USF Completes Successful Exchange Visit to Thailand

BANGKOK and TAMPA, Fla (Dec. 1, 2008) — President Judy Genshaft of the University of South Florida and President Wiroon Tangcharoen of Srinakharinwirot University completed on Nov 26 the signing of an Academic Collaboration and Student Exchange Program agreement. The agreement outlines an exchange of undergraduate and graduate students and plans for joint medical training. The initial exchange of students is expected in 2010.


“This is an exciting and important agreement for global education in medicine and other fields for both institutions. This marks the first affiliation of a Thai institution and an institution in the State of Florida,” said President Judy Genshaft.


President Genshaft travelled to Thailand Nov 22-29 with a group including Rhea Law, chair of the USF Board of Trustees. The president's group returned on their scheduled date of Nov 29, but left Thailand through the U-tapao military air base instead of Bangkok's international airport, which was shut by anti-government protests. "We had a great trip that allowed us to discuss our shared commitment to student opportunities and build an already strong relationship," President Genshaft said.


Prior to the signing ceremony, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakrl Sirindhorn presented the Global Leadership Award to President Genshaft and Stephen Klasko, USF's senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the College of Medicine. The Global Leadership Award is the first such award given in recognition of leadership and commitment to excellence in global education.


The team attended an international medical summit at Srinakharinwirot University College of Medicine, where Dr. Klasko made a presentation along with several faculty members from USF Health.


“International medicine is more than a trend — it is a force to contend with,” Dr. Klasko said. "We've had a deep and fulfilling relationship with SWU and our hosts could not have been more gracious and helpful during this visit. They made certain that the political issues evolving in Bangkok at the time had only a minimal effect on our trip."


Other members of USF's team stayed in Thailand for further discussions, including Dr. John Sinnott, associate dean for international affairs at the USF College of Medicine, Dr. Lynette Menezies, and Dr. Charurut Somboonwit. For more information on the team, see the USF College of Medicine International Affairs website:


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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