STOU Representatives Visit Campus, Ignite Collaboration Potential

By: Mollie Lastovica

Presented with a unique opportunity to collaborate with the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University in Thailand, administrators and faculty in the ALEC Department visited with STOU Dean Achara Chittaladakorn, and former dean, Sunane Seesang, Ph.D., September 11-12 to discuss potential partnering opportunities.

“STOU is looking to our department for collaboration and ultimately would like to enhance their program by working with us,” Assistant Professor Theresa Murphrey says. “This is a tremendous opportunity.”

Murphrey assisted in coordinating the visit with STOU administrators and worked directly with Chittaladakorn and Seesang to explore the pillars of joint teaching, joint research, faculty exchanges and student exchanges, which are the focus areas of the STOU initiative.

“This is another opportunity to reach out to a different part of the world,” Murphrey says. “As a result of this collaboration, faculty and students could have the opportunity to learn about Thailand and other ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] countries.”

With a focus on extension, development and distance education, STOU representatives were introduced to administrators of Texas A&M University and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences along with faculty and administration in the ALEC Department.

“They perceive Texas A&M University as a leader in these areas and that is why they are choosing to work with us,” Murphrey says.

Their two-day visit also included meeting with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension representatives and personnel from the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture who assisted in explaining the plethora of opportunities available for joint international efforts between Texas A&M and STOU.

Work continues to bring STOU and Texas A&M students and faculty continuous opportunities to acquire a first class education and international experience.

“It is a true compliment that these individuals wanted to visit with us,” Murphrey says.

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