Purchase College Professor Peter Bell, Armonk, NY, and three undergraduate researchers spent a month in Thailand this summer conducting research on the social impact of economic change in Thailand. The students researched the slums in Bangkok, the media impact on the changing image of Thai women, and the costs and benefits of the tourist industry in Thailand.
The students, Rebecca Katzenberg, Michal Vaisben and Erika Brenner, spent time in Bangkok and in Chiang Mai in the northern area of Thailand.
The trip was made under the auspices of ASIANetwork, a consortium of 150 North American Colleges that promotes Asian Studies within the framework of liberal arts education. The research was supported by the Freeman Foundation's Student-Faculty Fellows Program to encourage study in Asia during the summer of 2007.
Purchase was one of 14 national winners in this highly competitive award program.
The semester prior to the trip Professor Bell conducted an intensive four-hour per week tutorial on Thai history, religion and culture for the students to provide background for their research.
In March 2008 Rebecca Katzenberg will present the results of the research at the annual ASIANetwork conference in San Antonio, Texas.