Forestry Graduate Student Spotlight - Ichchha Thapa

Ichchha, an international student from Nepal, shares how her passion for forestry led her to pursue a Ph.D. with a research focus on mass timber demand and supply in the lake states.

Hometown: Kathmandu (Nepal)

Degree in Progress: Ph.D.

Research focus: Mass Timber Demand and Supply in the Lake States.

What inspired your interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in Forestry?

I love forests, spending time around trees and just walking in the forests, reading, and learning about the forests. The forestry department at MSU is one of the leading academic institutions in forestry, especially in advancing sustainable mass timber construction and manufacturing, which not only helps lower the carbon footprint of the construction sector but also creates opportunities for forest health management and rural economic development.

Why did you choose to study at MSU?

MSU has always been on my preferred list of universities to pursue my higher studies. The very high research activities that MSU is known for is what I was looking for in my doctoral degree. Besides, I feel MSU is a safe and inclusive community. This is important, especially for international students like me. 

What has been one of your best experiences within graduate school so far?

I think learning from a large cohort of diverse researchers and scholars, networking opportunities, fellowships, support, and access to the vast collections of literature through the MSU library has been among the best experiences within graduate school so far. 

What do you want others to know about this program?

The graduate program at MSU is unique as it holds a very diverse and inclusive academic community with over 900 graduate student organizations committed to providing support for the overall well-being of students throughout their academic journey. Besides, professional development and opportunities to engage in research, teaching, extension, and management across different departments, colleges, universities, the private sector, and even agencies enhance both my personal and professional growth as well as the culture of collaboration and learning.

What are some of the best things about being an MSU student?

The best thing about being an MSU student is feeling included and heard, the multitude of academic and professional development opportunities, and the science we do here at MSU.

Any thoughts or advice for current students?

Explore and be open to all the opportunities that are offered here at MSU. You’ll be amazed!

What are your future plans?

I plan to work in academia as a researcher in the area of developing comprehensive forest sector modeling approaches for balancing economic impacts, environmental benefits, carbon sequestration, and forest management to sustain healthy forests and a sustainable economy.


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