On January 16, 2019, Associate Professor Kingkarn Thepkanjana, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, presided over the presentation ceremony for the 2018 Khyentse Foundation Award. Representing the Faculty of Arts together with the Dean were Associate Professor Suradech Chotiudompant, Assistant Professor Nirada Chitrakara, and Assistant Professor Arthid Sheravanichkul.

This year the award was granted to a graduate student from the Faculty of Arts: Nattawut Sangpun, a Ph.D. student from the Department of Thai, Mr. Sangpun’s dissertation is on a topic related to Buddhist study.  He is studying the story of Subin Kumar in Southeast Asian literature.  The story is about the merit of ordination.  It reflects a Buddhist belief that parents gain merit when their son is ordained as a monk.  Among the guests present in the ceremony were Professor Bhadra Rujirathat (Peter Skilling), a Khyentse Foundation Fellow, and Dr. Trent Walker, a scholar in Buddhist study from University of California at Berkeley, who is doing his post-doctoral study as a Khyentse exchange scholar in Thailand. His study is the co-occurrences of ethnic languages with Pali in the Buddhist Bible in Thailand and Cambodia.  Dr. Walker is focusing on a phenomenon called linguistic epiphyte referring to a context where one language grows on another with the host language unaffected.  Dr. Walker is expecting to give a lecture at the Faculty of Arts in August this year.

The Khyentse Foundation Award is given annually to an undergraduate or graduate student, selected by the Faculty, for recognition of distinction and hard work in the field of Buddhist studies. Founded in 2001 by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, the Khyentse Foundation is a non-profit organization whose key aim is to support and enhance Buddhist studies worldwide.