Alfred State College Professor Yogendra (Yogi) Jonchhe , Mechanical Engineering Technology Department , has been selected as a Fulbright scholar grantee to Nepal. He is the third Alfred State College professor in the 60-year history of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship program to receive this honor. (Earlier ASC recipients included Dr. Eunice Davis, Social and Behavioral Sciences Department , 1992-93; and Professor William D. Sheehan, Electrical Engineering Technology Department, 1991-92.)
Jonchhe's objective is to undertake a lecturing/research assignment with Kathmandu University in Nepal, from Aug. 1-Dec. 30, 2009. In addition to teaching activities in the fields of mechanical, automotive, energy, and emissions, Jonchhe also plans to work in curriculum review and development; laboratory development; development of a 12+2 engineering science program at Kathmandu University for transfer to upper division engineering programs in U.S. institutions; development of study abroad programs for the students; development of transfer and articulation agreement programs with various U.S. institutions; develop a program encouraging the exchange of faculty, scholars, ideas, and research works; explore online course offerings; conduct seminars, workshops, and talk programs; develop international collaborations with various institutions worldwide; advise on Faculty Senate governance, promotion, tenure, merit policies and procedures; explore applied research on appropriate technologies; explore an interlibrary loan program; and explore "Sister City" agreements.
Jonchhe, a member of the Alfred State College faculty since 1982, received the SUNY (State University of New York) Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching Award in 1994 and was nominated for SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2008. In 1995, he was recognized by the National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD). In 1993, Jonchhe was the recipient of SAE International Teetor Educational Award. In 1991, Jonchhe was named the Outstanding SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Faculty Adviser. In his homeland, he received the Mahendra-Ratna Award from His Majesty the King for outstanding academic performance.
Jonchhe has undertaken similar assignments abroad. In 1996-97, he served as professor/consultant, Institute of Technology Tun Hussein Onn (ITTHO) Department of Mechanical Engineering, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia. This assignment was administered through Alfred State College under contract from MUCIA (Midwestern Universities Consortium in America) led by Purdue University with World Bank funding. The assignment involved teaching, laboratory, and curriculum development.
Additionally, Jonchhe also served in a similar capacity with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus as a U.N. Consultant to the Engineering Education Project, Tribhuvan University, Nepal under UNDP TOKTEN (Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals) Program in summer 1993.
In 1991, he led a group of faculty, staff, students, and community people on an educational tour to Moscow, Leningrad, and Finland. Jonchhe speaks five languages fluently: English, Russian, Hindi, Nepali, and Newari. He has earned certification as a qualified interpreter from Russian into English.
In his proposal, Jonchhe states, "I sincerely believe that I am familiar with the education system in Nepal as I grew up in Bhaktapur/Kathmandu Nepal, went to school and college in Nepal before I went to USSR for my engineering education and then returned to Nepal. I worked as technical teacher, Mechanical Training Center, Balaju under Tribhuvan University and Swiss Development Corporation in Nepal, 1972-73. Later I also worked in the Royal Nepal Army as a mechanical/automotive engineer while collaborating with university campuses to train the technicians for the Army and also being the member of Curriculum Committee of Institute of Engineering."
In the 29 years since Jonchhe settled in United States, he has visited Nepal frequently. "I have never lost my affinity toward Nepal and Nepalese people and their culture. I have always considered myself the cultural ambassador both in Nepal and the USA. I can read, write, and communicate well with the people in Nepal, allowing me to be more effective in achieving my goals although the medium of instruction in higher education in Nepal is English for the most part.
"In the past, I have visited Kathmandu University several times informally and have been very impressed with the dedicated group of people and their progress and accomplishment in a short period of time. I have always tried to help them as a great well wisher."
Jonchhe has always been actively involved in ABET accreditation, Engineering Science External Review and Assessment processes; he was also involved in the Professional Examination Review Course offered for engineers.
Jonchhe was the recipient of the Outstanding Research Activities Award from SUNY, Colleges of Technology, and Research Council, based on his applied research activities such as involvement in Gleasman Stepless Geared Transmission research, development and testing, Electric Car Research Project, diesel fuel additives research, ethanol blended fuels research, biodiesel fuel analytical study, automotive emission research, and investigation of hydraulic turbines. He was the first recipient of this award from Alfred State College in 1991.
Jonchhe has been active with NYS Engineering Technology Association (NYSETA) for the last 25 years attending semi-annual meetings. Alfred State College hosted a very successful NYSETA meeting at Alfred State College in 2007 where he served on the host committee and was responsible for securing the keynote speaker, technical sessions, vendors, and industrial tours.
In November 2007 and October 2008, Jonchhe participated in the Interaction Program with Hubert Humphrey Scholars from various countries through the Cornell program, attending presentations and giving a tour of the Engineering Laboratory Facilities.
Regarding his goals for his Fulbright interlude, Jonchhe notes, "It will promote the spirit of global, international, and intercultural understanding, as well as fellowship as per the mission of Fulbright scholar program."
Jonchhe holds an intermediate of science degree from Amrit Science College, Nepal; a master of science degree in mechanical engineering (internal combustion engines) from People's Friendship University, Moscow; and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Syracuse University.
He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers International, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Engineering Education, and the Nepal Engineers' Association.
For 60 years, Fulbright scholars have been advising businesses, governments, and other organizations on a broad range of science and technology issues. Since its creation in 1946, the goal of the exchange program has been to honor top scientists and promising young professionals by providing opportunities to conduct research and share their knowledge, while also serving a broader public interest - increasing mutual understanding among nations.