Jagasia leaves mark on IVCC, community

Katie Alleman, IV Leader Staff Writer

Kind, loving and patient have all been used to describe Koshu Jagasia, one of IVCC’s English instructors, who recently submitted her letter of resignation after 28 years at the College.

Jagasia has been at IVCC “full-time 19 years when [she] retires, but before that seven years as part-time and two years as a student,” Jagasia explained — or, as she wittily described, “a life time.”

Before coming to America, Jagasia lived in Kasachi, Pakistan, where she received her education at Gujarat University, India.
After regaining her health from an illness and visiting her friends from Chicago, she decided to pursue her dream. Jagasia had to ask herself, “So, what are some of my dreams?” On top of the list was her dream to attend college in America. Lacking financial support, Jagaisa searched for schools in Illinois that offered reasonable tuition, which is how she found herself at IVCC.

Since the beginning of her career, Jagasia has been working in education. First, at IVCC, she was an education consultant, who taught English to students and families. In this job field, she was able to work from her home with “special needs students, gifted students wishing to excel, or women who wanted to speak English” as their second language.

Jagasia said, “I don’t know how I became a teacher, but I’m glad I did. I love what I do and get paid for it.” However, she was inspired to be a teacher from her father’s “love of languages” and the fact that her mother was considered a “study skill guru.” Using her parents value of education, she transferred into her own love of teaching.

Jagasia says, “My entire association with IVCC has been exciting.”

As a student she worked in the counseling center. She remembers that everyone was so kind to her, and she loved every minute of being at the college. Jagasia explained how she felt the semester went by too quickly.

In her time as a teacher, there are two things that touched her the most: when the mother of a former student thanked Jagasia because her class influenced her son to change his major to English, and when a former student emailed her, saying they planned to use Jagasia’s techniques in their teaching. She was proud to pass down her passion for English to her former students.

“Just before this semester I decided I wanted to spend more time with the family,” Jagasia said about her recent decision to retire.

She has loved all of her time at IVCC and learned so much from her colleagues and students. However, with more time on her hands, Jagasia will be able to balance her life. She mentioned that she feels at peace with her decision to retire, but she has not figured out yet what her plans are for after retirement.

She says, “[I’ll] probably take better care of myself and my husband, spend more time with friends and family, sleep in and maybe discover some hidden dreams.”

With years of knowledge, she gives advice to the students and faculty of IVCC: “Welcome learning, constantly evaluate yourself, enjoy the ride and live fully in every moment.”

Jagasia also shared how she felt about her students and colleagues, saying,“I feel as if the students and my co-workers have enriched my life. I can really never thank them enough, but 99 percent of the people I have met have been wonderful.”
The appreciation does not only come from Jagasia. Her fellow colleagues had a few memories to share about her. Kirk Lockwood mentioned his love of chatting with Jagasia on their spare moments, and both he and Delores Robinson raved about Jagasia and her husband’s “wonderful Indian food” for an end of semester lunch.

Instructor Jennifer Bubb expressed that “Koshu is a blessing in my life and the lives of all who know her. I wish her well as she begins the next chapter in her journey.” Kimberly Radek had the privilege to attend some of her classes.
Radek said, “I will say that my favorite memories are visiting her classes when her students were doing presentations on India; they educated me about India, a place I’ve never been, engaging me more thoroughly than almost any other classroom experience: they studied India across so many disciplines and presented across so many senses that your whole body became familiar with the subject, not just your brain.”

Radek told about her pleasure of helping to hire Jagasia, saying that even from the beginning “her talent, her passion, and her depth of caring were visibly demonstrable.”