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Academic excellence recognised at CLASS Awards Day 2016

"Let's SHINE in the Community" encourages teachers and students of CLASS to shine by contributing their academic achievements to society.

Teachers and students from different departments exchange ideas and experiences.

Award-winning projects were displayed at the venue to showcase the achievements of our teachers and students.

President Prof Way Kuo appreciates the efforts of CLASS faculty, staff and students over the past year.

The Dean, Prof Xiaowei Zang, congratulates award winners, encouraging them to continue with their pursuit of excellence and to reach new heights.

The ceremony was held at Wei Hing Theatre and was attended by the family and friends of the awardees.

The Discovery-enriched Curriculum Award

The CLASS Awards Day at CityU's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences was successfully held on 4 May 2016. Four categories of awards were presented to recognise the efforts and achievements of teachers and students over the past year. Presented at the ceremony were the New Researcher Award, the Teaching Innovation Award, the Excellence in Knowledge Transfer Award, and the Discovery-enriched Curriculum (DEC) Award for students. The officiating guests, Professor Way KUO, President of CityU; Professor Arthur ELLIS, then Provost and Professor Xiaowei ZANG, Dean of CLASS; as well as staff members and students of the College attended the grand and significant ceremony.

The Discovery-enriched Curriculum Award

The Discovery-enriched Curriculum (DEC) Award at CityU encourages discovery, innovation and community engagement – the core values that CLASS has been advocating. To recognise students' efforts in actualising these core values, the DEC Award was inaugurated in 2015. This year's entries were just as brilliant as last year's. The works of the award winners fully reflected how the students rose to the challenge, demonstrated their spirit of discovery and innovation, and showed their capacity to apply what they learnt to serving the community.

Undergraduate Champion (Individual)
Award winner: WONG Yau-lai Yocky
Year 4 student of the Department of Applied Social Sciences
Project: YES! I CAN

This project involved an event designed for elderly persons living in nursing homes. By offering the elders a chance to design and create art, this project altered the general perception that residents of nursing homes have limited abilities, owing to their physical or mental conditions. The elders were able to exert their creativity and to enjoy their autonomy during the creative process. Each piece of artwork demonstrated the elders' abilities, which significantly improved their sense of well-being and self-esteem. Young participants offered their assistance as the event progressed, which created an opportunity to build harmonious relationships between senior citizens and the youth, and promoted communication between the two generations.

Undergraduate Champion (Group)
Award winner: LO Tsz-yan Kate / LUI King-yan Karen
Year 3 students of the Department of Linguistics and Translation
Project: Word Association and Word Games

This project involved a game of word association. First, some verbs, nouns and adjectives were written on three sets of cards. A card was then randomly drawn for the test subject, who was asked to immediately associate a word with what was written on the card. For example, when the word "bird" was drawn, some subjects responded by writing "animal", and others associated "bird" with "angry". These answers showed that word associations were related with the things each subject encountered every day. The things that the subjects came across most often were the words that came to mind quickest. This game seems particularly helpful for students learning new vocabulary or a second language. The project demonstrates a helpful approach to enhancing learners' interest in language and improving their ability to use a language.

Postgraduate student (Individual)
Award winner: MA Ka-yan Jessie,
Postgraduate student of the Department of Applied Social Sciences
Project: Discover the Power of Creating Art for Mood Improvement

Most people think that drawing can help in improving people's moods. They may expect that when people are upset, drawing unrelated things can make them feel better; but drawing things that are directly related to a serious issue will make them feel worse. This expectation, however, does not entirely match people's actual experience. The research project discovered that by drawing scenes of things that have made them unhappy, the participants often found a means reflecting on and reviewing those subjects after the drawing. This process of reflecting by drawing could make them happier than if they drew unrelated things. This research project raises fresh questions and insights about how to enhance people's happiness through art therapy.

Undergraduate Runner-Up (Group)
Award winners: LAM Choi-ni Charlie / LUK Tzu-wei Bryan / CHEUNG Chun-pong Derek
Year 3 and 4 students of the Department of Applied Social Sciences
Project: Fonefraud shield app

The elderly can easily become victims of phone scams. In light of this situation, an innovative, easy-to-use, low cost mobile application (app) called the "FoneFraud Shield" was designed to keep elderly people safe from phone scams. By simply downloading "FoneFraud Shield" onto a smartphone, the users can be protected by the app's functions, including "Alert", "Silent", "Record" and "Notify". The "Alert" function alerts users with pop-up messages and special ringtones when unknown calls are received. The "Silent" function automatically switches the phone to the silent mode next time when the same suspicious number calls again. The users are therefore not disturbed by future calls, and thus have less chance of being cheated. The "Record" function records the entire phone conversation. The "Notify" function sends message to the guardians about the information of the suspicious calls such as calling time and telephone numbers. The app is now under development. Its successful launch will help the elderly to avoid being scammed.

Undergraduate Runner-Up (Individual)
Award winner: LI Yu-ying Jenny,
Year 4 Student of the Department of Applied Social Sciences
Project: Huh! You know me but you exclude me?

While on exchange in the US, Jenny Li came across the issue of "social exclusion". She designed this experiment to explore this issue. The project involved looking at the level of damage caused by being excluded by strangers, versus exclusion by people we are familiar with. A common expectation is that the more one discloses information to another, the greater the damage will be if one is excluded. The study's outcome showed something unexpectedly different – the levels of psychological damage caused by exclusion by both familiar people and strangers were more or less the same. These findings were a highly significant contribution to research concerning various aspects of interpersonal relationships. The questions raised concerning whether to disclose ourselves at home, at school or at work will become important topics for future research and discussion.

Excellence in Knowledge Transfer Award

CLASS highly values knowledge transfer, and has been recognising knowledge transfer projects and activities that contribute to society since 2012. This year, the Excellence in Knowledge Transfer Award was bestowed on Dr Yanto CHANDRA of the Department of Public Policy. The Certificate of Merit went to Dr HE Zhou of the Department of Media and Communication, Dr John Sie Yuen LEE of the Department of Linguistics and Translation, and Dr TSE Wing-ling John of the Department of Applied Social Sciences. All of these educators exhibited distinguished performance in the area of knowledge transfer.

Excellence in Knowledge Transfer Award, Dr Yanto CHANDRA
Project: Empowering Society with Social Innovation

Dr Chandra guided young people in using innovative methods to communicate with the public. For example, students successfully developed tools for helping the disabled to improve their quality of life. The patented technology they developed has been widely covered in the printed media and in radio programmes. Dr Chandra also gave lectures for both local and overseas audiences on how to make use of these new materials in everyday life and on learning about social innovation.

Left to right

Certificate of Merit, Dr TSE Wing-ling John
Project: Continuing Education for Offenders: A Taste of University and a Rainbow Reading Award Scheme

Believing that everyone should have the opportunity to receive a university education, Dr Tse set up "A Taste of University" and the "Rainbow Reading Award Scheme", a set of continuing education programmes designed for offenders who are serving prison sentences in Hong Kong. Each year, the programme offers 10 lectures covering a wide range of topics. The "Rainbow Reading Award Scheme" has encouraged inmates to select reading materials based on their personal interests. They are required to submit a reading report after finishing each book. About 80 to 100 inmates have taken part in the scheme, and submitted their reading reports each year.

Certificate of Merit, Dr John Sie Yuen LEE
Project: Data-driven Language Learning

Observing real life contexts is an effective way of learning languages. Dr Lee was inspired by the subtitles in television programmes and students' assignments. He built two language corpora, and extracted Cantonese dialogues and their Putonghua subtitles from news programmes, soap operas and talk shows for conducting comparative analysis. This approach proved very helpful for students in learning syntax and sentence structure. For the corpus used for student assignments, Dr Lee captured the most common mistakes in foreign language learning, and made use of an application to remind students of these problems. This innovative approach has helped teachers to make their language training programmes more effective.

Certificate of Merit, Dr HE Zhou
Project: Four-episode Documentary on the Independent Commission Against Corruption

This documentary was jointly directed by Dr He and the Xinhua Television News Network. It documented the history of the ICAC, analysed the roots of corruption and described the efforts made by Hong Kong society to clean up graft. The documentary has been used as an educational material for anti-corruption efforts, and has been telecast in more than 70 cities in the mainland since 2014. It was awarded the second runner-up in the China Television Golden Eagle Award in 2015.

New Researcher Award

The objective of the New Researcher Award is to recognise and reward academic research excellence at CLASS, and contribute to the enhancement of CityU's academic and research excellence at the international level. This year's award winner is Dr ZHANG Xiaoling, Associate Professor at the Department of Public Policy. Her research primarily concerns three environmental conservation topics, namely sustainable cities, green real estate and the architectural environment. Her research has had a significant influence on the development of Hong Kong and beyond.

Teaching Innovation Award

Dr Justin ROBERTSON of the Department of Asian and International Studies received the College's first ever Teaching Innovation Award, in recognition of his innovative teaching ideas. In his classroom, Dr Robertson carried out real-time conversations, offering concrete academic advice to his students via an electronic platform. His students were able to develop new perspectives on various global issues thanks to his guidance and motivation.