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IMU Confers Honorary Degree at its October Convocation Ceremonies

01 Nov 2016

21 – 22 October 2016 – International Medical University’s Chancellor, YBhg Dato’ Dr Amir Abbas, presided over convocation ceremonies at IMU’s campus in Bukit Jalil to confer more than 300 postgraduate and undergraduate degrees to members of the graduating class of October 2016. At the same event, a notable individual, Emeritus Professor James Roland Lawrence, was bestowed the Honorary Doctor of Medical Education in recognition for his extensive contribution towards the development and growth of medical education. U 076 Emeritus Professor James Roland Lawrence who is also fondly known as Jim Lawrence, was born in Mt Gambier, South Australia in 1930.He received his MBBS with Distinction in 1954 from the University of Adelaide and became a Resident Medical Officer at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Adelaide Children’s Hospital. Throughout his career, he had contributed extensively to the evolution of more modern integrated undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and assessment in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney and has been an effective member of numerous faculty and university committees. Jim’s contribution towards medical education in Malaysia is extended to the development of the medical programme of IMU. Representing the University of Sydney between 2000 and 2005, he was an active member of IMU’s Academic Council. During the development and expansion of IMU’s Partner Medical Schools (PMS) in Australasia, Jim played a part in influencing partnerships with some prestigious medical schools in Australia. In 2006, the University of Sydney officially joined IMU’s consortium of PMS for Medical Education and PhD training, and paved the way for another collaboration with the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Pharmacy in 2011 which recognises credit exemptions from IMU for its Master of Pharmacy programme. Over the years, Jim continues to be interested in the development of IMU and has always been available for advice to both senior and junior staff members.

Jim and the other graduates who attended one of the two convocation ceremonies on 22 October were joined by their family members to celebrate their success at the auditorium of the University’s Bukit Jalil campus. Live broadcast of the ceremony as it unfolds inside the auditorium was made available at other lecture theatres in the University, providing an option for those who are not in the auditorium the opportunity to witness this very special event.

YBhg Dato’ Dr Amir Abbas’s advice to our graduates is “Most of all, it is very important for you to maintain a high degree of professionalism, communicate well, work in a team and respect human dignity at all times. You would have to learn to stay focused and determined, be prepared to learn and to take the hard knocks, make the hard decisions and also take the occasional pat on the back.” U 009U 027 This convocation is significant to the University as it is celebrating the graduation of its first cohort of Bachelor of Science (Hons) Nutrition students. Dean, School of Health Sciences, Prof Winnie Chee said, “It is indeed a milestone, a momentous and joyful day for us as we witness the graduation of our pioneer batch of BSc (Hons) Nutrition students. We are very proud be able to train qualified nutritionists who can contribute to building a healthier nation. Our graduates are equipped with the skills and competency to assist individuals and groups to adopt healthier eating habits, conduct nutrition education programmes and contribute in any other areas which require nutrition science knowledge. IMU graduates in nutrition also have good communication skills and work-place learning before their graduation to better equip them to succeed in their careers ahead. I sincerely congratulate them and wish them all the best in their future endeavours!” PPC9 Dr Tan Seok Shin, the Programme Director of the BSc (Hons) Nutrition added, “All the students have successfully completed this 3 years programme that is designed based on the requirements of Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) as well as the current market needs. Students are prepared by the programme to be able to perform as an entry level nutritionist upon graduation. We commend our graduates and we are confident that they will shine in their future undertakings. We are pleased to note that 70% of the nutrition graduates have gained employment upon graduation. Our Tun Zahir Merit Award recipient, Ng Yeng Yi, is working as a corporate nutritionist with one of the world’s leading food company.” U 111 In his speech at the convocation ceremonies, Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdul Aziz Baba, reminded the graduates “Remember that passion’s greatest workmate is wisdom. With wisdom comes compassion, and that may mean going out of your comfort zone to bring your abilities to communities that need it most. Bear in mind that those who need your help most, may at times be those who can give very little in return. Help them anyway, because then you will truly be answering the call of the health profession: to bring healing where it is most needed, as students Taha and Bushra did. When they reached out to the community in need, they did not do so in the hopes of recognitions like the prestigious Diana Award. And yet, win it, they did, because the Diana Award is awarded to courageous, caring, compassionate young people who are able to transform the lives of others.” One of the graduates who received her degree at these convocation ceremonies is nursing graduate, Wong Ai Hui, who scored a Distinction in the Nursing Board National Licensure Examination held on 7 September 2016. U 053DSCF9584 “I was really excited when I received the news that I scored a Distinction in the Nursing Board Licensure Exam. It was unexpected. At that moment, I felt that all my efforts and hard work in these 4 years were paid off. I was grateful to meet so many knowledgeable and dedicated teachers and wonderful people throughout my university life. I have learnt not only knowledge and skills, but also about attitudes from my nursing lecturers and clinical instructors. They helped me to define a “good” nurse, who upholds the professional nursing standards and integrity, respect and care for the well-being of others. I appreciate every encounter with the nurses and patients in the clinical settings that inspired me to become a better nurse and a better person,” said Ai Hui.

The degree conferment ceremonies on 22 October 2016 are part of the convocation ceremonies that were conducted over two days.The University kicked off the convocation celebrations with a Prize Presentation Ceremony on 21 October 2016 to celebrate the academic excellence of the University’s outstanding students.

DSCF9597 Winner of Tun Zahir Merit Award from BSc (Hons) Nutrition, Ng Yeng Yi said: “I was very surprised and grateful when I heard I was the first candidate from the programme to receive the Tun Zahir Merit Award. First and foremost, I would like to thank my friends for their continuous support and encouragement throughout my study in IMU. I would also like to express a million thanks to my family for supporting my study at IMU. I would like to apologise for not accompanying them all the time due to my academic commitment. Not forgetting thanks to my lecturers for guiding me throughout my studies. Lecturers from BSc (Hons) Nutrition programme are very knowledgeable, approachable and willing to clarify our queries anytime. They will guide us to the right direction when we are lost. I was very thankful for everything IMU has given to me, be it in terms of knowledge, values and opportunities which had help me grow a lot in this journey. This definitely will help me to become more prepared for future career challenges.” Yeng Yi and other high achievers from three Schools received their awards at the Ceremony on 21 October, including those from the medicine, pharmaceutical chemistry and psychology programmes. More photos at IMU Facebook.

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