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East Central University student Bipin Shiwakoti, of Nepal, was selected as one of only six winners worldwide of the #WaterWomen Photo Contest, conducted by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

Shiwakoti’s photo featured ECU Professor Dr. Christine Pappas and graduate student Sarita KC, both volunteers of Blue Thumb, as they monitored Little Sandy Creek in Ada for water quality, management and conservation.

The image was featured prominently at the upcoming World Water Week held in Stockholm, Sweden, Aug. 27-Sept. 1. The photo has been shared on social media by SIWI.

Shiwakoti’s photo was picked by a jury with a focus on the ability of the shot to truly challenge and change the way women in water are looked upon.

“The jury felt your image not only showed women in a perception changing role, but also highlighted the importance of intergenerational learning, an integral part to securing our water future,” said Kanika Thaker, of the digital outreach department for SIWI, in an email to Shiwakoti.

The photo and caption will be featured in a special news story on both the website at as well as on Global Citizen – - later this month.

Sarita KC is a graduate student and Pappas is an advisor in ECU’s new M.S. in Water Resource Policy and Management Program.

The program, which is now in its second year, supports the need for advanced understanding of the growing complexity of water issues that face communities in the state, nation and globally. This degree trains students for leadership in making water policy decisions and prepares students who seek employment within federal and state environmental agencies, environmental non-governmental organizations, international development agencies and industry and environmental consulting firms.

The M.S. in Water Resource Policy and Management Program is now offered online. For more information on the program contact Pappas at or 580-559-5640.


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