Chuck Chuan NG - Green Sciences & Engineering - Malaysia
What three things do you do differently after your program at the East-West Center (SUSI/YSEALI)?
Over the past several years after my first ever international trip (as I have never step out of my country before) which was the SUSI Global Environmental Issues - Academic Fellowship programme back in 2011, it has been and still a progressive and transformational growth of personal development of which that I can see myself at the moment and that include of the following:
1) Expanded my thinking horizons and allow me to step out of my personal conform zone which allows me to always strike for greater heights and excellence in whatsoever fields that I am pursuing now. It has been solemnly a positive stepping stone for me to think and act out of the common box for most of the tasks/assignments (in both of my personal work and social life) that I am handling now whereby, I realized I often used to be very naive and narrow-minded in my older days. Indeed, I am seriously honoured and proud that I became who I am today and certainly must acknowledged the exposures and knowledge that I have gained throughout my first ever global experience empowerment sessions (via excursion, trips and activities) that we have conducted back in EWC.
2) All of the past SUSI programme activities conducted have directly and indirectly moulded my personal development skills (team-building, leadership, negotiation, effective communication and critical thinking). It has polished, trained as well as built up my self confidence and courage in dealing with problems and enable me to be both the problem seeker and solver at the same time in whatsoever difficulties that I encounter in my life. It has also allowed me to be persevere to witness my own vision to become reality. In fact, I have turned to be courageous to speak up for what I want to make a change for the future not for the sake of myself but more importantly for the good of everyone else.
3) Inevitably, the SUSI programme has widen my loop of international contacts and networking. I am blessed that I still have a bonded and mutual relationship contacts among my peers and other relevant stakeholders from the programmes (both local and international friends). Indeed, we do often have reunions whenever possible especially when I travelled to their home countries. Seriously, only through real friendship that can last forever as it takes a long time to grow them. Nevertheless, these continuous networking among my peers is certainly a surplus to me as it also enables me to have projects collaboration and mutual understanding of some of our common work that we share together. For instance and just to name a few, I do often keep in touch with Winz-Thailand for his research and PhD studies projects, Auji-Malaysia and other SUSI/YSEALI alumni across from various batches about any possible social and community projects together since all of us are connected through all kinds of social networking platforms (Kuala Lumpur US Embassy gathering events, LinkedIn sharing, Whatsapp group messaging, universities team-up, start-ups and etc.). No doubt, the large and continuously growing number of alumni has provided endless partnership local and global opportunities to me that I have never encountered before. As of that, I am proud to say that I am now able to walk-the-talk by applying the philosophical concept of thinking globally and to act locally.
What impact did the program have on your career?
Well, this is somehow a tough yet subjective question to answer as there is no specific milestone to evaluate the amount of positive impacts that I have achieved in my working career.
However, along the tough time in the midst of pursuing my PhD studies as well as currently serving as the Senior Lecturer cum the Head for the School of Green Sciences and Engineering at Greencity International College (KAGC) plus the Green Advisor cum Consultant and Council Board Member for Eco Club Malaysia (environmental based non-for-profit and non-governmental organization aim missionizing to lead the younger generation (Gen Y) towards green era; I have learned to realize that life was not a bed of beautiful roses but indeed filled with a lot of unwelcoming surprises, tribulation and challenges.
I turned up to understand the fact that, I have gone through many ups and downs along this journey in my early phase of my life after completed the SUSI programme and slowly when I stepped into the the working industry, it has seriously once again provide an eye opening session to me to understand the current societal (financial crisis, families burden, work-life-balance, striking for high paid jobs, etc.) and environmental (pollution, degradation, etc.) problems/issues that everyone is facing daily in their life. As of that, it has swiftly made me a better person today as I became bold, resilient and able to understand the law of nature as well as to accept and make necessary changes through Darwinian's evolutionary theory of survival of the fittest.
In short, the impacts of the SUSI programme has sparked many positive recognition and acknowledgement (knowledge and experience) in my both of my current PhD studies and working environment
What issues are you most passionate about in your daily life?
The current environmental issues that happened around us are not a regional problem, but it is now a global concern. As for the moment, I am very keen to improve the current contaminated soil problems, hence I decided to pursue my Ph.D. research in Applied Environmental Sciences (Soil Biological Remediation).
However, on the other hand, I am also the kind of person that loves meeting people from various backgrounds as it would definitely set a new platform for me to learn as well as to gain new experience. Sometimes, it is also much related to the sense of 'making a difference'. It is simply just another personal satisfaction by helping others within my capability limits. As of that, with the current position as the Green Advisor in Eco Club Malaysia, our organization actively conducted, co-organize and/or participate in various environmental activities. We believe it is crucial to educate the younger generation about the importance and educational awareness of beholding our Mother Nature.
How have you come to see leadership?
To me, a leader does not necessarily be the head of a particular club or the most popular student in the class. Nevertheless, it should be an individual that possesses the valuable characteristics of all leaders have; such as trustworthiness, good communication skills and a great passion for what he has faith in. I am proud of who I am today and I believe that I have gained a certain level of leadership in all of my past involved programmes and projects that I have conducted.
Indeed, I could be able to sum that I have exposed to many cultural differences and have met people from all walks of life by having myself serving in the community within my very own capability and capacity. It is indeed a remarkable platform for me to grow in and to prepare for my future work challenges as an environmental activist whereby global environmental matters will be very much influential for everyone in the future.
In fact, I can anticipate and foresee the significant role of community service among youths all over nationwide in just a few years’ time. At the moment, I enjoyed what I am doing and I will continue to serve my community with what I could. ‘Think and see globally but act and perform locally in order to service above self’ will always be my philosophy of a lifetime.