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Dr. Manu Bhandari

Dr. Manu Bhandari

Assistant Professor

"Our best teachers are sometimes our harshest critics. One should learn from the mistakes teachers point out and continually improve."

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. – University of Missouri, 2015
  • M.A. – University of Missouri, 2010
  • M.A. – Pokhara University, 2007

Career Highlights:

Published in major peer-reviewed communication journals and edited book chapters. Met President Obama and First Lady at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Previous experience as a journalist and a tourist guide in my hometown of Kathmandu, Nepal.

In which online degree program(s) do you teach?

B.S. in Strategic Communications.

Why did you start teaching?

I enjoy teaching. I like helping students become better at what they want to do. In fact, teaching also helps me become better at what I do! I have learned so much from my teachers in the past. I am grateful that I am getting an opportunity to impart what I learned from them to my students and help them become what they can be.

What's the best advice that you ever received?

Life is short. Nothing remains forever.

What's the best advice that you could give your students?

Do not underestimate the power of hard work. Life is short.

What qualities make someone particularly successful in the area in which you teach?

Hard work, patience, and perseverance. Learn to take hard criticism and apply it for one's own benefit. Our best teachers are sometimes our harshest critics. One should learn from the mistakes teachers point out and continually improve.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that people in the profession face today?

There are many things we know about newer technologies, but there are also many things we do not fully know. So, it's imperative that today's professionals keep themselves updated about latest research and findings, and always open to learning new technologies and ideas as they come up.

Tell us a story:

An old village patriarch in the Himalayan hinterland of Nepal is leading his group to a destination several days away in foot. Not long after they begin their journey, the old man's caravan comes across two paths—one harder but shorter, the other easier but longer. The old man has to decide which path to take. Time is very important for him, but he cannot ignore the safety of his group members. The old man then remembers a lesson he had learned long ago from his spiritual master: “When choosing between two paths,” he recalled his master saying, “pick the harder one.” And that’s what the old man decides to do: take the harder—the superior—path.

Like the old man in the movie Himalaya (also named Caravan), I want my students to take the harder path. I myself benefited from classes that pushed me to my limits; therefore, I want also to challenge my students intellectually. Developing a healthy skepticism, creativity, and intellectual curiosity is prioritized in class. Students learn to sail their own ships on their quest to acquire knowledge and apply that knowledge to what they want to do, either in the profession or in the academia.

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