MUIC 360 o

July-December 2020

The Best of 2020 Year-End Review

This special double issue (covering the months of July to December 2020) highlights MUIC’s fast recovery from the pandemic-caused lockdown: The graduation of Batch 2020, the launching of a new transdisiplinary academic program, and the relentless efforts to sustain the college’s international linkages. As MUIC looks forward to 2021, we at MUIC 360° Magazine wish everyone a safe and prosperous new year ahead.

GRADUATION 2020
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
NO LIMITS
COPING WITH COVID-19
TECH TRENDS 2021
YEAR-END REVIEW
STAYING CONNECTED

Graduation

MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN:
“This day marks the beginning of the rest of your professional lives. Savor each moment. We are proud of you for having become the best that you can be. Congratulations!” Assoc. Prof. Chulathida Chomchai, MD, Dean of MUIC

NO LIMITS TO LEARNING

Five years ago, Mr. Supanut “Nut” Leepaisomboon entered Mahidol University International College (MUIC) as a freshman determined to let nothing stop him from attending university studies despite his physical disability. Born with congenital glaucoma, attempts at corneal transplants failed when he was still a baby, leaving him with one blind eye and the other with very poor eyesight. Despite this, he was able to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration major in International Business this year mainly through assistive technology, his very supportive parents and his own intelligence and determination.

WERE YOUR LECTURERS AND CLASSMATES SUPPORTIVE OF YOU?
My teachers and classmates are very kind and friendly. They’re willing to work with me if they are asked to and I had a good time working with them. One of them actually became my very close friend.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU ENCOUNTERED? HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH THEM?
One of the challenges was accessing class materials. But this was overcome by asking the Disability Support Service (DSS) staff to convert all of the digitally scanned materials into MS Word files that I can read.

ASIDE FROM YOUR REGULAR CLASSES, DID YOU JOIN EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?
Yes. I joined several activities of student clubs and even went on field trips, the most memorable of which was a visit to Mahasawat Canal near the campus where I got to work with other students.

 

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE YOU HAD AS AN MUIC STUDENT?
The most memorable was being an exchange student at the University of Sussex in the UK during the 1st Semester of Academic Year 2018-2019. I was able to visit the British Museum, the Science Museum, the Harry Potter studio, Oxford University, Stonehenge, Bath and other famous landmarks. My father and I even attended a real football match at Arsenal stadium. Most important, I experienced the modern conveniences that the UK can offer to persons with disabilities like me. There were Braille blocks or tactile marks on streets, and elevators have buttons with Braille labels or buttons with embossed floor numbers (in most cases the elevators would have both, with Braille labels right next to the buttons themselves). They also have audio indicators. University of Sussex has volunteers who took notes for me during lectures as well.

WHAT ARE YOUR IMMEDIATE GOALS AFTER GRADUATING FROM MUIC?
I’m now enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws in International Business Law program at Thammasat University, with plans to go on the university’s 3+1 program. With my business degree from MUIC, I’m also considering several business ideas. Being knowledgeable in both law and business would be beneficial for my future business. But my long-term goal is to establish and manage a non-government organization that would promote research and development into new technologies that would help persons with disabilities.

ASIDE FROM YOUR REGULAR CLASSES, DID YOU JOIN EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?
Yes. I joined several activities of student clubs and even went on field trips, the most memorable of which was a visit to Mahasawat Canal near the campus where I got to work with other students.

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE YOU HAD AS AN MUIC STUDENT?
The most memorable was being an exchange student at the University of Sussex in the UK during the 1st Semester of Academic Year 2018-2019. I was able to visit the British Museum, the Science Museum, the Harry Potter studio, Oxford University, Stonehenge, Bath and other famous landmarks. My father and I even attended a real football match at Arsenal stadium. Most important, I experienced the modern conveniences that the UK can offer to persons with disabilities like me. There were Braille blocks or tactile marks on streets, and elevators have buttons with Braille labels or buttons with embossed floor numbers (in most cases the elevators would have both, with Braille labels right next to the buttons themselves). They also have audio indicators. University of Sussex has volunteers who took notes for me during lectures as well.

WHAT ARE YOUR IMMEDIATE GOALS AFTER GRADUATING FROM MUIC?
I’m now enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws in International Business Law program at Thammasat University, with plans to go on the university’s 3+1 program. With my business degree from MUIC, I’m also considering several business ideas. Being knowledgeable in both law and business would be beneficial for my future business. But my long-term goal is to establish and manage a non-government organization that would promote research and development into new technologies that would help persons with disabilities.

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO FELLOW STUDENTS WHO ALSO HAVE TO OVERCOME PHYSICAL BARRIERS?

Determine what you want to do in your life. Try your best. Never give up. Enjoy college life as much as you can. Try going on an exchange program for at least one trimester.

COPING WITH COVID-19

The Covid-19 pandemic and its resulting lockdown and travel restrictions in many countries has created a negative impact on the economy, wreaking havoc on small and medium enterprises. MUIC 360° Magazine was able to interview two MUIC alumni and how their businesses managed to survive the pandemic.

SOURCE

EXPANDING SERVICES
TO SURVIVE

MR. SIRADHANAI PHUNGNOI
(Film Production, Class of 2014)

WHAT IS THE NAME AND NATURE OF YOUR BUSINESS?
My company’s name is Littlebee Lab Co., Ltd. It is a video postproduction company focusing on commercials.

WHAT WERE THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF COVID-19 TO YOUR BUSINESS?
My company barely had any clients during those times which resulted in a decline of the company’s revenue.

TO COUNTER THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF COVID-19, WHAT CHANGES DID YOU INTRODUCE IN YOUR BUSINESS?
I pivoted my company from a post-production company to a full one-stop service solution for video productions.

AFTER MAKING THESE CHANGES, HOW IS YOUR BUSINESS NOW?
We’re in a transition right now. So we don’t really see a sudden change, but I believe I will attract more clients once the transition is completed.

DO YOU HAVE OTHER IMMEDIATE PLANS TO MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS WOULD SURVIVE / IMPROVE?
We’re also building an online platform (web application) for our clients to produce their videos faster, cheaper and better.

PUSHING FOR A NEW PRODUCT MR. THANANONT TEERAKULPISUT (International Business, Class of 2012)

WHAT IS THE NAME AND NATURE OF YOUR BUSINESS?
RC Package Design Co. Ltd. My company produces premium packages such as boxes (PU, PVC, paper, silk) and pouches for jewelries, pens, watches, cosmetics, gifts, souvenirs and other products.

TO COUNTER THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF COVID-19, WHAT CHANGES DID YOU INTRODUCE IN YOUR BUSINESS?
When demand for surgical masks increased (in the early days of the pandemic), I decided to manufacture fabric masks. As my company has been manufacturing premium small boxes and pouches for 20 years, producing fabric masks was not that difficult. The lockdown period was also the peak time for the sales of our fabric masks. There was enough demand to keep our factory running at full capacity, even had to do 2-4 hours of overtime. However, sales dropped so fast when the lockdown was slowly lifted. To adjust to the changing situation, I decided to offer premium quality fabric masks. For this new product, I did online advertising intensively and also studied every type of fabric material and patterns, logo designs, and even the type of water repellant that can be used.

AFTER MAKING THESE CHANGES, HOW IS YOUR BUSINESS NOW?
Most of our customers are very happy about the product quality. Aside from definitely boosting sales, this new product also gave me the chance to work together again with my mom. She is very good with production while my expertise is in sales and marketing. My mother and I and all of our 40 employees are now very happy because we know that we can survive this crisis.

DO YOU HAVE OTHER IMMEDIATE PLANS TO MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS WILL SURVIVE / IMPROVE?
Confidence in our company’s ability to manufacture premium quality face masks for the Thai market is really high. Now we are planning to export our products. We’ll join a major international exhibition next year so we’re busy ensuring that our product will meet international standards.

It might be the unlikely partnership of two academic disciplines— art and science—that is as far apart from each other as can be. Yet the Bachelor of Arts and Science in Creative Technology also combines the best of both worlds—infusing ice-cold cuttingedge technology with the passion and freedom of creativity. The Bachelor of Arts and Science in Creative Technology is the first transdisciplinary program offered by Mahidol University that incorporates courses in computer science, transmedia design, and communication design. With its combination of arts and sciences, the program aims to prepare its students for newly emerging career opportunities of the 21st Century. In addition, this program offers additional curriculum flexibility to customize individual learning choices using Mahidol University International College’s (MUIC) distinctive

I-Design electives as well as the program’s electives offered by MUIC, Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Ratchasuda College, and College of Music. Explaining the rationale of the new program, Prof. Banchong Mahaisavariya, MD, President of Mahidol University, said that “It is Mahidol University’s intention to offer an educational program that has both flexibility and integration of several academic disciplines.” Dr. Pattanasak Mongkolwat, Dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, described the new Creative Technology major as “a world-class program that inspires learners to apply advanced

computing and multimedia technologies and to think and work like inventors and entrepreneurs. (The program was) created for fast-changing dynamic and disruptive working environment for the 21st Century.” Asked about the role of MUIC in this new program, Assoc. Prof. Chulathida Chomchai, MD, MUIC Dean, explained that the College “acts essentially as a flexible education platform upon which this new major rests. This allows the other key players—Faculty of Information and Computer Technology (ICT), the College of Music, and Ratchasuda College, to interact and collaborate academically using this new platform structure.”

During the signing of the memorandum of understanding on November 14, 2020 between the colleges involved in this new program, Dr. Chompunuch Pongjit, MUIC Associate Dean for Educational Affairs, laid out the three main traits that set this program apart from the others: The combination of technology, design and inclusivity; learning from the best, and immersive learning experience.

LEARNING EXPERIENCES
Such a unique program needless to say appeals to a certain type of student. Ajarn Ploy Nikadanont, a lecturer in MUIC’s Fine and Applied Arts Division and the Communication Design representative to the Creative Technology Committee, said that “this program suits students who have a wide range of interests because it is a combination of arts and sciences. If they are interested in computer science and communication design this program would be the right place for them.” In such a hybrid program, how could the learning experience and environment be described? “Most of the courses offered by CDP are studio-based, the coursework stresses hands-on experience, practical and constructive application of critical thinking skills and the effective communication of innovative ideas. Class sizes are small and dedicated instructors work closely with students to ensure favorable outcomes,” Ajarn Ploy said. On the other hand, Dr. Kritya Bunchongchit, Creative Technology Program Director, said, “Even when a course does not have any lab credit, practical exercises are given when applicable. For example, the first-trimester courses, such as ITCT 101 Computing Technologies and MSCT 111 Keyboard I, will have practical exercises and examinations.” In these courses, students will learn various technologies, traditional and potential ones, to deliver digital solutions that are practical as well as communicative

“If students wish to take the Media & Technology track for their major elective courses, they could explore AR/VR/MR (Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality & Mixed Reality). In addition, they could use the I-Design option to foster their computing knowledge and skills with Computer Science minors in Computer Science, Applied Data Science, and Web/ Mobile Developer. Otherwise, the I-Design option could be used to explore their multidisciplinary interest in any major at MUIC to strengthen students’ career goals,” Dr. Kritya said.

On the creative side, there are transmedia design courses where students will study process and practice that provides students with the understanding of design principle and design foundation for new media with current technologies of various applications, techniques, and platforms for the motion graphic creation and production, according to Ajarn Ploy. I-DESIGN ELECTIVE PROGRAM One of the key components of the new Creative Technology major is the I-Design Elective Program which gives students the flexibility in choosing the courses they think they need to enroll in. Under this set-up, students can construct the composition of their general education courses and electives through several categories: minor programs, certificate programs, and major courses offered in MUIC, in MU or in partner institutions. Students can opt to

further enrich their specialization in a particular discipline like science by enrolling in additional science courses or they can diversify their academic learning by taking up additional courses in another discipline like business administration or psychology. I-Design also gives an opportunity to high school students, undergraduate students, and professionals to form a portfolio of courses with which they want to specialize in. “Under I-Design, alumni can upgrade their skills through a module comprising several courses. Professionals who want to engage in further studies for personal reasons can also enroll in these modules. For instance, medical doctors who want to learn more about music. High school students in K-10, K-11 or K-12 can register in this program before they enter the university. Later, they can add all modules they had already taken to the ones they will enroll in to complete their degree. For undergraduates, if they want to proceed to graduate studies after finishing their bachelor’s degree, they can choose from a list of graduate courses and enroll in them now,” said Prof. Banchong Mahaisavariya, MD, MU President.

MUSIC AND INCLUSIVITY
Dr. Narong Prangcharoen, Dean of the College of Music observed that “nowadays, music has unquestionably become a necessary part of people’s lives. That is the reason why music is included as one of the core parts of the new Creative Technology program.” “Imagine 21st Century professionals like animator, multimedia designer, graphic technician, web designer, or social media communicator, who can complete the music component of their works by themselves with comprehensive musical skills and knowledge, expertise in related music technology, and true understanding of implication of music in people’s daily life. This is what will be contributed by the music side of the program,” he added.

One laudable aspect of this new program is on its emphasis on inclusivity, as pointed out by Dean Wachara Riewpaiboon of Ratchasuda College: “We will provide students with the learning and experience with Multi Modal Communication and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to support and reduce barriers to effective communication and collaboration with diverse people in inclusive society.” As a result, Dean Pattanasak of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, said learners who complete this program will be “multidisciplinary, competent, and well-rounded individuals. They will be able to immediately contribute their knowledge and skill with anyone since day one or running their own companies after their graduation.” “I see our Creative Tech graduates having creative, original ideas that are well-integrated across many disciplines, and being able to deploy these ideas so that they have economic, social, and most of all personal, values to so many people in society,” added Dean Chulathida of MUIC. Dean Wachara of Ratchasuda College, added, “Upon graduation, the students will be able to create the initiatives that meet the needs and expectations of inclusive

societies and become leader in the field of creative technology in national and international level.” CAREER OPPORTUNITIES With such knowledge and skills gained from this program, along with imbibing the virtues of inclusivity and sensitivity to others, graduates of Creative Technology are assured of a good career. “Nowadays, the demand for creative technology skills is quite high in the labor market and I believe that it will be higher in the near future,” Ajarn Ploy said. Mahidol University, with the close cooperation of the four colleges and institutes, is indeed bravely charting a new direction in higher learning—combining several academic disciplines in order to successfully equip a new generation of students for a much better future.

CAREERS IN CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY
1. MEDIA CREATOR
• ANIMATOR/MODELER
• DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCER
• MULTIMEDIA DESIGNER
• TRANSMEDIA DATA ILLUSTRATOR

2. TECHNOLOGICAL CREATOR
• INCLUSIVE SOCIETY TECHNOLOGIST
• INTERACTIVE GRAPHICS TECHNICIAN (VR/AR/XR)
• WEB DESIGNER
• UI/UX DESIGNER

3. SOCIAL MEDIA/ONLINE COMMUNICATOR

“I see the Bachelor of Arts and Science in Creative Technology program as a perfect mix between range and depth of higher education that is offered in our institution. I say range because this program spans the breadth of skills that will allow graduates to use computer technology creatively. The well-rounded experience of 21st Century, skillbased general education creates a global mindset and sets the tone for the program. Then, years 2 and 3 allow students to explore the depth of multiple disciplines from computer science to communication design to music, all the while creating an awareness that technology must act as a medium to include all people with experiences at Rachasuda College. Finally, the I-Design courses which are of the student’s choosing will act to further enrich and expand the student’s learning goals at MUIC.”

Assoc. Prof. Chulathida Chomchai, MD, MUIC Dean

KEEPING INTERNATIONAL LINKS OPEN

Even as Mahidol University International College (MUIC) imposed a lockdown in late March 2020 as part of preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus, it sought ways to maintain its international relations with current and potential partner universities. According to the International Affairs Section, MUIC was still able to sign memorandums of understanding (MOU) with four top-ranked universities including NEOMA Business School in France, FH Münster – University of Applied Sciences in Germany, Kozminski University in Poland, and Zurich University of Applied Sciences (School of Engineering and School of Management and Law) in Switzerland. On the other hand, MUIC is finalizing its agreement with Tampere University in Finland and University of Bristol in the UK With regard to student exchange, MUIC welcomed 13 inbound students for Trimester 3, Academic Year 2019-2020, although their classes were conducted online as Thailand was on lockdown and all inbound flights had been halted. With the Thai government slowly relaxing the lockdown restrictions beginning in May 2020, MUIC’s Student Exchange Unit also started resuming student mobility beginning Trimester 1 of Academic Year 2020-2021, when it welcomed 18 inbound students, five of whom entered Thailand after undergoing stringent steps including a 14-day quarantine while the rest attended online classes in their respective home countries.

For outbound, the International Affairs Section was able to nominate six MUIC students to participate in the exchange program. Five of them were able to go abroad to attend face-toface classes in the respective partner universities’ campuses in Germany, South Korea and Denmark, while the sixth student stayed in Thailand and attended online classes with one of MUIC’s partner universities in Japan. In the meantime, the Project Development Unit (PDU), also under the International Affairs Section, came up with five major activities, some of which were with partner universities (Stuttgart Media University, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Sophia University, and Ohio University) in the course of the lockdown. The unit also made official Instagram and Facebook accounts to keep in touch with overseas students. With an online linkage established, another challenge would be managing online courses for students who are in different time zones. PDU also had online meetings with Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan, Sophia University, Japan, and Marquette University, USA for both offline and online programs in the future. The Student Exchange Unit is in the process of the second round of outbound student application. The students are scheduled to depart from Thailand in April 2021.

In case international travel is still restricted by January 2021, the International Affairs Section said the alternative would be to manage exchange activities through online classes as has been done in the previous two trimesters. However, for the online platform, foreign students living in time zones different from Thailand would need to adjust their time in order to attend their virtual classes in real-time. The virtual exchange is very new for outbound MUIC students, the majority of whom are still expecting to travel abroad for their student exchange activity. Travel restrictions by January 2021 could thus present challenges. According to Dr. Alexander Nanni, Associate Dean for International Affairs, “Whatever the situation, MUIC will continue providing opportunities for our students to experience education abroad. We’d encourage any and all MUIC students to stop by the Student Exchange Office (Room 2204) to learn more.” He added that additional information can be accessed here: webpage: https://muic. mahidol.ac.th/eng/study-abroad/

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?