Scholar and Fellow Profiles

Learn more about the educators who have participated in our programs.

Mark Raygan Garcia, Silliman University

A New Perspective on the Asian Region
The Philippines has embarked on a major transition in education, and that is creating an opportunity for academic professionals like Mark Raygan Garcia to take a fresh look at their roles in higher education. Mr. Garcia is enrolled in the Master of Public Policy and Governance, with Social Policy Specialization program at the Education University of Hong Kong.

Mika Shaura (Tanasarnsanee), Assumption University

More Than a Knowledge Provider
“Being a knowledge provider and managing a classroom would not be enough,” Mika Shaura realized, if she wanted to bring whole person education into her Japanese language classes at Assumption University in Thailand. As a 2014-2016 United Board Fellow, Ms. Shaura had been introduced to whole person education during her placements at Tunghai University in Taiwan and Gonzaga University in the United States. As she observed their educators in action, she concluded that they played multiple roles: animator, connector, community servant, caretaker, and the traditional teacher’s role as a knowledge provider.

Uttara Sok, Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia

Soft and Hard Skills for a Healthy Life
Uttara Sok, dean of the Faculty of Education at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC), has managed a busy schedule since earning his PhD in education management at De La Salle University in 2008. “That PhD program was perfectly designed for educational practitioners,” he says, and in the changing landscape for higher education in Cambodia, there is strong demand for professionals who are knowledgeable about university systems and the means to develop, resource, evaluate, and improve them.

Yoachim Agus Tridiatno

The Power of Forgiveness
“Forgiveness is important for us all, not only for theologians, educators and students,” says Yoachim Agus Tridiatno, a PhD candidate at the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), “because we all experience injuries or mental wounds from the offenses of others.” Mr. Tridiatno found valuable time to research the concept of forgiveness and a group of collegial scholars to discuss its practice at the 2011 Institute for Advanced Study in Asian Cultures and Theologies (IASACT).

Neil Rupidara, Satya Wacana University

Setting Clear Goals
“We have to be clear about what we aim for as a university,” said Neil Rupidara, deputy rector at Satya Wacana Christian University in Indonesia, “and make a strategic response to our surrounding environment.” Developing clear institutional goals and strategies to achieve them is what brought Dr. Rupidara and 50 other administrators from 28 Asian colleges and universities to the United Board’s February 26-28 Strategic Planning and Resource Development (SPRD) Workshop, a specialized session of its Asian University Leaders Program.

Albert Chan

Like most students about to finish high school, Albert Chan was intensively preparing for Hong Kong’s college entrance examination in 1971. Yet the posted notice for a United Board scholarship to International Christian University caught his eye, and his successful application changed the course of his university and professional career. Professor Chan served as president of Hong Kong Baptist University …

Wei Zhao, University of Macau

Opening the Door to Opportunity
As a young man, Zhao Wei was determined to go abroad for his graduate studies. But in 1980s China, the opportunities were few, and the financial and administrative barriers were high. “At the time,” Dr. Zhao recalled in an interview, “there was no awareness of GRE and TOEFL in China and no means to take those tests. So how could a Chinese student even apply to an American graduate program?”

Sokha Om, Royal University of Phnom Penh

A Heart Deep in the Field
“I love working in the university environment,” says Sokha Om, an English teacher and staff member in the studies office at Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) in Cambodia. “My heart is deep in this field, and I understand how tertiary institutions play vital roles in shaping the nation’s human resources.”

Iwan Sandjaja, Petra Christian University

Sharing Hospitality and Thankfulness
Iwan Njoto Sandjaja, an Indonesian PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering, adds his voice to the big Texas welcome that greets United Board Fellows arriving for placements at Baylor University. It’s his way of expressing thanks for the opportunity to earn his master’s degree at De La Salle University in the Philippines with the support of the United Board Faculty Scholarship Program.