The Borneo Post
Virtual community-based service learning conference set for June 15-16
SIBU: The ‘International Conference on CommunityBased Service Learning in Borneo 2021’ would be run virtually from June 15 to 16 this year.
University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS), in a press release yesterday, said the international conference would be jointly-hosted by the UCTS, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Cornell University.
It would feature academicians, students, community members and speakers from around the world.
“The international conference will explore cross-cultural community research gained through an innovative servicelearning partnership between Cornell University in the US, UCTS and Unimas, as well as their community partners in Long Lamai, Bawang Assan, and Machan in Malaysia. It brings together students, faculty, and community partners to reflect on the process and experience of service-learning partnerships and community-based servicelearning in academia,” said UCTS.
The opening remarks would be delivered by UCTS vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Khairuddin Ab Hamid, Vice-Chancellor; Unimas vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi; Cornell University vice-president for student and campus life Ryan Lombardi and its vice-provost for engagement and land-grant affairs Katherine McComas.
Other speakers would be from Association for Progressive Communications, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, Griffith University Australia, University of Cape Town, University of WaikatoNew Zealand, and Namibia University of Science and Technology.
The moderators would be Amy Kuo Somchanhmavong (Cornell University), Dr Tariq Zaman (UCTS), and Dr Narayanan Kulathuramaiyer (Unimas).
Conference keynotes would be delivered by Community-Based Global Learning Collaborative co-founder Dr Eric Hartman; Prof Carol Ma of University of Social Sciences, Singapore; Prof Shorna Allred of Cornell University; and Garen Jengan, the village elder of Long Lamai Community in Sarawak.
“Beyond a reflection of the longterm partnership, the conference will dive deeper into approaches to community-based learning in academia.
“It will be of value for those interested in or working on domestic or global servicelearning partnerships, including university faculty and students, university administrators, community leaders, policymakers, and organisations and agencies that can support service-learning.”
Since 2016, students of Cornell, UCTS and Unimas have been engaged with Malaysian partners through the Global Citizenship and Sustainability programme.
Each year, research teams conduct community-based research in partnership with village leaders to gain a broader understanding on the issues of digital preservation, climate change, and cultural resiliency, it said.
The Covid-19 pandemic has paused the service-learning partnership in 2020.
Students and academic staff at Cornell, UCTS and Unimas took this as an opportunity to organise a virtual conference to reflect on the partnership and its progress.
The conference is sponsored by Yayasan Sarawak, Office of Engagement Initiatives-Cornell University, and The International Network for Postgraduate Students in the Area of ICT4D (IPID) of Swedish Programme for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER), Stockholm University Sweden.
Registration is open until June 5, via https://slc.ucts.edu.my/ registration/.
For further information, contact general chair of the conference and head of Advanced Centre for Sustainable SocioEconomic and Technological Development (Asset) of UCTS, via firstname.lastname@example.org.