Partnering to impact global education

Ladores helping visiting Thai PhD students complete dissertation proposals
By Jimmy Creed

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing, as part of a new partnership with Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand, is hosting two second-year Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) students for six weeks to help expand their knowledge base, and improve nursing knowledge, education and care globally.

Wipada Sangnimitchaikul and Atchanat Wangsom are working with Assistant Professor Sigrid Ladores, PhD, RN, PNP, CNE, who is serving as their co-advisor to refine and complete their dissertation proposals.

“The goal of their visit is for them develop a well-written proposal to take home with them to Thammasat University and present to their advisor,” said Ladores, who also will be part of the students’ dissertation committees. “To accomplish that goal, I am working with them very closely in each of their areas of focus, which align with my expertise in lung disease and Cystic Fibrosis.”

Thammasat students with DCHJPGDean Doreen C. Harper and other faculty and staff recently took time to welcome Atchanat Wangsom, second from left, and Wipada Sangnimitchaikul, fourth from right, to the United States and the UAB School of Nursing.Wangsom’s focus is on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Sangnimitchaikul’s is on pediatric asthma.

Ladores meets with the students face-to-face and online to assess their progress and give them feedback and direction, and connects them with other resources at UAB such as the Lister Hill Library and the University Writing Center. Sangnimitchaikul and Wangsom have attended classes in philosophy and statistics and had a consultation with the School’s biostatisticians, Assistant Professor Dheeraj Raju, PhD, and Associate Professor Andres Azuero, PhD, MBA.

As part of their visit, they also are engaged in cultural experiences. Sangnimitchaikul and Wangsom attended a show at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, a UAB Blazers football game and the annual State of the School presentation.

Both students, away from Thailand for the first time, have found the UAB School of Nursing to be a wonderful place to study and learn.

“UAB gives me opportunities to learn a lot of things,” Sangnimitchaikul said. “I even attended a dissertation defense to see an example of what I will need to do when I return home. These experiences are very good for my proposal.”

An added challenge for both is that the Thammasat University PhD program requires that they write their proposals in English. It is a challenge both have readily accepted.

“I want to improve my English language skills so I welcome this opportunity,” Wangsom said. “I am also thrilled by the opportunity to work with Dr. Ladores, who is an expert in her field. We have a lot to do in a short time, and I am very excited to be at UAB.”

Both are also excited by the lasting connections they have made, including Thammasat University alumna Aoyjai Prapanjaroensin, BSN, RN, currently a student in the School’s PhD program, the only one in the state.

“I have met many people here who have been helpful to me, and I think I will stay in close touch with them for a long time,” Wangsom said.

Ada Markaki, PhD, Deputy Director of the School’s Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Collaborating Center for International Nursing, said the program is working as it was envisioned when the new partnership with Thammasat University was formed.

“We are making sure that the education they receive at the UAB School of Nursing will greatly compliment their education at home,” Markaki said. “From the feedback we have received, their experiences here have been very positive.

“This is a long-term relationship we are developing. We hope there will be many more PhD students from Thammasat University coming to study with us in the future.”

The School has a long history of collaboration with nursing schools in Thailand, dating back to the early 1990s. The School, under the leadership of then-dean Rachel Z. Booth, PhD, worked with the faculty of Nursing at Chiang Mai to increase its ability to obtain research funding, develop its first international master’s program in nursing and develop a doctoral program in nursing. For her work there, Booth was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in nursing by the King of Thailand, His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej—making her the first foreign nurse ever to receive such an honor in Thailand. She also received an honorary lifetime membership in the Chiang Mai University Alumni Association.

In addition, approximately 30 alumni hail from the country or are living there. UAB School of Nursing alumni are among the faculties at Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Khon Kaen University Faculty of Nursing, Mahidol University Faculty of Nursing and Chiang Mai University Faculty of Nursing where Wipada Kunaviktikul, PhD, RN, FAAN, who earned her PhD from the School in 1994 and is one of its Visionary Leaders, is Dean of Faculty of Nursing.

From having one of the leading VA Nursing Academic Partnerships in the U.S., and Nurse-Managed Clinics providing community-based primary health care services to vulnerable populations, to Faculty Practices that support its teaching, research, and service missions and Rural Health Initiatives that are providing health care and providers to Alabama’s medically underserved, the UAB School of Nursing is a leader in in establishing pioneering transitional care clinics to take care of the most vulnerable populations across the health care continuum, forming policy to guide national health care practice, creating program innovations to improve care practices nationally, conducting novel research to reach rural populations facing the greatest effects from chronic or preventable conditions, and finding new and creative ways to educate students to be the future leaders who will shape coordinated, proactive and superior patient care.

Read 2211 times Last modified on December 19, 2017

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