Ohio University Doctoral Candidate Serves as Paul Heng Fellow at UC

Ohio University Doctoral Candidate Serves as Paul Heng Fellow at UC

By Tim Vutha (UC Alumnus)


Nick Yinger, a second-year Ph.D. student at Ohio University in the USA, interned at the University of Cambodia (UC) from July to August 2011 as a Paul Heng Fellow. The Fellowship provides funding to Ohio University students and faculty so they can contribute to and learn from UC. In addition to helping UC with special projects, his purpose was to work with students, examine the American university system in a foreign country, and gain valuable experience.

"I love working with students because we get an opportunity to learn from one another," he said.

Mr. Yinger is studying Instructional Technology and Curriculum Instruction at Ohio University and also serves as a teaching assistant for an international studies course in the Global Leadership Center.

This is the second consecutive summer that Mr. Yinger has interned at UC. Prior to this, he had visited Cambodia once before when he helped to coordinate a trip to Vietnam for a group of Ohio University students.

"I have seen the country develop and many things have changed in a few years," he said. "Most of the changes are subtle but I see the country developing and changing for the better."

This year, he worked with Peter Tan Keo, Vice President for Strategy, Development and International Cooperation, and Dr. Angus Munro, Vice President for Academics, on preparations for the 7th Asia Economic Forum (AEF), as well as other tasks during the Forum. Following the AEF, he worked on two more projects that focused on helping UC students. He helped another Paul Heng Fellow, Dr. Dawn Bikowski, to organize and run a professional development workshop for instructors at UC. In addition, he worked to help create a resource for UC students seeking to obtain international scholarships.

He said he believes that the new campus will offer students new opportunities.

"I think when the new campus opens, there will be an opportunity to increase the number of faculty and to develop more. . .[departments and offices], like a career services and competitive awards office," he said. "It’s a promising new situation that I wish I could be around to witness."

He also had much to say about his interaction with UC students.

"UC students constantly surprise me… when I talk to them, it’s rewarding to see how well this generation is doing. I have noticed that they ask a lot of questions, which is great," he said. "I really like how UC students are questioning the things they see, things they hear, and things their professors teach them. That’s the only way things get better."

Mr. Yinger said he also very much enjoyed his stay in Cambodia because he really likes eating local dishes.

"There are so many different foods here that I enjoy," he said. "When I go back home, I will miss the delicious beef and prahok."

In addition to the work he did at UC, he conducted several interviews on the educational system in Cambodia for his own graduate studies research.