Dr. Nirmaljit K. Rathee is a professor of education and director of graduate programs at Delaware State University, where she has been a member of faculty since 2009. During her time with Delaware State University, Dr. Rathee has helped grow graduate enrollment from fewer than 75 students to more than 300, with professional graduate-level offerings tailored to current educators, school administrators, and district-level professionals. Throughout her career, she has advised more than 50 students in completing their graduate or doctoral research, including overseeing an internationally recognized education scholar visiting from the University of Almeria.
Dr. Rathee’s interest in a career in education was born from a desire to help strengthen communities and ensure that all students had access to quality instruction from caring and present teachers. Born and raised in India, she earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1982 and continued her education at Panjab University, completing a Master of Arts in 1985 and her Doctor of Philosophy in education in 1993. Dr. Rathee’s professional interests were diverse from the outset: her master’s thesis was centered on perception, proprioception, and motor skills in young children, and her doctoral dissertation focused on learning styles and behavioral issues in early childhood.
Dr. Rathee began her career in 1986 as a lecturer at the Government College for Girls in Chandigarh, India, where she remained a member of faculty until 1991. She spent the next two years as a lecturer at DAV College and Mehr Chand Mahajan DAV College before joining the Dev Samaj College of Education in 1994. She continued to lecture at Dev Samaj College of Education until 1999, when she accepted a position as a senior lecturer in the Department of Physical Education at Panjab University. Between 2002 and 2004, when she returned to Panjab University, Dr. Rathee was a resource person for the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti School’s physical education teacher orientation programs. She would remain an associate professor at Panjab University until 2009, when she moved to the United States and joined Delaware State University as an associate professor.
In 2013, Dr. Rathee rose to become an associate professor at Delaware State University, and in 2018, she was made a full professor. She has served as director of graduate programs since 2014 and is a member of the school’s promotion and tenure committee and diversity, equity, and inclusion council. She hopes to continue to rise at Delaware State University, with the eventual goal of becoming a dean. In recognition of her work at the school, she has been honored with a 10-year Meritorious Service Award by the Delaware State University president, and she is the recipient of a grant from the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Dr. Rathee has contributed articles to more than 40 professional journals and is the author of nine frequently cited books, including a chapter in “Younger, Gifted, and Missing,” a study on the systemic underrepresentation that African American students face in STEM fields. She is currently working on a new book on physical education and motor skills. As an internationally recognized expert in her field, Dr. Rathee has been an invited speaker at numerous universities, conferences, and panels, including the United Nations International Forum on Peace and Development and the Internation Olympic Committee’s Solidarity Force Administration Program.
In order to keep abreast of developments in her field, Dr. Rathee is active in numerous professional organizations. She is a member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities, and the Indian Association of Sports Scientists and Physical Education. When she is not working, Dr. Rathee enjoys giving back to the community as a supporter of various nonprofits benefiting those with dyslexia and other learning and sensory processing disorders and a volunteer for area children’s charities, food outreach programs, and the American Heart Association.