Southeast Asia

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.”

Miriam College

Instilling Pride in Indigenous Culture
“The Philippines is a veritable hotspot for festivals,” according to Christine de Vera, a faculty member at Miriam College’s Center for Applied Music. “They range from religious to cultural festivals, from the significant to the absurd, from small town to big regional celebrations, and from local to international patronage. “ These festivals can be important income-generating activities, but Ms. de Vera believes this economic imperative must be balanced against cultural sensitivity.

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.

Lathaw Doi Ra, Kachin Theological College and Seminary

A Teacher and a Student
A theologian by training, Lathaw Doi Ra is now earning a master of education degree, with a concentration in English language teaching. Her course of study is an opportunity to bring fresh ideas to her home institution, Kachin Theological College and Seminary (KTCS) in Myanmar, where she is the assistant head of the English department.

Dagon University

Service-Learning in Myanmar
Service-learning is a new and untested concept in Myanmar universities, but it could help undergraduate students analyze problems critically, appraise arguments and beliefs, and, most importantly, weigh alternatives, according to Dr. Aye Aye Tun, pro-rector at Dagon University (DU).

Tim Chen, Soochow University

Learning alongside Neighbors
At first, Tim Chen was disappointed when he learned his second placement as a 2008-2010 United Board Fellow would be at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. He had hoped to spend four months at an Australian university. But Anne Ofstedal, then the United Board’s director of fellowship and scholarship programs told him, “Trust me, you will like Ateneo” – and he did.

Sister Ella Naben, Soegijapranata Catholic University

The Heart and Ears to Listen
Sister Ella Naben was one of five individuals who participated in the 2015 Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) with the support of the United Board. MPI’s summer training program brings together peacebuilders from diverse cultures and professional experiences, who want to serve as catalysts for peace and social transformation.

Jema Pamintuan, Ateneo de Manila University

A Creative Learning Environment
After Jema Pamintuan’s placement at Georgetown University, she wrote she was eager “to further push myself in helping our department design new courses and teaching tools, and foster a creative and critically engaging learning environment within and outside the classroom.” Now Ateneo de Manila has offered her an opportunity to put those goals into practice: it named her executive director of the Ateneo Library of Women’s Writings, an archival facility that promotes writing by and about Filipino women among contemporary readers.