Professor Finds a True Calling in Teaching November 9, 2020
Faculty Spotlight: Nikita Mirajkar, PhD
Making the move from Texas to South Georgia in 2019 was an easy trip for Nikita Mirajkar, PhD, chair of the department of biomedical sciences and associate professor of pharmacology. The move was quite a bit easier compared
to her previous transitions, specifically from her hometown of Mumbai, India to Stillwater,
But she knew the moves were necessary to follow her passions.
“While growing up, I always wanted to be a veterinarian,” she said. “I practiced as
a veterinarian in India before moving to the United States, but I soon made the decision
to pursue research. The United States had many research opportunities, so I moved
here to explore that career path.”
However, while pursuing her PhD at Oklahoma State University, she began teaching histology
to veterinary students.
“That’s when I realized teaching was my true calling, and I’ve never looked back.
For me, teaching is so satisfying—to see that comprehension dawn on students. When
they have that ‘Aha! moment,’ it’s such a high for me. I love when students ask me
questions during my lectures because that shows me that they are digesting and analyzing
the material. I don't think anything could ever compare to that feeling of satisfaction.”
After receiving her PhD from OSU, Dr. Mirajkar joined the faculty of the Texas Tech
University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy where she taught students in
the PharmD program for over a decade. During this time, Dr. Mirajkar received 22 teaching awards, including
Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Faculty and Most Influential Professor awards. She
also received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching award as well as the President’s
Excellence in Teaching award.
Throughout her teaching career, Dr. Mirajkar has remained passionate about education.
Whether teaching histology, physiology or pharmacology, she believes teaching is the
one profession that impacts multiple lives at the same time and directly contributes
to the betterment of society. She currently teaches pharmacology to medical students—information
she says the students will use throughout their career on a day-to-day basis to save
While continuing to teach, Dr. Mirajkar also serves as the chair of the department of biomedical sciences. In this role, among a myriad of other tasks, she is actively involved in the execution
of the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine curriculum on the South Georgia campus.
“It has been an interesting experience and has given me a glimpse into the inner workings
of what makes the College run,” she said. “I am so excited to see the impact that
PCOM is going to make on health care in rural Georgia. We’ll be able to see lives and communities being changed in real time because of
our efforts. Something else that is incredibly exciting is that the College is on
the cusp of change and is looking to make further improvements to offer an even better
quality of education to our students. To be a part of that process while being a member
of the founding faculty at PCOM South Georgia is amazing. That’s what I enjoy the
most—knowing that I’m making a difference to this distinguished institution as well
as the local community one day at a time.”
H. William Craver DO, FACOS, Dean and Chief Academic Officer of PCOM South Georgia, is grateful for Dr. Mirajkar’s
willingness to serve in multiple capacities.
“Dr. Mirajkar is a great team player, and she is truly invested in our students’ success,”
he said. “Her ability to connect with students and work with faculty to shape our
curriculum is outstanding. She is a wonderful asset to PCOM.”
Dr. Mirajkar credits her husband of nearly 17 years with helping her balance work
and family responsibilities. Her husband, Dr. Hemant Naikare, is the director of the
University of Georgia’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Tifton, Georgia. She has
two daughters, aged 10 and 6 years, who attend elementary school. In her down time,
Dr. Mirajkar enjoys cooking, reading, listening to music, and watching stand up comedy
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About PCOM South Georgia
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) extended its commitment to the
Southeast by establishing PCOM South Georgia, an additional teaching location in Moultrie, Georgia. PCOM South Georgia offers both
a full, four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
degree and a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit
institution which trains professionals in the health and behavioral sciences fields.
Joining PCOM Georgia in Suwanee in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state,
PCOM South Georgia focuses on educating physicians for the South Georgia region. The
medical campus, which welcomed its inaugural class of medical students in August 2019,
has received accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association's Commission
on Osteopathic College Accreditation. For more information, visit pcom.edu/southgeorgia or call 229-668-3110.
For more information, contact:
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Office: 229-668-3198 | Cell: 229-873-2003
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