Dr. Kush K. Bhardwaj joined Open Buffalo after decades of impactful work as an educator, advisor, mentor, and recruiter throughout Western New York. “Dr. B,” as he is affectionately called by his students, earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph. D from the University at Buffalo (UB). His passion for studying and teaching issues involving race and oppression have been the touchstone of his educational career and have earned Bhardwaj multiple awards and recognition throughout the years.
Having taught at UB, Niagara University, Medaille University, Houghton University, Niagara County Community College and SUNY Brockport, Bhardwaj has revolutionized teaching African American Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Global Gender Studies and American Pluralism. His commitment to teaching and mentoring is accentuated by his messages of diversity, empowerment, and cultural understanding. Wherever Dr. B has taught, students have actually petitioned administration to have him teach more.
With excellence and proven results in pedagogy, college admissions, and academic advisement, Dr. B developed a nuanced understanding of how race and class impact the awareness and access of options and opportunities afforded to various communities. His dedication to education, social justice and equity resulted in being named Citizen of the Month by the Erie County Legislature in 2018, where he was recognized in a special session by Chair April Baskin.
Dr. B is the only person in the history of Erie County to do three things:
- Become a three-time winner of the Milton Plesur Distinguished Teaching Award (at UB)
- Be named the top African American Studies professor in the nation by the national student website ratemyprofessor.com (out of 8,000 in the national database)
- Deliver a TED talk (October 2016) titled “Does African American Studies Matter?”
In 1993, Dr. Bhardwaj became the founding Social Studies teacher at the now-defunct KIPP Sankofa Charter School and was a transformational educator for students in the 5th - 8th grade. He went on to teach Latin, Civics and African American Studies at Oracle Charter School. His transformational work with Buffalo Charter School Students became the subject of various film documentaries, including the Award-Winning The Forgotten City (2006) and The Experience (2010).
His unwavering passion for building relationships and dismantling oppression have earned Bhardwaj a reputation as a trusted transformational educationalist. He seeks to apply his personal paradigm of generating “interest, excitement and inspiration” for identifying the problems and developing the solutions integral to racial equity and justice.
Photo by Blanc Photographie.