From Kathmandu to Chickasha: USAO student finds second home, tools for the future

Manish Puri.

From Kathmandu to Chickasha: USAO student finds second home, tools for the future


Kathmandu, Nepal native Manish Puri may have come to Chickasha with preconceived ideas about America based on movie plotlines, but he will leave with the tools he needs for a great future. Puri is a senior physics and mathematics major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

“Chickasha debunked the images that American movies had painted in my mind. It was a comparatively smaller town and had a friendly vibe to it,” Puri said. “The first couple of months were rough for me as I was adapting to a new culture and new surroundings, but the community at USAO made that experience more pleasant for me. The experiences here and the friendships I made in Chickasha makes it feel like a home away from home. USAO has been a home to me for the past three and a half years and I could not be at any better place.”

Like many USAO students, Puri has taken advantage of numerous educational and experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom including running on the cross country team. “My freshman year, I was presented an opportunity to run cross country for the university and represent USAO in races all across Oklahoma. The coaches believed in me and trained me to become one of the team’s top runners for the past three years.”

Puri has also participated in two semesters of the Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematics (PIC math) program (which is funded by the National Science Foundation); is a member of the Math, Science and Technology Club and USAO Ambassadors; and serves as a student government representative for the Division of Science and Physical Education.

“The opportunities that I’ve been afforded here have helped me learn and grow as an individual who can thrive in the real world once graduated. I knew after my first year that this was where I could start my dream and gather tools to achieve it as well,” Puri said.

“USAO is a very dynamic university with an amazing atmosphere. Not only has it prepared me for the next step I will be taking in my career, but has connected me to the people who will remain part of my life long after I graduate. USAO is invested in its students, but its biggest charm is that people care about each other. The small size of the university provides individual research opportunities and one-on-one time with the professors that very few other universities might be able to provide.”

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