Burusphat, Watson Honored as Distinguished Alumni

Earlier this month, two College of Liberal Arts alumni — Somsonge Burusphat and Linda Watson — were honored as Distinguished Alumni by UT Arlington.

Burusphat, who received her Ph.D. in humanities with a concentration on linguistics in 1986, is professor of linguistics for the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia at Mahidol University in Salaya, Thailand. She is one of the founders and pioneers of RILCA, an academic institution in Thailand. The RILCA acts as an advocate for minority ethnics, raising public consciousness about the importance of empowering and giving dignity to their cultures. Dr. Burusphat has done extensive fieldwork on the languages and cultures of various ethnic groups in Thailand, and produced three books about teaching Thai language. She lives in Bangkok, Thailand.

Watson is chief executive officer of LYNX, the Central Florida Transportation Authority. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of Liberal Arts and her master’s degree in urban and regional affairs from the School of Urban and Public Affairs. Watson’s has had an extensive career in the transportation industry. From 1982 to 1996, she moved through the ranks of the Fort Worth transportation Authority from administrative assistant to assistant general manager. From 1996 to 2004, she served as the general manager for the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority. She is a lifetime national associate of the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. Her daughter, Stephanie Steele, is also a UT Arlington alum, having earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

To learn more about distiniguished alumni for 2009, visit the alumni website.

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