Patrick B. McGuigan
Oklahoma City – Dr. Nyla Khan, a humanities professor at Oklahoma’s Rose State College and a well-known author, was one of the women feted at an October 10 dinner honoring “50 Making a Difference.”
The annual event, sponsored by The Journal Record, a business newspaper, drew hundreds to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage museum to honor the nominees for “Woman of the Year.”
In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Khan said she was “humbled to be one of the 2019 honorees of the Journal Record Woman of the Year.” After standing before the crowd of 600 at the world-renowned museum, she reflected, “I was grateful for and appreciative of my loved ones. I knew that I was more sure of myself and undaunted by life’s small annoyances. Everyday, I learn to leverage challenges to transform myself in powerful and positive ways.”
Khan was the only South Asian Muslim woman (specfically, Kashmiri-American) in the group honored this year. A well-known academic scholar, she is the author of important acadmic books, including “The Parchment of Kashmir: History, Society and Polity,” ”The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism,” “Islam, Women and Violence in Kashmir Between India and Pakistan,” and “A Labor of Love.”
Her work has garnered renewed attention in wake of the nation of India’s violation of decades-old promises to Kashmir (embodied in the Indian constitution approved at the end of the British colonial era) for a measure of autonomy.
Last month, Dr. Khan garnered another notable recognition, in the form of a “Top 10” listing about contemporary women from Kashmir. Of some note, the publication, Women’s Web, is based in India.
The site describes itself as “Women’s Web, for women who do.”
In her recent comments to CapitolBeatOK, she continued, “I cherish my culture and values of the past, while being aware of the exigencies of the present. I recognize that my personal emancipation is mediated by my responsibility toward my Oklahoma and Kashmiri communities. My state of adoption, Oklahoma, has given me an amazing platform and an ability to make constructive change at the grassroots level.”
A Rose State College press release, sent earlier this year to The City Sentinel and other news organizations, detailed Dr. Khan’s credentials and experience.
She is “a member of the Harvard-based Scholars Strategy Network and a Humanities Professor at Rose State College where she teaches English Language. Khan is known most notably for work as a human rights and women’s rights activist, and for her academic and political work in the Kashmir region of India.”
In March, Dr. Khan was appointed as Commissioner of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women by Senator Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, who serves as President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate.
Dr. Khan was also awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award and Silver Medal for her bridge-building work at the community and grassroots-level in the State of Oklahoma.
Dr. Khan was earlier this year selected by Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt as a member of the International Team for the chief executive.
That is a group that “brings together business people, members of government at the local, state and federal levels…The members are as diverse as the interests they serve, but they are all committed to a prosperous and globally focused Oklahoma.”
NOTE: An educator and journalist, Pat McGuigan is publisher of The City Sentinel newspaper and founder of CapitolBeatOK, an online news service. In 2013, Pat was named one of the nation’s top political reporters (one of only three in Oklahoma) by ‘The Fix’ (reporter Chris Cillizza’s feature in The Washington Post).
The City Sentinel print edition is available (still just 10 cents) early in every month at Barnes & Noble, 6100 North May Avenue, Oklahoma City, 73112.