Youngblutt Focused on Change in Cambodia

Academic Upgrading Instructor Has Deep Connection in South Asia


The West Kootenay may be half a world away from Cambodia, but for Selkirk College Instructor Sarah Youngblutt the troubled Asian nation never escapes her thoughts.

For most of the year, Youngblutt can be found at Selkirk College’s Trail Campus helping inspire learners seeking a second chance through the Academic Upgrading Program. Outside the Selkirk College classrooms, the trained anthropologist is focused on working towards her PhD in Southeast Asian Studies.    

Sarah Youngblutt

Sarah Youngblutt is an instructor in Selkirk College’s Academic Upgrading Program at the Trail Campus where she works with students on their educational goals. When she is not in the classroom, Youngblutt is focused on her anthropology work dealing with Cambodia.

“When you know a lot about something, you have a responsibility,” says Youngblutt, who has been teaching at Selkirk College since January 2016. “I’m an expert in Cambodia and I have a commitment to Cambodia in the sense of educational capacity building. I want to see Cambodians have the opportunity to lead the archeology in their country themselves. There are 30 different countries involved in archeology there and I think it’s really important that they are the ones that have the autonomy, make the decisions and have the jobs.”

Most people are familiar with the beauty of Angkor Wat, the Cambodian temple complex that is the largest religious monument on the planet. Since the 1990s, Angkor Wat has become a major tourist destination with more than two million visits by foreign visitors each year. As a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site, it’s also one of the most active archeological sites in the world.

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