Learn how a student office job helped Sandesh Tuladhar ’12 become a rising star in education technology.

Named director of online education at Columbia University in February 2016, Sandesh Tuladhar ’12 is a rising star in the emerging field of education technology. But not so long ago, he was a high school student in Kathmandu, Nepal, dreaming of attending college in the United States.

He eagerly applied to Adelphi, partly because, Tuladhar said with a laugh, he naively believed the school was in New York City. He first set foot in the United States just in time for first-year student Orientation, and there was “an adjustment period,” he said as an understatement.

He declared a double major in economics and environmental studies, envisioning a future in academia. But then Adelphi introduced Tuladhar to what he calls his “third degree.” Like many first-year students, he needed a job. He found one working at Adelphi’s Faculty Center for Professional Excellence.

“I thought that it would be working with faculty, showing them how to use a computer, but that was maybe 2 percent of the job,” said Tuladhar. Instead, over the next four years, his part-time job plunged him into the world of instructional design and instructional technology. He helped faculty integrate technology to improve their teaching, often helping to “flip” courses so that class time could be used for discussion and active learning instead of lecturing.

“Adelphi was definitely ahead of its time,” he said. “Even if I’d studied education, I don’t think I would have gotten that level of immersion or the direct application.”

After graduation, Tuladhar landed a job at Brown University as an application specialist in its Education Technology Group. Although Brown is a bigger school, “the work definitely felt like an extension of the work I’d done at Adelphi,” he said.

But the New York City dreams he’d had as a high school student in Kathmandu still called, and in 2013, when Tuladhar received an offer to work as an instructional technologist for Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, he eagerly accepted. Two and half years and a number of promotions later, Tuladhar was named to a position at Columbia where he coordinates online teaching and learning initiatives for the 16 professional schools and colleges at the university.

Tuladhar is as surprised and pleased as anyone that his work experience at Adelphi opened the door to his future. “This was a field I didn’t know existed,” he said. “I would never have guessed.”

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