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Alumni Profile

Distance Education

Yaowarat Matchim

Yaowarat Matchim, a native of Thailand, earned a doctoral degree from the MU Sinclair School of Nursing in 2010. She’s now back in her native country teaching the next generation of nurses. Photo courtesy of Yaowarat Matchim

The Pacific Ocean separates the University of Missouri from Thailand, but that didn’t stand in the way of Yaowarat Matchim. Encouraged by colleagues at Prince of Songkla University, several of them MU alumni, Matchim set out to earn a doctoral degree from the MU Sinclair School of Nursing.

“I taught [undergraduate] nursing students for six years back in Thailand,” says Matchim, PhD ’10, a native of the Southeast Asian country. “I thought if I had more knowledge in nursing and research, I could help our school of nursing train even better students.”

Now back at Prince of Songkla, she’s not just helping to educate the next generation of Thailand’s nurses; she’s seeking out new methods for patient care. While at MU, Matchim researched the healing power of mindfulness-based stress reduction, or chanting and meditation.

“My dissertation revealed that practicing meditation showed promise to promote physical and psychological health and well-being among breast cancer survivors,” Matchim says.

That news was too good to keep to the pages of her scholarly work, so with the help of donations from some health care providers, Matchim began publishing books teaching ill patients how to chant and meditate.

“These books were sent to hospitals in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, where patients have limited access to resources that can help them cope,” Matchim says.

Looking back on her time at Mizzou, Matchim says gaining practical experience and researching with mentors at the top of their fields helped shape her professional and personal goals.

“I have strong intentions to be a part of a team working to develop education and research in health care for my country and for the Thai people,” Matchim says. — David Wietlispach