Sudip Crafts a Curriculum in Nepal, Thanks to his Professors

My name is Sudip Bhandari, I’m from Nepal, and I’m a junior here at St. Olaf. One of the projects that I have been involved in here at St. Olaf is an educational project that I launched in Nepal the summer of my freshman year and my advisor was Professor Kris Thalhammer. The project is called the Anne Frank Project Nepal. The idea was to educate middle school and high school students about the history of the Holocaust and the story of Anne Frank, the topics that are not mentioned in textbooks in Nepal. I’m Kris Thalhammer, I’m a professor of Political Science at St. Olaf. As a person who teaches in the social sciences and political science one of the things that you hope is that what we teach and learn in the classroom translates into action and it’s one of the things that’s exciting about teaching St. Olaf students. They really want to go out and make the world a better place. When he first came in and said he wanted to address head-on through the educational system in Nepal some of the concerns he had about rising authoritarianism and personality cults, I was a little worried that he would get into trouble. We spent a lot of time trying to think about a more positive message, something that was less confrontational. The first time I came and talked to Kris I explained to her my idea and I think we ended up talking for an hour. I’ve never taken a class with her, she’s not my advisor but the kind of response that I got from Professor Thalhammer was a huge motivation for me to further develop my project. I was really impressed that the Anne Frank Society honored him as a teacher, an outstanding teacher. He’s not an education major. When he stood up and talked to the people receiving that award in New York it was really, I got goosebumps. I was so proud of what he accomplished and you know he’d done it on his own. We have a lot of students who are doing great things some of them are are recognized nationally for it some of them only a very small group of people know how much of a change they’ve made, but all of it is is worthwhile, it’s something that makes our mission come to life. It’s what makes teaching at St. Olaf such a great experience. All the faculty have an open door policy so no matter what academic background you come from you can just explain to them your ideas and I’m hundred percent sure that they will still respond positively because that’s what St. Olaf is. I’m Sudip Bhandari, and I’m an Ole.

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