- July 11, 2023 06:09
To encourage and promote the exchange of information, knowledge, and experience from other schools of the same discipline and interest, Far Eastern University - Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (FEU-ITHM) welcomed two new adjunct professors for the first semester.
In an interview with FEU Advocate, Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) Department Program Head Marichu Liwanag stated that ITHM has set its eyes on collaborating with international schools, and hiring adjunct professors is a good avenue for this objective.
“We want to have a mutual interest in the field of education. Not only that, [but also] in terms of the research, development, training, and dissemination of knowledge from both universities, that will give mutual benefits, not only to the school but also to our students na (that) he will be joining with the class,” Liwanag said.
As new adjunct professors, Dr. Toney Thomas of the Tourism Management Department and Dr. Vikneswaran Nair of the HRM Department aims to give hospitality and sustainable tourism expertise, along with skills in research writing for the students.
Dr. Toney Thomas is a professor and Dean at the School of Tourism Studies at Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU). He also founded the Asian Tourism Research Conference (ATRC) which covers a broad range of topics related to tourism, hospitality, and interrelated fields.
Meanwhile, Dr. Vikneswaran Nair was a professor at the School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Culinary Arts at Taylor’s University Malaysia for 19 years. In 2017, he became a professor in Sustainable Tourism at the University of The Bahamas and later became the dean of its Graduate Studies and Research.
He is also known for leading the Responsible Rural Tourism Network in Association Research of the Center for Research and Innovation in Tourism (CRIT).
Liwanag stressed the importance of collaborating with Dr. Nair considering that his expertise is on sustainable tourism.
“In terms of [our discipline], in hospitality and tourism, we have to understand how we will sustain the food management system in terms of food and waste management. Sustainability is very important to the hospitality [including] 'Yang mga (the) waste management, recycling, or reusing of materials,” she added.
According to Liwanag, sustainability is vital for the hospitality and tourism discipline, especially when you look at the advocacy of international organizations such as the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Likewise, sustainable tourism encompasses the maintenance of tourist destinations like resorts, protection of nature, and conservation of the environment.
Inspiration to the students
Despite the online setup, Liwanag mentioned how enthusiastic the students were during their first virtual meeting with Dr. Nair where he gave tips about his career success.
“There was an excitement on some questions from our HRM students. Medyo (quite) exciting questions na (like), ‘How did you make this far to your career?’ kasi nga siyempre, nagpakilala siya (because he introduced himself). And because na-inspire daw 'yung mga students namin sa kanya (our students got inspired by him), so binigyan sila ni (they were given by) Dr. Nair ng (some) tips… You have to focus, know what you want, know what you want to do in life,” Liwanag shared.
Further, the students will acquire an exchange of culture and experience from the new adjunct professors.
“I think not only the knowledge that he will give to the students, but the [exchange of] culture and experience… 'Yun naman ang hindi namin maturo (That is what we cannot teach) because we have the same culture in the Philippines, as a faculty. But when another professor step[s] in on a different country, excited sila (they are excited) to know something different,” Liwanag explained.
In partnership with the MGU, FEU ITHM is set to host the 2nd Asian Tourism Research Conference on November 15 to 17 where all academicians and students are invited to submit their research papers and journals for the conference.
- Laurice Anne Alas and Shane Vallery Beduya