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University Day 2019 @ IMU: Celebrating Women’s Role in Nation Building

03 Apr 2019

Kuala Lumpur, 8 March 2019 – International Medical University (IMU) celebrated its University Day, an event held annually to commemorate the university conferring its university status in 1999. This year, the event was held in conjunction with International Women’s Day; hence the theme “Celebrating Women’s Role in Nation Building” was chosen for the event. A line-up of activities was organised specially for the event. The day started with U-Race 2019 in the morning, which saw fun camaraderie between students and staff who moved groups in and around IMU and its vicinity to decipher clues. This was followed by a Tea with the Chancellor whereby IMU’s Student Representative Council had the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and experiences with IMU Chancellor YBhg Datuk Gan Ee Kiang while sharing updates on student initiatives and aspirations. The University Day’s main event began at 3pm with a welcome note and doa recital followed by a presentation on the University’s achievements for 2018. For a full list of these achievements, please refer to the Vice Chancellor Report 2018. Following that was a special address by IMU Alumna Class of ME2/05 Dr Sophia Rasheeqa Ismail, who spoke about her experience as a woman in research and science as well as her own personal development as an individual and single mother. She talked about the support she received from her mother through her amazing journey as a dyslexic child and overcoming the hurdles to obtain her medical degree and how she believes that “behind every great woman is an even greater woman, and that is my mum.” Dr Sophia, who is currently a Medical Officer at the Institute of Medical Research (Ministry of Health) and pursuing her PhD in public health research, further shared her personal anecdote on the challenges she underwent to receive the education she sought, and how determination and self-belief paved the way for her to achieve her dreams.

“Ask yourself… why do you need to get a medical degree? Why do you need to specialise? Why are you willing to invest so much time and effort for this? When you have the answers for these questions, you will then need to believe in yourself and persevere. By believing in yourself, it will open up endless possibilities. Get rid of your fears and self-doubt in order to build self-esteem and self-confidence. So first, believe that it is possible – nothing is impossible if you put your head and mind into it. Then visualise your dreams and work hard to achieve those dreams,” said Dr Sophia.

In line with the theme for the day, Dr Sophia also touched on the sacrifices a woman has to make when it comes to her career. “It is common perception that when you are a career woman, you are expected to sacrifice something, be it a family life or even your family. The sacrifices of a woman for their career are somewhat seen in a different way from men. Therefore, it is important you have role models, women of our time, that have had success, as a driver to your career. Being a woman is not a disadvantage and being a working mother is also not a disadvantage.” It was a truly inspiring speech for everyone at the event, regardless of gender.

IMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Abdul Aziz Baba then presented the State of the University Address, highlighting the various achievements by students and staff, the development of the IMU Hospital, and how it will impact the university’s long-term plans. “In whatever we do, we need to focus on excellence, we need to benchmark against the best. It’s not sufficient to benchmark locally but at the very least regionally, if not against the best in the world. More and more we need to collaborate with like-minded partners and we need to consider the frolic use of technology in how we deliver our programmes,” said Prof Abdul Aziz Baba in his address. The 2018 Vice-Chancellor’s Report that encapsulates the university’s year in review was presented to IMU Group Chairman YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman. IMU's University Day Celebrations Embracing diversity of culture and togetherness, our international and local guests were entertained with performances by our talented students. The first performance saw the dikir barat team, Cak aaa from the Malay Cultural Society, performing ‘Ewe Bule’ (Ewah Booleh) or Wau Bulan. This was followed by a harmonious performance fused with classical Chinese and Indian music instruments and a cello. An international trio sister team, who are all studying the IMU MBBS programme, lit up the stage with their colourful costumes and vibrant interpretation of traditional and pop music with classical Sri Lankan dance. IMU staff members were acknowledged for their achievements and dedication with the presentation of the Staff Achievement Awards and Long-Service Awards. The Staff Achievement Awards included outstanding contributions in research and publications, individual development, teaching excellence and community service among others. This year, a total of 44 notable staff were recognised for their long service which included Prof Esha Sinha Nee Dasgupta and A/Prof Dr Jagmohni Kaur from School of Medicine who received their 25 years’ service award. A passion for voluntary activities led to an IMU medical student receiving the Aflame Student Award The Aflame Student Award was presented next. The award, which was created in 2012 by IMU, highlights the importance of humane principles practices among students in IMU, and recipients are chosen for their contribution to society. This year, the Aflame Student Award went to Brenda Chin Huey Zien, a medical student in her final year. As the winner, Brenda was awarded RM1,000 cash along with a certificate and the Aflame trophy. She was also given the opportunity to nominate a beneficiary to receive a donation of RM5,000. This year, the recipient of the donation was Refuge for the Refugees. The final presentation for the day was the prize-giving ceremony for the winners of U-Race 2019.

Prize Winning Team
Winners (RM150 worth of hamper and movie tickets) Team Let’s Dooit
First Runner-Up Team Diversity
Second Runner-Up Team IM4U

To end the auspicious event, VIPs and guests were invited to enjoy delicious refreshments specially prepared for the occasion.

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