Free tour of Cambodia


COOLIDGE, Ariz. – Two Central Arizona College professors and the institution’s Honors Program are teaming up to host a free community event this Thursday, March 27, entitled Same, Same, but Different highlighting the country of Cambodia.

Ken Hurley, a professor of mathematics at Central Arizona College for the last three years, and Audrey Sexton, an educational support specialist in Central’s Learning Center, will share their experiences and photographs from their recent trips to visit their daughters in Cambodia.

The program will run twice on Central’s Signal Peak Campus from 1-2:30 p.m. and again from 7-8:30 p.m. The event is open to the community and does not require any advance reservations.

The program will take place in Room T116 of Gloria R. Sheldon University Center (Building T).

Central’s Honors Program will be the co-host the evening event that will feature light refreshments following the event.

The program emanated from Hurley’s recent trip to Phnom Penh in December and Sexton’s journey to Cambodia to visit her daughter in January.

“We have many photos and experiences to share with the college community and the public,” Sexton explained. “While Cambodia is not a vacation spot, it stole our hearts.”

Sexton spent nine days with her daughter Tara Brogdon who is in Cambodia working and volunteering with a children’s program for the mentally and physically challenged.

“In addition to seeing my daughter, I was excited about the opportunity to photograph parts of Cambodia,” Sexton said. “Anyone who knows me, knows it was a big step for me to take this trip, and it only goes to prove how determined a parent can be when it involves their child.”
Hurley’s daughter, Rachel, is a linguist who is working with a people who have no written language.

“There are about 3,000 known languages at this time that are considered to be just verbal,” Hurley said. “My daughter will learn their language and use an international alphabet to create a written form for them to use. It is approximately a 15-year process. Rachel has been in Cambodia for 16 months so far.”

Hurley, who has more than 40 years of experience teaching math, arrived at Central Arizona College three years ago after teaching at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

“Phnom Penh would not be my first choice for overseas travel,” Hurley said, “but with a daughter there who you had not seen for over a year, there was no other choice for me as to where I wanted to spend my Christmas vacation.”

Cambodia is now high on Hurley’s places to visit.

“The people are very friendly there and it is exciting to see a country being restarted after so many years of turmoil,” he added. “We were able to visit the big city and also travel eight hours by taxi to visit a province in the northeast of Cambodia.”

For more information on this event, contact Audrey Sexton by phone at 520-494-5978, or by e-mail at


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