SpeakersKeynote and Presenters
Dr. Joy Fehr, Ph.D
Provost, La Sierra University
Title: Making Stories, Making Place, Making Sense
Abstract: Drawing from experience as a literature professor, chief academic officer, and university provost, Dr. Fehr calls us to passionate, purposeful, and principled research through the lens of her own investigations into the narrative shaping of the places we inhabit. Since, as Pat Sheeran notes, “land and place are made up of language as much as, if not more than, they are made of earth and buildings,” stories are key elements in understanding the world around us (1).
To demonstrate this, Dr. Fehr identifies one of the narratives of her first home place, the province of Alberta in Canada. Using advertisements, film, and published stories, Dr. Fehr will explain how a particular narrative repeatedly appears in the various depictions of this province. Alberta has been and continues to be written as a gendered space, but other versions of Alberta undermine the strength of what may be considered Alberta’s prevailing narrative. Stories about Alberta women reveal that they refuse to remain in their places. Their restless energy undoes the illusion of a stable male province. Other groups appear in Alberta writing as well. Alberta’s aboriginal peoples and immigrants of color find their way into stories that pretend their exclusion. These writings of Alberta indicate a resistance to categorizing the place. Consequently, Dr. Fehr explains, stories of Alberta often focus on movement and travel.
With that framework, Dr. Fehr suggests how stories of other places—such as Canada’s Arctic, the United States, Greece, England, Peru, and Israel—can be understood. In conclusion, she offers a draft analysis of writing about Thailand and invites audience members to participate in revising this most recent iteration of her research into the narrative construction of place.
Dr. Danny Ivan Rantung, Ph.D
President, Asia-Pacific International University
Muaklek, Saraburi, Thailand
Title: Adventist Education Trends in Southern Asia-Pacific Division
Abstract: Adventist educational centers have played a key role in anchoring student in the faith and in preparing leaders and for their professions. Yet, there is concern that the distinctive Adventist profile of our educational centers is being eroded. Therefore the purpose of the study is to present: the current statistics of our division educational system; to acknowledge the leading voice that set the conceptual foundation and projected the vision of Adventist Education; to summarize the core characteristics of the Adventist brand of education; to examine the encouraging trends and concerns regarding the status and future of Adventist education; and to outline nine factors that can strengthen the identity and mission of Adventist academies, colleges and universities. Studies have revealed five (5) encouraging trends and five (5) trends that should cause concern for Adventist educators in SSD territories concerning the direction of the Adventist education. The encouraging trends are: Overall growth in institutions/students; increased recognition for the value of SDA education; renewed emphasis on Christian formation; growing attention to service/mission; and to develop leaders. The concerning trends are: decline in students/member ratios; impact of cultural forces that weaken our identity; increasing challenge leading and teaching; decline in church support for education; and the decreasing parents’ ability to pay.
Dr. Mirriam Narbarte, Ph.D
VPAA, Adventist University of the Philippines
Silang, Cavite, Philippines
Title: Research Involvement, Motivation, and University Initiatives as Agents for Enhancing Research Culture and Quality
Abstract: Research is an essential component of a higher education system. This activity is the backbone of all areas in academic community. In fact, conducting research within a profession enhances the professional and individual development in expanding knowledge. This paper determined the involvement and motivation of university faculty in research and research-related activities. It further discusses the university research initiatives as agents in enhancing and promoting research culture and quality. Data from the university records and survey questionnaires were used to determine the involvement of faculty. University research initiatives and other information needed in this study were generated from the university accreditation documents and from research and faculty manual. For the last five years, there is an increasing faculty research involvement. The top five research-related activities involvement are: sat as a panel member in an oral defense; mentored undergraduate; supervised undergraduate thesis; enriched self on research methodologies, statistics, and research writing; and presented a paper in the national and international conferences. On the other hand, the factors that motivate the involvement in research and research-related activities among university faculty are: utilization of research; personal satisfaction; build and expand network; research capability programs of the University; and support of the administration. Research initiatives were created and implemented by the university and spearheaded by the University Research Center to enhance research culture and quality. The research initiatives were based on the goals articulated by National Higher Education Research Agenda (NHERA-2).
Dr. Reymand Hutabarat, Ph.D
President, Universitas Adventist Indonesia
Title: The Role of International Scholars Conference towards Faculty and Institutional Growth
Abstract: First of all I would like to express my appreciation to AIU who have initiated this International Forum Establishment consisting of 4 Universities within the Southern Asia-Pacific Division territory (SSD) namely: 1) AIU, 2) AUP, 3) UNAI, 4) UNKLAB.
The first meeting was held at the AIU campus in October 2013; Second in AUP, 2014; third in 2015 at UNAI; and fourth in 2016 at UNKLAB. In 2017 we are back together in AIU. This means that the Forum is going well and successful.
However, the positive outcome of this conference is only felt by us alone, and have not reached the community directly because the results of our forum and research results are still within this scope: 1) To Improve our relationship as lecturers, that we get to know each other. 2) The results of research that we present, help us to increase the academic rank issued by the government. 3) The results of this study also help to improve the status of Universities in Higher Education Institutions. Thus, it has no direct benefits to the public in general, therefore, UNAI sees the importance of building a research center to serve the public or corporate companies that require research services. This is important because there are 3 pillars of higher education that we adopted int eh the education system adopted in Indonesia there are 3 pillars of higher education, namely: 1) Teaching, 2) Research, and 3) Community Service.
Number 1 and 2 are covered in this International forum, but number 3 is still neglected. Many companies set aside large funds for the cost of research services they need. The needs for Community research vary such as Statistics, Science/Biology, Information Technology, Finance, Health etc. Therefore in the future, UNAI Foundation, plans to build a research center building. When UNAI Research Center starts, the researchers from 4 universities could work together to produce quality research to fulfill the needs of the community, companies, as well as government.
Dr. Stanley S. Nangoy, Ph.D
Assistant Professor, Universitas Klabat
Title: The SDA Higher Educations’ New Challenge: To Make Sense of the Nonsense of Publish and Perish Culture
Abstract: Emphasis on the publication of scientific information and discoveries was initially introduced to inform the public of new discoveries and developments. This quickly changed into a device to measure the worth of academics to an institution and in order to measure the standing of tertiary institutions themselves. Without difficulty, academic ranking soon became tied to the publication statistics generated by the individual. Over emphasis of the “publish or perish” theme has led to mediocrity in many publications, the exponential growth of new journals, the growth of unethical practices, and a reduction in feelings of worth by employees and an increase in their stress levels. In order to encourage research output figures, some institutions have engaged in monetary rewards for publications and this has been refined to recognize the impact of the journal on the reading public. The more times a journal article is read the greater the impact and the greater the reward received by the authors.
The consequences of the pressures to publish being linked to market forces has been seen in unethical practices being adopted by an alarming number of scientists. These have varied from fabrication of results, selective reporting of data, to questionable research practices, and to over emphasis of the significance of findings. Country differences have been noted. Where cozy relationships exist between government agencies, business, the media and academics, all sorts of unethical practices may be experienced. The scene has been further complicated by the emergence of fraudulent publishers and predatory journals, which publish for a fee and promise a peer reviewed, quality product where, in fact, they fail miserably. Different types of deception abound to confuse the uninitiated.