Prof. Emily Chan (left) of the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care and Prof. So Ho-wai Suzanne (right) of the Department of Psychology were conferred the 2017 UGC Award for Teaching Excellence by the University Grants Committee (UGC). The presentation ceremony was held on 7 September. This year CUHK scholars won two out of the three awards presented.
Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung, CUHK Vice-Chancellor, and Prof. Poon Wai-yin, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, expressed their heartfelt congratulations to Professor Chan and Professor So. Professor Poon said, ‘We have thousands of good teachers at CUHK, and we are very proud of them.’
General Faculty Members/Teams Category
Prof. Emily Chan
In the UGC citation for Professor Chan, she is hailed for developing ‘various innovative global field teaching programmes which require multidisciplinary collaborations, transnational partnerships and transborder technology-enhanced teaching methods to nurture students. Her research leadership in climate change and health, disaster preparedness and response, as well as global health complements her teaching with research-based materials.’
Professor Chan had over a decade-long experience in humanitarian intervention in the world before joining the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK in 2006. She helped to establish the Collaborating Centre of Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response (CCOUC) in 2011 and subsequently served as the director. CCOUC aims to minimize the negative health impact of disasters experienced by vulnerable populations in the region by serving as a platform for research, education, and community knowledge transfer in the areas of disaster and medical humanitarian crisis policy development, planning, and response.
Professor Chan said, ‘The award is a recognition of the importance of knowledge transfer of disaster and medical humanitarian response and research on disaster risk management in the local tertiary education sector. I could not have achieved this distinguished result without the support from my team. I would like to extend my vote of thanks to my colleagues who have been working hard together with me, and to the students who gave me tremendous support. The enthusiasm from students in the field of disaster and medical humanitarian work inspires me to go the extra mile.’
Professor Chan plans to utilize the award grant to develop a new field action demonstrative training site on the Ancient Silk Road, with a view to enhancing students’ learning experience.
Early Career Faculty Members Category
Prof. So Ho-wai Suzanne
Professor So is praised by UGC for her enthusiasm in ‘translating basic research into practical applications. She emphasizes the importance of putting students in the centre of learning. She designs and reviews her teaching based on students’ feedback, and inspires students to have breakthroughs in areas they feel passionate about. To deepen students’ procedural knowledge and enhance their interpersonal skills, Professor So has successfully incorporated the Self-Practice/Self-Reflection pedagogy in clinical psychology training.’
Joining CUHK in 2012, Professor So had received the CUHK Young Researcher Award and the Faculty of Social Science Exemplary Teaching Award. She incorporates her years of frontline experience as clinical psychologist into teaching and research, and has been researching on psychopathology and clinical psychological interventions. Professor So has also incorporated an innovative pedagogy by introducing the new Self-Practice/Self-Reflection (SP/SR) approach, turning CUHK into the first tertiary institution in Asia adopting this approach in clinical psychology training.
Professor So said, ‘I would like to extend my appreciation to all members of the Department of Psychology who gave me great confidence in adopting an innovative pedagogical approach to improve the learning efficiency of students. Moreover, the proactive feedback from my students is also a driving force in my work.’
Professor So plans to use the award grant to create a set of micro-modules and introduce activity-based reflective learning to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of learning using flipped classroom and experiential learning approaches.
This article was originally published in No. 503, Newsletter in Sep 2017.