News Release

Senior Pratima Thapaliya Faces Challenges Head On

By Cassandra Morthera on
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Student profile written by Cassandra Morthera, communications assistant in University Relations

In the labUniversity of Minnesota Crookston senior Pratima Thapaliya has found her home away from home. Far from Kathmandu, Nepal, Thapaliya shares that she misses the life she led back in Nepal but has come to find a whole new way of living in Crookston. It was not easy for Thapaliya to come to the United States; nonetheless, she persevered, endured, and found a way.

When a massive earthquake struck Nepal in 2015, Thapaliya had just finished applying to various campuses all over the country, including the U of M Crookston. Right after the natural disaster, everything was completely devastated, over Pratima10,000 people had been killed, and most forms of communication were out. The main concern for the people of Nepal was to get the country back on its feet; not many could focus on paperwork or applications. Nevertheless, international admissions at the U of M Crookston worked with Thapaliya and made it simple for her to continue and complete her application process. At a time of such crisis and uneasiness, Thapaliya found a silver lining in this difficult situation with all the help from those at the U of M Crookston international admissions office.

“The University of Minnesota Crookston was so helpful and welcoming,” Thapaliya says.

While in Nepal, Thapaliya studied nursing from 2007 to 2010, earned her registered nursing license and worked in the Intensive Care Unit of a private hospital from 2010 to 2012. That same year, she was accepted into a two-year specialty nursing program in psychiatric nursing and graduated in 2014. Thapaliya is devoted to helping others while digging deeper into her keen interest in science. Her love for medicine, science, and aiding others whenever possible has helped Thapaliya mold her path. Thapaliya is majoring in health sciences and hopes to earn a master’s in nursing school when she graduates from the U of M Crookston.

PratimaThapaliya further explains that the U of M Crookston allowed her to delve into scientific research. She is currently involved in undergraduate research finding medicinal properties with natural roots. The two main research projects she is participating in currently are: “A study on the role of Rhizobacterium rhizogenes in treatment of pathologic organisms” and “A study on the use of Ichip technology to isolate diverse groups of microorganisms.” Her research, bachelor’s degree, and goal of going to nursing school are entwining perfectly.

Aside from spending hours on research and schoolwork Thapaliya loves being active outdoors. Back in Nepal Thapaliya loved to go hiking and trekking through hills and valleys which was why the change in scenery when coming to Crookston was a bit of a shock. Nonetheless, she loves getting involved and learning new sports and activities outside. When she isn’t in the lab or studying for her classes, she loves fishing, swimming in lakes, canoeing, and biking during the summer. In the winter months she enjoys ice skating and skiing. Thapaliya also enjoys relaxing in her down time by watching movies or hanging out with friends. She is also the vice-president of the Multicultural International Club and part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. (S.T.E.M) Club.

Thapaliya always wears a smile and is always willing to help out. She yearns to understand the world around her no matter where the winding road takes her. Thapaliya has persevered and keeps doing so each day. Nothing can hold her down.

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 22 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online.  These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations