New from Nepal: Dr. Shankar Ghimire
The youngest of four siblings, Shankar Ghimire grew up in a family of teachers. He knew that one day he would follow in the footsteps of his family to educate new generations.
His own education and training led him from Nepal, a country sandwiched between India and China, to the quiet town of Maryville, Tenn. to be one of four new professors this year at Maryville College.
“Nepal was going through civil conflict that started in 1996,” Ghimire said. “The Maoists groups, who are supporters of communism, started a war against the government, against the monarchy.”
Disruptions from conflicts between communist groups and the government made college life in Nepal difficult for Ghimire, which he said prompted him to leave.
“I went to a good school in Nepal, and we had some good students, but because of the political conflict, if you stayed home you would not be able to do what you wanted to,” Ghimire said.
In 2004, Ghimire came to Minnesota, and then went to graduate school in 2009 at the Western Michigan University. Out of all his job prospects, he said that Maryville College lured him in with its quaint charm and size.
“I like the small size of the classes and the student [population], that way you can interact better and it’s a better learning environment,” Ghimire said. “I like knowing how my students are doing, and I would get direct feedback if I need to make changes.”
Location was a large part of his choice, as well, since the Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee resembled his hometown.
“It’s because of the geography and the weather,” Ghimire said. “I missed the mountains when I was in Minnesota.”
Now that he has settled in Maryville, Ghimire teaches International Trade and Finance, Local Community and Economic Development and SLS 260: Perspectives on the Social Order, focused on globalization and social change.
“I want [students] to know what’s happening in current times in terms of economics, and how it impacts their daily lives,” Ghimire said. “I want to try to bring a different perspective from how I grew up, and I try to share that as much as I can.”
Coming from one of the least developed countries in the world, Ghimire said he wants to help make a difference for struggling, developing countries. One day, perhaps in the far future, he said that he hopes to become involved in recommending economic policies and strategies, such as how to reduce poverty and eradicate destructive civil conflict, in order to improve the lives of the people from his home of Nepal.
When he is not lecturing his students about economics and globalization, Ghimire prefers to spend his time actively and outdoors. He enjoys racquetball, tennis, biking and hiking.
“I’m a very outdoors person. I cannot sit at home and watch a movie,” Ghimire said. “One day, I would like to go skydiving.”
Until that day, Ghimire said that he plans to keep educating his students while he works towards his ultimate goal of aiding his home country.