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Huntsman School Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony Speaker - Saturday, May 4, 2013

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Published on May 8, 2013

Mathana Santiwat knew she was good with arithmetic from an early age. Growing up in a traditional Thai household in Bangkok, Dr. Santiwat was formally educated at a private Catholic school for her early education and then moved on to a Thai preparatory school. Her western education, combined with her eastern upbringing, would benefit her successful career in accounting and academics.

Dr. Santiwat currently serves as Bangkok University's president and has enjoyed a productive career in higher education in Thailand. After graduating from Thammasat University with an undergraduate degree, Dr. Santiwat joined what was then known as Bangkok College. For three years she served as a lecturer's assistant, where she aided senior students in their advanced accounting class and was the advisor for student activities, while also working as a part time Certified Public Accountant. It was during this time that her love for teaching and education became evident.

Deciding to further her education, Dr. Santiwat was given a scholarship from Bangkok College to attend Utah State University where she came in 1976 to earn a master's in accounting. Her education and experience allowed Dr. Santiwat to return to Bangkok College where she was appointed dean of the School of Accounting. After serving as dean for three years, Dr. Santiwat was offered another scholarship to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Kansas where she studied higher education administration, with business administration as a minor.

On her return to Thailand in 1985, Dr. Santiwat resumed her position as dean of the School of Accounting at the newly named Bangkok University. It was a period of rapid growth for the university and Dr. Santiwat moved on to become the vice president for planning and development, a position she held for one year. She was then promoted to serve as vice president for academic affairs, a position she held for 19 years until she was appointed as Bangkok University's president in May of 1997. Throughout her career in higher education, Dr. Santiwat has travelled the world as a visiting lecturer.

Using her prominent position, Dr. Santiwat helps women in Thailand, and worldwide, who find themselves victims of violence. She has served on the board for Thai Women Watch and, in 2000, was among the Thailand delegates to attend the annual meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York.

Dr. Santiwat lives in Bangkok, Thailand, and, in her spare time, enjoys reading, playing golf and outdoor physical activities.

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