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Between Political and Climate Change

in Southeast Asia

Cambodia & Myanmar (seminar held in Cambodia) 

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Seminar Overview: "Between Political and Climate Change in Southeast Asia"


To support community colleges and minority-serving institutions, CAORC offers fully-funded overseas seminars that help faculty and administrators gain the requisite first-hand experience needed to improve courses connecting international issues with domestic concerns, thereby underscoring global interconnections through the creation of new and innovative curricular and teaching materials.

The COVID-19 pandemic and current Myanmar’s political crisis have severely tested the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)’s credibility and legitimacy in projecting itself as a force for good for its people. In addition to these political challenges, the devastating effects of climate change across the region are impacting livelihoods, food security, migration, natural resources, and the environment. In this context, to what extent can Cambodia’s and Myanmar’s civil society mobilize against these challenges, and by what means? How do the outcomes resulting from these responses differ between Cambodia and Myanmar?

Featuring lectures, meetings with media professionals, civil society and environmental organizations, and site visits, this two-week overseas faculty development seminar held in Cambodia and presented by Overseas Research Centers in Cambodia and Myanmar  will offer participants a unique opportunity to gain knowledge and experience about the two countries. It will also leave time to explore Cambodia’s history, culture, and natural habitats with visits to ancient temples and the city of Angkor, the Tonle Sap Lake, museums and sites in Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh, and more.

Seminar Dates: May 15 - May 30, 2024

Meet the Seminar Leaders


















The program is open to full-time or part-time faculty and administrators at U.S. community colleges or minority-serving institutions. A directory of MSIs can be found at the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions. The program is open to faculty in all fields, at all academic ranks, and from any academic or administrative department.

Applicants may apply to only one (1) of the concurrent CAORC Overseas Faculty Development Seminar opportunities being offered.  Applicants who apply to more than one concurrent seminar may be removed from consideration for all seminars. ​

CAORC and the U.S. Department of State do not require any vaccinations to participate in the Overseas Faculty Development Seminar program, however the host countries, overseas research centers, individual sites, and communities that are part of the FDS program schedule may have their own requirements for vaccination. These requirements may change from the time of application to the time of travel.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application and must hold a valid, current U.S. passport that does not expire within six months of the last date of the program.

Note: Previous Overseas Faculty Development Seminar awardees are requested to observe a one-year waiting period before applying for another program

Program Expectations

As an outcome of the Overseas Faculty Development Seminar program, participants are required to develop and implement a project to increase internationalization on their campus. Details and examples of these projects will be shared with awardees during pre-departure orientation. Projects should be implemented within one year of the conclusion of the program, at which time participants will be asked to submit a project report and share curriculum and/or documentation of the project for inclusion on CAORC's Open Educational Resources site.

Application Process


Applications can be accessed via CAORC's SM Apply application portal. You must sign up for an account to access the seminar application. This will allow you to save and return to your application before submitting. Please save your login/password information for future applications.

In addition to providing basic personal and professional information, applicants are required to respond to the following essay questions (up to 500 words each):

  1. Please describe your professional and/or academic interest in participating in the faculty development seminar to Cambodia. How will your professional and personal experiences, qualifications, and perspectives allow you to make the most of the seminar opportunity?

  2. Please describe how participation in this seminar is essential for your own professional development, i.e., improving your teaching, research, and/or administrative activities. How will you benefit professionally and personally from participating in the seminar?

  3. Please describe how participation in this seminar will directly impact your teaching, curriculum, and/or research. What specific projects, courses, or activities do you envision resulting from the seminar? More broadly, how might the experience positively impact your students, colleagues, institution, and/or community?

  4. Please discuss an occasion or time when you were confronted with attitudes, perspectives, values, or behaviors different from your own. How did you respond and what did you learn about yourself and your attitudes from the experience?

In addition, applicants are required to:

  • Upload a current cv/resume (maximum of 2 pages)


  • Request a letter of support from a department chair, academic division head, or academic dean at your college or institution. You will be able to send a link to your recommender via the online grant portal, SM Apply, by entering their contact details, which will trigger the system into sending an automated email. Your recommender will then be able to upload their letter. Recommendation letters will be confidential in the system.


​In their letter, the recommender should address the following questions/points:

  1.  Please tell us why you support the applicant’s participation in the CAORC faculty development seminar. From your perspective, how will they benefit professionally from the program?

  2. Please describe the applicant’s engagement with your institution’s internationalization efforts and how their participation in the seminar might benefit students, colleagues, and the broader campus community.

  3. Please discuss the applicant’s collegiality, teamwork, and professionalism. How have they demonstrated the ability to cooperate, work, and share with others to achieve goals and positive outcomes?

  • It is advisable to enter your recommender's contact details into the recommendation letter section of the application as soon as possible (and click 'mark as complete') so that they have sufficient time to complete and upload their letter. The applicant is responsible for checking in with their recommender to ensure the letter is submitted by the recommender deadline. CAORC is not able to reach out to recommenders on behalf of the applicant. 

Application Deadline

Opening date for applications: April 19, 2023

Application deadline: January 31, 2024 at 5:00pm ET

Recommendation letter deadline: February 5, 2024 at 5:00pm ET

Notification of award decisions: March 1, 2024

If you have questions, please email

Funding for this program is provided to CAORC through a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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Lisa Brooten, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the College of Arts and Media at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA. Her research and publications focus on human rights and media, media reform and democratization, social movement media, community and indigenous media. Her regional expertise is in Southeast Asia, especially Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand, where she has traveled and conducted fieldwork for several decades, including a Fulbright Research Fellowship in 2007-2008, and an ASEAN Fulbright Research Fellowship in 2021-2022. She has been a member of the Fulbright Specialist Roster for Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines, and has consulted for Freedom House, Radio Free Asia Burmese Service and PEN American Center. She is an associate editor of Media Asia and lead editor of Myanmar Media in Transition: Legacies, Challenges and Change (ISEAS, 2019).


Chantha Lach, a Bachelor's degree graduate from the National University of Management in Phnom Penh, currently works as a freelance video journalist for Foreign News Agencies. He began his journalism career in 1993, following the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement among the four Cambodian civil war factions, which allowed the United Nations to deploy peacekeeping troops in the country and organize the first election later that year. During this time, he served as a Sound Recordist and cameraman for "Indochine Productions," covering various events, including the conflicts between resistance forces (supported by China and the West), the government army (backed by Vietnam and Russia), and the UN peacekeeping mission in Cambodia (UNTAC).

Over the span of his extensive media career, which spans approximately three decades, Chantha Lach has contributed to more than 100 short and long documentaries. He has held various roles, primarily as a lead cameraman, co-director, stories researcher, fixer, and ground-support for international TV teams from organizations such as ABC, CBS, Al Jazeera, NHK, CNBC, among others. Additionally, he has provided production assistance to both local and Hollywood-based film companies in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, and Kampot provinces, covering stories related to social, environmental, and health topics, including HIV/AIDS, Covid-19, and climate change, for major clients such as ADB and the World Bank. His latest story, "Flower Crabs/Horse crabs" in Kep province, is available on social media platforms like YouTube.

Chantha Lach has also taken on assignments to support teams in various countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and more. His reporting has encompassed a wide range of topics, including meetings, summits, elections, protests, violence, natural disasters, and the production of documentaries. Additionally, he has participated in numerous training courses on hostile environments, technical skills, terrorism awareness, and pandemic diseases.

The application deadline has passed, please sign up for the CAORC mailing list below for updates on upcoming seminars and fellowships.

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