2016 Aug 22
Being a Dean in a university or college is undoubtedly no easy task. In a long list of things to do, she provides her assistance in all affairs concerning the college’s academic programs, harnesses and enforces the Academic and Undergraduate Regulations that govern student behavior, works in collusion with the Registrar’s Office and the Yale College Dean’s Office, oversees the Freshman Counselors, and supervises freshman advising.
Not to mention, she teaches one course a year, writes letters of recommendation, serves on a gamut of University committees and coordinated countless college activities.
The Wonder Woman from Sri Lanka who fulfills these endeavors is Dean Nilakshi Parndigamage, who took up office this summer.
Head of Ezra Stiles, Stephen Pitti, said. “Of course, you know the excellence of Dean L and Dean Morgan. Dean Parndigamage will join this terrific line.”
Born and bred on Lankan soils, she secured her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the prestigious Yale University and her Juris Doctor degree (a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law) from the University Of Virginia School Of Law.
If all this information didn’t impress or make your jaw drop the slightest bit, her pool of experience may just do the trick. Prior to becoming the Dean of Ezra Stiles, Dean Parndigamage was employed as a corporate litigator in New York as well as in Washington, D.C. for a noteworthy international commercial litigation firm. Moreover, she was a member of several legal teams on behalf of corporate clients in several breach-of-contract, fraud, products liability, qui tam (a type of civil lawsuit whistleblowers bring under the False Claims Act), and securities cases.
Even more fascinatingly, before her time as a litigator, Dean Parndigamage has spent valuable years beautifully painting her background with her work in international human rights for many institutes and offices. She has been awarded profuse human rights fellowships and is presently a Senior Fellow of the Humanity in Action Human Rights Organization based in NYC. I think it’s safe to establish at this point that she is an inspirational humanitarian.
As an undergraduate at Yale, Dean Parndigamage held the position of President of the Center for Buddhist Life at Yale, head tour guide and senior interviewer for the Yale Undergraduate Admissions Office, and worked along with the Yale tsunami relief effort.
While at the University Of Virginia School Of Law, she was an editor of the Virginia Journal of International Law, the President of the J.B. Moore Society for International Law, and the Coordinator of the International Human Rights Program.
Outside of work, Dean Parndigamage is a zealous swimmer who cooks spicy Sri Lankan food in her spare time, throws spontaneous dance parties for her 2-year-old son, and stays up late into the night planning and molding fondant figures for surprise cakes she bakes for friends and family.
Nilakshi Parndigamage is an inspiration to us all, especially us Lankan ladies. She is the kind of person who should be role models to little girls; someone who works hard, not just for her education and work, but also in terms of bettering herself to become a good person and an amazing mother, daughter, wife and friend.