International delegations such as ours can encounter scheduling opportunities that require a willingness and ability to be flexible. Fortunately, on their last day in Thailand, many of our delegation members were able to accommodate an additional meeting with colleagues at Chulalongkorn University.
Our initial visit to Chulalongkorn during this trip took place on Monday and focused primarily on public health. This second visit dramatically expanded the scope of the conversation to include engineering, informatics, and science.
As the photo above shows, we were met by a great many colleagues from Chula, including representatives from the departments of chemistry, geology, environmental science, materials science, and mathematics and computer science.
With common interests in many areas such as forensic science and analytical chemistry, geology and environmental science, battery and fuel cell development, and nanotechnology, in addition to our longstanding relationship in dentistry, we have a great many opportunities to enhance our relationship with Chula and look forward to continuing this important conversation.
The connection between the School of Dentistry and Chulalongkorn deserves special recognition. Dr. Thanpuying Petchara Techakampuch graduated from the School of Dentistry in 1958. She went on to an illustrious career ultimately serving as the late King Rama IX’s dentist as well as the Dean of Dentistry at Chulalongkorn. Thanpuying is a royally bestowed honorific title meaning “Lady.”
Dr. Petchara’s protege Dr. Suteera Hovijitra followed her to Indianapolis and the School of Dentistry and remained as an IUSD faculty member. In total, 51 Thai students have studied at IUSD. In fact, they have developed a counting system, numbering each student. The next Thai student to enter the program will be number 35, linked like a chain to those who have come before. They have a messaging chat room to bring them together and meet regularly, especially when Dr. Suteera visits from Indy.