To Aree and all of my friends at IPSR:
I am writing to offer my warmest CONGRATULATIONS on the occasion of IPSR’s golden anniversary. I have so many happy memories of IPSR and especially its people. I would not be the person I am today without all of the experiences I have shared with you and others at IPSR. I wish I were there to celebrate in person.
I’ve been thinking about it, and if you count my overlap with Aphichat (and Santhat) in graduate school in the mid-1970s, my own connection to IPSR goes back almost to its beginning. You might not want to count that since I did not visit until early 1991, when Ron Rindfuss, David Guilkey and I came to work with Aphichat on a project looking at community and contraceptive choice in Nang Rong. That is when I met Yothin, who was moderator for the focus group interviews. I’m pretty sure I also met Pramote, Chai and Pimonpan on that visit, which was the first of many.
I think you know the story of that early project. When we submitted the proposal that funded that work, Ron said that he hoped that the reviewers did not think it was a one-paper project. Fortunately, they did not think this because they gave us funding. Aphichat, Yothin, Ron, David, me, Sara Curran, Steve Walsh, and Tom Evans went on to co-author many papers as part of that first collaboration. That work set the stage for major data collection that began in 1994, which is when I first met you and Chanya. The rest is history, as they say.
I appreciated that our collaboration involved students as well as faculty, and many spent time at each other’s institutions. It was my honor and pleasure to chair your dissertation, Aree, and to work with Yothin and Kriengsak when they were here. CPC hosted many Jubilee Scholars who came for a shorter time. I served as advisor to Sukanya and Nantawan and have many happy memories of doing so. CPC trainees were also central to our collaboration. In addition to Sara, Leah Van Wey, Kim Korinek, Jeff Edmeades, Ashton Verdery, Jim Hull, and Nathalie Williams were all collaborators with me on IPSR projects.
If you think of the field in terms of social networks—and I do—many links spanning the Pacific grew out of our joint project and now tie IPSR to UW, Utah, UC-Irvine, Penn State, Oklahoma, and Brown as well as CPC. (Apologies if I left some out!) And of course, ours is just one of IPSR’s many projects. If you were to include all of them, the network would be very dense and connect all over the world. This is a sign of an influential research institution operating on a global stage, and that is what IPSR is now.
Fifty years! This is quite an accomplishment! I celebrate with you. I hope the next fifty are even more successful. With your excellent leadership, Aree, the vision and hard work of those who came before, and the promise of those still to come, I have every confidence that it will be.
With all best wishes to you and everyone on this wonderful occasion,
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