Warren Shipton, a member of Mt Gravatt Seventh-day Adventist Church (Qld), recently received the highest academic ranking title from the Thai palace for his contributions to education and science.
The award of “professor” was granted to Mr Shipton in February this year, and is the first such honour given to both a foreigner and an academic from a private university in the 100 year history of tertiary education in Thailand.
“Receiving the honour was most unexpected as it has been reserved traditionally for academics at state universities where the title is vigorously guarded,” said Mr Shipton. “I simply could not believe that I was the first foreigner to break through the glass ceiling and, of course, it was a great advertisement for our Adventist university in Thailand.”
Mr Shipton lives in Brisbane but teaches online at Asia-Pacific International University, the only Adventist university in South-East Asia. He is also currently undertaking research for the university, and often travels to Thailand to present courses.
“Personally, it gave me a feeling of greater acceptance by the Thai people,” said Mr Shipton. “That is something that all foreigners seek in the countries they find themselves or seek to serve.”