OSU professor emeritus to help Cambodian University

October 27, 2004

CORVALLIS – A retired Oregon State University professor has just left on a trip to one of the poorest countries in southeast Asia to help set up a teaching program to support the country's food industry.

"My contact at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia) said I was coming to the most needy university in the world," said OSU professor emeritus of food science and technology Richard Scanlan.

University professors who receive emeritus status upon retirement can, in many cases, maintain a university office to continue their work. Scanlan retired in 1998 after more than 30 years as a teacher, internationally known researcher, department head and dean of research.

He received the month-long assignment to Cambodia, slightly smaller than Oklahoma and bordered by Vietnam, Thailand and Laos, through the Fulbright Senior Specialists Program sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. Department of State.

The Royal University of Phnom Penh is in the initial stages of developing a food technology study option for undergraduates in its chemistry department.

"The entire chemistry department has four computers with no Internet access," said Scanlan. "I'm taking a suitcase full of basic textbooks because they don't have them. The food technology courses will be taught by four recent graduates from the chemistry department."

Scanlan said the commercial food industry in Cambodia "is in its infancy." He will deliver seminars and help Royal University of Phnom Penh professors prepare classes in food technology, nutrition and food microbiology.

"The hope is that the economy and the food industry of Cambodia will improve in the years ahead," said Scanlan.

Author: Andy Duncan
Source: Richard Scanlan