Hailing from Kathmandu, Nepal, Supriya Bhatta decided to follow in her brother’s footsteps, who graduated from Winona State, after hearing him talk about the good programs and opportunities the university had to offer.
Starting as an accounting major, she ultimately decided to switch career tracks to public health two years into her college career.
“As great a program as it was,” Bhatta said, “I realized I wanted to pursue my passion to be in the healthcare sector.”
As an international student, she was unsure how the transition would go, but with the help of WSU staff, the process was made simple.
“They helped me to get connected to the right people and find the right major,” she said. “I’ve loved my major and all that I’ve gotten to do through it as a result of the help from the WSU staff – and for that, I am really thankful.”
During her senior year, Bhatta had the opportunity to go to Rwanda, East Africa, for a month to work at a hospital. The trip would not have been possible without the help of her professors and HERS department staff, she said, and the experience allowed her to expand her curiosity in the field of global health.
Bhatta’s advisor and professor, Dr. Peter Sternberg, was very influential to her path – not only helping her make the transition to public health, but continually helping her gain academic success. Another mentor Bhatta mentions is Darlene Stetter, her supervisor in the printing services office on campus.
“WSU wants you to succeed and they will guide you in every step of the way,” added Bhatta. “Faculty, staff, and fellow students all care about you and are willing to help, you just need to ask.”
When reflecting on her favorite part of her WSU experience, Bhatta responded that it was being able to restart the Nepali Club on campus, which allowed her to organize different events and programs to represent her home country.
In addition, Bhatta received the Cross-Cultural scholarship for four years at WSU, which has significantly lightened the financial burden of college. The scholarship has also challenged her to maintain her GPA and participate in different cultural events around campus, which she said allowed her to interact with other international students.
“I am very thankful for these experiences,” she said, “it taught me a great deal about teamwork and organization.”
“I am grateful that my first experience ever moving away from home led me to the river town of Winona,” concluded Bhatta. “I love the small but closely-knit community here and I am proud to call myself a Warrior for life.”
WSU Spring Commencement Ceremonies will take place Friday, May 4, in McCown Gymnasium on the Winona campus. The 9 a.m. ceremony will feature the College of Business and College of Science and Engineering. The 12:30 p.m. ceremony will feature the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts. The 4 p.m. ceremony will feature the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
For more information, visit https://www.winona.edu/graduation/commencement.asp or call University Communications at 507-457-5024.