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Lifelong Learner

Syed "Onik" Kamal '11 says he knew at a very young age that helping people would be foremost in whatever career he might choose. Studying at Earlham has only reinforced that idea.

Growing up in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Kamal says he heard stories about how his grandparents helped others in his village. As a young boy, he went with his father to help people in rural areas that had been hit by cyclones and storms.

He wants to extend this idea of helping others and work as an international civil servant or a diplomat. Already he has accumulated a wealth of experience.

In addition to a 2008 Kathryn Wasserman Davis Project for Peace grant that placed him in Sierra Leone giving art workshops to former child soldiers, Kamal has had internships or similar work experiences in Jordan, Madrid, Boston, Chicago and New York.

"If not directly through Earlham, it was by means of Earlham that I was given these amazing opportunities," he says. "Earlham gave me, most importantly, this notion or this abstract gift, of becoming a lifelong learner. At Earlham you learn to learn, and that's a big responsibility. You have to educate for it."

Kamal, who is fluent in five languages and conversational in three others, says that during his time at Earlham he realized that he could be a bridge between people and the government.

"I want to make a change and this change-making attitude has become ingrained in me here at Earlham," he says. "I see myself making that change and putting my education into practice in international diplomacy."

Syed "Onik" Kamal

Syed "Onik" Kamal 2011

Hometown: Chittagong, Bangladesh

Major at Earlham: International Studies

Interests: Cricket

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.