Marilyn Downing Staff to Speak at MSSU

September 26, 2012

Dr. Chad Stebbins

marilyn downing staffJOPLIN, MO (SNS) - Marilyn Downing Staff has been a traveler all her life. Her father, who worked in Calcutta for a time during her childhood, inspired her to explore Asia and she has never stopped. She is the founder of Asia Transpacific Journeys, a Boulder, Colorado-based tour operator specializing in cultural and educational travel to the Asia/Pacific region. She earned degrees in environmental biology and sociology before setting off on worldwide travels, including a stint living and studying in Thailand where her company was born 25 years ago.

Staff will make three presentations on Monday, Oct. 1 in connection with the Thailand Semester at Missouri Southern State University.

"Threads that Bind a Culture: Historical and Contemporary Thai Silk Textiles"
9 a.m., Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall.

"Living on the Fringe: Hill Tribe Minorities in Contemporary Thailand"
11 a.m., Corley Auditorium, Webster Hall

"Love Knows No Bounds: A Thai Adoption Story"
1 p.m., Corley Auditorium, Webster Hall.

All the presentations are free and open to the public.

Staff is the veteran of far-flung adventures that span four decades and the most remote corners of the region. An accomplished photographer and engaging speaker, she's a frequent expert lecturer at museums, universities and conferences. She also founded Asia Transpacific Foundation, a non-profit organization that produces clean water filters for schools and impoverished villages. Her now grown son was adopted from Thailand.