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Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA)

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Megha N. Parajulee

Megha N. Parajulee, PhD
Professor, Faculty Fellow, and Texas A&M Regents Fellow
Texas A&M University Research Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA
Email: kapashakim at gmail dot com

Dr. Parajulee earned B.Sc. (Agri. Econ.) (1987) from Himachal Pradesh, India, and M.S. (1991) and Ph.D. (1994) in Entomology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Parajulee joined Texas A&M University in 1994 as a cotton entomologist/research scientist and is serving as the Cotton Entomology Program Leader since 2001. Dr. Parajulee is a leader in cotton entomology research, teaching, and service, with 115 refereed and over 330 non-refereed publications, 160 invited and 290 submitted presentations, and 35 M.S./Ph.D. students mentored during his 25-year tenure at Texas A&M. He is also active internationally with plenary/keynote roles in 18 countries. Dr. Parajulee has served as an agricultural resource person in Nepal from his home state of Texas for over 20 years, including six months as a Fulbright Senior Scholar. He is regularly engaged in agricultural and higher education policy discussions with National Planning Commission and agricultural universities. Dr. Parajulee received the Texas A&M Vice Chancellor's Award in Research Excellence (2008), Faculty Fellow Award (2009), Regents Fellow Award (2010), and Texas A&M Vice Chancellor's Award in Team Research (2015). He is a member of Entomological Society of America (ESA), including ESA National Program Chair (2010), Society of Southwestern Entomologists (President, 2010), ESA International Branch, (President, 2017), and Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA). Dr. Parajulee served on the Working Committee that established NAPA in 2016 and served as Coordinator of NAPA’s First General Assembly in Dallas, Texas in 2016, which ratified NAPA bylaws and elected its first executive committee. Dr. Parajulee continued to serve NAPA for two terms as Vice President before assuming the role of President for the third executive committee. Dr. Parajulee is also the Founding Editor-In-Chief of Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences (GJAAS).


Pradeep Wagle

Pradeep Wagle, PhD
Research Ecologist, USDA-ARS, Grazinglands Research Laboratory, Oklahoma, USA
Email: waglepradeep at gmail dot com

Dr. Pradeep Wagle is an internationally recognized scientist on biosphere-atmosphere interactions, carbon and water cycles of terrestrial ecosystems, and remote sensing of vegetation as documented over 50 SCI indexed peer-reviewed articles in various journals, such as Remote Sensing of Environment; ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing; Remote Sensing; Global Change Biology – Bioenergy; Agricultural and Forest Meteorology; Agricultural Water Management; Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment; Ecological Applications; Agronomy; Atmospheric Environment; Science of the Total Environment; Ecohydrology. He received his Ph.D. in Crop Science from Oklahoma State University (OSU), USA in 2013. From 2013 to 2015, Dr. Wagle worked as a postdoctoral research associate and research scientist at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Since 2016, he has worked as a Research Ecologist at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Grazinglands Research Laboratory, El Reno, Oklahoma. He serves as the handling editor and member secretary on the editorial board for the Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences, and as an Associate Editor for the Remote Sensing Journal. He worked as a guest editor for “Sustainability in the Mountains Region” for Sustainability Journal from 2016 to 2017, “Remote Sensing of Evapotranspiration” and “Remote Sensing of Evapotranspiration II” for Remote Sensing Journal from 2018 and 2019, and from 2019 to 2020, respectively. Dr. Wagle is a reviewer for myriad professional journals of meteorology, ecosystems/ecology, climate change, and remote sensing. For his exceptional research and professional achievements, Dr. Wagle has received Certificate of Merits/Outstanding Performance Awards from the USDA for consecutive years. He was included in the 71st edition of Who is Who in America by Marquis and featured as a Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientist in August 2019. As a member of graduate faculty, he also supervises/mentors graduate students at OSU and OU. Currently, he is a member of American Geophysical Union (AGU) and NAPA.

General Secretary

Ramjee Ghimire

Ramjee Ghimire, PhD
Michigan State Uniersity
Email: ramghi at gmail dot com

Dr. Ghimire earned a Ph.D. (2016) in Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. He holds a B. V. Sc. & A. H. (1992) degree from Maharashtra, India, and M.Sc. (Ag & RD) (2002) from Australia. As a member of the Department of Animal Science and the WorldTAP team at Michigan State University (MSU), Dr. Ghimire is involved in many multidisciplinary research and evaluation, and educational and training programs. Dr. Ghimire coordinates the MSU WorldTAP’s International Food Safety Course. Collaborating with research and extension officials and university faculty, Dr. Ghimire has led many research and outreach initiatives for demand-driven, participatory, and pluralistic extension services and facilitated training programs for extension professionals and agricultural entrepreneurs. Prior to joining MSU, Dr. Ghimire served for over 16 years at the Department of Livestock Services within Nepal's Ministry of Agricultural Development providing technical and administrative oversight to four District Livestock Services office, each with over 50 staff. Dr. Ghimire also had the privilege of coordinating with the Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Local Development, and pastoralist communities to implement the National Rangeland Policy Development project in Nepal. Additionally, while working in Nepal, Dr. Ghimire led collaborations/partnerships with the commodity associations (e.g., dairy, poultry, etc.) and international non-governmental organizations (e.g., FAO, USAID, Winrock International, ICIMOD, etc.) in implementing the animal disease prevention and control and livestock development programs, and community development programs. He is a member of the MSU Department of Animal Science Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and the advisor for the Nepalese Student Association at MSU. At NAPA, Dr. Ghimire has been serving for the past four years at the Policy and Research Brief Editorial Committee, first two years as a member and the latter two years as the Editor-in-Chief along with contributing to other committees and sub-committees including Resource Capacity Building Committee. Dr. Ghimire has been serving as a reviewer for over half a dozen journals and he is widely published.

Joint Secretary

Dev Paudel

Dev Paudel, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Email: dpaudel at outlook dot com

Dr. Dev Paudel is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida - Gulf Coast Research And Education Center. Dr. Paudel received his Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science in 2009. After completing undergraduate degree, he worked as Horticultural Development Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture in Nepal, where he was stationed at the District Agricultural Development Office in Sindhuli. Dr. Paudel completed his MS degree in Crop Science from Texas Tech University in 2012 under the guidance of Dr. Eric Hequet where he evaluated the potentials of new testing methods in cotton breeding. After this, he worked as a Research Technician at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Pecos, TX where he optimized growing algae for biofuel. Dr. Paudel received Graduate School Fellowship from the University of Florida to complete his PhD in Agronomy.


Santosh Dhakal

Santosh Dhakal, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA
Email: santoshdhakal88 at gmail dot com

Dr. Dhakal earned B.V.Sc.&A.H. (2011) from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and M.S. (2015) and Ph.D. (2018) in Comparative and Veterinary Medicine (CVM) from The Ohio State University, USA. His research interests include infectious diseases, vaccine development, animal model development and immunology. Dr. Dhakal has published 32 peer-reviewed journal articles, several non-peer reviewed articles, and over 50 conference abstracts. He has received several awards and honors including the prestigious Presidential Fellowship (2017/18) from The Ohio State University. Dr. Dhakal works as the Editor of Nepalese Veterinary Journal, guest associate editor for the special research topic of Frontiers in Veterinary Science; and reviewer for more than 15 scientific journals including Journal of Virology, Veterinary Microbiology, Plos One, Frontiers in Microbiology, and mSphere. Dr. Dhakal has continued his agricultural connection to Nepal professionally alive through mentoring undergraduate/graduate student research activities and through his involvement in two agriculture farms. Dr. Dhakal is a NAPA life member. He served as the Co-chair of NAPA Membership Drive Committee and the Secretary for the 2nd NAPA Biennial International Scientific Conference - 2020.


Aditya Khanal

Aditya Khanal, PhD

Assistant Professor, Tennessee State University

Email: akkhanal at gmail dot com

Dr. Aditya R. Khanal is an agricultural and applied economist, currently working in the College of Agriculture at Tennessee State University. He has a PhD in agricultural economics from Louisiana State University. Prior to coming to U.S. for higher studies, he received his B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from IAAS of Tribhuvan University, Nepal and worked as a socio-economist in a non-government organization, Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD), Nepal. Dr. Khanal's area of expertise include agricultural economics and agribusiness, finance, production economics, food security, productivity and efficiency, and economic development in developed and developing countries. In his current role in the University, he is engaged in research, student advisement, and teaching activities. He has nearly 50 referred scientific publications, has generated research grants as principal investigator and co-investigator, and has advised 5 graduate students as major advisor in their thesis. Dr. Khanal teaches courses in applied microeconomics, agribusiness management, agribusiness strategy, and agricultural finance. He is the recipient of "Outstanding Young Scholar of Agricultural Finance" from Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), “Outstanding Young Researcher Award" from the College of Agriculture at Tennessee State University, “2017 outstanding journal article: highly commended from Emerald Publishing.” He is actively involved in professional societies, is an active member of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), Southern Agricultural Economics Association (SAEA) and serves as reviewer for dozens of scientific journals related to agriculture and applied economics. He is a life member of NAPA and has served as a member of NAPA's Research and Capacity Building Committee (RCBC) and Scientific Sub Committee of 2020 NAPA Conference. Khanal was born in Gulmi District of Nepal and raised in Gulmi and Rupandehi districts of Nepal.

Gita Koirala Bhandari

Gita Koirala Bhandari, MS
Email: gita2067 at gmail dot com

Ms. Gita Koirala Bhandari born and grew up in Walling, Syangja. She earned her B.Sc. Ag. from Tribhuvan University, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS) in 1994 and joined Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD), Department of Agriculture in 1995. Since then she worked for the MoALD for about 20 years in different capacities an agriculture extension officer and senior agriculture extension officer. In between, She graduated with M.Sc. in Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology from IAAS in 2001. Her M.Sc. thesis was concentrated on Gender Analysis of Agricultural Extension Delivery System in Nepal. During her service period with the MoALD, she was mostly involved in the coordination with inter and intra governmental organizations, national and international non-governmental organizations, professional associations, farmers cooperatives and farmers groups as well as planning, monitoring and evaluation of different agricultural extension programs. She is a life member of Nepal Agricultural Extension Association. She is enthusiastic, optimistic and always seeking to learn new things. She moved to US in 2014 to join with her spouse and now she is staying with her family at Dallas, Texas.

Nityananda Khanal

Nityananda Khanal, PhD

Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Email: nityananda.khanal at gmail dot com

Dr. Nityananda Khanal, born and raised in a farm family in Arghakhanchi-Nepal, is a research scientist working for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, a department of Government of Canada. He currently leads Forage Research Program at Beaverlodge Research Farm covering the aspects of cropping systems design, soils and plant nutrient management, plant growth regulation, plant protection, population improvement, breeder’s seed maintenance and cultivar testing for local adaptation. He also serves as an advisor to various industry associations and is invited to deliver talks in industry events. Dr. Khanal has expertise in crop physiology, agronomy and breeding of forages and field crops. He received over a dozen of academic scholarship awards including Outstanding PhD Student Award, and numerous recognitions for his dedicated professional work. He is affiliated with five professional forums including: Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professional of Americas (NAPA), Alberta Institute of Agrologists, Canadian Society of Agronomy, Canadian Society of Plant Biologists, and American Society of Agronomy. Before coming to Canada for PhD, Dr. Khanal served Nepalese communities in the motherland through governmental and non-governmental system as a teacher, technician, researcher and developmental specialist for over a decade. In Canada, he helped hundreds of Nepalese individuals and families in various ways and took initiatives in cultural promotion events. He is a NAPA life member and has been serving as editor-in-chief of the NAPA quarterly online newsletter Agri-Connection since 2018. He feels an honor to serve in the NAPA Executive Committee passed down and led by visionary leaders, and supported by dedicated colleagues.

Shyam L. Kandel

Shyam L. Kandel, PhD

Research Plant Pathologist, USDA-ARS, New Orleans
Email: kandelsl at gmail dot com

Shyam Kandel is a research plant pathologist (research associate) at the USDA-ARS Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, New Orleans LA. He received his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in agriculture from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Soon after his postgraduate degree, he joined government of Nepal as a plant protection officer and worked for nearly two years before moving to the US. In US, he received his M.S. in Plant Pathology from Washington State University in 2012 and his Ph.D. in Environmental and Forest Sciences from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2016. He is interested in both basic and applied research to find solutions to minimize the damage caused by plant pathogens. He is very passionate in formulating and implementing policies and projects in agricultural development and global food security.

Sushil Thapa

Sushil Thapa, PhD

Assistant Research Scientist, Texas A&M AgriLife Research
E-mail: ag.sushilthapa at gmail dot com

Dr. Thapa is an Assistant Research Scientist at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and an Adjunct Professor at West Texas A&M University. He earned his Ph.D. (Systems Agriculture/Agronomy) from West Texas A&M University, Texas in 2016 and M.S. (Agro Ecology) from Wageningen University, the Netherlands in 2009. His research and teaching interests are focused on cropping systems, whole plant physiology, soil-plant-water-environment interactions, and biotic and abiotic stress management in field and forage crops. His productivity has resulted in more than 70 publications in the forms of journal articles, book chapters, abstracts, and articles in newspapers, fact sheets, and online platforms, including 16 peer-reviewed journal articles as the first author. Over the years, Dr. Thapa received 14 academic awards/scholarships, including two prestigious awards in the Texas A&M University System - the Award of Excellence from the Texas A&M AgriLife Agency and the Special Achievement Award for Research Collaboration from the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University. He also mentored several graduate and undergraduate students. Currently, he is serving as the editor of the Nepalese Journal of Agricultural Sciences published by HICAST/Purbanchal University in Nepal and Agri-Connection Newsletter published by NAPA. He has reviewed articles for more than 20 scientific journals, including Agronomy Journal, Crop Science, Field Crops Research, Agricultural Water Management, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, European Journal of Agronomy, and Sustainability. Dr. Thapa is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, and Crop Science Society of America.

Uma Karki

Uma Karki, PhD

Professor & State Extension Livestock Specialist, Tuskegee University
E-mail: u_karki at yahoo dot com

Dr. Uma Karki is a Professor of Animal Science and State Extension Livestock Specialist at the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama. Dr. Karki got her PhD in Forage and Grazing Land Ecology from Auburn University, Master's degree in Animal Science from the University of Western Australia, Australia, and Bachelor’s degrees in Animal Science and Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Dr. Karki's current research and Extension work focus on promoting the sustainable livestock production system with special concentrations on 1) sustainable year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management, 2) integrated approach for preventing diseases and parasites in small ruminants, and 3) sustainable agroforestry systems to promote efficient land management and diversified income opportunities for farmers and landowners. She has presented many research and extension papers in numerous national, international, and local conferences, meetings, and training events. Her research and extension work are published in various journals, conference proceedings, newsletters, training handbooks, research highlights, magazines, and many other outlets. She has solely edited two training handbooks and authored seven chapters in those handbooks. She served in the editorial board of NAPA book project and has been serving as an editor of the Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences (GJAAS). She is a life member of NAPA, member of American Society of Animal Science, life member and current president of the Association for Temperate Agroforestry (AFTA), vice chair of 1890 Agroforestry Consortium, and a member of several other professional organizations and honor societies. She has received Agroforestry Early Career Award (AFTA 2017), 1890 Excellence in Extension Award (Association of Extension Administrators, 2015), and Outstanding Faculty Performance Award for Service (Tuskegee University, 2013).

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