On March 16, TKU held the 2013 Alumni Spring Banquet. The event is an annual ritual in which alumni return to Tamkang’s Tamsui Campus to admire the blossoming flowers, catch up over a buffet-style banquet, receive awards, and showcase their skills in a variety of fun competitions. This year’s event began at the Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium at 9am. It commenced with a host of fun sports contests, like golf-putting, a basketball hoop shoot-out, and more. Then, at 11am, alumni gathered at the Student Activity Center for the Alumni Spring Banquet, hosted by the President of the General Alumni Association for TKU Academic Departments, Mr. Sun Jui-lung. During the banquet, awards were handed out to outstanding department alumni and exceptional TKU alumni. A total of 35 alumni were recognized.
This year’s International Student Cultural Exhibition showcases traditional garb from 16 countries, including the Japanese kimono, the Chinese Chipao, the Indian Sari, and many others. Starting on March 11, the exhibition will display the colors, foods, and fragrances of various countries, creating a small-scale international community at the Black Swan Exhibition Hall, Tamsui Campus. Lian Shu-ling, a first year student from Malaysia, took part in the international “fashion show” – a central feature of the exhibition. She said this was her first time to participate in the exhibition, and her first time wearing traditional Malaysian attire. “I’m so happy to have had so many new experiences as a freshman”, she exclaimed. The Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Pei Wha Chi Lee, explained that TKU is home to over 1,000 foreign and overseas Chinese students from over 67 countries. Each year, these students come together to organize an exhibition with a different theme. This year, participating students came from Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, India, Mainland China, Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, Paraguay, Thailand, Burma, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.
Poster Street in Tamsui Campus is once again lined with stalls selling goods at lower-than-average prices. The items on offer include a wide variety of foods, drinks, daily necessities, stationary, electronics, and specialty farm products from various areas around Taiwan. As in previous years, all items are being sold at 20% below the average retail price. Organized by TKU, the 2013 Northern Taiwan Charity Fundraiser will be held at five campuses by five separate universities, including Tamkang University, Aletheia University, Taoyuan Innovation Institute of Technology, St. John’s University, and Chang Gung University. This year, 289 companies have sponsored the event, providing a total of almost 7 million NT dollars worth of goods. Proceeds of the goods sold will go to charity, including the Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders, the DDM Social and Welfare Charity Foundation, the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, and the Grant a Wish Project for remote elementary schools in the Taitung region. To find out more about when the fundraising event will move to each of the five participating universities, please refer to the following Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000687162994&fref=ts
The Chung Ling Chemistry Competition is viewed by many in Taiwan as the “Olympics of Chemistry”. It consistently attracts hundreds of students from the best high schools in Taiwan. This year, on March 9, a record total of 265 groups and 795 students took part. The contest consists of two phases. The first comprises a written test, which gauges one’s overall understanding of chemistry by testing their ability to comprehend chemistry-related information, to calculate in chemistry, and to practically apply chemistry-based knowledge. The second phase involves a practical experiment contest. This year, the contest examined students’ understanding of metal complexes. In the end, the top three spots went to Kaohsiung Municipal Girls’ Senior High School, National Taichung First Senior High School, and the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University. The winning teams received cash prizes of NT $30,000, NT $15,000, and NT $10,000 respectively.
Residents in Taiwan and Japan both live with the threat of active fault lines. Such fault lines cause large earthquakes that lead to the loss of lives and the destruction of communities. In Taiwan’s recent history, this was seen in the 921 Earthquake (1999); while in Japan, it was the 311 Earthquake Tsumani. While Taiwan is now close to full recovery, Japan – after almost two years of reconstruction - is still in the arduous process of recovering. When faced with unforeseeable natural disasters, what are human beings to do? This question formed the basis of a recent forum held at the TKU Tamsui Campus. Participants to the forum included students from TKU and Ritsumeikan University (Japan), who together discussed a range of topics on students’ roles in the reconstruction of a post-disaster community. In addition, the visiting students and teachers held a separate photo exhibition that showed how Ritsumeikan students have helped to rebuild battered local communities over the last two years. Second year TKU student Lin Tsu-Chieh described what he felt was the most touching photograph at the display. The picture what captured one month after the disaster. It depicts school children returning to their school to find personal belongings, but instead finding a shattered heap of mud and rubble.
In spring of last year (2012), TKU began offering a new and unique type of course: the Online Executive Master’s Program. The purpose of the program is to train on-the-job professionals from Latin American and Caribbean countries (that have diplomatic relations with the ROC) and thereby enable these professionals to carry out in-depth research on Asia or take part in international affairs. This is the first executive master’s program in Taiwan to adopt an online long-distance learning format and accept students from other countries. Because the course breaks down geographical barriers, it has become very popular among high-level dignitaries located in Central and South America. In its second year since commencing, it has attracted an “all star” line-up of students, including Mr. Estuardo Roldán, (Guatemala’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs), Mr. Juan Manuel de Jesus Flores (Representative in the recumbent FMLN Party, El Salvador), and Mr. José Antonio Ovelar Núñez (from the Senate of Paraguay). To officially welcome the 17 new learners and 15 continuing learners from last year, on the morning of March 4th, TKU held a special welcome luncheon. In the coming week, the learners will attend in-class lessons and orientation before returning to their respective countries to continue the learning process online. One of the Master’s students who has been in the program since its outset last year, Juan Federico La Mont Campos, is the Vice President of the Radio Host Association in Mexico. Federico noted that through undertaking the Executive Master’s program, he has been able to explore the relationship between Latin American and Asian cultures. This, in turn, has influenced his future ambitions. He now hopes to use “soft diplomacy” to bring the two regions even closer.
The TKU Goodwill Ambassador Association was established in 1997. Over the last 15 years, it have served as the "face of Tamkang", with its members responsible for greeting visitors and taking them on detailed tours of the Tamsui Campus. To share the joy and honor of 15 years of tireless service, the association recently held a 15th anniversary exhibition entitled "Memories, Goodwill, and Fate - Love is in the Air" (Feb 19-21). The Goodwill Ambassadors uphold principles of enthusiasm, service, and a friendly attitude. Before being inducted as members, they undergo a stringent training process which involves etiquette, personal grooming, and tour guide skills. Association members help to receive international visitors to TKU, assist during major TKU events and activities, and serve as emcees at a range of international conferences. Upon hearing of the exhibition, a number of local Taiwanese universities traveled great distances to attend the 15-year milestone event. One of the visitors, Director Lin Po-huang from Transworld University, Yunlin, expressed that he attended the event because "the TKU Goodwill Ambassadors are a very well-organized group". Director Lin came to the event to learn about the administrative processes implemented by the group and possibly apply some of this knowledge to similar associations at his university.
Cheers recently announced the result of its annual “enterprises’ favorite graduates” survey. TKU came 7th out of all universities in Taiwan and, for the 16th consecutive year, 1st among Taiwanese private universities. The Cheers annual survey compiles important information, feedback, and opinions on university graduates in the workplace through a questionnaire issued to managers and HR staff from 3000 companies around Taiwan. The survey is so highly valued that some companies use it as a reference point when hiring new employees. Cheers divides workplace performance into 8 separate attributes, including: a willingness to learn, adapt, and be flexible; the ability to cope with stress and remain reliable and consistent; professional knowledge and skills; the ability to work within a team; the ability to solve problems; an international perspective and foreign language skills; the ability to innovate; the ability to integrate these attributes into your job.
On Feb 18, after a long, three-week Winter Break, TKU faculty and staff returned to Tamkang for the first day of work in the Chinese “Year of the Snake”. To mark the New Year, TKU held the annual Tamkang University Morning Tea at the Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall, Tamsui Campus. The venue, at which the Morning Tea was held, was decorated with an auspicious New Year in mind. The food tables were lined up to resemble the Chinese character 旺 “Wang” (meaning prosperity). On the tables were fruits symbolizing peace and good fortune; fruits like apples, mandarins, and dates, among others. During the event, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, wished attendees a “Happy New Year” and outlined a number of TKU New Year “resolutions” and goals: 1. The active promotion of student activities related to the “year of moral character” campaign, recently launched by Tamkang. 2. Implementing into daily work practices principles of Total Quality Management, such as the PDCA process and other such procedures, which have become a part of the unique TKU culture; and 3. Strengthening the quality of administrative self-evaluation mechanisms.
Each year, on the day before the winter holidays officially commence, TKU holds a major "End-of-Year" gala to usher in the holidays and mark the coming Chinese New Year. This year, the gala festivities were organized by the Office of Student Affairs. Gala activities included a raffle in which students and staff had the chance to win up to NT $30,000; opening remarks by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang; various energy-filled song and dance performances (including a rendition of the "Gangnam" dance) by staff from the Office of Student Affairs; and a breathtaking magic show, in which 4th year Chemistry student and well-known magician, Chu Geng-ching, performed a number of gasp-inducing illusions.
On Jan 22nd and 23rd, the TKU Graduate Institute of European Studies held the 2013 Russian Winter Camp. Held at the TKU Tamsui Campus, the camp involved classes and lectures by high-profile scholars and experts, who talked about Russia’s political and economic background, society, and culture; while providing interested students with knowledge on Russian higher education. The opening ceremony of the camp was attended by the TKU Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-Chin Tai; the Director of the Graduate Institute of European Studies, Dr. Chiu-ching Kuo; the Chair of the Department of Russian, Dr. Chang Ching-gwo; as well as various professors from related departments. During the opening remarks, Vice President Tai explained that after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Taiwan/Russia relations have consistently grown and developed. He predicts that in the future, there will be an acute need for Taiwanese professionals who can speak fluent Russian. Also in attendance at the opening ceremony was Mr. Oleg A Balakirev, from the Moscow Representative Office in Taipei. Mr. Balakirev delivered a special lecture on the topic “Integrating the Russian and Asia Pacific Economies”. In total, there were 52 camp participants, who came from universities across Taiwan.
From Jan 22-24, various activities were held at the Tamsui campus as part of the 2013 Rover Scout Annual Gathering. The gathering was attended by 91 students from universities around Taiwan. Attendees included club rover leaders, Cub Scout representatives, and two club rover partners from Japan and Korea. The purpose of holding this annual event is to provide young “rovers” with an official platform from which to express their views and opinions. It is also a means of training students in discussing issues and planning large-scale events. The theme of this year’s gathering was “yesterday, a beautiful memory; today, a wonderful day; tomorrow, a bright and hopeful future”. Special guests at the opening ceremony, held on the 22nd, included the chairman of the General Association of the Scouts of China, Dr. Chao Shou Po, and the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang. Event activities included special lectures by high-profile speakers and discussions on the purpose of Rover scouts, among others.
The Flag Presentation Ceremony for Winter Vacation Volunteer Groups was held at the TKU Student Activity Center on the 14th January, 2013. In total, close to 500 people attended, including 29 TKU volunteer groups that will soon depart for various areas in rural Taiwan. Among these groups are the TKU Tennis Club and the Environmental Conservation Club. Both will organize winter camps to teach underprivileged children from Tamsui the importance of exercise and environmental protection. Other clubs, like the TKU Recreation and Lifestyle Counseling Club, will again head to rural Pingdong, where they will serve the local community. Department of Russian senior, Yang Hui-Ching, commented: “I’d like to do something really meaningful before I graduate. So I decided to get together with some friends, form a volunteer group, and give back to the local community.
Each year, TKU helps organize study programs for Chinese students living overseas. Recently, it held the 2013 Winter Program for Expatriate Youth, which drew 80 students from various countries, including Brazil, Panama, Paraguay, New Zealand, Argentina, and Costa Rica, to name just a few. The 2013 Winter Program took participants on a tour of traditional Taiwanese culture. The tour took two central themes: 1) traditional Taiwanese pineapple cakes and 2) Taiwanese-style wedding ceremonies and related customs. Students learned about how pineapple cakes are made. They visited the Museum of Cake and Pastry (Taipei City), where they got their hands dirty mixing dough, preparing fillings, and molding their creations into the iconic block-shaped pastries known throughout Taiwan as pineapple cakes. One of the participants, Tseng Yun-zhen, from Panama, commented that “from a young age, I’ve loved eating pineapple cakes. The texture, color, smell; the way it melts in your mouth. It’s pure bliss! Through this experience, I’ve learned exactly what goes into making pineapple cakes. It’s been such a fun and educational trip”. The Director of the TKU Center for Continuing Education, Dr. Chou Hsiang-Hua, explained that apart from learning about Traditional Taiwanese desserts and wedding customs, the participants also got to travel around Taiwan, and visit many scenic and cultural destinations. Starting out from Taipei, they travelled to Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Taitung, Hualien, and Yilan. Along the way, they visited a traditional arts and crafts center, a rural fishing village, and an aboriginal village, where they got to experience traditional aboriginal lifestyle.
A Parisian satellite town known as Bussy Saint-Georges recently named an alley after local Taiwanese diplomat and TKU alumnus, Mr. Ching-long Lu. It is the first time a Taiwanese diplomat has gained such an honor in France and was the result of Lu’s continued efforts to promote bilateral ties between different cultures in the rapidly-developing town. Lu is not your average foreign diplomat. He is skilled in the arts, photography, singing and theater. He has been dubbed as the primary figure responsible for Taiwan’s changing image in France. Where did he develop these artistic abilities, one may ask? Lu says that while at university, students must participate in student clubs. By doing so, students learn how to better interact with others and gain a variety of other skills and life lessons that are essential to their future success.
A group of Master’s and PhD students from the TKU Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering recently received an award in the Get Fresh Innovative Design Contest held by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, ROC. Their entry was a mobile life-saving and protection system that combines three major features of protection, tracking / location, and automatic reporting. After attaching it to the user’s body, the sensor in the device monitors the user’s heart rate, breathing, temperature, body position, and other physiological information. If one’s physical state changes suddenly and shows signs of fainting etc., the system sends an emergency signal through a wireless device to the user’s emergency contact, showing them the user’s physical symptoms and precise location. The invention took one to create and has already undergone real-life testing at the Taipei Veteran’s Hospital.
A group of students from TKU’s Department of Transportation Management recently claimed top spot in the “school campus” category of the 1st HiNet Micro-film Contest. In the same contest, the students also received the award for “Best Movie Plot” and a total cash prize of NT$ 150,000. The group was led by third year Transportation Management student, Tsai Cheng-Hsi. Tsai explained that in the past, the group entered several similar contests and achieved excellent results. “Thanks to our previous successes, we gained the confidence to enter this competition”. The TKU students called their group CU One. Their entry was titled “What Factors Affect the Speed of FTTB?” It is a humorous short film that shows the viewer how to increase the speed of their internet. The film took almost three days to shoot. Tsai noted that “during the process of filming, we faced a number of obstacles and setbacks involving insufficient equipment and incompatibility between the camera and computer. It is a real sense of accomplishment to overcome these problems and gain recognition for our efforts”.
The TKU College of Education recently published a book entitled “Learning and Teaching for Digital Natives”. The book, which is a collection of papers and research by experts in the field of Educational Technology, represents the first such book of its kind in Taiwan. The book’s editor-in-chief and professor of Educational Technology at TKU, Dr. Hsun-fang Kao, explained that “digital natives” refers to people who were born in or after the 1980’s; people who grew up in the “age of the internet”. The way people of this generation learn is naturally going to be different from people of earlier generations, notes Dr. Kao. In fact, many teachers at elementary schools and high schools are members of earlier generations, or “Technology immigrants”, who resist keeping up with technology and reject learning about technology. Such people can also be termed “technology refugees”, according to Dr. Kao. The differences in learning between these different groups have created a serious generation gap. Dr. Kao said that the book contains 11 chapters. She hopes to provide essential information to motivate educators to address the “technology gap” between students and teachers.
From December 24 – 28, 2012, the Creative Digital Media Lab of the TKU Department of Information and Communication is holding an exhibition at the Black Swan Exhibition Hall, Tamsui Campus. The exhibition showcases the work of students from the Department of Information and Communication, who have created games, websites, animations, music, and videos as part of course projects and company internship programs. The exhibition is divided into two sections, including a “special case” display area and a section exhibiting outstanding work from previous years. The Chair of the Department of Information and Communication, Dr. Sun Chien-Yu, explained that during the exhibition, there will also be seminars to help interested students become more familiar with the mission and aims of the Creative Digital Media Lab.
On December 18, 2012, the Interior Minister of the ROC Executive Yuan, Dr. Lee Hong-yuan, came to TKU’s Tamsui Campus to give a special lecture. The lecture was entitled “A Memorandum for Taiwan in 2030”. It talked of Taiwan’s future in terms of government policy on environmental issues, as well as public policy and participation by citizens in the decision-making process. Interior Minister Lee began his speech by discussing environmental and structural problems currently plaguing Taiwan, such as measures in place to prevent flooding, the depletion of oil resources, the ever-increasing possibility of insufficient food sources, and the rising average temperatures experienced in Taiwan in recent years. Fifth year Department of Architecture student, Li Kuan-ru, said that the speech left a lasting impression. He got a deep sense of the responsibility on the shoulders of today’s youth to challenge and overcome society’s problems and to create a sustainable home for generations to come.