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    Press Release 

     
      OUHK to confer Honorary University Fellowships on four distinguished leaders 04/10/2017
       
     
    The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) will award Honorary University Fellowships to four distinguished leaders on 3 November (Friday) in recognition of their outstanding achievements in their respective fields and exceptional contributions to the University and society.

    The fellowship recipients are: Dr Maggie Koong May-kay, Dr Samuel Lam Pak-nin, Prof. Nora Tam Fung-yee, and Dr Samson Tam Wai-ho. The conferment ceremony will be held at the Jockey Club Auditorium at the OUHK Jockey Club Campus.

    Profiles of the four recipients are as follows:

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    Dr. Maggie Koong

    Dr Maggie Koong May-kay
    Dr Maggie Koong May-kay

    For over 30 years, Dr Maggie Koong May-kay has dedicated herself to early childhood education out of a genuine affection for children. She has guided generations of children and teachers to become compassionate life-long learners with a global vision.

    Although an heiress to the two Victoria Kindergartens established by her mother, former Urban Councillor Ms Christina Ting Yuk-chee, Dr Koong’s initial aspiration was to pursue medicine when admitted to Mount Holyoke College in the United States. Yet during her studies, an exchange programme that took her to care for some hospitalised children with special needs changed the course of her life, prompting her decision to study for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Education.

    Upon graduation, Dr Koong served as a kindergarten teacher in Massachusetts for one year. The young teacher took the advice of her mother during a trip back to Hong Kong to help run her kindergartens, where she could put in place her innovative teaching approaches and curricula. She radiated the same enterprising and can-do spirit when she launched the first two of her kindergartens in a short span of five years, during which Dr Koong also got married, became a mother and obtained a Master of Education degree from The University of Hong Kong. She then continued to travel the journey on early childhood education by pursuing a doctoral degree at Durham University in the UK, researching ways to improve early childhood education in Hong Kong and putting her scientific discoveries into daily practices.

    The small kindergarten which started out with only eight students by her mother in 1965, under Dr Koong’s strong leadership, has become an educational enterprise of great renown today, with kindergartens and nurseries both in Hong Kong and the Mainland China, as well as the first “through-train” International Baccalaureate (IB) World School in Hong Kong — Victoria Shanghai Academy.

    During her career, Dr Koong has made valuable contributions to enhancing the quality of early childhood education, care, living environments and children’s rights in Hong Kong, Mainland China and across the world. She is the Immediate Past World President of the World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP), an international professional body of early childhood educators with around 70 member countries. She was the Vice-Chairperson of UNICEF-Hong Kong and a member of the Committee on Free Kindergarten Education set up by the Education Bureau. She is presently a project advisor for UNESCO and an International Focal Point of its Collective Consultation of NGOs on Education For All (CCNGO/EFA) Coordination Group, a steering committee member of the Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC), an NGO representative for the United Nations, Chairperson of the International Play Association-Hong Kong Branch and a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission. She is also a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference – Shanghai Committee.

    In recent years, Dr Koong has devoted her time and energy to advancing the quality of tertiary education and teacher training. She is a founding Council member of The Education University of Hong Kong and helped establish its School of Early Childhood Education. She also serves on the Council of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Board of Faculty of Education of The University of Hong Kong and Board of Trustees of Whittier College, USA. She is a member of the Advisory Peer Group for the School of Education and Languages of The Open University of Hong Kong and an honorary advisor to the University’s Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education. She has been a guest lecturer at various tertiary institutes and keynote speaker at education seminars and conferences, and authored a book titled Fostering Quality Education the Happy Way, passing on her rich experience and enthusiasm for early childhood education to the next generation of professional educators.

    Among the accolades she received were a Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award in 2000, a HKSAR Bronze Bauhinia Star in 2013, an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters awarded by Whittier College, USA in 2014, and an Honorary Fellowship from The Education University in 2015. Earlier this year, Dr Koong was appointed Non-official Justice of the Peace (JP) by the HKSAR Government.
     
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    Dr. Samuel Lam

    Dr Samuel Lam Pak-nin
    Dr Samuel Lam Pak-nin

    Dr Samuel Lam Pak-nin is a diagnostic radiology specialist who pioneered the use of filmless digital radiology in Canada. He served as the first Corporate Chief Radiologist at the William Osler Health Centre in Ontario, and is a Director of the Lam Woo Foundation.

    Born and brought up in Hong Kong, Dr Lam went to Ireland to study medicine at Trinity College, University of Dublin when he was a teenager. He did his postgraduate studies in London and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London. Dr Lam emigrated to Canada with his family in 1969, and passed the examination for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada the following year. Subsequently he was appointed as a consultant radiologist in Brampton, Ontario and became the chief radiologist a few years later. When the hospital merged with two others in the late 1990s, Dr Lam became the first Corporate Chief Radiologist of the William Osler Health Centre. In 1986, when the computer age set in, Dr Lam launched a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) at his hospital, the first in Canada, and the fourth in the world. Instead of looking at hard copies of films, physicians can use the computer to read the images produced, which can be easily stored and transmitted elsewhere. This system is now used widely all over the world.

    Despite the heavy work responsibilities, Dr Lam has devoted much time and energy to health, education, social welfare services and church work. He follows the family tradition and the example of his late grandfather Mr Lam Woo, a master builder and philanthropist based in Hong Kong at the turn of the last century.

    From 1999 to 2006, Dr Lam served first as President and then Chairman of Mon Sheong Foundation, the first registered Chinese charitable organization in Ontario. He is now the Chairman Emeritus. The Foundation only had a small nursing home in Chinatown formerly. Under Dr Lam’s leadership, it expanded to become an organization with close to a thousand beds in three facilities in Greater Toronto.

    In 2011, Dr Lam funded the Lam Chung Nin Endowed Chair in Molecular Biology at Peking University and its genetic laboratory, in memory of his late brother. In 2014, he made a generous donation to The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and the University named a lecture theatre after his late father, Mr Lam Chik-ho, a respected leader in the construction industry. Dr Lam also established a chair professorship for Chinese Studies at his alma mater Trinity College, University of Dublin this year. This is a first for Trinity as well as for Ireland.

    Through the Lam Woo Foundation, Dr Lam has sponsored the establishment of the Peking University Eye Center and its Lam Woo Eye Hospital, as well as an extension of the Hospital in Kaifeng, Henan province. The Foundation launched the Lam Woo China Social Work Training and Development Fund cofounded by Peking University and PolyU in 2009 and the Senior Reporters-in-Residence Scheme at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2013. It also set up the Lam Woo Professorship in Biomedical Engineering at The University of Hong Kong in 2013, and an endowed professorship and chair of physics at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in October this year.

    In spring this year, the Lam Woo Foundation has generously agreed to donate HK$5 million to The OUHK for the construction of its Sheung Shing Street Campus, which will house the new Jockey Club Institute of Healthcare.

    Dr Lam was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Canadian Government in 2012. He was named Honorary Life Chairman of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Foundation and conferred a University Fellowship by the University in 2014. In 2015, Dr Lam was awarded the Order of Diocese of Toronto (Anglican) for establishing the first Chinese Anglican church in Toronto and serving in various committees of the Diocese.
     
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    Prof. Nora Tam

    Prof. Nora Tam Fung-yee
    Prof. Nora Tam Fung-yee

    Prof. Nora Tam Fung-yee is a renowned scholar in environmental biology, with a focus on biological waste treatment, bioremediation and mangrove ecology. She is currently a Chair Professor of the Department of Chemistry at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

    After secondary school, Prof. Tam went to The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) to study biology. The weekly field trips to collect butterfly and dragonfly specimens soon made her fall in love with nature. Seeing lush green grass grow on abandoned mining sites with heavy metals around the campus, it dawned on her that vegetation could be used in bioremediation or the removal of pollutants from contaminated areas. This led her to ponder about the recycling of silt and solid waste for the restoration of wastelands. Prof. Tam was later awarded scholarships to go to England to learn more about environmental pollution and waste recycling. She received her Master of Science from The University of Sheffield and Master of Philosophy from CUHK in 1979, and PhD degree from University of York in 1982.

    It didn’t take long for Prof. Tam to discover the beauty and ecological value of mangrove wetlands, and connect them with her research. Over the years, she has spent much of her time conducting field research in these swampy places, often knee-deep in mud and water for hours, and enduring cold winds in winter and temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius in summer, before shouldering bags of silt back to the laboratory for further experiments. These arduous but exciting journeys have helped her to unlock the secrets of life in mangrove wetland ecosystems, which provide an excellent environment for the bioremediation of toxic organic contaminants.

    Prof. Tam has made valuable contribution to the promotion of scientific research and education, as well as environmental conservation. She was appointed Non-official Justice of the Peace (JP) in 2007 and awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star in 2012 by the HKSAR Government. A dedicated and prolific scholar, Prof. Tam has published more than 300 original research articles in refereed international journals, 20 book chapters and ten books in such fields as coastal pollution control and mangrove conservation. She has supervised more than 150 students' projects from undergraduate to doctoral degree levels.

    Prof. Tam is the Director of Futian-CityU Mangrove Research and Development Center, a Member of the State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution, and the Principal Investigator for several research projects funded by CityU and institutions in Mainland China. She has taken up many honorary appointments at universities and institutions in Hong Kong and the Mainland, and carried out consultancy work for companies in the environmental industry. Current public service appointments of Prof. Tam in the HKSAR include Deputy Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Environment, and Member of the Accreditation Advisory Board and Research Grants Council, to name but a few.

    Prof. Tam has also served as a Member of the Council for Sustainable Development and Chairman of its Strategy Sub-committee, Chairman of the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (which advocated the conservation of marine mammals and their habitats), and an External Programme Assessor for several environmental studies programmes offered by The OUHK’s School of Science and Technology. She has been an external member of the University’s Programme Review and Validation Committee since September 2014.
     
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    Dr. Samson Tam

    Dr Samson Tam Wai-ho
    Dr Samson Tam Wai-ho

    Dr Samson Tam Wai-ho is a founder of Group Sense Limited. He was a member of the HKSAR Legislative Council representing the information technology sector between 2008 and 2012.

    Eager to explore and invent from a young age, Dr Tam has always been keen on turning creative ideas into business conceptions. While his early products such as a talking calculator for low vision users and drum sticks that could emit sounds by shaking had not made it into the mainstream market, they were the building blocks for “Instant-Dict”, a brand of electronic dictionaries which became a household name immediately.

    The launch pad of the dictionaries was a small company he set up with two partners with a total investment of $200,000, just two years after graduating from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) with a Bachelor of Science degree. It was a bumpy road for the 24-year-old young man who had worked as an engineer for just two years. He had to learn fast to gain business and management experience, as one of his partners pulled out after emigration and copycat products emerged. Dr Tam tackled all these issues and before long his business acumen was recognized by the Young Industrialist Award of Hong Kong in 1992. Before Dr Tam turned 30, his company had been listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. In 1997, the company won the grand award for technological achievement in the Hong Kong Awards for Industry.

    More ups and downs would follow in his business career over the years, as information technology progressed rapidly and there were peaks and troughs in the economy. Dr Tam has always been guided by his motto: ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can always adjust my sails to reach my destination.’ He continued to study and obtained a PhD degree from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in 2005.

    In recent years, Dr Tam actively participated in angel investment to help out local budding IT entrepreneurs, hoping to create a good eco-system to nurture startups. He is the Chairman of Hong Kong Business Angel Network and a team member of the Innoangel Fund. His advice to young people is to be bold to act out their vision, and not be discouraged by failures.

    Dr Tam has been committed to promoting scientific technology development and strengthening scientific collaboration between Hong Kong and mainland China. He is an Honorary President of the Hong Kong Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology, the Chairman of the Hong Kong Industry-University-Research Collaboration Association as well as the Vice Chairman of the Pearl River Delta Council of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries.

    Dr Tam is a Trustee of United College at CUHK. Other past community services of Dr Tam included serving as Deputy Chairman of the Hong Kong Productivity Council and a Member of the Action Committee Against Narcotics. He was a Council Member of The OUHK and a Member of its Finance Committee and Chairman of its Student Loan Management Committee between 2011 and 2017.

    Dr Tam was elected as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons in 1997 and appointed Non-official Justice of the Peace (JP) by the HKSAR Government in 2006. He was honoured with the Outstanding PolyU Alumni award in 2007, and presented with an Honorary Fellowship by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2008.
     


    About the OUHK:

    Established by the Government in 1989, The Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) has developed into a full-fledged university providing high quality and flexible university education at various levels to secondary school graduates and working adults. The University currently offers about 220 programmes to more than 9,500 full-time students and 10,000 part-time students. Our mission is to advance learning, knowledge and research that meet students’ learning aspirations and society’s talent needs, focusing on practical and professional programmes.

    OUHK comprises four Schools, i.e. School of Arts and Social Sciences, Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration, School of Education and Languages, and School of Science and Technology. The Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education offers overseas degree programmes and short courses. OUHK website www.ouhk.edu.hk.

     
     
       
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