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Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA)

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Nepalese Women in Agricultural and Allied Professions (WAAP) Committee (2022-2024)


Kripa Dhakal, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Tennessee State University, McMinnville, TN

Dr. Kripa Dhakal is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center, Tennessee State University, McMinnville, TN. She is working on insect behavior and chemical ecology, including the development of behavioral bioassays and soil chemical analysis. Dr. Dhakal completed her bachelor’s degree from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Nepal in 2009 and M.Sc. Agriculture from the same university major in soil science in 2011. Afterward, she joined the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Government of Nepal as a planning officer. In 2017, she joined Ph.D. in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Tennessee State University in the organic agriculture program and completed her Ph.D. degree in 2021. Her research focused on organic vegetable production and its phytochemical constituents, sensory qualities, and soil properties. She published her work in peer-reviewed journals and she participated in national and international conferences. Dr. Dhakal is a life member of the Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA). In the past term (2020-2022), Dr. Dhakal served as a committee member of Nepalese Women in Agricultural and Allied Professions (WAAP).


Romy Das Karna, PhD

Affiliated Assistant Professor, Salem College, North Carolina Technical Evaluator, FoodChainID

Dr. Karna has earned her Masters’ degree in Agriculture Systems from Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. Upon completion of her Masters in 2005, she started her teaching and research career in Nepal. In 2006, She was awarded with German Government Scholarship (DAAD) to pursue Ph.D. in Agricultural and Environmental Economics in University of Giessen, Germany. Based on scientific excellence, her PhD research was endorsed by International Scientific Committee of Global Land Project. Later, she worked at IFCN (International Farm Comparison Network) in Kiel, Germany and Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania as consultant and taught as an Adjunct Faculty at the Department of Sustainability in the Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa. Currently, she is an Affiliated Assistant Professor at the Salem College, North Carolina and a Technical Evaluator at FoodChainID, an industry leader in food consultancy and Non-GMO certification business. Her research interests include Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Agriculture and Food Safety. She has published several peer reviewed research papers, occasional papers, including a book and book chapters. Dr. Karna is a life member of NAPA and has served NAPA executive committee (2018-2020) and NAPA Agri-connection Committee (2019-2020).

Pushpa Pandey

Assistant professor, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Paklihawa Campus, Nepal

Pushpa Pandey is currently working as an Assistant Professor in Soil Science in Institute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences (IAAS)/ Paklihawa Campus, Nepal since March 2021. She is carrying out research work mainly focusing on organic matter with respect to tillage and nutrient management as a part of a faculty research grant. She is also mentoring her students in their research works. Pandey completed her bachelor’s degree from IAAS, Nepal in 2016 and master’s degree from the same university major in soil science in 2019. Her Master’s research was on the topic “Effect of residue management in soil carbon content in rice-wheat system in Rupandehi, Nepal”. Afterwards, she worked as an Agriculture Coordinator of Kerwani Secondary School, Nepal for more than a year and taught agriculture related courses till March 2021.

Shubhechchha Sharma

PhD Candidate, Michigan State University, USA

Shubhechchha Sharma is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. She is also a C.S. Mott Pre-Doctoral fellow participating in an Ecological Food and Farming Systems Specialization. Her research interests are focused on climate change resilience, with an emphasis on natural resources and social-ecological modeling. She joined NAPA in 2019 and served as a Student Coordination Committee chair from 2020-2022.

Prava Adhikari Pantha

PhD candidate, Louisiana State university, USA

I am studying, Schrenkiella parvula, a halophytic relative of model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. I am using comparative genomics to identify gene that play role in maintaining narrow needle like shape of Schrenkiella parvula leaf. Further my study will explore if those leaf development related gene are playing role in adaptation mechanism in high salt environments. Beside my research, I enjoy painting, cycling and playing with my daughter.

Santoshi Chaudhary

Graduate Research Assistant, Tuskegee University, USA

Santoshi Chaudhary is originally from Kanchanpur, the Far Western region of Nepal, and currently, she is a second-year master’s student majoring in Animal Science and a Graduate Research Assistant under the supervision of Dr. Uma Karki at Tuskegee University, USA. Her lab research is mainly concentrated on small ruminants’ production, health and performance, parasite management, and sustainable pasture management. At present, Santoshi is involved in her thesis research, which is about the immune response and performance of sheep when stocked in woodlands with different supplements. In addition, she is an active student member of the NAPA organization and a graduate student member of the American Society of Animal Science. Santoshi has an excellent academic track record. She topped her district during high school and did very well in her Intermediate in science. Moreover, she was awarded a gold medal by Rt. Honorable President of Nepal, Mrs. Bidhya Devi Bhandari, for her excellent academic performance as a female during her bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science from IAAS, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. To date, Santoshi has gathered abundant professional and research skills in her field being a female and coming from an ethnic community in a country like Nepal. She is the first one in her family to come for a graduate degree in the USA. Santoshi is not only empowering herself to move forward with her life but also gives a ray of hope for her entire community, especially young girls who are often forced to marry at a young age.


Gita Koirala

Ambika Adhikari Tiwari

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