Mr. Ramu Damodaran
Chief Guest
The Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center ( will honor seven Indian American Malayalees for their outstanding achievements in their field of specialization or for their service to the society. The awardees will be honored at Kerala Center’s annual banquet on Saturday, November 12th at 6.00 p.m. at the Kerala Center, 1824 Fairfax St., Elmont, NY 11003. The Chief Guest for the evening is Mr. Ramu Damodaran, Deputy Director of Outreach Division, Department of Public Information at the U.N. The keynote speaker is the famous robotic surgeon/urologist Dr. Mani Menon, Rajendra and Padma Vattikutti Distinguished Chair in Oncology and Director of the Vattikutti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Dr. Menon will also be honored for his achievement in medicine. Other award recipients who will be honored at the Awards Banquet are Dr. K. M. Abraham, Research Professor at Northeastern University Center for Renewable Energy Technology in Boston and the President and Chief Technology officer of E-KEM Science, Boston (Applied Sciences); Dr. Santhosh Mathew, professor, researcher and science writer (Journalism – Science Writing); Raju Mylapra, Chief Editor of Aswamedham online publication, New York (Journalism – Humor Writing); Dr. Murali Nair, Professor & Director of School of Social Work at Cleveland State University in Ohio (Social Sciences); Gracy Varghese, Nursing Home Administrator, East Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Bronx, New York.
An entertainment will follow after the award ceremony by cultural performances by Bolly Arts Entertainment. Tickets for banquet can be reserved by contacting Kerala Center at 516-358-2000 or e-mail at or This year’s awardees are as follows:
Dr. K.M. Abraham – Applied Sciences
Dr. Abraham is Research Professor at Northeastern University Center for Renewable Energy Technology, Boston, Massachusetts, and President of E-KEM Sciences, a lithium battery consulting company. He made significant contributions to the development of lithium battery technology including the first ever practical rechargeable lithium battery with long cycle life, the development of gel polymer electrolytes which form the basis of today’s lithium-ion polymer batteries and invention of the ultra-high energy density lithium-air battery which is being developed world-wide for electric vehicle and other applications. K.M received the Battery Research Award from the Electrochemical Society, and the Group Achievement from the NASA, and he is a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society.

Dr. Santosh Mathew – Journalism (Science Writing)
Santhosh Mathew, Ph.D., is a professor, researcher and science writer. He has written extensively in English and Malayalam on scientific topics of popular interest. He pens regular science columns for Huffington Post and Worcester Telegram & Gazette. His writings on science and eastern philosophy have been appearing in Little India magazine. His guest column appears in Times of India and India New England weekly. He continues to contribute Malayalam articles to Kalakaumudi magazine. Currently he is a faculty member at Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts and continues his research in collaboration with Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Mani Menon, MD – Medicine
Dr. Menon, is the Rajendra and Padma Vattikuti Distinguished Chair in Oncology and Director of the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Health System. Dr. Menon is Clinical Professor of Urology at Case School of Medicine, University of Toledo, and New York University. Menon is a recipient of the Gold Cystoscope award of the American Urological Association and a member of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons and the Clinical Society of GU Surgeons. In 2008, the President of India awarded him the Dr. B.C. Roy Award for his pioneering contributions to the field of Medicine. Dr. Menon has published over 1000 manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters, primarily in the field of robotic surgery, renal transplantation and urolithiasis. Dr. Menon is profiled in the Best Doctors of America and Who’s Who in the World.

Raju Mylapra – Journalism (Humor Writing)
Raju Mylapra has served Chief Editor of ASWAMEDHAM, one of the first Malayalam Publications for USA for 15 years. He continues to serve as the chief editor of, an online publication for Malayalees living outside India. Raju has been writing humor columns in many Malayalam publications of North America. He is also author of many short stories, drama, novel, poems and is widely recognized in America as a satire writer. Raju has won many awards for humorous writings from many community organizations including FOKANA, FOMAA, Kerala Tri-State Forum, Malayalee Association of Maryland and Malayalee Association of Staten Island. He also served as coordinator and host of “Chirarangu” in FOKANA and FOMMA conventions.

Prof. Murali D. Nair – Social Sciences
Dr. Murali Nair is a Professor & Director of School of Social Work at Cleveland State University in Ohio. He is also the Co-Director of the Center for Healing Across the Cultures and Director of the India Experience Program at the university. During the past 14 years he has been offering a popular summer study abroad program for American university students in Kerala known as “India Experience”. He has written close to 100 books, journal articles and presented invitational papers at professional conferences across the world. Dr. Nair received his PhD in social welfare from Columbia University and MS in Computer Science from the New York Institute of Technology. He is a Fulbright Scholar.

Gracy Varghese – Nursing
Gracy Varghese is Nursing Home Administrator, East Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, in Bronx, New York. After graduating BS in Nursing from Bombay University, Gracy started working as a Tutor in Bombay Hospital. Later Gracy worked in Muscat as an ICU nurse. Joined Sound Shore Hospital in 1987 as an ICU nurse and at the same Gracy completed a my Masters Degree in Health Administration and slowly moved from acute care nursing to long term care nursing. Gracy was elevated to Director of Nursing and worked for about 7 years. After completing and passing the Nursing Home Administrator Licensing Exam, Gracy was promoted to the Administrator Position at East Haven Nursing and Rehab Center which is a 200 bed facility with more than 250 employees and more than 25 physicians. Gracy has received Critical Care (CCRN) and Geriatric Certifications (RN,C) besides the MS in Health Administration.