Anusha Kumar, Writing Coach and Scholar
Anusha’s brush with fame happened early, at age twelve, when she reached the second round of auditions for the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Her grandmother, Anasuya Shankar, was a notable South Indian activist and modern fiction writer, popularly known by her pen name Triveni. She published several novels that dealt with an issue revolutionary for its time—the stigma of mental illness. Some of her novels became feature films. Anusha has not only danced professionally but has also sashayed the catwalk with former Mr. and Miss India.
Research, Recognition and Scholarship
The arc of Anusha’s interest in psychology began in the eleventh grade, when she completed the Cambridge Psychology International Exams, achieving the highest score in India. Her trajectory continued at Rutgers, where she served as an Aresty research assistant and principal investigator, studying the emotional coping behaviors of children with anxiety disorders. Anusha is now researching and writing her honors thesis on the dynamics of childhood anxiety, coping behaviors, and parental control. As a clinical intern this past summer, she shadowed with a professional psycho-oncologist in Bangalore, India.
Anusha is a two-time recipient of the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences Excellence Award Scholarship, a Paul Robeson Scholar, and a Dorothy and David Cooper Fellow. She is a member of the International Honor Society in Psychology and the Gamma Sigma Alpha National Greek Academic Honor Society. Anusha has made Dean’s List for seven consecutive semesters and hopes to graduate, fingers crossed, summa cum laude.
Writing and Learning
What Anusha enjoys most about writing coaching is the process: “The fact that we are both learning and gaining so much in a single session is beautiful in its own way.” Anusha easily relates to her students, recalling when she, too, struggled to decipher prompts, to comprehend an unfamiliar academic vocabulary, and to express her thoughts in writing. She is still navigating the process. Anusha has come to appreciate two skills when coaching students—patience and listening—the twin skills Anusha has developed and credits to the improvement she sees in her students' writing. Anusha has endeared herself to many students, and is always heartened to hear back from them about their progress, which makes coaching even more worthwhile for her.
Advice to Writers
“Writing is a long and continuous journey. We never actually stop learning how to write. We are always learning how to write, no matter our age. This is a lesson we will use for the rest of our lives.”