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Education in Sustainable Business and Community Service: the case of Tzu Chi College of Technology

Dr Hwang Yeh Chen (Director, Faculty Development Center, Tzu Chi College of Technology)

Dr Lee Hwa Cheah (Director, Office of Humanities, Tzu Chi College of Technology)

Students of Tzu Chi College of Techonology

LSE Taiwan Forum on Civil Society|, Special Series of Forums with Tzu Chi|

Date: 5pm-8pm, Tuesday 23 April 2013

Venue: NAB.LG.03, New Academic Building, London School of Economics

Chair: Dr Fang-Long Shih (LSE Taiwan Research Programme)

Respondent: Stuart Thompson (LSE Taiwan Research Programme)

5pm-6.05pm Part 1: Education via Performance

Students of Tzu Chi College of Technology

6.05pm-8pm Part 2: Seminars

6.20pm-6.50pm:  The Promotion of Sustainable Business and Green Behaviour: a case study of Taiwanese business undergraduates
Dr Hwang Yeh Chen

Abstract

With growing environmental awareness in Taiwan and a developing green economy, there is now a strong need for marketing and other business courses to incorporate sustainability issues. This presentation explains two courses, entitled ‘Business Humanities’ and ‘Green Marketing’, which introduce sustainable business models and green consumerism and provide students with knowledge of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and related green practices. The courses include various learning activities designed to encourage students to explore green-label products and to contribute to green marketing promotion, such as a flyer contest and active participation in a green action plan. Through the special topics delivered in the courses, students gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for the concepts and strategies of sustainable businesses and green marketing. As a result, students are inspired to become more environmentally-sensitive and responsible citizens. 

6.50pm-7pm Response
Stuart Thompson

7pm-7.30pm The Impact of Community Service as Catalyst for Students’ Growth and Learning: the case of a Taiwanese college of technology
Dr Cheah Lee Hwa

Abstract

Tzu Chi College of Technology was founded by Master Cheng Yen, a Buddhist nun, and aims to develop ethical individuals who will serve their community wholeheartedly when they graduate. An Office of Humanities was set up when the school was founded, to support teaching and learning and to inculcate altruistic values in students through various activities such as community service. A study of the impact of community service on students’ growth and learning reveals that communities can be an effective educators, and that students who participate in community service experience satisfaction, a sense of empowerment, and a paradigm shift in way that they reflect. Community service enables students to find meaning in life, to develop ethical self-awareness, and to learn the value of humanity. In particular, students learn to appreciate the interdependency of the world in which they live, to respect one another's differences, and to take active steps in their own lives to serve.

7.30pm-7.40pm Response
Stuart Thompson

7.40pm-8pm Discussion

About Tzu Chi

The Tzu Chi Foundation is a Buddhist organization which has earned an international reputation for its worldwide relief work after major natural disasters, including earthquakes, floods and tsunamis.

Tzu Chi has special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This status allows it to participate in all ECOSOC activities, including meetings and budget discussions, and it means that Tzu Chi has the cooperation and protection of UN-related bodies during field operations, such as its relief work following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Tzu Chi’s status also enables it to provide information directly to the UN Secretary-General and to the governments of UN member states, and to pass on its experiences of relief and reconstruction work to Non-Governmental Organizations.

About the Seminar Speakers

Dr Lee Hwa Cheah graduated from the Faculty of Law, Malaya University, and she formerly practised as an advocate and solicitor in Wong-Chooi & Mohd Nor, a legal firm in Penang. She was involved with voluntary work at a Legal Aid Centre from a young age, although she found her purpose in life when she was introduced to the Tzu Chi Foundation and its work for those in need.

She subsequently left legal practice to engage in education, and she obtained a Masters in Educational Management and Leadership from Nottingham University (UK) and a PhD in the same field from University Science Malaysia.

She then worked as the principal of Han Chiang High School, Penang. To pursue her goal of working with Master Cheng Yen, the founder of Tzu Chi Foundation, she left Malaysia for Taiwan, and is now the Director of the Office of Humanities, Tzu Chi College of Technology.

Dr Hwang Yeh Chen has over 12 years of extensive working experience in the area of information management and business process planning and management. Early in her career, she worked as a System Analyst for software consulting companies in the USA and Taiwan, particularly in relation to application systems for the Department of Health and Human Services in the USA and for the Environmental Protection Agency, Taiwan. 

From 2000-2003 she was a Senior Project Manager in COMPAQ Taiwan, and she was then IT Department Manager of HP Taiwan, where she was responsible for managing and delivering a broad range of IT-related disciplines. These included Supply Chain Management, E-Commerce and Customer Relationship Management applications that support the business activities of the Enterprise Service Group. 

In 2008 she joined the Department of Marketing and Distribution Management (formerly Accounting Information) at Tzu Chi College of Technology, as an assistant professor. She teaches courses in ‘Business Management’, ‘Information Systems and Management’, ‘Green Marketing’ and ‘Business Ethics’. Her research interests are in the areas of consumer and business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and Internet marketing.

She is also currently the Director of the Faculty Development Center. She earned two Masters degrees in the USA, in Materials Science from Rutgers University and in Information Management from George Washington University, and she received her PhD in Business Management from National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan.

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