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International Student POV: Shreejit from Kathmandu, Nepal

Hello everyone, I’m Shreejit Poudyal, a passionate international student pursuing a B.Sc. in Data Science at Clarkson University with a minor in Computer Science. Throughout my journey here at Clarkson, I’ve not only been able to deepen my academic pursuits but also actively engaged in campus life, seeking opportunities to enrich my experience – whether cultural, academic, professional or social – and contribute to the vibrant community at Clarkson. I have been a part of multiple organizations, clubs, societies and been able to contribute to the cultural diversity on campus through events, advocacy etc. 

Celebrating Community at Holi Fest

SASIA (South Asian Students Intercultural Association), an on-campus organization I co-founded with my friends, teamed up with the International Center and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office to host the Holi Fest. Bringing back this celebration to Clarkson after 12 years was incredibly meaningful. As a freshman, I was thrilled to be part of reviving this tradition.

The joy on people’s faces was palpable as they reunited with the colorful festivities of Holi. With vibrant colors, splashing water, and lively music, the atmosphere was electric. Everyone, regardless of background, joined in the fun, dancing and playing with exuberance.

Being able to witness this tradition come back to life was truly special. The event was a big hit, with over 130 participants and growing attendance each year. It was heartwarming to see people stopping by to celebrate with us, enjoying the camaraderie and carefree spirit of the occasion.

Practicing Leadership with the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)

As a dedicated member of SASE, I began as Freshman Representative, progressed to Vice President, and currently serve as President. Within this dynamic role, I led initiatives such as designing sponsorship packages, negotiating financial agreements, and securing vital support for our NorthEast Regional Conference. These engagements were with SASE Nationals and got the opportunity to meet fellow SASE members from other universities. While on campus, I’ve led weekly club meetings, arranged 20+ STEM and culturally enriching events including Lunar New Year celebrations, Iftar gatherings, and collaborated with professional societies to host diverse activities, and impactful professional development sessions with esteemed alumni from top organizations like Lockheed Martin, NASA, L3Harris etc. 

Enriching My Academic Experience in the Honors Program

Being a part of the Clarkson Honors Program has been one of the best decisions I’ve made during my time at university. The program offers a range of opportunities and resources that have greatly enriched my college experience. From fun events like Ben and Jerry’s night, where students gather to enjoy delicious ice cream and connect with each other, to the Honors Educational Enhancement Scholarships (HEES) that supported my conference trips and travel to internships, the program has consistently provided valuable support.

Moreover, the professional development resources offered by the program have been instrumental in helping me sharpen my skills and prepare for the future. Whether it’s through resume workshops, alumni meet ups, or career counseling, the Honors Program has been dedicated to helping students excel academically and professionally. 

Beyond the tangible benefits, being a part of the Honors Program has fostered a sense of belonging and community. The connection among fellow Honors students, as well as the guidance and mentorship from faculty and staff, have made my journey at Clarkson even more fulfilling.

P.S. The Honors Program took us graduating seniors to Oswegatchie for a weekend of recreational activities, and it was so much fun. I went snowshoeing for the first time!!

Gaining Professional Experience as a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow @ Purdue University

My research experience at Purdue University allowed me to explore various tools and techniques that an aspiring data scientist ought to know. My intention to join this program was to advance myself and my skills, and I am glad to share that I have been able to do so. During the project, my goal was to assess the impact of economic and socio-demographic fabric on EV (Electric Vehicle) adoption and usage applying data analysis and visualization skills. I was able to use Tableau and take advantage of their diverse array of visualization techniques to create insightful graphs. I definitely learned to use Tableau much better than before. I also collected historical EV registration data, electricity prices data, charging infrastructure data and sociodemographic data available from public sources such as US Census, US Department of Energy, Atlas EV Hub, and other sources, to uncover patterns and trends in EV adoption and use them for modeling. The data sets I collected were untidy, which allowed me to explore and use new data cleaning techniques that made the process much easier and allowed me to expand my knowledge about data tidying techniques.

Following this experience, I had the opportunity to present my findings at the Transportation Research Board’s 103rd Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. this year in January.

Sharing Nepalese Traditions with the International Center

Every year around October, the International Center at Clarkson University holds International Education Week. 

As an international student in my freshman year, I took part by setting up a table representing Nepal. My main focus was on Mha Puja, a special ritual of the Newar indigenous group. Mha Puja is about celebrating and appreciating oneself, with “Mha” meaning “me” and “Puja” meaning “worship.” Alongside, I offered Lal Mohan, a sweet dessert, which was a big hit with everyone who tried it. It felt great to share about Nepal with the Clarkson community.

Later, I participated in the “Tradition Tables” event organized by the International Center, where I showcased Dashain, one of Nepal’s major festivals. I decorated the table with traditional items and talked about the festival’s significance and customs. Interacting with visitors who stopped by boosted my confidence in talking about cultural topics and connecting with others.

My time at Clarkson has been a rollercoaster of experiences, each contributing to my personal and professional growth. From revitalizing cultural celebrations like Holi Fest to leading initiatives within and outside student organizations and engaging in different research papers and projects, every endeavor has shaped me into a more resilient, knowledgeable, and culturally aware individual. As I embark on the next chapter of my journey, I carry with me the invaluable lessons learned and cherished memories created during my time at Clarkson University.

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