Lisa Karbhari has a passion for helping students find their life’s calling
Lisa Karbhari is determined to make the world a better place. As her husband interviewed for president, she realized UT Arlington shares the same goal.
“Universities are all about the students,” she says. “When you work with college students, you can really make a difference by encouraging and supporting them.”
The couple, who recently celebrated 20 years of marriage, met at the University of Delaware. Lisa was a first-generation student majoring in civil engineering, and Vistasp a Ph.D. candidate conducting research in composite materials.
She chose civil engineering because it offered numerous opportunities to benefit society. After earning a bachelor’s degree, she worked for a geotechnical firm designing landfills, testing areas for environmental remediation, and developing plans for the management of water resources.
In 1995 the Karbharis moved to California, where Vistasp had accepted a faculty position at the University of California San Diego. West Coast living kindled another of Lisa’s passions: the ocean. In addition to leading various ministries at her church, she became a docent ambassador for the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD and a certified scuba diver.
“It’s the most peaceful place you can ever be,” she says of being under water. “You can hear yourself breathe and there’s so much to see. It seems like I see something unusual every time I dive. I’ve been very fortunate.”
That good fortune has included rare encounters with a 100-year-old sea turtle near the Bahamas, a sea dragon and ink-spraying cuttlefish off the southern Australian coast, and a pod of dolphins as she emerged from a lava tube in Hawaii. As a volunteer for the Birch Aquarium, she led whale-watching tours, conducted educational programs for children, and shared ocean wonders with people of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities.
An avid college sports fan, Lisa plans to immerse herself in all things UT Arlington, including attending as many athletics events as possible. But it’s the opportunity to nurture students that most excites her. She looks forward to sharing her experiences and helping them pursue their career dreams.
“If they love what they do, it’s not work. They’re more content, and the world is a brighter place,” she says. “It’s important to have a positive impact on students. I want to find a way to make a difference in their lives.”
Read about President Vistasp Karbhari in Sharing a Bold Vision.