Gordon in the News: last updated 03/30/2009

Gordon College Alumna to Speak at United Nations General Assembly

March 12, 2009

Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA-When Sradda Thapa '08 was growing up in Nepal, she dreamed of going to college, but with so much tension in her country she wasn't sure how that would happen. Now she's been invited to speak on a panel about her experiences at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, March 18th. Thapa has also been asked to offer three to four concrete recommendations to all the Member States at the U.N. and will join three others panelists addressing the impact of conflict on youth's access to education.
Thapa knows firsthand what that means. In 1997, after the Maoist insurgency, Thapa's family sent her to India to continue her studies. When she finished high school, she came to Gordon College on a scholarship to pursue her BA in International Affairs and was a part of a delegation that represented Angola at the Harvard National Model UN. Today, she works as the International Development Program Associate at Search for Common Ground, the world's largest peace-building organization.

"Sradda Thapa is a born leader, resourceful and committed," said Arlyne Sargent, Gordon's advisor to international students in the Center for Student Development. "She identifies a need and then finds ways to meet those needs, whether in a campus setting or on a world-wide platform."

Thapa also helped found the "Washington Nepal Forum," a group that meets on a monthly basis to discuss issues pertaining to political and economic developments in Nepal. She has experience at a Nepal-based NGO, Human Development and Community Services, the Nepali Embassy in Washington DC and the Winterline Foundation, and is currently part of the American University's Women and Politics--WeLead program, which prepares the next generation of women leaders.
"As I prepare for this wonderful opportunity at the U.N., I am going back to things my professors said in class and the opportunity I was given as an 18-year old to attend Gordon College," said Thapa. "I'm so thankful for the support and guidance they gave me over the years. That's why I'm here."
Thapa is a member of the Women's Refugee Commission's Youth Advisory Group (YAG). The Women's Refugee Commission works to improve the lives and defend the rights of refugee women and children, including the internally displaced, returnees and asylum seekers. The Women's Refugee Commission's Youth Advisory Group has been established to help guide and inform the organization's Displaced Youth Initiative. Thapa, along with 14 other YAG members, was selected to attend the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) conference in Turkey where she will present on gender, education and conflict. She will also attend the YAG strategic planning meeting in Istanbul.  
"We are so pleased to have Sradda's insight and perspective on the impact of conflict on children and young people's education," said Jenny Perlman Robinson, the organization's Senior Program Officer for Children and Youth. "I am confident that her contributions will be key to our work to increase displaced youth's access to safe, quality education."
For more information, contact the Office of College Communications 978.867.4752.

Photo: Sradda Thapa and Jeffrey Sachs, founder and co-President of the Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty and hunger.

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Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 37 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian Colleges.


Sradda Thapa and Jeffrey Shachs