Faculty Focus: Dr. Samridhi Shrestha
Title: Online Full-Time Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology
Years at GCU: 6
- Ph.D. in Biology, Arizona State University
- Master’s in Environmental Sciences, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
- Bachelor’s in Environmental Sciences, Xavier Academy, Nepal
What is your most notable accomplishment in your field, and why was it important?
In 2018, I received a literary award (Nepal Bidhya Bhushan Padak), the highest academic honor given by the government of Nepal. I feel extremely proud to have received this award. I believe it was an acknowledgment for my contribution through research and community involvement in the field of environmental science and education in Nepal.
What are you most passionate about in your field and why?
I have approached teaching just not as my career, but also as a key motivation and fun part of my life. This is reflected well in my teaching style as I have embraced the challenges of teaching online and have been highly adaptive in revising the old courses and course structures suitable for the online teaching style. I believe my effective use of instructional technologies and structured teaching plan, both of which are my strengths, contributes greatly to students’ success. My goal as a teacher is to provide my students an encouraging and positive educational environment for learning.
What is a memorable moment you had in class, and what does that reveal about your teaching style?
I make a point of providing current environmental issues as topics for our discussion forums to encourage my students to understand global challenges. I focus more on critical thinking. What makes my students excited in the discussion forums are my postings from my home country Nepal. They are eager to know how things work in a developing country compared to a developed country.
As an online faculty member teaching environmental science, I also realize that my ability to promptly respond to their concerns and give feedback about an assignment or a certain topic is very much appreciated by the students. These have been my biggest strengths.
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
I love to volunteer. Earlier in the pandemic last year, I was able to sew more than 115 masks and donate them to Banner Desert Medical Center for health care workers. Recently I also volunteered for more than eight hours at GCU’s COVID-19 vaccine Point of Dispensing site. I am currently an active member of Nepali Academics in America (NACA), whose mission is to build thriving and vibrant Nepal and Nepali communities through research, innovation and knowledge production. Having a passion for fashion designing and a certification in it, I love to browse fashion blogs and make sketches for dresses.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know? Committed to building and supporting young researchers in the field of conservation, I established a scholarship program in Nepal, Prem Conservation Research Grant for WCN, last year in the memory of my late father. The research grant focuses on encouraging young scientists who have potential to become leaders in their discipline and provide solutions to environmental problems. Every year, two master’s students will receive the scholarship to complete their research work.
I also have established another scholarship, Prem Shobha, to support underprivileged students from rural parts of Nepal from sixth grade to high school. Last year, nine students benefited from this scholarship and were able to continue their studies.