A business student at Concordia College in New York, who hails from Madurai in Tamil Nadu, and her mother died in a road accident in Riyadh recently.
Shyama Kanagasabapathy, 21 and her mother Malar Selvi were identified as the deceased.
The family of Kanagasabapathy was heading from Riyadh to Dammam when the car in which they were traveling met with an accident killing Shyama and her mother on the spot. Her father Kanagasabapathy suffered injuries, said sources.
Reports said that Shyama had gone to Saudi Arabia on a visiting visa.
Steps have been taken to fly the bodies to India.
Meanwhile, Jim Burkee, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, announced on LinkedIn the death of “a former student, student worker, and dear friend died, with her mother, in a tragic accident on Tuesday.”
“We learned last night that a former student, student worker, and dear friend died, with her mother, in a tragic accident on Tuesday. Shyama Kanagasabapathy, a Business student at Concordia College-New York, was one of the most remarkable among the many, many standout students we recruited to the College from India.”
Jim Burkee noted that Shyama stood out as a student worker in the Business Office, where her wizardy on complex Excel spreadsheets made her a tremendous asset to the College.
“She helped my office coordinate with our partner institutions in India and the College’s India Liaison Office. But more than that, she reflected our emphasis on ethics in our Business program: reserved, yet strong and brave, she stood up and spoke up when she saw wrongdoing. That’s a lot for a 21 year old,” he said.
A colleague who similarly lost a former student years ago reminded me of something important today: While we in higher education talk about the impact we make on students, too rarely do we talk about the impact students make on us. Shyama, you made our lives immeasurably better during your years at Concordia with your smarts, your humility, your integrity, your sacrificial spirit, and your bravery. You will be dearly missed, he signed off.