by Samir Khanal
When Renisha Karki joined our Environment and Bioenergy Research Lab in Spring 2019, she had no research skills or experience of working in a laboratory. She is originally from Nepal, a beautiful south Asian country, rich in geographical and cultural diversity, and renowned for Mt. Everest and as the birthplace of Buddha. However, there is a predominance of conventional patriarchal norms that has negatively affected the quality of life for women, who are often discouraged to aim for higher education.
I watched as she worked hard and dedicated herself to learning all of the necessary research skills, and within just one year, Renisha had transformed herself, attaining a high level of research skills and a remarkable research temperament, along with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
I am proud to announce that Renisha was recently accepted for Ph.D. studies, starting in the Fall, at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, which I believe has one of the best environmental engineering programs in the world. Moreover, she will be working with my long-term collaborator, Prof. Lutgarde Raskin, who was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
At Michigan, she will be working in the field of environmental remediation, focusing on microbiome analysis. As a long-term goal, she plans to use her research skills for the betterment of society and environmental health.
I am so excited for Renisha. As her future career unfolds, I hope she will continue to think of MBBE, CTAHR, and UHM as a place where top-class research is conducted and taught to its students. If you see Renisha, please congratulate her on the next step in her journey.