Event: Nepal Leadership Program 2022


18-Day Introductory Science Workshop – Biology

(11 – 29 April, 2022)

The Nepal Leadership Program commenced from 11th April to 29th April 2022 in Kopan Nunnery. A batch of 27 nuns from Kopan Nunnery, all enrolled in the philosophy classes attended an in-depth workshop in biology. The sessions were designed to introduce fundamental biological concepts, explore hands-on learning, and lay the foundation for subsequent education.
For the first session, Dr. Anna F. Edlund conducted biology classes in the mornings from April 11th to April 20th.
Among the topics she covered with nuns were cell theory, developmental biology, body systems, and women’s health.
 After lunch, interpreters from LTWA went over every lesson taught in the morning in detail through discussions and Q&A.
 Dr. Lily Khadempour took morning classes for the second section from April 21 to April 29. As a microbial evolutionary ecologist, she specializes in insect-microbial symbiosis and eco-evolutionary dynamics. Nuns studied evolution, ecology, and symbiosis from her.

About the teachers:


Dr. Lily Khadempour

Dr. Lily Khadempour is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in Newark New Jersey. Her lab studies symbiosis, host-associated microbiomes and microbial ecology. She grew up in Canada, completed her bachelor and master degrees at the University of British Columbia, a PhD at the University of Wisconsin, and a postdoc at California State University, Northridge before starting her position at Rutgers in 2021.


Dr. Anna F. Edlund

Dr. Anna Edlund has worked as a Biology professor for 20 years, teaching Introductory, Cell and Developmental Biology. She is currently chair of the Biology Department at Bethany College, in West Virginia, USA. Her research is on pollen, pollination and plant reproduction. She has taught Tibetan Buddhist monastics since 2012, travelling seven times to India and once to Nepal and working with both the Emory Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI) and Science for Monks and Nuns. Anna especially values the practice of journaling in science classes and has published on this culturally-sensitive pedagogy for use with monks and nuns.