To whom it may concern,
I would like to submit my personal testimony in support of the Advanced Study of Khmer (ASK) program hosted by the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In 2010, I received a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship to study in this language intensive program during the summer.As a graduate student of both Southeast Asian history and librarianship whose focus is on mainland Southeast Asian language specialization, becoming adept in the Khmer language is a necessity in order to pursue my eventual profession as a bibliographer/subject specialist of mainland Southeast Asian languages and studies. This program provides a unique opportunity for American students to live in Cambodia while fine-tuning their advanced Khmer language skills and immersing themselves in the Khmer culture. As exciting research on Cambodia and the Khmer language grows exponentially in academia, the ASK program is the only program in any American university which promotes studies in advanced Khmer language learning while abroad in Cambodia. With regards to my own experiences in the program in 2010, I found the classes, instructors, school schedule, and field trips to be well-balanced, professional, enjoyable, and successful. My Khmer language skills grew at an amazing rate during my studies with the program, and I have the ASK program and Dr. Chhany Sak-Humphry to thank for that. There is simply no substitute for language study abroad in the home country of the language. Dr. Sak-Humphry has created an amazing Khmer language program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The ASK program which Dr. Sak-Humphry has designed is an incredible and unique companion to her Khmer language program at the University of Hawaii.
I feel that continued support of the ASK program is an absolute necessity to ensure that future American scholars are able to avail themselves of the unique experience of studying advanced Khmer language while in Cambodia. I feel quite passionate about this program, and I will gladly submit more testimony, if need be.
University of Hawaii