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Greg Emery

University of Cambodia Chancellor Haruhisa Handa (left) presented Ohio University's Global Leadership Center Director Greg Emery (right) an honorary degree on Wednesday, awarding his efforts to better the institution and Cambodia..

Photo courtesy of: Greg Emery

Greg Emery

Emery said he hopes his recent recognition will open doors for the GLC, raise the profile of the universities' alliance at both campuses and facilitate cooperative opportunities.

Photo courtesy of: Greg Emery

Greg Emery

Emery traveled to University of Cambodia in 2008 as a Fulbright senior specialist to help develop and establish the Asia Leadership Center, which is modeled in part after the GLC.

Photo courtesy of: Greg Emery

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Emery receives honorary doctorate from University of Cambodia

Director of OHIO's Global Leadership Center is awarded the honor for international collaboration


Ohio University's Global Leadership Center Director Greg Emery received an honorary doctorate in humanities from University of Cambodia during a special ceremony in Cambodia on Wednesday. The award honors Emery's contributions to the university and to Cambodia.

"He has been an invaluable externality, bridging the distant divide between both campuses," said Peter Tan Keo, vice president for strategy, development, and international cooperation at University of Cambodia. "Over the years, since 2006, Dr. Emery has traveled to and from Athens to Phnom Penh, with clear objectives to invest intellectual capital to our faculty and students."

Emery said he has been involved on a lot of different fronts with University of Cambodia, but that the award was still an "unexpected and pleasant surprise."

Emery first visited the institution in 2006 while the GLC was on project in neighboring Thailand. Colleagues with Southeast Asia experience recommended he make the trip to strengthen the connection between the universities.

University of Cambodia Founder and President Kao Kim Hourn earned master's degrees in political science and international affairs from Ohio University in 1991. In 2007, OHIO awarded Hourn an honorary doctorate of public service.

"Even at that first meeting it became pretty clear that there was going to be a lot of avenues for collaboration," Emery said.

Emery traveled to University of Cambodia in 2008 as a Fulbright senior specialist to help develop and establish the Asia Leadership Center, which is modeled in part after the GLC. According to its website, the center "is committed to the development of leadership knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to build the character of public, private, civil, academic, female and youth leaders." Emery acts as an advisory board member for the center.

In subsequent trips, Emery aided the institution through teaching, teacher training, leadership workshops and student development projects. He said he has seen the university rapidly grow during their relationship and is proud of their mission to improve the lives of Cambodians.

Although the association is primarily between Emery and University of Cambodia, Emery said one of the goals has always been to institute projects with Cambodia for GLC students, and vice versa. Emery said University of Cambodia's new, state-of-the-art, custom-designed campus, revealed Oct. 24, will create a better opportunity for direct partnerships between the two institutions through their updated communication technologies.

"It is a signal honor for Greg to have his contributions recognized in such a prominent way by the University of Cambodia," said Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit. "An honorary doctorate given to one of the University’s most tireless advocates of international education illustrates how highly one of our global educational partners values its relationship with the people and programs of Ohio University."

Open to all undergraduates, the GLC certificate provides "an opportunity for some bright and innovative Ohio University students to gain experience abroad and interact with students from other cultures," said OHIO President Emeritus Robert Glidden, who was influential in turning the idea of an on-campus global leadership center into reality.

Emery has directed the GLC since 2000, developing it from infancy into a nationally- and internationally-recognized, award-winning program. During his tenure, the center was awarded the Institute of International Education's Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education in March 2009 and grant money for collaborative projects.

Emery hopes his recent recognition will open doors for the GLC, raise the profile of the universities' alliance at both campuses and facilitate cooperative opportunities.

"It's the biggest honor in my life because it's not something you can earn," Emery said.