Monday, June 4, 2012

Writing Alliance Lectures Basic Article Writing to Students

By Chhay Daroth

The Writing Alliance at the University of Cambodia (UC) on January 28, 2012 trained the basic article writing to 20 UC students who, most of them,  are the newly nominated members of UC Student Senate (UCSS).

Gathered at the UC E-Library, Tim Vutha, President of the UC Writing Alliance, moderated the training and inspired the attendees to treat article writings as informative and useful skills to apply for their academic life.

The January 28- event delivered students the basic newsletters writing skills which they should be familiar with to capably carry future assigned responsibilities to summary events they attend. In addition, the gathering was also organized to extend networking among students, so that they can collaborate and share knowledge and experiences with one another in case needed.

After offering them two trainings, few learners revealed their interests to register as team’s new members hoping to learn better.

The Writing Alliance was established in January 2011 aiming to promote students’ writing skills particularly reporting, proposals, professional applications (resumes, cover letters, and thank-you letter,) personal statement, and other writing related tasks. This team is advised and supported by Mrs. Seng-Dao Keo, Director, Office of the President.

WSD-AEF Distinguished Lecture Series with Ambassador Sichan Siv

By Peter Tan Keo and Chhay Daroth

As part of the WSD-AEF Distinguished Lecture Series, the University of Cambodia (UC) hosted a lecture, “From the Killing Fields to the White House,” by Ambassador Sichan Siv on October 25, 2011. UC also bestowed an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service upon Ambassador Siv after the lecture, which was the first one held at the new university campus location. H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, President of UC and Adviser to Samdech Techo Prime Minister, presided over the lecture.
During his lecture, Ambassador Siv shared his life story about surviving Pol Pot’s Killing Fields and making his way to America where he ended up working for the White House and then the United Nations. He was the only surviving member of his family.
(Left to right) Martha Pattillo Siv, Ambassador Sichan Siv, and H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn posed for pictures after UC conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service to Ambassador Sichan Siv fo
He was born and raised in Cambodia and attended Pochentong Primary School and Sisowath High School in Phnom Penh. He studied very hard as a university student and learned how to speak English and French. After working for a Cambodian airline, he started working for the CARE organization in Phnom Penh; it was during this time that Cambodia fell to the communists.

His mother feared that he would be a target because he was well-educated, had worked for the airline and CARE, and wore glasses. She gave him a scarf and a rice bag and told him to flee. She also gave him advice that he always remembered throughout his journey: “No matter what happens, never give up hope.”

He rode his bike for three weeks and almost reached the border of Thailand before he was caught by the Khmer Rouge. For several months he was imprisoned in a slave-labor camp, working 18 hours a day of hard labor after which he was given one bowl of soup to eat; he knew he had to escape this nightmare.

During this part of his lecture, he shared a quote reflecting his optimism during this difficult time in his life: “The night is darkest for those who cannot wait. The sun will rise soon enough for those who are patient.”

He escaped to Thailand in 1976 by jumping off a logging truck and was sent to a refugee camp, where he organized English classes. After several months in the camp, he was allowed to enter the United States.

“I arrived in the U.S. with $2 in my pocket, my mother’s scarf, and an empty rice bag,” he said. “I was exhausted and tired, but full of hope.”

He picked apples, worked as a taxi-driver, and did whatever he needed to in order to make it in the United States.

“I told myself that I must adapt to America in order to be adopted,” said Ambassador Siv.

His ability to never lose hope, even under the most dire of situations, helped him persevere. At the end of his lecture, Ambassador Siv shared with the audience some wisdom borrowed from his wife, who says, “We need to create our own luck, and luck happens every day.”

He also encouraged students to keep on trying, even after failures, and to never be satisfied with what they are doing so they continue to work hard.

“And when you are doing well, don’t forget to do good,” he said at the close of his lecture.

Ambassador Sichan Siv was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2001 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate as a United States Ambassador to the United Nations, where he served until 2006. Prior to this, from 1989 to 1993, he served as Deputy Assistant to President George H. W. Bush at the White House and at the State Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. He holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

He is the international bestselling author of Golden Bones, which has been published in several languages including Khmer in 2011, and currently serves as a Texas State Commissioner on holocaust and genocide. In addition to his public sector experience, he has held several positions in the private sector in social services, educational exchange, and financial services. He also delivers motivational speeches around the world and volunteers his time to local organizations. He and his wife, the former Martha Pattillo of Pampa, Texas, spend their time in Texas, New York, and beyond.

Source: UC Bulletin December 2011, Page 5

Sunday, June 3, 2012

UC and U.S. Embassy Host Lecture on Global Entrepreneurship Week

By San Boromeichan

A lecture for Social Entrepreneurship Week was hosted at the University of Cambodia (UC) in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy on November 18, 2011. The U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Jeff Daigle, delivered the introductory remarks and Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Sean McIntosh delivered the closing remarks. Peter Tan Keo, Vice President for Strategy, Development, and International Cooperation, gave the welcoming address for the half-day event, which was attended by over 200 UC students who wanted to learn more about entrepreneurship strategies and opportunities.

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Jeff Daigle, delivered the introductory remarks at the event
The event covered several important aspects of entrepreneurship: starting a business, preparing a solid business plan that attracts investors, developing a marketable product, and obtaining and managing a financial budget efficiently. The last session was a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Prum Virak, Public Affairs Specialist (PAS) at the U.S. Embassy.

In his introductory remarks, Chargé d’Affaires Jeff Daigle shared with the audience that Global Entrepreneurship Week is celebrated in over 100 countries through various activities and seeks to inspire the entrepreneurial spirit and showcase how it contributes to a country’s growth. He also said that he believed this event will generate more interest in entrepreneurship in Cambodia and help individuals to “better their lives, their families’ lives, and, ultimately, their communities.”

“The United States has been assisting the Cambodian government as well as Cambodian youth to create and maintain a healthy, democratic society,” he said. “These efforts, combined with the growing entrepreneurial spirit present in so many Cambodians, show Cambodia’s true potential.”

Distinguished panelists shared their experiences and advice on entrepreneurship with the students.
The event also included the sharing of success stories by a number of local and other entrepreneurs in Cambodia, who also described some of the challenges and difficulties they encountered in opening and operating a business. These speakers comprised Chang Bunleang and Seng Kang (Managing Partners of Brown Coffee and Bakery); Dieter Billmeier (Vice President of Canadia Bank); Mr. Veasna (Fii & Associates); Sok Hach (President of Economic Institution of Cambodia and CEO of Golden Rice); and Ho Vandy (CEO of World Express Tours and Travel).

Participants in this informative event asked the guest speakers several probing questions concerning their businesses and were offered valuable advice on how to succeed as entrepreneurs. Sok Hach said that individuals in business need to be realistic, true to themselves, and true to their partners. He further elaborated, “What is important [about being an entrepreneur] is to be unconventional; you have to be able to create a very good business plan to attract inventors and as long as you have it, you will have access to loans very easily.”

Chang Bunleng and Seng Kang shared with the students that it was critical to believe in one’s ideas and to remain committed to the project. They recounted how the idea of Brown was conceived and how it became a reality, starting with their part-time jobs in coffee shops in Australia and their belief that similar coffee shops could be replicated in Cambodia. They did not go to any banks for financial support and instead prepared a business plan for their parents and asked them to invest in their idea.

“They [our parents] seemed. . .to not have confidence in us because we did not have a background in business, since we studied architecture, engineering, and the arts,” said Chang Bunleang. “However our strong determination and passion proved to them that we really wanted to try and [were] committed to success.”

Brown is now one of the top coffee shops in Phnom Penh, with a constant growth in sales each year.
Dieter Billmeier, who has been working in the banking sector for more than 30 years, said that the Cambodian banking sector has experienced positive growth. He added that more and more entrepreneurs are seeking investment capital from the bank, and that Canadia Bank commercial loans have broadened the financing opportunities of entrepreneurs in Cambodia.

The University of Cambodia expresses its sincere appreciation to the U.S. Embassy and all of the guest speakers for their contributions to this exciting event, and it looks forward to collaborating on further educational activities with the U.S. Embassy and local businesses.

Source: UC Bulletin December 2011, Page 9

UC Welcomes New Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences

By No Sophearith

The College of Social Science (CoSS) at University of Cambodia (UC) recently welcomed its new Associate Dean, Min Seiha, who will be responsible for advising students and strengthening the course offerings and programs under the CoSS.

Min Seiha
Min Seiha is originally from Kampot province, where he was awarded the top student of Khmer Literature in the province and was ranked number 6 in Khmer Literature at the national level. He came to study in Phnom Penh in 2001 at the Royal University of Law and Economics and majored in Law. He continued his studies at the Royal School of Administration in 2005 and served in the Office of the Council of Ministers for 3years. In 2009, he won a scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Australia at the University of Canberra and majored in Public Administration and Management.

Most recently, at the University, Mr. Seiha served as an adviser for students who debated in a Red Cross program at TVK. He hopes to help improve the academic experiences of UC students by teaching them more about research, encouraging them to pursue advanced degrees, and strengthening their academic networks.

“I find that UC students are skillful and have great potential because they study by international standards, which. . .helps them to study with quality,” he said. Besides studying in class, UC students are also talented communicators and are active in social and educational activities outside of the classroom, he added.

The University would like to extend a warm welcome to Min Seiha into the UC team and family, and looks forward to the positive contributions he will make to the CoSS and student life on campus.

Source: UC Bulletin December 2011, Page 17

UC Hosts Ceremony to Observe World AIDS Day

By Ban Chenda

240 students, faculty, and staff members attended the World AIDS Day ceremony hosted at the University of Cambodia (UC) on December 1, 2011. The campaign was widely celebrated throughout Cambodia and around the world. UC and People Health Development (PHD) Association co-organized the event themed, “Getting to Zero,” which refers to the three goals of the World AIDS Campaign: zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths, and zero discrimination. H.E. Tea Phalla, Deputy Director, National AIDS Authority (NAA), Por Malis, Vice President for Operations, and Ou Ratanak, Executive Director of PHD, delivered remarks at the well-attended event.

It is very important for people to take preventative measures to protect themselves from infection, stated to H.E. Tea Phalla. He also encouraged people to have only one partner and to use condoms if necessary.

After Por Malis expressed that UC has been happy working with PHD and invited more UC students to attend the HIV/AIDS training course, Ou Ratanak told the audience that the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS in Cambodia has been decreasing because Cambodians know more about HIV/AIDS. Moreover, people living with HIV/AIDS are not discriminated against here, and they are encouraged to continue living productive lives, he stated.

After the speeches, students performed a skit, “Neglecting is Lost, and Carefulness is Existence,” that highlighted how HIV/AIDS can be transmitted through sex and drug use, and why it is important to be knowledgeable about these issues. Students were then invited to participate in a question and answer competition.

Afterwards, the students, staff, and faculty members were given a red ribbon to wear to symbolize their commitment to HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

The event was sponsored by the MTV- Staying Alive Foundation.

Source: UC Bulletin December 2011, Page 19

UC and PHD Celebrate the 16 Days of Action and White Ribbon Campaign

By No Sophearith

The University of Cambodia (UC), in cooperation with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs amd People Health Development (PHD) Association, hosted a program to celebrate the 16 Days of Action and White Ribbon Campaign, which aims to stop violence against women and children. The program was hosted on December 3 at UC and consisted of several components: an opening session, a skit, a question and answer session, and a certificate presentation ceremony. H.E Samraing Kamsan, Senior Adviser to the President of UC and Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, and H.E. Hor Malin, Under-Secretary of State for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, delivered remarks at the event, which was widely attended by Associate Deans, staff members, and students. Por Malis, Vice President for Operations at UC, and Ou Rattanak, Executive Director of PHD, co-facilitated the event.

(Left to right) Por Malis, Vice President for Operations, H.E. Samraing Kamsan, Member of the Board of Trustees and Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, H.E. Hor Malin, Under-Secretrary of State for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and Ou Ratanank, Executive Director of PHD, delivered speeches at the event and discussed the importance of the White Ribbon Campaign.
The skit, performed by UC students, focused on violence in society and its underlying message was that everyone has a responsibility to stop violence and to speak up against it. Afterward, students participated in a question and answer contest related to the campaign; students who won answered the most questions correctly were designated as winners of the contest and were given prizes. At the end of the event, certificates were presented to students who served as peer educators in Life Skills Training workshops organized by PHD.

This was the second time UC cooperated with PHD to celebrate the 16 Days of Action White Ribbon Campaign, with the first one being in 2010. All participants and distinguished guests were given a document detailing the history of the White Ribbon Campaign and a white ribbon to wear as a sign of their commitment to stop all kinds of violence on women and children.

H.E. Hor Malin presented gifts to winners of the question and answer session
A number of peer educators also went into classrooms to give the white ribbons to students and lecturers, who were encouraged to wear the ribbon on the left side of their chest to signify that they will make a heartfelt commitment to stop violence against women and children.

The White Ribbon Campaign was first created in 1991 by men in Canada who committed themselves to stopping violence against women. This campaign spread to over 57 countries around the world and is now an international effort that works to end violence against women and children, with its basic principle being that it is very important for men and boys to speak out against all forms of violence against women. This campaign is celebrated in universities across Cambodia and offers students an opportunity to learn about the campaign and to participate in positive activities that benefit society

Source: UC Bulletin December 2011, Page 18

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

UCSS Officers Elected for 6th Mandate

By Chhay Daroth

The University of Cambodia Student Senate (UCSS) is a key student organization on campus whose goals are to serve the students, the University, and society. Every year, students elect new officers to lead the student organization. On December 31, the University of Cambodia (UC) hosted an election for the five officers of the 6th Mandate of UCSS in the UC Conference Center. The election was presided over by H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, President of UC and Adviser to Samdech Techo Prime Minister, and H.E. Samraing Kamsan, Member of the Board of Trustees and Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. It was also attended by over 200 students and members of the UC management team, faculty, and staff.

The newly elected officers of the UCSS 6th Mandate
Bun Penghuy was elected as the President; Soy Ratana was elected as the Vice President for Administrative Affairs; Heav Sokserey was elected as the Vice President for Technical Affairs; Pen Socheata was elected as the Treasurer; and Meas Pisey was elected as the Secretary. These officers will serve a one-year term in 2012.

During his keynote address, Dr. Kao said that the election was important because it served to elect the new leaders who would represent UC students. Moreover, he added, the elected candidates would also represent UC.

Thirty students ran as candidates in the election: five for the President position, eight for the Vice President for Administrative Affairs position, five for the Vice President for Technical Affairs position, three for the Treasurer position, and nine for the Secretary position. Each candidate had three minutes to deliver a speech to the audience. Five of the candidates were absent during the election.

A total of 210 ballots were submitted, but only 184 ballots were recognized as valid. All ballots were tallied immediately at the front of the room, in the presence of the election committee and the candidates.

The 25 candidates who were not elected as officers were inducted as members of UCSS.

Chanty Pisal, the outgoing President of the UCSS 5th Mandate, congratulated Bun Penghuy, the newly elected UCSS President, after the election results were announced.
After recognizing the new officers and members of the UCSS 6th Mandate, H.E. Samraing Kamsan offered six useful recommendations to guide the new UCSS team toward success. The first was to always aim to be the leader and a winner, and the second was to do more than just talk. Next, he recommended that students be well-prepared and responsible. He also advised students to not waste time and to always do their best. Last, he advised students to work together to make their families, the community, and UC even stronger.

Bun Penghuy, the newly elected UCSS President, said he had decided to become a candidate because he wants to help promote UC as a leading higher educational institution in Cambodia and was encouraged by his lecturers and friends. He also issued a challenge to his classmates.

“Ask not what our university can do for us, but ask what we can do for our university,” he said, channeling a famous quote from the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

After the election, he encouraged UC students to become involved in UC activities because they will gain more experience, development their skills set, and build stronger networks. He also expressed his appreciation to UC students for their participation in the election and to UC for giving him opportunities to grow as a university student.

At the end of the program, H.E. Samraing Kamsan presented certificates of recognition and appreciation to the outgoing members of the UCSS 5th Mandate, who said they were very proud of what they accomplished in 2011 and are willing to assist and guide the new UCSS members. He also expressed his sincere appreciation for their hard work, commitment, and the contributions they made to the University and society.

UC would like to extend its gratitude to the members of the 5th Mandate of UCSS for their contributions to the UC community and for strengthening student leadership on campus. The University is also excited to support the initiatives of the new UCSS 6th Mandate and to see its contributions to UC students and the community.

Source: UC Bulletin December 2011, Page 22