10 November 2014

Sunway Recognises Teachers’ Contributions

“Teaching is more than just a job or a profession, it is a calling. And I would say it is a very noble calling indeed. You are moulding the future of our nation, scientists, accountants, psychologists, doctors, lawyers, teachers and leaders, the list is endless. You bear great responsibility over our nation’s most precious asset and treasure, our youths”, said Dr Elizabeth Lee, Senioir Executive Director of Sunway University and the Sunway Education Group in addressing the academic staff of Sunway College and Sunway University at the recent Teaching Appreciation Day. Themed “Our Passion. The Future”, four awards were given out during the event, honouring teachers for their dedication and contributions towards the institutions.

The first award handed out was the Award for Excellence in Teaching (AET) to Santhi Suppiah from the Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) programme, Sunway College. Santhi who has been with Sunway College for 17 years, teaches mainly in AUSMAT and but does special teaching assignment for other programmes such as the Foundation in Arts (FIA), Monash University Foundation Year (MUFY) of Sunway College and the Psychology Department of Sunway University.

From left: Dr Elizabeth Lee, Dr Chia Wai Chong, Santhi Suppiah, Professor Poh Chit Laa, Associate Professor Dr Yau Kok Lim and Mr Lee Weng Keng, CEO of Education & Healthcare Division, Sunway Group

In her mission to make a difference, Santhi takes on additional responsibilities which include initiating the AUSMAT Academic Student Mentor system, she has successfully explored the international market for AUSMAT in Maldives and followed through as the AUSMAT International student mentor. She is also the AUSMAT programme counsellor. This year, she was also Head of the Secretariat for both the Asia Leadership Trek in January and the Asia Leadership Conference and Camp in August. As Head of the Secretariat, she was provided the opportunity to guide student leaders and student volunteers from the various faculties of Sunway University.

The second Award for Excellence in Teaching went to Associate Professor Dr Yau Kok Lim of the Department of Computer Science and Networked Systems, Faculty of Science and Technology, Sunway University. Dr Yau received the award for his innovative teaching approach, he is adept at explaining technically complex theories and concepts in a digestible and easy‐to understand manner.

Two other awards for the day were the Award for Achievement in Research which went to Professor Poh Chit Laa of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, and the Award for Achievement in Research for Early Career Researcher which went to Dr Chia Wai Chong of the Department of Computer Science and Networked Systems, Faculty of Science and Technology. Professor Poh is a trained bacteriologist and virologist and has published work in both fields. Her research interests are focused on the development of antiviral agents and novel vaccines against Enterovirus 71 (EV71) which causes hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

Dr Chia’s current research interests are on the development of visual sensor networks, embedded systems, image processing, and mobile applications. During his past two years with Sunway University, he has published a book, four journal papers and nine conference papers. He has also served as the primary investigator for one external grant and one internal grant.

The AET is an annual award granted to academic staff members of Sunway College and Sunway University who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and contribution to the enhancement of the quality of teaching and student learning at the institution.

The celebration, organised by the Human Resource Department together with the Sunway Academic Staff Association (SASA) also saw dance and music performances by Sunway College and Sunway University lecturers.

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