UA Alumna's Impact, From Google to India

July 5, 2013

UA alumna Nithya Krishnamoorthy said that given her education and training while at the University, she was able to land a job as a software engineer at Google.

There, Nithya initially worked with a software team responsible for optimizing a storage system and now works with another team charged with enforcing quota restrictions for various systems within the company.

"My algorithm classes were especially good for Google, and I do use the theory I learned here," said Nithya, who earned a master's degree in computer science in 2010, having studied under the direction of professor Saumya Debray.

In fact, Nithya had interned with Google while studying at the UA and was eventually invited to apply for a full time job. Today, she works at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Nithya said her experience at the UA and now at Google are part of a continuation of good fortune that she has had in life. And, for that reason, she remains devoted to her work as a member of the board of Pudiyador, a nonprofit organization that facilitates programs in India for children who live in underprivileged communities.

"I had a very privileged childhood; both my parents are retired professors, and they were both very socially inclined," Nithya said.

"A person born only one mile away from my house, in a nearby slum, could have had a very unhappy childhood, not a very good education and, therefore, not achieved anywhere near what they would have otherwise been capable of," she said. "I realized I was lucky to be born into that family."

Recognizing the benefits she has been afforded in life compels Nithya to commit to working toward an equitable tomorrow for all children, especially in her home country and with Pudiyador. 

Pudiyador’s aim is to provide a safe environment, education and tools so that children are able to mature into confident, sensitive and responsible adults, said Nithya, who has been involved with the organization since it was founded in 2001.

Since then, youth have been offered courses in karate, yoga, craftmaking, theater, dance and English, among other things.

"We have been slowly trying to scale our services, and have been experimenting with strategies to do so effectively," she said, noting that her role has been to aid with defining strategic organizational priorities for the improved success of Pudiyador. Also, Nithya has begun to mentor the nonprofit's ground staff in India, where she travels about every two years.

"More than 50 percent of the children we work with need extra, personalized intervention because there may be substance abuse in the family or they are going through abuse themselves," Nithya said.

Many of the youth also are homeless; often they go without regular nutritious meals.

"If we do not provide personalized solutions for each of them," she said, "we can clearly see them going astray."

Contact: Nithya Krishnamoorthy at nithya84@gmail.com.