Devin Zuckerman

University of Virginia

David is a Ph.D student in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. Her Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship research explores Buddhist theories of materiality, human embodiment and contemplative practice within the textual corpus of the Nyingma tradition of Tibet. Her dissertation project focuses on theories pertaining to the five elements of earth, water, fire, wind and space. She is interested in the ways that elemental theory functions within forms of discourse on the body, the natural environment, and as a theme within meditation practice. As a Fulbright Hays fellow, Devin attended classes within the monastic college at Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling monastery, and worked closely with monastic and lay Buddhist scholars to translate and analyze a collection of 12th and 14th century Tibetan texts on these topics.

Center for Buddhist studies, also called as Rangjung Yeshe Institute, was founded by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche as an institution of higher learning for those wishing to deepen their understanding of Buddhist philosophy and practice. The institute was established with a vision to cultivate a world in which a wide diversity of people, interested in learning about Buddhism, have easy access to a living Buddhist tradition in order to foster the qualities of wisdom and compassion for the benefit of all sentient beings. Since 2001, the Institute has worked in close partnership with Kathmandu University to manage the Kathmandu University Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute which offers undergraduate and post-graduate degree courses in Buddhist Studies and related topics.

Austin Lord

PhD Candidate

Austin Lord is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology whose Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship dissertation research focuses on the afterlives of disaster in the Langtang Valley of Nepal. His work examines the ways that the Langtangpas conceptualize recovery, resilience, and uncertainty as they seek to rebuild their lives in the wake of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake. His ethnographic analysis focuses on the ways that Langtangpas orient themselves within the overlapping timescapes of disaster and aftermath, intergenerational change, memory work, socio-environmental relations, and cycles of death and rebirth. His scholarship is guided by a commitment to multimodal and collaborative processes of knowledge production that includes photography, mapmaking, ethnographic filmmaking, and the community-engaged archival work of the Langtang Memory Project.

Over the years, Austin’s visual and curatorial work has been showcased in exhibitions at Photo Kathmandu and he has also directed or produced a variety of short documentary and ethnographic films focused on the Langtang Valley. Austin holds a Master of Environmental Science (MESc) from Yale University and a B.A. in Economics and Studio Art from Dartmouth College. His host institution in Nepal was the Social Science BAHA.

Social Science Baha is an independent, non-profit organisation established with the objective of promoting and enhancing the study of and research in the social sciences in Nepal. The first activity undertaken by Social Science Baha (SSB) was to set up a social science library, the only one of its kind in the country so far. SSB soon diversified its activities to pursue other means of helping the growth of the social sciences such as running the four-month-long Immersion Course on Contemporary Social Issues. SSB also has had a very active involvement in research, namely of two different types: collaborative research with academic/research institutions and contract research for groups based in Nepal or abroad. Many of these projects are of a topical nature and seek to link academia with popular discourse.

Alexander Smith

Geography Oregon State University

Alexander is from Minneapolis and is a student of Geography at Oregon State University. He was awarded the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship for his project titled Change and Resilience in Nepal’s Community Forests-New Insights through Coupling Analysis of Satellite Imagery and Forest User Perceptions with host institution National Trust for Nature Conservation.

The National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) is an autonomous and not-for-profit organization, which works closely with the Government of Nepal, mandated to work in the field of nature conservation in Nepal. Over the past three decades, NTNC has successfully undertaken more than three hundred small and large projects on nature and biodiversity conservation, clean energy and climate change, as well as cultural heritage protection, ecotourism, and sustainable development through active engagement of local communities. The Trust’s activities extend from the sub-tropical plains of Chitwan, Bardia and Kanchanpur in the lowlands to the Annapurna, Manaslu and Gaurishankar regions of the high Himalayas, including the trans-Himalayan region of Upper Mustang and Manang. NTNC has been partnering with Fulbright Nepal for very long, and they have hosted three Fulbright Scholars till date.