educational Foundation. One of the major goals of the Foundation is to help Canada attract the best international students in information technology.
Mr. Jha says Ryerson plays an important role in the field and he is delighted to be able to make such a gift to the University.

“For me, Ryerson was the most logical institution to support because of the multicultural makeup of its students, it’s a broad-based university, and it’s an institution on the rise,” says Mr. Jha, who obtained his master’s degree in mathematical statistics and his postgraduate diploma in computer science, after four years of research in computer science at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Mr. Jha now wants to explore other educational options with Ryerson; for example, in assisting Canada’s Native population, possibly in high-tech or other entrepreneurial ventures; and in better preparing new Canadians for the corporate world.

Ryerson is already doing pioneering work in both areas. Through the First Nations Public Administration program, the University is educating young people in First Nations communities about governance issues, enabling them to become the leaders of tomorrow in their communities. And, this fall, Ryerson is offering Canada’s first master’s program in Immigration and Settlement Studies, focusing on immigration policies, services, and experiences.

“I believe any community can do anything with education,” says Mr. Jha. “I also believe more people and corporations should be supporting educational initiatives. Look at me, I grew up in a village and had a successful career as general manager of e-business at Bell Canada, running my second high-tech venture, and today I am running Osellus, a micro-multinational with 52 employees.”

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