Knowledge Management 2015
The United Board Christian Foundation for Higher Education in Asia
Fellows Program: 2014-2017
The United Board Fellows Program is designed to answer the needs of leadership development for mid-career faculty and administrators from Asian colleges and universities. Through this program, the United Board develops dynamic leaders who will advance whole person education within their home institutions.
Dr. Chutamas Sundrarajun, Deputy Chairperson of the Department of Business English, Faculty of Arts has been selected to participate in the United Board Fellows program for the 2014-2016 cohort. The experience features a pre-placement seminar, a semester-long placement in an Asian college/ university and in a college/university in the United States of America and a post-placement leadership seminar. For the first placement, Dr, Chutamas Sundrarajun was placed at the University of Yonsei, South Korea and the second placement was at the Valparaiso University, Indiana. For both placements, Dr. Chutamas Sundrarajun had the opportunities to learn about:
styles of leadership, organizational structure, and educational management;
alternative pedagogical styles to enrich teaching;
development in the academic fields by sitting in classes, meeting with the mentors and colleagues.
The United Board is also committed to education that develops the whole person – intellectually, spiritually, and ethically. United Board sets a framework that grounds teaching and learning in academic rigor, social concerns, and moral inquiry. In the classroom, whole person education fosters critical thinking and challenges students to draw their own conclusions. It guides curricula toward exploration of ethics and service as well as knowledge. It replaces an institution’s blind pursuit of prestige and rankings with a commitment to developing sound citizens. It directs students’ attention beyond the classroom to the needs of the surrounding community.
Whole person education also embraces the intellectual breadth and values of liberal arts education, while accommodating challenges, opportunities, and traditions distinctive to the cultures, societies, and institutions where it takes root.
During both placements, Dr. Chutamas Sundrarajun was under the care of the mentors at the Department of English. She had the opportunities to observe the classes and interviewed management level faculty and staff from various units.
Yonsei University, South Korea
Dr. Chutamas Sundrarajun had the opportunity to learn about the Residential College at Yonsei University and how it promotes whole person education. Residential College goals and objectives are to build on the core of Yonsei University’s world-renown faculty, stable financial support and exceptional quality of students, the RC offers a well-rounded higher education aimed at achieving the 5C’s namely convergence, communication, cultural diversity, creativity and Christian leadership.
By converging learning with living, the RC encourages active communication among students and faculty members from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In the process, students learn to take creative initiatives in their daily learning and living situations, from bridging the gap between cultures in their day-to-day interactions to planning and executing large-scale academic, cultural and athletic RC programmes. Students also practice interdisciplinary between education and its application by implementing information from the lecture halls into various RC programmes. Lastly, the RC instructs the spirit of service, Christian Leadership, in all of its students so students may better cooperate with other and learn the value of responsibility, compassion and service.
Valparaiso University, Indiana USA
The Valparaiso International Center (VIC) serves as a forum to learn about different cultures through interactive events, festival and discussion groups. It also provides services that help international residents and visitors to feel welcome and to fully enjoy American culture. The Valparaiso International Center is a project inspired by the diversity of the city of Valparaiso and the need for increased communication and interaction between all of its residents. The VIC seeks to enhance the Valparaiso community by creating positive mutual understanding, connecting people of all cultures, and creating a global network of support. The VIC consists of board of directors who are volunteers and some of whom are current/former Valparaiso University professors.
The VIC organises a number of cultural activities for the community such as the World Cultural Festival and Fourth Friday. The World Cultural Festival is an annual celebration of cultures from around the world. There are cultural performances, shops selling handicrafts from different countries as well as different types of food from different nations. I volunteered to sell the tickets for the event.
As for the Fourth Friday, the VIC hosts presentations and discussions about different cultures on every fourth Friday of each month. I volunteered to give a talk on Thailand covering topics about the King, Thai customs, festivals, food and attractions. There were about 50 people at my talk and we had a great discussion. They were engaged and asked a lot of questions about Thailand. They also asked me what I like about western culture so it was surely a fruitful discussion.
I am glad that I had the opportunity to contribute to the community and was really amazed by the level of interests that the people of Valparaiso had, in learning about different cultures. I really enjoyed myself. I hope that I would have a chance to introduce something like the ‘Fourth Friday’ to my Dean so we can organize something similar with the community around Assumption University campus. My idea is that international students studying at Assumption University could share their cultures with some of the local schools.
Boundless Benefits from United Board Fellows Program
A. Mika Tanasarnsanee, Department of Business Japanese, Faculty of Arts
I experienced the two semester-long placements as a 2014-2016 fellow. My first placement was at Tunghai University, Taiwan and the second one at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington. During the both placements, I had many opportunities how whole person education was applied effectively in teaching foreign languages.
The 1st placement at Tunghai University, Taiwan
I was placed in Japanese Language and Culture Department at Tunghai University. The department aims to educate students as the citizens with competence in analytical judgment and negotiation in multi-lingual contexts with multi-cultural adjustment. I had opportunities to observe variety of learning activities which bridge students from classrooms to community.
The 2nd placement at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington
Gonzaga University has a strong focus on serving community through academic works. They seek to serve others across the world. I was placed in English Language Center at Gonzaga University and able to observe how teachers helped students seek to serve others across the world with critical thinking, problem solving skills, ethical heart, and respects of culture and tradition.