Partnership enables visiting scholar to provide truck for Cambodian villagers | News
TROY -- How does a truck in Cambodia come to bear the decals of a university some 9,000 miles away? The answer to that question is a testament to the global nature of Troy University.
The Kia truck can be found in the hometown of Buddhist monk Venerable Penh, who recently returned to his home country of Cambodia from a stint as a visiting scholar in Troy University’s College of Education.
During his studies at TROY, Penh became acquainted with the Vietnamese community of Atlanta. Donations from members of the community enabled Penh to purchase the truck, which he presented to the people of his hometown upon his return.
“The people are so very pleased with the truck because it is very useful for them,” said Penh, the second Buddhist monk to hold the title of visiting scholar at TROY.
Villagers will use the truck for several purposes including transporting water from a nearby river to the villagers, carrying loads of soil necessary for evening out bumpy roads, free transportation for elderly villagers, delivering stone and sand from mountainous regions for construction purposes and transporting funeral materials for the community, Penh said.
The visiting scholar program that made Penh’s visit possible was started in 2009 through TROY’s partnership with Pannasastra University of Cambodia. Through the program, Penh was able to take courses at TROY toward his master’s degree in education administration and leadership, as well as share his culture with University students, faculty and staff.
Penh will finish his master’s degree at Pannasastra this spring and then plans to devote himself to teaching, working in poor rural areas and writing a book.
Penh said time at Troy University and the bonds he formed during his visit to the United States will always be close to his heart. And, he is grateful for the opportunities provided by the two partner universities.
“I would like to express my deepest thanks for the scholarship program because it not only allowed me to attain academic success but also allowed me to fulfill my social responsibility to my community,” he said.
Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., TROY Chancellor, said while the rural community in Cambodia will certainly benefit from the use of the truck, others can benefit by emulating Penh’s desire to help others.
“As our motto that dates back to the University’s founding in 1887 says, we seek to educate mind to think, the heart to feel and the body to act,” Dr. Hawkins said. “Venable Penh, through his compassion and willingness to put others first, has shown us the true meaning of those words and we can learn much from his example.”
Information Source: Troy University