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Cambodian Fulbright Scholar investigates biology education at Texas State

Sokha Kheam
Sokha Kheam

By Jack McClellan
Office of Media Relations
September 22, 2016

Fulbright U.S.-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) visiting scholar Sokha Kheam will work with the Texas State University Department of Biology to investigate biology education and research.

Kheam comes to Texas State from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, in Cambodia, where he serves as co-principal investigator for the Cambodian Entomology Initiatives. He arrived in San Marcos on August 25 and his scholarship will continue through November 25.

While at Texas State, Kheam is working with biology education researcher Kristy Daniel in developing protocols and data collection efforts in biology education. He will observe disciplined-based educational research methods, a graduate course in biology taught by Daniel.

“The course is very intensive,” Kheam said. “[It will] develop my biology education research and skills, [by working with] the classmates and biology education researchers.”

He will also work with freshman biology lab coordinators Erika Simpson and Andrea Aspbury to practice managing labs with regards to curriculum development, organization and hiring and preparing student lab instructors. Kheam plans to observe teaching methods for large lecture sections that include nontraditional lecturing techniques. He co-teaches elementary science methods with Gail Dickinson in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Kheam said he hopes to understand U.S. culture and strengthen professional ties with Texas State.

“I am now considering pursuing my Ph.D. in biology education here if possible, due to its research potential, systems and learning and teaching environments,” Kheam said.

The Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Initiative is open to university faculty, foreign ministry and government officials and professional staff from think tanks and non-governmental organizations in ASEAN member states. Scholars travel to the United States for scholarly and professional research for 3-4 months on issues that are relevant and useful to member states and central to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship.