The Mobile Chemistry Lab began its journey in the autumn of 2011. To date, it has travelled over 10,000 km and been to high schools across Taiwan proper as well as nearby offshore islands. On the afternoon of December 18, shortly after the mobile lab arrived at Wanli Junior High School, New Taipei City, a Signing Ceremony was held between the Dean of the TKU College of Science (Dr. Wang Bo-Cheng) and the Deputy Director of the New Taipei City Department of Education (Kung Ya-Wen). In the coming months, TKU will work with the Department of Education to make science (chemistry in particular) more accessible to students in rural, outlying areas of Taiwan. The Mobile Chemistry Lab is scheduled to visit 14 junior and senior high schools in various parts of New Taipei City in the first half of 2013. The Mobile Chemistry Lab was designed as part of the celebrations for the 2011 International Year of Chemistry. The International Year of Chemistry was a global initiative organized by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) together with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It commemorated the 100th anniversary of IUPAC’s inception and marked 100 years since Marie Sklodowska-Curie broke a host of records by being the first person to receive two Nobel prizes. It was also designed to celebrate the essential role of chemistry in our daily lives.
On the evening of December 12th, from 7-9pm, the TKU College of Science held its annual concert. Called a “Dialogue between Technology and Art”, the concert is an annual event that this year drew an audience of over 260 people, including TKU faculty, students, and staff. Among those in the audience was the TKU Vice President for International Affairs (Dr. Wan-Chin Tai), the Dean of the College of Science (Dr. Wang Bo-Cheng), the Dean of the College of Engineering (Dr. Ho Chii-dong), and various department chairs and professors. The performances varied from symphony orchestras to 80s pop ballads. There were even magic shows, modern dance acts, ceramic flute performances and pop rock bands. All performers were from the College of Science. Phd candidate Li Shu-han, from the Department of Physics was surprised to find that the College of Science had such a wide pool of musical and artistic talent. “They’re amazing!” he exclaimed.
In 2008, Tamkang University became the first university in the world to be deemed an International Safe School by a specialized unit from the World Health Organization (WHO) known as the Collaborating Center on Community Safety Promotion (CCCSP). Every three years, schools classified as international safe schools are reevaluated by the CCCSP to ensure they have maintained and even improved on the health and safety standards employed three years earlier. Today (Dec 11, 2012), CCCSP committee members came to Tamkang University to take part in TKU’s first reevaluation. The members include the Chairman of CCCSP, Dr. Leif Svanstrom, as well as safety experts from Sweden, Japan, and Taiwan. While at the TKU Tamsui Campus, Dr. Svanstrom commented that in Taiwan, there have already been 70 schools that have successfully passed the CCCSP safe school evaluation, which is the highest proportion of international safe schools out of any country or region throughout the world. During today’s inspection of Tamkang’s campuses and health and safety statistics, the committee members learned that, since 2009, the overall rate of accidents at Tamkang have decreased from 4.88% to just 2.81% in 2011. After a thorough assessment of TKU’s health and safety achievements and current health and safety policies, TKU once again received International Safe School status for a further three years. The result of today’s reevaluation was formally recognized in a signing ceremony held between CCCSP members and TKU staff at 4pm today at the TKU Tamsui Campus.
On December 7, a delegation of four members from TKU sister university, San Francisco State University (SFSU), visited the Tamsui Campus. The delegation consisted of the new SFSU President, Dr. Leslie E. Wong, Vice President Dr. Robert Nava, and the Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, Dr. Douglas Hupke. SFSU and TKU officially became partner universities on June 8, 2007. Since then, the level of interaction and exchange between the universities has been substantial. Each year, TKU sends 20 students to SFSU as part of its Junior Youth Abroad Program. There are also frequent faculty exchanges, mutual visits, and special lectures. President Wong became SFSU’s 13th president on August 1st, 2012. This is his first trip to Taiwan as SFSU President. After arriving at the Tamsui Campus, President Wong was taken on a tour of the campus and took part in an informal discussion on future prospects to increase academic exchange between the universities. At lunchtime, TKU President Chang held a major luncheon in honor of the SFSU guests.
On December 5, 2012, Tamkang University signed an academic partnership agreement with National San-Chung Senior High School. The agreement will entail cooperation in the form of course support and assistance, faculty development, student club cooperation, and joint international education programs. The agreement signing ceremony was held at the Ching Sheng International Conference Hall, Tamsui Campus, on the morning of December 5th. Signees included the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang and the Principle of San-Chung Senior High School, Ms. Chiang Chia-hang. During the ceremony, President Chang noted that this is TKU’s first time to enter an academic partnership with a Taiwanese senior high school. Yet the schools have cooperated before in the past. For example, students taking the entrance exam for TKU do so at various sites around Taipei, including San-Chung Senior High School. Moreover, two years ago, as part of a cooperative initiative between the schools, TKU Associate Professor David Kleykamp went to San-Chung Senior High to train various teachers on how to better instruct high school courses in English.
The 127th Tamkang University Administrative Conference was held at the Hualian County Government Conference Hall on 30th November. The conference was held at Hualian at the invitation of Hualian County Magistrate and winner of the 26th Tamkang Golden Eagle Award (an award given to alumni who contribute at large to society), Fu Kun-chi. Conference members received a warm welcome by members of the Hualian County Government. Before the conference commenced, Magistrate Fu personally greeted the attending TKU staff. He expressed pride in being a Tamkang alumnus, saying that Tamkang graduates have always been favorites among Taiwanese enterprises. He encouraged Tamkang to continue producing outstanding graduates and enhancing Taiwan’s international competitiveness. The topics covered during the conference include: MOE subsidies to private universities; regulations related to outstanding teacher subsidies; regulations governing the Self-evaluation Guidance Committee, to name just a few.
To encourage local enterprises to employ greater numbers of physically or intellectually disabled personnel, the New Taipei City Government each year holds a prestigious award ceremony. During the ceremony, enterprises that have displayed outstanding performance in the hiring of disabled employees are recognized and presented with an award. This year, out of 25 selected enterprises, Tamkang University received a special honor, being named an Outstanding Employer of Physically or Intellectually Disabled Personnel. At the award ceremony, the TKU Section Chief of the Vocational Training and Welfare Section, Peng Chih-ling, accepted the award on behalf of Tamkang University from the Mayor of New Taipei City, Eric Chu. From the 1950s, issues related to the inconvenience of public spaces for the disabled began to receive greater social awareness. In Japan, Europe, and America, concepts of disabled-friendly areas began to emerge, along with related laws and regulations. This soon became a key standard for developed societies. In the last decade, TKU has worked with the government to not only provide a “disabled-friendly environment”, but to take this a step further and actively create employment opportunities and a sense of stability for the disabled community. Due to its efforts in this field, TKU has received the New Taipei City disabled employer subsidy each year from 2008 to 2011. Total subsidies received during this period amount to approximately NT $2.3 million. Apart from helping the disabled find employment, protecting their rights, and ensuring they receive equal treatment in all areas of life; TKU also works to ensure the disabled have all the software and equipment necessary for a high standard of living. This includes Zoom Text Magnifier, the Job Access with Speech system, and many others.
Each year, the ROC Council of Agriculture holds a month-long Rice Festival, during which it holds various activities to promote local Taiwanese rice. For the last two years, Tamkang University has supported this cause by holding its own small-scale rice festival. Why is it so important to consume local rice products? On the one hand, this shortens the distance your food has to travel before getting to your plate, meaning less transportation, less pollution, and a cleaner environment. On the other hand, it helps to support local farmers and the local economy. This year, thirteen food shops on the Tamsui Campus have taken part in Rice Festival. They have come up with a range of new rice dishes designed to rouse students’ relish for rice, including ‘Barrel Rice Cake’ (which is “sticky rice” cooked in a bamboo barrel), sweet rice porridge, hand-made mochi, and purple rice pudding, to name just a few. The organizers (TKU Office of General Affairs) have also employed a number of modern marketing strategies to spread the message. They have set up a Rice Festival Facebook page, which can be accessed at http://www.facebook.com/Tkuricefestival; and a 7-11-style point collection scheme, in which students accumulate points when buying rice products and can exchange points for prizes. Prizes on offer include stylish thermal mugs, buy-one-get-one-free coffee, and discount food coupons.
Tamkang University recently released a new application called iLife. In the two weeks since its release, it has already had over 5,000 downloads and been used over 140,000 times. The app is Tailor-made for Tamkang students, consisting of nine separate functions aimed at making TKU life just that little bit more convenient. The application allows students to view the latest TKU news, registration systems, the real-time position of nearby buses, the number of vacant seats at TKU intern labs, provides a live video stream of several sites around the Tamsui Campus, a campus map, a class time graph, a personalized student class schedule, and a list of buildings (and their code numbers) on the Tamsui Campus. Creating the new app involved close collaboration between the TKU Chief Information Officer, Dr. Ming-dar Huang, as well as two graduate students from the TKU Department of Information Management: Hong Wei-Ze and Li Tsong-Wei. Dr. Huang explained that the application’s live video stream will display the Red 27 bus station, the running track, the volleyball courts, basketball courts, and others. To enable this function, the Office of Information Services installed six cameras around the campus. Ming-dar Huang said that the live stream was set up with personal privacy considerations in mind. Therefore, users of the app will be able to see a general picture of sites around the campus but images of individual people will be unclear.
On Nov. 21, 2012, an inauguration ceremony was held to mark the official opening of the Taiwan Education Center in Japan. The center was established by the R.O.C. Ministry of Education with assistance by the TKU Office of International and Cross-Strait Affairs. The inauguration ceremony was held at Japan’s Hosei University and hosted by the TKU Vice President for International Affairs (Dr. Wan-Chin Tai) and the Executive Director of the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (Dr. Lily Chen). It was attended by numerous special guests, including Taiwan’s Deputy Representative to Japan, Mr. Lo Koon-tsan; the President of Hosei University, Dr. Toshio Masuda; the Secretary General of the Association of Private Universities of Japan, Koide Hidebumi; the TKU Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Pei-Wha Chi Lee; as well as various professors from TKU and its overseas sister universities; Japanese high school principals; and faculty from several Taiwanese universities. The ceremony was followed by afternoon tea at the Visitors Hall, Hosei University, during which TKU’s Vice President Tai delivered opening remarks. Dr. Tai thanked Hosei University for hosting the event and for all their assistance and support in setting up the Taiwan Education Center in Japan. He added that the purpose of establishing the Center is to strengthen cooperation between Taiwan and Japan in areas such as exchange, joint research programs, short-term study schemes, and overall academic interaction.
The TKU Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center has teamed up with the TKU Alumni Association of Taichung City to organize a major art exhibition that is currently being held at the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center and will continue until December 7, 2012. The exhibition displays the work of 23 artists and features many forms of art, including Chinese calligraphy, ink paintings, oil paintings, and lacquer art. To mark the start of the exhibition, an opening ceremony was held on the morning of November 11. The Director of the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center, Dr. Chang Ben-hang, said that by holding such events, Tamkang not only helps to promote art and artistic interaction in the community, but also enhances its reputation both locally and internationally.
On November 17th, Tamkang University’s Tamsui Campus was home to two major conferences: the 48th Annual Meeting of the Chinese Society for Quality and the 2012 Symposium on International Quality Management. The latter was hosted by the President of the Chinese Society for Quality, Dr. Ching Chou Yang, and the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang. It featured an opening speech by the Director General of the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection, Dr. Jay-San Chen; as well as award presentations, special lectures, and thesis presentation. The theme of the symposium was Sustainable Excellence and Innovative Service. The 48th Annual Meeting of the Chinese Society for Quality, on the other hand, involved the handing out of numerous awards and professional licenses, as well as a speech by guest speaker, Dr. Philip Lyons (University of Wisconsin-Stout). UW-Stout won the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2001. The topic of Dr. Lyons’ speech was “UW-Stout’s Planning Process – Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement.”
On November 10, 2012, six TKU teams entered the finals of the 17th International ICT Innovative Services Contest. In Taiwan the contest is known as the “Olympics of information management”, as it draws hundreds of outstanding college students in information-related courses from around Taiwan. The six Tamkang teams that took part in the finals came from the Department of Information Management and the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering. Three of these teams came first in separate contest categories. Team one created an online journal for kindergarten students. At present, all kindergarten students in Taiwan receive a “student development book” that is used to record every aspect of their growth and development; from changes in their height and weight, to diary entries about changes in their everyday life. The “Online Development Journal” gives students a more convenient way to record changes in their life, while saving time and allowing them to keep updating the journal or refer back to it well into their adult years. Team two created a wireless home control system that allows users to control home appliances through their mobile phones. Meanwhile, team 3 combined religion and technology, enabling users to take part in prayers and ancestor worship from the comfort of their own home.
From November 11-14, Tamkang University has been hosting a delegation from one of Mainland China’s premier universities, Zhejiang University. The delegation has been led by the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, and is made up of 15 representatives from Zhejiang University administrative departments. The delegation came to Taiwan to learn about the administrative process employed by Taiwanese universities. Before arriving in Taiwan, the visiting group asked Tamkang to provide lectures on topics that correspond to the needs of Zhejiang University. Accordingly, the lectures presented during the three-day visit have been tailored specifically to Zhejiang University’s questions. These topics of the lectures include: “The Current Status of Administrative Management in Taiwanese Higher Education” (delivered by the TKU Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Po-Yuan Kao), “Responding to Emergency Situations in University Campuses” (by the Secretary General of Tamkang University, Dr. Hsu Ting-Chi), and so on. The visiting delegates offered their highest praise to the Tamkang University lecturers. They said that not only was the lecture content insightful and comprehensive, the logic behind administrative policies was presented in a clear and coherent way.
On the morning of Monday November 12, TKU held a lecture featuring special guest speaker and well-known Taipei City prosecutor, Liu Cheng-Wu. Liu’s talk focused on human rights, the rule of law, and how such issues relate to how we educate our future generations. It was attended by Tamkang University faculty and staff. At the start of the lecture, Liu talked about the two international covenants recently signed by the Ma government. These include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. By putting his name to the international documents, commented Liu, ROC President Mr. Ma Ying Jeou will be obliged to review many of the laws currently in place in order to conform to international standards. Liu also talked about more practical issues for educators, such as personal human rights matters as well as the rights of students, teachers, and parents. Although the subject matter was serious, Liu’s humorous style ensured constant laughter and eager audience participation. Hsueh Ya-ning, a research assistant at the TKU Office of Quality Assurance and Audit, said that by attending the speech, she not only gained a deep understanding of how respect, tolerance, and the rule of law are the core components of human rights education, she also realized the significance of international covenants in protecting human rights globally.
This year, TKU was again awarded the Environmental Award for Taiwanese Enterprises. In achieving this distinction, TKU became the first university in Taiwan to receive the award and, moreover, the first university to receive the award two years in a row. On Monday November 5, the award was presented to the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, at an official ceremony held at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City. President Chang was accompanied at the ceremony by the TKU Dean of General Affairs, Dr. Shiaw Shyan Luo, and approximately 20 staff members from the TKU body responsible for setting and implementing “green campus policies”, the Office of General Affairs. All TKU staff who attended the ceremony wore white long-sleeve shirts and orange vests, and when receiving the award, shouted the slogan “quality first; infinite innovation; outstanding service; a favorite among Taiwanese businesses!” The award was presented by the Minister of the Environmental Protection Administration, Mr. Stephen Shu-hung Shen.
To celebrate Tamkang University’s 62nd anniversary, an Official Ceremony was held at the Shao Mo Memorial Gymnasium (7th floor) on the morning of Saturday November 3. Among those in attendance at the ceremony were the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang; Board of Trustee Members Yea-hong Chen and Chen-Nan Ching; Board of Trustees Supervisor Mei-lan Wang; former TKU Presidents Louis R Chow, Yun-shan Lin, and Horng-jinh Chang; as well as the President of Soochow University, Dr. Pan Wei Ta. During the Official Ceremony, TKU presented the prestigious Golden Eagle Award to six outstanding alumni as well as certificates to alumni who have donated funds or helped to raise funds for the university. There was also a speech by the TKU President. President Chang expressed gratitude to Board of Trustees members for their ongoing support. She thanked former TKU presidents – who helped to create a solid foundation for continual growth – and TKU faculty, staff, and students; as well as the 230,000 TKU alumni who make it possible for Tamkang to continue to improve and who help to reinforce Tamkang’s excellent reputation. President Chang explained that over the past three years, TKU has implemented each of its primary goals related to instruction and research. These include hiring teachers who are experts in their respective industries, increasing the level of interaction and exchange between TKU and its sister universities, and continually improving the teaching and research environment in order to enhance TKU’s competitiveness in the job market. Moreover, President Chang noted that in the last few years TKU has focused on providing a more well-rounded education by not only offering high quality specialized courses, but also helping students to develop moral character and equip them with the leadership skills necessary to succeed in the workforce. To achieve this goal, Tamkang has implemented compulsory student club courses, which teach students about teamwork and leadership, as well as service learning programs, in which students go into the local community to serve and contribute.
To celebrate Tamkang University’s 62nd anniversary, a number of activities have been planned for the coming two months. They include a concert, an orchid exhibition, a rice festival in which various creative dishes made of rice will be on offer, alumni gatherings, an official anniversary ceremony, a campus fair, and a large-scale athletics carnival. Also to coincide with the occasion, TKU has relocated various academic and administrative department offices. The office of the Department of Mass communication has moved to Q406; while the Tamkang Times office has relocated to Q301, and so on. There has also been a change of name. The former Education Building is now the Communication Building. To mark the change in name, on November 1 TKU held an inauguration ceremony which was attended by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang; the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Jeong Yeou Chiu; and the Dean of Research and Development, Dr. Shung-wen Kung. On the same day, the Graduate Institute of International Studies also held an afternoon tea event to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Last week, several members of the TKU Department of French went to Lyon, to take part in an academic symposium. The TKU delegation comprised the Dean of the College of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Dr. Wu Hsi-Deh; the Chair of the Department of French, Dr. Yang Shu-Chuan; former Department Chair, Dr. Tsai Shu-ling; and associate professor Kerkalli Mohamed. The symposium was held at Jean Moulin University Lyon 3 and was attended by faculty from Jean Moulin and the University of Besancon. During the two-day symposium, a total of 16 dissertations were presented. Moreover, participants agreed that within one year, the three universities would jointly publish a collection of French and Chinese essays to crystallize the research-based achievements made throughout the symposium.
The 2012 National Table tennis Competition for University Faculty and Staff was recently held at the TKU Shao Mo Memorial Gymnasium (October 26 - 27). It featured 85 teams from universities throughout Taiwan, 663 competitors, and 166 matches. It also attracted various dignitaries from the area of sports and athletics, including: Rosa Chien, the Deputy Minister of the Sports Affairs Council, Executive Yuan; Vincent Han-Sun Chiang, the President of the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation; Chen Kuang Fu, the Vice President of the Republic of China Sports Federation; and the TKU Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Gwo-Hsin Yu. This year, TKU entered one team in both the men’s and women’s team events. One of the members of the men’s team this year was Elad Bruhl, a research assistant from the TKU Office of International and Cross-Strait Affairs. Elad began seriously training in table tennis a little over a year ago. Although when he was a child he used to play table tennis with family and friends in his garage, it was not until a year ago, after going to the local community center in Tamsui, that he learned of the complexity of table tennis. He explains that although table tennis requires the player to hit the ball with a racket, the primary source of power generated should come from the movement of the legs and waist. At present, although busy with work, Elad nevertheless makes time to train in table tennis at least two to three times per week. He states “no matter how busy work gets, it’s vital to make time to exercise”. The TKU men’s team vastly improved on their efforts from last year, winning three ties out of five and almost qualifying for the grand final.