NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson signed the agreement via WebEx early Wednesday, when administrators coordinated a nearly 11-hour time difference.
According to the agreement, the two institutions will promote academic cooperation through the exchange of research papers, teaching materials, syllabi and curricula. The agreement encourages both schools to partner in joint research and to collaborate in instructional and cultural programs and shared access to information networks. The institution may exchange faculty for teaching, lectures or workshops and may exchange up to two students per academic year for study in degree programs and participation in research, cultural activities, language learning and more. The agreement is effective for five years.
Northwestern State’s engagement with Nepal is the result of a relationship between two members of the faculty who became involved with the Empower Nepali Girls Foundation. Drs. Patrice and Michael Moulton and their son Bryce have worked with the Foundation for several years to provide scholarships for Nepali girls to attend school and raise awareness of child trafficking, hunger and gender equity.
Patrice Moulton, a professor of psychology at Northwestern State University, first learned of the Empower Nepali Girls Foundation through a colleague she met at a conference who talked about a grassroots foundation he established after a visit to Nepal where as many as 10,000 girls are abducted and sold into slavery every year. Patrice and Michael, who is a professor in Northwestern State’s Department of Health and Human Performance, have travelled to Nepal several times.
In Natchitoches, the Moultons have worked with First United Methodist Church, St. Mary’s School, Northwestern State ROTC and NSU’s Psi Chi psychology society with projects to benefit the Foundation. Their efforts became even more important after a devastating earthquake occurred in Nepal in April 2015 that killed thousands of people, flattened villages and reduced numerous heritage sites to ruin.
With its ancient culture and the Himalayas as a backdrop, landlocked Nepal was closed to the outside world until the 1950s. About three quarters of the country is covered by mountains. It is home to Mount Everest – the world’s highest mountain.
“NSU is very excited to partner with faculty and students at Tribhuvan University/Institute for Crisis Management Studies,” Dr. Patrice Moulton said. “We look forward to future student academic and cultural exchanges.”