On the evening of March 12, the TKU EMBA Association, along with the TKU Graduate Institute of International Business, held the Third Annual Karaoke Super Cup Competition. Prizes were given to the top three individual performers and the top three groups, as well as the most popular and the best onstage performers. Entrants comprised of students from the TKU EMBA program and the Graduate Institute of International Business. The performances were evaluated by teachers from TKU business programs. There were also competition hosts. The two hosts filled the evening with an air of humor and jokingly suggested a future role reversal, wherein teachers take to the stage and students do the judging. The competition is designed to bring students and faculty from TKU’s business and management colleges closer. On March 12 it succeeded in doing so. The winner of the Individual singer category was 2nd year business student, Qiu Zhong-Zheng.
2011 is the International Year of Chemistry. So throughout 2011, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) together with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will be holding a range of Chemistry-related activities in numerous countries around the world. The International Year of Chemistry is a joint initiative by IUPAC and UNESCO. It celebrates the 100th anniversary of IUPAC’s inception and marks 100 years since Marie Sklodowska-Curie broke a host of records by being the first person to receive two Nobel prizes. It is also designed to celebrate the essential role of chemistry in our daily lives. In Taiwan, the task of planning activities related to the International Year of Chemistry has been assigned to the TKU Department of Chemistry. Among the celebratory activities organized, the most unique item is the Mobile Chemistry Lab, a 3.5 ton wagon with a gull-wing door that opens on to a small-scale, fully-equipped chemistry lab. The Mobile Chemistry Lab will visit cities and towns throughout Taiwan to promote chemistry and demonstrate to Taiwanese youth that science, too, can be fun. To celebrate the unveiling of the Mobile Chemistry Lab and promote the International Year of Chemistry, on March 10th TKU held a Mobile Lab Opening Ceremony, which was attended by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the President of the Chinese Chemistry Society, Cheng Chien-Hong, and the Dean of the TKU College of Science, Dr. Wang Bo-Cheng. The Opening Ceremony featured speeches, an array of imaginative posters, and several rows of creative science stalls, which attracted TKU faculty, students, and staff. Students relished the carnival-like atmosphere, and through the interactive games and activities held by the carnival stalls, learned in more detail of the vital role that science plays in our lives.
The Journal of Educational Media and Library Sciences (JoEMLS) is among the most respected Educational Media journals in Taiwan. With a long-standing history that spans four decades, the journal has been listed in numerous local and international databases, including Scopus, LISTA, DOAJ, and the Chinese Educational Resources Information Center, among others. It was the first Library Sciences journal to be listed in Taiwan’s leading academic database, TSSCI, and is considered a first-rate academic journal in the field of education. On the 7-8 March, to commemorate the journal’s 40th anniversary, Tamkang University’s Department of Information and Library Science held a large-scale conference. The International Conference on the 40th Anniversary of the Journal of Educational Media and Library Sciences featured keynote speeches by Professor Judith Broady-Preston from Aberystwyth University and Professor Hideaki Takeda from the National Institute of Informatics, Japan. The conference reflected on the origin of the journal, and comprised guest speeches by the JoEMLS Editor Emeritus, Professor Shih-hsion Huang, and the former Editor, Professor Chang C. Lee. Among the guests in attendance were esteemed scholars from Beijing University, Nanjing University, Wuhan University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, National Taiwan University, and National Taiwan Normal University. For more information on the conference, please refer to the website http://www.dils.tku.edu.tw/conference/.
Tamkang University recently instituted a new academic program that seeks to tighten the relationship enjoyed by the entertainment industries in Taiwan and Mainland China. The new course is called the Experimental Program in Innovative Media and Production. It is a four-month program offered jointly by Tamkang University and Guangzhou University that aims to provide students from both universities with theoretical training and practical intern opportunities in the field of communication media. The program will draw on the experience of several renowned educators, including the program director herself, Professor Chao Ya-ly. It will also incorporate a practical component, in which students will get the chance to intern at any of a number of Taiwan’s leading television stations, such as TVBS and NowNews, among others. The newly-established program is the most extensive joint initiative that TKU has undertaken with any one of its sister universities. It is a pioneering effort that will strengthen the already close ties between the entertainment industries in Taiwan and Mainland China, and become a source of talented media personnel in the near future.
On Saturday March 5, Tamkang University held the 6th annual Chung-ling Creative Chemistry Competition. Every year since its inception, the number of entrants in the competition (high school students) has increased steadily. This year, the competition drew a total of 690 participants (230 teams), including students from the best high schools in North and Central Taiwan. The theme of this year’s contest was ‘Daily Life and Creative Design’. It involved two phases: 1) A written test that assessed entrants’ general science knowledge, and 2) A series of practical tasks that examined entrants’ knowledge of the testing and analysis of various kinds of metal ions. The competition taught participants about the importance of metal resources and demonstrated why highly sought-after rare metals have recently become the focus of the nation.
The Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center is currently holding a unique art display that showcases the artwork of 84 well-known female artists from both sides of the Taiwan Strait. On display are traditional Chinese paintings, oil paintings, and watercolor and Nihonga paintings from a total of 41 Mainland Chinese artists and 43 Taiwanese artists. Through exquisite artwork, the exhibition displays the collective female experience, whether it be at the workplace, at home, or in the process of creating. Tamkang University has always been a loud proponent of gender equality. To help usher in International Women’s Day on March 8, the exhibition opened to the public at the end of February and will continue until April 24. At 10:30 am on the 18th of March, an official Opening Ceremony will be held. All TKU students, staff, and faculty are welcome to attend.
On the afternoon of Feb. 23rd, the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at the TKU Lanyang Campus held its first ever cocktail show. In preparation for the event, eight long tables had been set up. One participant stood behind each of the eight tables. Their mission was to complete the first stage of cocktail preparation in 6 minutes. This stage involved laying out the required tools and making the ingredients to be used in the cocktails. Participants then had just one minute to mix the ingredients and make the cocktails. Their actions became rapid, as they squeezed, brewed, iced, mixed, and shook their ingredients. The crowd was delighted with the show of skill, and began applauding and cheering. The finished cocktails included a Blue Coral, a Shirley Temple Smoothie, and an Orange Squash. In recent years, each profession has begun to require that its practitioners obtain professional licenses. Students from the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management have thus been making time each Wednesday to attend classes at the local youth club, where they learn to mix cocktails. The course includes an exam to obtain a professional bartending license.
Recently, during the Chinese New Year vacation, a group of 12 TKU students went to Cambodia to serve as volunteers. It was the group’s fourth time volunteering in Cambodia. Before departing, they tirelessly organized their luggage, taking out all non-essential items to make room for resources that they would distribute to the local students. While in Cambodia, the team of volunteers provided local students with lessons in the fields of Chinese language and computer studies. The Chinese lessons were conducted in an entertaining format, involving singing and drawing activities which piqued the interest of the local students; while the computer lessons were based on practical problem-solving scenarios. Group member Chen Bo-da shared that “through the experience, I noticed how the local students touched and influenced our volunteers, and inspired them to grow”.
Each year, the National Science Council rewards teachers who made exceptional contributions to the corpus of scientific research. The recipients receive a certificate and NT $300,000 per year for three years. This year, TKU’s Dr. Jong-Shenq Guo, an esteemed professor in the Department of Mathematics, was among the recipients. Dr. Guo obtained a PhD from the University of Minnesota. Ever since, his research findings have played a vital role in the field of mathematics. He specializes in research related to the formation of singularities, wave phenomena, free boundary problems, and mathematical biology. When asked of the influence mathematics has had on his life, Dr. Guo explained “most people think that spending time studying math is really strange. But actually, through studying mathematics and through the process of deduction and substantiation, one’s ability to reason and think logically is heightened”. As for his reaction to receiving this prestigious honor: “I feel truly gratified, as though all my hard work has been recognized. Research is a long and unending path. I intend to continue on this path well into the future”.
Last month, Tamkang University was granted permission to establish Taiwan’s first ever international digital learning master’s degree program, the Executive Master's Program in Asia Studies. Scheduled to begin in the 2011 academic year, the program will take students from countries in Central and South America that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, such as Guatemala, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and others. The course structure for the newly instituted master’s program will be designed by the Director of the Graduate Institute of Asian Studies, Dr. Samuel Chin-Shan Hu. Dr. Hu explained that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned Tamkang University to implement the program due to TKU’s renowned distance learning environment. The program content will focus primarily on the evolving nature of relations and general trends between Taiwan and the rest of Asia. The course quota will be 25 students per year. For the most part, classes will be conducted in English and Chinese, with additional supplementary material offered in Spanish. Dr. Ching-Fan Chen, the Director of the TKU Distance Education Development Section, said that “TKU has ample experience in providing long-distance education, but this is our first attempt at offering international long-distance education. There are many difficulties to overcome, like technical issues and problems related to time-zone differences which we’ll have to further discuss. But I look forward to it running very smoothly”.
After the long winter vacation, TKU faculty and staff today (Feb. 11) returned to work. It was their first day back since Chinese New Year, and thus their first workday of the Year of the Rabbit. To celebrate, A Chinese New Year Morning Tea was held at the Chueh Sheng International Hall. In preparation for the event, the hall had been decorated with auspicious symbols, such as Chinese characters connoting peace and prosperity. The morning tea also doubled as an opening ceremony for two newly established Tamkang institutes: the Office of Quality Assurance and Audit and the Center for Japan Studies. The former will work to raise the standard of teaching at TKU and improve the efficacy of its internal operations. The Center for Japan Studies, on the other hand, will strengthen TKU’s ties with Japanese business and tighten the already close relationship TKU enjoys with its sister universities in Japan. The TKU Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Kuo-Hsin Yu, made a speech during the event. He expressed his hope that in this New Year, the Year of the Rabbit, each member of TKU’s faculty and staff may play their part in taking TKU to new levels of academic and administrative excellence.
New statistics were recently released by the Webometrics Ranking Web of World Universities. Out of over 20,000 institutes of higher education, Tamkang University's ranking moved upward dramatically to 285th in the world, 32nd in Asia, 10th in Taiwan, and first among private universities in Taiwan. For more detailed information, please refer to the website http://www.webometrics.info/及http://www.webometrics.info/rank_by_country.asp?country=tw
Chinese New Year is almost upon us. To celebrate the New Year and usher in the upcoming winter break, Tamkang University held a Chinese New Year End-of-Year Gala. On the afternoon of Friday, January 21st, as rain sprinkled across the TKU Tamsui Campus, TKU faculty and staff poured into the Student Activity Center with cheerful anticipation. The line-up of entertainment was organized jointly by the Tamkang Military Training Department and the TKU Office of Physical Education. It featured a traditional lion dance show; a unique version of the classic fairy tale, Snow White, performed to a slideshow backdrop of the Tamsui Campus, and featuring characters from TKU's faculty and staff; a song and dance parody of the Korean pop sensation “Wondergirls”; and the centerpiece of the afternoon, a choreographed, PG-rated male strip show, which drew rapturous shrieks from the female portion of the 1,500 strong audience. Interwoven among the stage performance was a series of raffle draws. A total of 200 cash prizes were given away as part of the raffle, with the major prize of NT $30,000 drawn at the very end of the program. The winner, Department of Accounting Lecturer Yang Chuan-li, clasped the winning ticket firmly in his hand and dashed toward the stage to the thunderous applause of the crowd.
Not long ago, an extensive group of visitors touched down on Taiwanese soil. These visitors, 132 in total, are members of a youth group established by the (Taiwan) Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission. They come from countries across the globe, including Brazil, Panama, Paraguay, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and Costa Rica, to name just a few. During their trip, they partook in an array of activities, including tours to the world famous Shilin Night Market, Beitou, and the National Palace Museum. They were even taken to observe sites at which Taiwanese box office movies were filmed, and took part in a number of traditional Taiwanese wedding ceremonies, which intrigued the visitors, and left them awestruck at the cultural wonder that is Taiwan.
In winter this year, a vast legion of community volunteers from TKU societies and external service clubs have gone out into the community to help those in need. From TKU, a total of 386 teachers and students from 16 TKU societies formed 17 groups, who went to rural areas around Taiwan to provide free service and care to the locals. The volunteers comprise largely of Tamkang University alumni associations and societies, as well as a melee of community groups including environmental teams, counseling service organizations, and the Union Dolphins work team. Before embarking on their philanthropic journeys, the volunteers attended a Charity Service Send-off Ceremony. At the ceremony, the president of TKU Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang distributed certificates in acknowledgment of the volunteers’ efforts. She reminded students to keep in mind their own safety at all times, and wished them all a meaningful adventure. In a separate initiative, the TKU Cambodia Community Learning Team once again set out for Cambodia, where they will help to nurture local teachers and provide entertaining cultural performances. The team leader, TKU Department of Mathematics student Xiao Li-cheng, noted that they had prepared more in-depth teacher training courses for their trip this time, and that instead of exclusively performing Taiwanese songs – as they did last time – they will instead perform local folksongs that they learned on their last trip to Cambodia.
On the 14th of January, Tamkang University held a TKU Faculty Farewell Tea Party, a tribute to TKU teachers retiring at the end of this semester. The seven TKU teachers and employees set to retire were invited as guests of honor. They include Prof. Huang Fan-guang, from the Department of History; Assoc. Prof. Liao Guo-an from the Department of Physics; Prof. Yu-fan from the Department of Electrical Engineering; Prof. Gai Zhe-sheng from the TKU Graduate Institute of Educational Policy and Leadership; the Director of the Division of Continuing Education, Qiu Zhu-lin; and a staff member from the Office of Academic Affairs’ Registration Section. Tribute speeches were made by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang; the Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs and Administrative Affairs, Dr. Kuo-Hsing Yu and Dr. Po-yuan Kao respectively; the Chairman of the TKU Women’s Association, Huang Hong-zhu; and the Chairman of the TKU Retired Employee Association, Lin Yun-shan. They presented each of the teachers with a farewell memento. One of the teachers to be honored was Dr. Yu Fan, a veteran TKU professor from the Department of Electrical Engineering who has worked at TKU for the last 39 years. His youthful personality and fun-loving antics have been immortalized in countless anecdotes that will forever remain a part of TKU folklore.
Over the past semester, TKU freshmen have partaken in Community Learning classes. Of late, Community Learning students have been required to create a map of the most user-friendly campus routes for TKU disabled students. The participating students include freshmen from the departments of Civil Engineering, English, Japanese, and German. Together, they surveyed the entire Tamsui Campus, inspecting all disabled-friendly zones and facilities. They then produced sketches and diagrams of the most easy-to-use circuits of the campus based on disabled students’ needs. In the process, they analyzed the entry and exit points of each TKU building, and used different colored markers to differentiate between buildings and sites in the TKU Tamsui Campus that: i) Disabled students can access on their own ii) Disabled students can not reach on their own, and iii) Areas restricted for all students. To formulate the most precise Campus Map possible, disabled students were enlisted to participate. Volunteer disabled students thus took time out of their own schedule to assist in the activity. A “Friendly Campus Map 1.0” has now been published. In future, Community Learning courses will strive to continually refine and improve on this initial effort, to enable TKU disabled students to more readily make their way around the Tamsui Campus.
This year in April, members of the Higher Education and Accreditation Council of Taiwan will carry out an assessment of Tamkang University’s Tamsui Campus. To prepare for the assessment, TKU today held a “self-assessment” simulation activity. As such, external experts arrived at TKU today to appraise school performance in the areas of TKU market positioning, school governance and operation, teaching and learning resources, performance and social responsibility, and continual improvement and quality assurance. At 9:30am, the group of external commissioners held a self-assessment preparatory meeting. At 10am, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, presented a brief overview of TKU’s overall status and the commissioners then read and reviewed related TKU information. The group inspected the main library, the Center of Resources for the Blind, the theme-based simulation classrooms in the College of Business and Management building, the Center for Learning and Teaching, etc. At 1:30pm, talks were held between faculty, staff, and students, and at 3:50pm, there was a round of general discussions. As part of the evaluation, the commissioners each selected two teachers, two staff members, and two students, with whom they conducted interviews. The results of the self-assessment will provide a vital basis for the official assessment in April.
From May of last year, the TKU Department of Architecture has been working with the Taipei City Urban Redevelopment Office (TCURO) to set up a symbolic new display. The display is located at Dihua St., which is home to one of Taipei’s oldest markets, replete with baroque style buildings that date back to Japanese rule in the early 20th century. The display was designed to reflect the fusion of old and new embodied in the Dihua St. Market. The TCURO and TKU’s Department of Architecture were allotted a “public shop”, an unused plot of space in the Dihua St. Market, in which to set up the display. The display consists of relics from a time gone by, which TKU students arduously collected, one by one, from local merchants and residents. They include an old-style Chinese lantern, a Ginseng medicine box, ceramic bowls, an oil-paper umbrella, and an antique–style window frame, among others, all of which have been delicately presented on a huge row of wooden racks. Each of the antique items has a story behind it, which has been chronicled and exhibited for the benefit of visitors and future generations. The display has achieved its purpose. It has rendered into concrete form the collective memories of all of Taipei’s senior citizens. To such citizens, Dihua St. remains an undying vestige of Taipei’s City’s colorful past.
According to a study by the Ministry of Education, Taiwanese children born to foreign brides typically spend less than an hour a day completing or revising their homework. The reasons parents are unable to help such children with their homework include a “lack of time due to the need to make a living” and “poor language ability”, cited the study. This is a problem faced by disadvantaged children across Taiwan. In an attempt to mitigate and even reverse this trend, several organizations and initiatives have been set up throughout Taiwan in the hope of helping young students from disadvantaged families “keep up” academically. One such initiative, the Little Sunshine Project, has been serving local families in Tamsui. For the past semester, as part of TKU’s Community Learning program, Tamkang freshmen have been helping care for children from the Little Sunshine Project in Tamsui. Each week, they help young children to read and write, and to finish their homework. Yet as the current semester rapidly draws to an end, their Community Learning duties will soon be over. So of late, they have been thinking feverishly of how to make a lasting difference in the children’s lives. Their answer: a musical tribute; a symphony concert, dedicated to the children, that would give the children a chance to appreciate fine music – and art in general – and provide them with a snapshot of university life, around which they may build and create a successful future. The concert was held on Wednesday, December 29. As the concert was about to begin, the children handed gifts and hand-written cards to the TKU students who had been looking after them. One of the participating TKU students, Zhao Li-ya, commented that “The Community Learning program will soon be over. While interacting with the kids at the concert this evening, I could sense that they were excited…Although we’ve only played a very minor role in their overall process of growing up, I hope that they’ll remember us; remember that they once had a group of older ‘brothers and sisters’ who helped them with their homework”.