Trent University: Donor Creates New Opportunities for Aboriginal Students at Trent University

POA Educational Foundation chair Aditya Jha helps establish $100,000 endowment for Indigenous Studies students; new partnership with Trent also created

Friday, January 26, 2007, Peterborough. Trent University is pleased to announce that Aditya Jha, a leading Canadian IT entrepreneur and chairman of the POA Educational Foundation, has agreed to create a $100,000 endowment to support bursaries and awards for Indigenous Studies students as well as a longer-term partnership between the University and the POA Educational Foundation to collaborate on several projects to nurture entrepreneurship among Canada?s Aboriginal population.

“It is an honour to be working with Aditya and the POA Educational Foundation,” says David Newhouse, chair of the Indigenous Studies Department at Trent University.  “There is much merit in the work that we have agreed to undertake together and I am hopeful that it will help Aboriginal students to achieve their academic goals.”

The $100,000 endowment has been created through a donation made by the POA Educational Foundation and matched dollar-for-dollar by the provincial government’s Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS) program. The gifts will be placed in an endowment and the annual distribution from the funds will be used to support both the Aditya Jha Indigenous Studies Awards and the Aditya Jha Indigenous Studies Bursaries, which will first be made available to Trent students in 2008-2009. Preference for these awards and bursaries will be given to applicants of Aboriginal heritage.

See Also …
This news release on Trent University website »

Trent University has also agreed to collaborate with Mr. Jha on several initiatives designed to promote and encourage entrepreneurship among Canada’s Aboriginal population. These initiatives include working with the POA Educational Foundation on its groundbreaking Project Beyshick, which provides Aboriginal youth with the opportunity to gain real business skills by working side-by-side with some of Canada’s most prominent business leaders. As a partner in the project, Trent University?s Indigenous Studies department will host a two-day workshop for participants each summer, in which internal and external faculty and professionals will participate. Students working through the Trent Centre for Community Based Education will also be involved in planning and running Project Beyshick for the next three years.

Another product of the new partnership between Trent University and the POA Educational Foundation is the creation of a workshop or seminar on Indigenous issues, hosted by the department of Indigenous Studies and targeted at executive business leaders. It is proposed that this event would be held in conjunction with Trent’s annual Elders’ Conference.

“As an international leader in the field of Indigenous Studies and as the home of Canada’s first Ph.D. program in Indigenous Studies, Trent University is a perfect partner for Project Beyshick and for our other initiatives surrounding Aboriginal people in Canada.”

Mr. Jha started his professional career with Indian Telephone Industries after four & half years of research studies in India. Upon arriving in Canada in 1994, he enjoyed a successful career at Bell Canada as General Manager, eBusiness and as General Manager, Product Marketing at Bell Nexxia. In 1999, Mr. Jha co-founded the software company, Isopia Inc., and in July 2001, despite the downturn phase of the technology industry, Isopia was one of the major IT acquisition deals in North America when Sun Microsystems Inc., USA acquired Isopia for USD $100 Million. Subsequently, in December 2001, he co-founded another software product company, Osellus Inc., Canada and Osellus Asia Pacific Company Limited, Thailand. In addition, he also founded the POA Educational Foundation, a private, charitable Canadian foundation that works to promote education, nurture entrepreneurship and improve governance, in the same year. Since then, he has been actively involved in projects to nurture entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities and has supported numerous scholarships at several Canadian universities. Mr. Jha became interested in the challenges facing Canada’s Aboriginal peoples when he attended a dinner at which Stan Beardy, grand chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, was speaking.

Over the years, Mr. Jha has been honoured with several awards, including: the CEO Award from BCE in 1998; the President’s Award at Bell Nexxia; and the 2004 Technology Achievement Awards from the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce for his achievements in the field of technology in Canada.

One of Canada’s top universities, Trent University is renowned for striking a unique balance between outstanding teaching and leading edge research. The University is consistently recognized nationally for faculty who maintain a high level of innovative research activity and a deep commitment to the individual student. Distinguished by excellence in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences and increasingly popular professional and graduate programs, Trent is dedicated to providing its students with an exceptional world view, producing graduates who are ready to succeed and make a difference in the world.  Trent’s Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River. Together with its satellite campus in Oshawa, Trent draws excellent students from across the country and around the world.


For more information, please contact:
Richard Morgan, director, Portfolio Operations & Philanthropic Research, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7598

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