Student Stories

Javnika Shah

Touching the Future: Javnika Shah, MA-Teaching '11

After a journey of 7,500 miles, three degrees, and two licenses, teacher Javnika Shah finally found her true purpose in a classroom in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

“To me, knowledge is power and power is knowledge—something I guide students to discover personally, socially, and academically,” she said. “I touch the future every single day.”

Shah earned a degree in accounting and management from Gujarat University in India and a bachelor’s degree from Metro State University before coming to Hamline for her Master of Arts in Teaching (MA-Teaching), K-6 license, and 5-8 mathematics license.

“As I was completing my undergraduate degree, I put in 100 hours of community work,” Shah said. “I taught in an adult education program but loved teaching and working with youth. That led me to working in my son’s school, and six months later, [as] a substitute [teacher].”

Shah enrolled in Hamline’s MA-Teaching program because she wanted to obtain her master’s degree while also getting specific licenses, and Hamline offered exactly that. During her time as a student, she discovered many other highlights of the program, including outstanding faculty support and small class sizes that allowed her to get to know her professors and classmates. She was also able to apply credits from several math classes she took for her accounting degree toward her math licensure program at Hamline.

Originally from India, Shah came to the United States in 1997 and has been in Minnesota for 14 years. Her interest in research comparing education in Gujarat, India and Minnesota led her to write her master’s capstone on fourth-grade mathematics and to compare standards, curriculum, and texts used in both places. Her capstone was later published by Lambert Academic Publishing.

Giving back the educational community through her research, as well as making a daily impact on the lives and minds of her fourth-grade students at Galtier Community School, Shah's calling to be a teacher has touched many lives.

Find out more about the Hamline School of Education's Master of Arts in Teaching and the many licensure options available through the program, or contact Hamline's Graduate Admission Office to learn more about joining the Hamline community.