Eugene Sheehan, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at UNC, will receive an honorary doctorate from Burapha University in Thailand to recognize an international exchange program he created for faculty and graduate students from both universities.
Thailand Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will present Sheehan with the honorary degree as part of a commencement ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at Burapha.
Several UNC graduates were already part of the faculty at Burapha when Sheehan approached the Thai university with the idea. Through that connection he led efforts to design an exchange program that allows Burapha faculty and graduates to lecture in workshops, audit classes and attend seminars at UNC and vice-versa.
In the past two years there have been 100 faculty and graduate students from Burapha at UNC. Currently six doctoral students from Burapha are auditing courses in the educational leadership program at UNC. Several teacher education students have been able to complete their student teaching at Burapha through the exchange program.
Sheehan has built similar agreements with Kastehart University in Bangkok; faculty and students from both universities have participated in collaborative research and teaching. He also started a program with the Thai Commission on Higher Education in which Thai universities developed methods to work with special-needs students. UNC faculty members delivered workshops in Bangkok for faculty from 14 Thai universities. Following the workshops, 34 Thai faculty members came to UNC for another round of workshops to see how the university includes special-needs students in a regular classroom.