Home » 2015-2016 Malaysian Fulbrighters

The following are details of the Malaysian grantees currently pursuing their studies and research work in universities across the United States. This much coveted Fulbright scholarship is awarded to deserving Malaysian scholars who have displayed exemplary skills and knowledge in their respective fields and area of study.

If you would like to be a part of the Fulbright experience, the scholarship will be made available and will be announced on the website from March to October each year.


2015-2016 FULBRIGHT MALAYSIAN GRADUATE STUDY AND RESEARCH PROGRAM

MILDREDMildred Voon Hian Ya
Home Institution: Ministry of Education Malaysia
Host Institution: John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Field of Study: Public Policy (Masters)

Mildred Voon graduated from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. After four years of working as an engineer in the Oil and Gas industry, she took a career break to join Teach for Malaysia as a fellow. Mildred taught English to secondary school students with low literacy rates in a fishing village in Selangor for two years. Through her teaching experience, she found her passion for education equity – that every child deserves quality education, regardless of their socio-economic and geographical background. In 2013, she joined the Education Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU), Ministry of Education Malaysia. In PADU, Mildred managed the Parental and Community Engagement initiative as well as the Unity initiative under the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025. At the Harvard Kennedy School, Mildred will specialize in the Social Urban Policy concentration. She hopes to further develop her policy analysis skills and gain exposure to a wide range of social policy issues, such as poverty, urbanization and health – allowing her to explore multi-disciplinary solutions in championing for education equity. Looking forward, Mildred aspires to design education policy solutions for underprivileged rural communities in Malaysia and to build the internal capacity for impact measurement and program evaluation within the Ministry of Education. Besides education policy, Mildred is also very passionate about Malaysian food, and hopes to share her love for nasi lemak and rendang with her classmates in Harvard, from her very own kitchen.

 

ONG AI RENEOng Ai Rene
Host Institution: University of Michigan
Field of Study: Survey Methodology

Ong Ai Rene graduated from the Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) Program, HELP University in 2010. Upon graduation, she has worked for two years as a graduate tutor in HELP University. In her time there, she has been part of several research projects pertaining to answer choices in MCQs, opinion survey responses, and the impact of internet addiction on the mental health of university students. She had ventured into marketing research for Healthcare and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods and has expanded her experience to encompass consumer research as well using both the pen-and-paper-interviewing technique and computer-assisted-personal-interviewing technique. Having designed questionnaires for both academic and consumer research, she has acquired an interest in survey methodology. She hopes to be able to improve her technique and understanding of surveys and to bring back to Malaysia better techniques of data collection using surveys.

 

YJAROD YONGong Jik Kam (Jarod)
Home Institution: Ministry of Education, Malaysia
Host Institution: Teachers College, Columbia University
Field of Study: Master of Arts in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)

Jarod Yong is an English language teacher with the Ministry of Education. For the past 6 years, he taught at a remote secondary school in the jungles of Borneo. Graduating from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and receiving his teacher-training at Institut Perguruan Bahasa-Bahasa Antarabangsa, Lembah Pantai, he requested to be placed anywhere he was needed and approached his remote placement with a burning desire to make a real difference. At school, he ran numerous programs to inspire, motivate and build the character of his students besides developing their English language proficiency through various activities which intrinsically motivates them to practice and fall in love with the language. He has also brought in Japanese, American and Malaysian self-sponsored volunteers to give talks and run camps at his school to counter the lack of role models in the rural community. Organizations he has collaborated with include Teach For Malaysia, Generasi Gemilang, Lembaga Peperiksaan, Lembaga Matrikulasi, Bahagian Buku Teks, the English Language Teaching Centre, and the Department of State. At Teachers College, he hopes to fully immerse himself in the university culture and build upon his experience in education. He will also build ties between the US and Malaysia for educational collaboration and find mentors who will help him to make a real difference in the Malaysian education system. He has a curious eye toward the use of technology in teaching language but is adamant that human beings make the decisions and lead the classrooms. His dream is to one day be able to teach without worrying about titles, awards, tenure, promotions, pay checks, or the favor of his superiors. He prefers to worry about what actually makes a real difference. Do contact him if you’d like to take part in one of his programs. He is always looking for people with golden hearts.

 

2015-2016 FULBRIGHT VISITING SCHOLAR PROGRAM

CHONG KOK KEONGChong Kok Keong
Home Institution: Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
Host Institution: Princeton University
Field of Study: Solar Energy, Optics

Dr. Chong Kok-Keong received B.Sc. (Hons) first class majoring in Physics from University of Malaya in 1998 and Ph.D. (Optical Engineering) degree from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in 2002. He is Professor in Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman teaching the subjects including Renewable Energy, Solar Cell Technology, Optics and Optoelectronic. His research interests include Concentrating Solar Power, Concentrator Photovoltaic System, Solar Cell, Photovoltaic System, Non-Imaging Focusing Technology and Solar Thermal System. He has been principal investigator for several research projects with total amount of more than RM 3 Million, including the pre-commercialized solar project with total amount of RM 1.988 Million from Ministry of Energy, Water and Green Technology. He has received JCI Ten Young Outstanding Malaysian (TOYM) 2013 Award, Associate Fellow of ASEAN Academy of Engineering & Technology 2013, Global Young Academy 2014, Young Affiliate Fellow for The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) 2011 and Young Science Network-Academy of Science Malaysia 2012 as well as UTAR Research Excellence Award 2010 and UTAR Innovation Excellence Award 2012, 2014. For the community services, he is appointed as member of Working Group on Solar Photovoltaic System (WG/E/8-1), SIRIM, and Accreditation Committee Member of Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA).

 

ANDREW KAMDr. Andrew Kam Jia Yi, BEc (First Class, UKM), Msc.(Warwick), PhD(Australian National University)
Home Institution: Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, National University of Malaysia (UKM)
Host Institution: Global and International Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara
Field of Study: Economics, New (Asia-Driven) Globalization, Industrialization.

Andrew Kam Jia Yi is a Research fellow from the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, National University of Malaysia. His general research interests encompass international trade and production network, industrialization process and economic growth. Currently, he is working on a book project that investigates the shifts in the globalization phenomenon from an economic perspective. The rise of China and regional developments in the East is moving towards an era-shift into “New Globalisation”, or “Asia Driven Globalisation”. Although the issue of an Asian Driven Globalisation is highly debated among US scholars, the strategic responses have not been thoroughly documented. Understanding the shifts brought about by globalization is pertinent as it may help businesses to strategically position themselves in new markets. Andrew has been involved in various consultancy work with many international organizations/networks namely UNDP, UNESCAP, China (Eco-Forum Global) and Latin American and Asian Studies (LASA), and Globalization Development Network (GDN). He plans to extend his network during his stay at UCSB and gain important understanding on how US multinationals view oriental globalization.

 

SHAKILAShakila Yacob
Home Institution: University of Malaya
Host Institution: University of Maryland
Field of Study: Business and Environmental History

Shakila Yacob, associate professor, is a business historian attached to the Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya. She has benefitted from a multidisciplinary education in three different academic systems. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts (Southeast Asian Studies) from University of Malaya, she pursued a Master of Arts in Political Science at Western Michigan University, United States. She received her doctorate (PhD) in management at the University of Reading Business School, United Kingdom. Her research interests are in the areas of business history, international business as well as comparative politics. In addition to various publications on business history in local and international journals, her book on The United States and the Malaysian Economy (2008) published by Routledge, is the first book to examine, in-depth, the US-Malay(a)sia economic relations. For a complete listing of her publications, go to: http://www.researcherid.com/rid/B-9733-2010. She hopes to expand her field of research into the environmental history of commodities mainly but not exclusively, palm oil. Her research examines the evolving interactions between business, government, and non-governmental organizations, with a focus on Malaysia and the US.  She looks forward to participate in the academic and intellectual discourse organised by the various foundations and institutions in and around DC. The department of history, University of Maryland, College Park provides for an ideal centre of research and learning with excellent collaborative opportunities and easy access to both archival and contemporary resources (including green groups) in Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, and New York. 

 

TAZUL IZANTazul Izan Tajuddin (Dr)
Home Institution: University of Technology MARA (UiTM)
Host Institution: Harvard University
Field of Study: Music Composition
Website: www.tazultajuddin.com

Tazul Tajuddin is a composer has lived in Malaysia, USA, UK and Europe, received his Doctorate degree from University of Sussex (2002) and Master’s in Music Composition from Carnegie Mellon University (1996). He is a recipient of Malaysian Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program at Harvard University 2015-2016. Currently an Associate Professor in composition at Universiti Teknologi MARA. He was the Head of Composition program 2011-2014 and lead many exciting international and local collaborations. His music such as the Arabesque¸ Tenunan, Mediasi Ukiran and Gamelbati cycles has been inspired by Asian cultures, geometrical patterns and designs, and Western European art combined with multi-cultural contemporary ideals. He has written more than 50 works and has received almost 30 composition awards, prizes, commissions, grants and funding internationally includes Takemitsu Award, Lutoslawski Award, Japan Society of Contemporary Music Award, UK New Millenium Award, the first Malaysian to received these awards. His works has been performed in 16 countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia including performed by established leading orchestras and ensembles such as BBC Symphony Orchestra (UK), London Sinfonietta (UK), Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (Japan), Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), Malaysian Symphony Orchestra, National Choir of Malaysia, Carnegie Philharmonic Orchestra (USA), Alter Ego Ensemble (Italy), Molinari Quartet (Canada), Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain (France), Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble (Russia), Bridges Collective Ensemble (Australia). His first opera Puteri Saadong was premiered in 2015 and received major Ministry of Culture’s Creative Industry Grant with the reviews in Malay Mail and KOSMO said, ‘visionaries…’, ‘mesmerizing…’ His music has received wonderful reviews internationally. Since 2010, he is artistic director of UiTM-KL Performing Arts Centre (klpac) Malaysian Composers Concert Series to promote students and young composers and performers to perform new works. He is currently Vice-President for the Society of Malaysian Contemporary Composers (SMCC). As a researcher, he has received FRGS and EGRS research grant schemes from Malaysian Higher Education on Malaysian traditional music such as Keroncong and Mak Yong. Distinguished French composer, Henri Dutilleux described him as ‘a very finely gifted composer and an original temperament, which encompasses both rigour and new ways of thinking’.

 

2015-2016 FULBRIGHT U.S. – ASEAN VISITING SCHOLAR INITIATIVE

MAZLANDr. Mazlan Othman
Home Institution: Academy of Sciences Malaysia
Host Institution: John Hopkins University (JHU) Systems Institute
Field of Study: Astrophysicist

Dr. Mazlan Othman was educated in Malaysia and received her PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Otago, New Zealand. On returning to Malaysia in 1981, she pioneered an academic programme on astrophysics at the National University of Malaysia and was appointed Professor of Astrophysics in 1994. She was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Department in 1990 to direct the establishment of the National Planetarium, under the Space Science Studies Division. As its first Director-General, she also led the design and manufacture of Malaysia’s first remote-sensing satellite, TiungSAT-1, launched in 2000. In 1999, she was appointed Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and, in 2002, returned to Malaysia to set up the National Space Agency (ANGKASA). As its founding Director-General, she established the National Space Centre which houses TT&C, AIT, calibration and research facilities; founded the Langkawi National Observatory; and initiated the programme which placed the world’s first remote-sensing satellite in the near-Equatorial orbit. She spearheaded the Angkasawan Programme which saw the launch of the first Malaysian astronaut to the International Space Station in 2007. That year, she left Malaysia again to resume the post of Director of UNOOSA. In 2009, she was appointed Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV). She retired from the UN in 2013 and is currently Project Director of Megascience 3.0 at the Academy of Sciences Malaysia. She is a fellow of several professional bodies and is the recipient of several national and international awards. 

 

2015-2016 HUBERT H. HUMPHREY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

SHARMILASharmilla Ganesan
Home Institution: Star Media Group
Host Institution: University Of Maryland
Field of Research: Media

Sharmilla Ganesan is a chief reporter with The Star, a leading English-language newspaper in Malaysia, with almost a decade of experience working in the media behind her. As part of Star2, the features desk, she coordinates the literary section. She also writes a variety of lifestyle-related stories and reviews, including on books, arts and film. Besides that, she has a fortnightly literary column that aims to make reading and literature accessible. Outside of work, she also writes fiction, and her short stories have been published in several Malaysian anthologies. Sharmilla graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. Subsequently, she completed her Master of Communication in RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, under the Malaysian Australia Colombo Commemoration (MACC) Scholarship. During her fellowship, Sharmilla aims to research the transition of traditional media forms to an online presence, with a focus on how feature stories and long-form journalism can evolve by using the various digital tools available today. She further looks forward to exchanging ideas and views on the changing media landscape with the other Hubert H. Humphrey fellows, and to share her insights on Malaysian media.

 

2015-2016 FULBRIGHT FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING ASSISTANT PROGRAM (FLTA)

HARJINDERHarjinder Kaur Chima a/p Sarandar Singh
Host Institution : University of Puget Sound

Harjinder Kaur is an English language teacher from Kuala Lumpur. She graduated from the University of Malaya in 2009 with a Bachelor of Education (Teaching English as a Second Language). Since then, she has had experience teaching the English language to students from various backgrounds. Harjinder has taught Malaysian and international students oral English and written communication in a private university. Currently, she is teaching English at a school in the nation’s capital. She aspires to be an accomplished educator who can impact her students in a positive way. As a recipient of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Programme grant for 2015-2016, she will be teaching the Malay language to undergraduates at her host institution, the University of Puget Sound. Apart from that, she will be sharing the beautiful and colourful Malaysian culture with her American students. She hopes to gain valuable experiences during her stint as an FLTA.


2015-2016 GLOBAL UNDERGRADUATE EXCHANGE PROGRAM

JOELJoel Thum Wen Jian
Home Institution: Sunway University
Host Institution: Grand Valley State University (GVSU)
Field of Study: Accounting and Finance

Joel Thum Wen Jian is an undergraduate student in the prestigious Sunway University of Malaysia. He is the recipient of the SUN-MAPCU scholarship in pursuing a degree in Accounting and Finance. As a student, he has been active in many clubs and events like the ECHO newsletter team, Christian Fellowship, and Harvard Asia Leadership Trek. A notable achievement would be his champion title at the regional CIMA Global Business Challenge 2015 together with his team in which they will represent Malaysia in the Global stage in Poland. Not only awarded the best speaker, Joel has proven qualities of teamwork and leadership that has helped cultivates a winning spirit with his team. He also has an excellent grade record in school and is highly commendable by his lecturers to succeed with upper first class honors. Apart from books in school, he also volunteers in several programs and events around his church organization. Joel hopes that his time in GSVU would not only be a memorable and happy one, but also a chance to exchange knowledge and experiences with another social setting. He believes in not only gaining insight but also to give back to the community. After returning from GSVU, he hopes to be able to contribute to his community with what he has gained from this UGrad Program.

RUTHRuth Loh Siaw Hui
Home Institution: University Malaysia Sarawak
Host Institution: University of New Hampshire
Field of Study: Electronic & Computer Engineering

Ruth Loh Siaw Hui is an undergraduate in Electronic & Computer Engineering from Kuching, Malaysia. She is currently enrolled in University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), class of 2017. Ruth Loh is passionate in music and serving the community. In 2008, she joined a mission team to remote Cambodia, to provide aid for those in need. Together with the team, Ruth Loh helped to distribute medical supplies and taught the children basic hygiene. With the privilege of having been trained in classical piano since young, Ruth Loh has committed to serve in the church as pianist for the choir. She had also committed to serve not one but two churches as pianist for the choir, and it was during the year where she was to sit for the Malaysia Certificate of Education (SPM) examination. Ruth Loh, with her strong determination and hardworking character was able to pass the examination with excellent results. During her secondary school years, she was also actively involved the local youth choir ministry, and has joined several local choir performances. Ruth Loh also likes to do sports, she had joined several charity runs and practices table tennis in her leisure time.

EVANGELINEvangelin a/p Simon Silvaraj
Home Institution: University of Malaya
Host Institution: Illinois State University
Field of Study: Law

Evangelin a/p Simon Silvaraj is from Ipoh,Perak. She is currently a 3rd year law student in University Malaya. She enjoys reading variety of materials during her free time. In university, she took part in activities such as Law Career Convention, where she was part of the marketing department. Her favourite area of law is family law. That specific interest induced her to do a compulsory academic research which will be published soon by her faculty. Aside from that, she has a heart for children and mathematics. She is passionately curious and constantly seeking to learn new things to be able to share a viewpoint with the people around her. She lives by the saying “Nothing in life is permanent. Stay humble”. She hopes to broaden her knowledge in the U.S. and learn about another culture as she shares hers with others.

AIK YINAik Yin Chien
Home Institution: University of Malaya
Host Institution: University of Utah
Field of Study: Law

Aik Yin Chien comes from Perak, Malaysia and is currently studying law in University of Malaya (UM). She grew up watching superhero movies, which inadvertently fueled her dreams to become someone who fights for justice. She enjoys reading novels and Tsai Chih-Chung comics, loves volleyball and has a great appreciation for fine arts and music. She joined AIESEC in 2013-2014 as the Junior Executive in the Professional Development team, and Asian Law Students Association (ALSA) in 2014-2015 as the Head of Finance and Marketing Bureau. In her free time, she plays the piano and dabbles in a capella by performing with the 9th College Choir in the annual UM Arts Festival. She hopes that by joining the UGRAD program she can expand her horizons, make friends with people from all walks of life and finally bring back useful plans to make Malaysia a better place.

 

CHOOIChooi Mun Cheah (Isabella)
Home Institution: University of Malaya
Host Institution: DePauw University
Field of Study: Law

Chooi Mun is a first year student pursuing a law degree in the University of Malaya. She aspires to become a successful humanitarian lawyer fighting for individual and female rights. Chooi Mun wants to uphold justice impartially and use law as a tool to stamp out prejudice and discrimination that prevail in the society and most importantly, to help the oppressed and the poor. She loves spending her time on carrying out social engagements and helping people in need. In her freshman year, she volunteered in a tutoring program to impart knowledge to preschool children. She is also the peer counselor of the university. Besides, she also joined various activities organized by the Community Engagement Section of the university to help raise funds for the poor and to spread legal awareness among the community. She was a delegate to the AIESEC International Youth Conference in 2014, a committee member of the UM Constitutional Team and a researcher for the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition in 2015. During her time in the States, Chooi Mun hopes to widen her global network by engaging in international discourse with peers from different parts of the world to enable her to carry out humanitarian works and services at the international level in the future.