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Lilly Fellow, 2020-21

May 18, 2020

Yadu Pokhrel to enhance teaching and learning as an MSU Lilly Fellow

Yadu Pokhrel, of the MSU College of Engineering, has been named a 2020-21 Lilly Fellow at MSU. The program focuses on developing educators who see teaching and learning as core to their path toward leadership.

Yadu Pokhrel will develop his leadership skills as a Lilly Fellow.
Yadu Pokhrel will develop his leadership skills as a Lilly Fellow.

Pokhrel is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering (CEE). He said the fellows program will help him to better understand how students adapt to teaching styles and learning experiences. The program will begin in August.

“We will be working on a project toward enhancing teaching and learning, while developing leadership skills,” Pokhrel said. “I look forward to the opportunity.”

Jeffrey Grabill, associate provost for teaching, learning, and technology, said this year’s pool of fellow candidates was extremely competitive.

“We are excited by the quality of our cohort this year, and of course, we are excited about Dr. Pokhrel’s participation.”

Neeraj Buch, chair of the CEE Department and former Lilly Fellow, said his fellowship introduced him to the principles of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL), principles he continues to practice.

“The monthly meetings with the Lilly mentors provided a platform for junior faculty to learn about the university,” Buch said. “The friendships and camaraderie developed during the Lilly year and beyond are priceless.”

Pokhrel is an internationally renowned researcher in large-scale hydrology and water resource modeling, where he is well known for pioneering work in improving global hydrological models to include water management activities. He is recognized for discovering that groundwater withdrawn from deep aquifers has contributed significantly to global sea-level rise.

Researchers worldwide have adopted the global hydrological models he developed. His long-term goal is to provide a better understanding of the growing interconnectedness between societies, freshwater systems and global change toward addressing pressing societal problems related to the security of water, energy and food systems holistically.

Yadu Pokhrel is an internationally renowned researcher in large-scale hydrology and water resource modeling.
Yadu Pokhrel is an internationally renowned researcher in large-scale hydrology and water resource modeling.

He is the recipient of a 2020 MSU Teacher-Scholar Award. In 2018, he received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award to advance research and education on water resource sustainability in human-managed landscapes.

Pokhrel is originally from Kathmandu, Nepal, where he studied civil engineering. He joined the MSU as an assistant professor in August 2014.

His research interests are focused on improving the understanding of the changes in the terrestrial water cycle in response to the combined effects of human activities and climate change. In his past works, he has developed global and continental hydrological models to examine the impacts of climate change and human land-water management practices on freshwater systems in managed landscapes.

He earned a PhD in civil engineering (2011) at the University of Tokyo, Japan. Prior to joining MSU, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Hokkaido University, Japan, for six months before moving to Rutgers University, where he worked as a research associate from 2012 to 2014 and then as an assistant research professor from April-August 2014, before coming to MSU.

Read more on Pokhrel’s water research.