First predoctoral fellow plans to help students explore ‘Borders and Belonging’ – Eckerd College News

The first recipient of Eckerd College’s Predoctoral Fellowship for Scholars from Marginalized Groups says he got hooked into the cartoon as a child.

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“There were things, colonial hints, to the series with Tintin going into the world as a savior,” Shrestha explains. “Still, I liked the idea of traveling around the world solving things more ethically.”

Shrestha is a native of Patan, Nepal, where he met his wife, Richa, in middle school. He moved to the U.S. in 2008 to pursue higher education—earning his bachelor’s degree at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and a Master of Arts at Miami University of Ohio before doing his doctoral studies in the Department of Geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He’s currently working on a dissertation titled The Border Came In-Between Us: Tibetan Intimacy, Chinese Extra-territorial Sovereignty, and Security/Development in Nepal. An ad for Eckerd’s new fellowship in The Chronicle of Higher Education caught his attention.

“Rupak’s research and teaching interests include Refugees, Borders, Migration, Sovereignty, Development and Security, South Asia, Nepal and the Himalaya, Feminist Methodologies, and Visual Geographies,” according to Suzan Harrison, Ph.D., Eckerd’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. “His range of teaching and research interests will provide him rich opportunities to connect with faculty and students across our curriculum.”

Pre-pandemic, Shrestha used to travel to Nepal twice annually to visit family and also traveled to mountain villages to conduct research. Some of the treks would take five to six days because of the difficulty of the terrain. Joining a college committed to global education was an added bonus.

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