16:20 PM

Nepalese student alum hopes to use tech skills to make life better in U.S. and Nepal


Every year, about a million people come to the United States to seek opportunities for a better life. Most come from just south of the Texas border, but Ichha Manandhar’s journey began 8,300 miles away, on the other side of the world in Nepal. Arriving in Houston at the age of 6, she said she had found the path to the education she hoped for at University of Houston-Clear Lake.

“I graduated from Clear Horizons Early College High School in Clear Creek Independent School District with my associate’s degree and high school diploma, and most of my credits transferred to UH-Clear Lake, which is a main reason why I chose this university,” she said. “I’m receiving my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in cybersecurity this December, and I’ll also be leading the Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation at the commencement ceremony.”

She said computer science was always her interest, and she viewed technology as a tool that could help people. “That’s why I’m interested in computer science,” she said. “I want to use technology to help people in Nepal. With the rise of artificial intelligence and robotics, I see it as a way to make life better for people, and that’s what I want to do.”

While at UHCL, Manandhar said she was technology director and senator of College of Science and Engineering for the Student Government and president of  SUPERGirls SHINE Foundation club at UHCL, a chapter of the nonprofit organization focusing on empowering young women of color to pursue an education and a career in STEM-related fields.

“I chose to be active because I wanted to increase my leadership skills and my teamwork skills, and all the extra work I did was worth it,” she said. “I feel that everyone at UHCL was welcoming to me and adaptive. I love our diverse community and events that focus on diversity, the cultural days, and the international flags that fly in the Bayou Building.”

Her NASA internship, in which she worked in software development in support of the International Space Station, will end when she graduates.

“That internship and my work in the student organizations has really helped me in my job search and opened doors of opportunity for me,” she said. “I have some options now that I have graduated, but I hope to work in software engineering in a tech company. My ultimate goal in life is to start my own tech business and produce or develop something that helps others. I would love for that company to be located in the U.S. and Nepal so I can provide jobs there that are so needed.”

For more information about UHCL’s Computer Science program, go online.