Session: Students Track (UNIMAS)

About the presenters

Chris Dannoven Garen is one of the Penan youths who has actively participated in the Global Citizenship and Sustainability Program. Raised in Long Lamai, the oldest Penan settlement in Sarawak, Chris has had the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and skills from his Penan elders about their previous nomadic life; hunting skills, forest products, customs, and traditions. Knowing the importance of exchanging knowledge to shape a better future for his community has lead Chris to share the insight of Penan livelihood and their forest with many others. Initially, he intended to serve only as a liaison officer for the Service Learning group coming to Long Lamai. Little did he expect that this volunteer task would lead to him connecting and building beautiful friendships with the students from all over the world. 

Komathi graduated in 2001 from Polytechnic Johor Bharu (PJB), Johor, West Malaysia, in Tourism Management. While working as a Customer Relations and Human Resources Executive, she pursued her Bachelor’s Degree in International Business (Hons) at the Management Science University (MSU), Shah Alam, Selangor, West Malaysia, in 2004.Komathi obtained her Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 2013 from Federation University (FedUni) and Ph.D. in Tourism Economics from the University Sarawak Malaysia (UNIMAS) in 2018. Her research funded by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and received research grants from the University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS). Her Ph.D. thesis titled ‘Tourism Development and Socio-economics Enhancement of Communities in Sarawak’ showed an excellent empirical study on tourism development concerning poverty alleviation at the household level. Indeed, Komathi’s research and fieldwork activities are all-encompassing in people and places. Thus, she is a versatile academician and researcher.Before taking up a lecturing position at the Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak in 2019, Komathi had worked in four private companies in Malaysia from 2001 to 2011. Experiences gained in these establishments and have enhanced her career development. Currently, Komathi teaches International Business units, research involvement, and publishes journal papers as a full-time lecturer.

My name is Evvia, I was born and raised in Miri, Sarawak. I’m a student at UNIMAS doing my masters in Anthropology. I am a mixed heritage of Bidayuh and Kenyah. I have deep interest on working with rural communities; I was a research assistant under the project Telecentre Programme among Orang Asli in West Malaysia in ISITI (Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovation) at UNIMAS. My experience in this project taught me that working in the field and engaging with indigenous community requires continuous relationship building and that treating the community as equals through community engagement is crucial. On campus, I am actively involved in canoeing and represent UNIMAS in competitions. I love outdoor activities especially hiking, exploring and visiting villages and waterfalls in Kuching with my friends.My involvement in the Service Learning at Long Lamai with Cornell University in 2018 was a whole new experience – particularly with the Penan community. I greatly appreciate I returned from there with a new bunch of friends who I now considered as family today. 

My name is Franklin, I was born and raised in Miri, Sarawak. I am a postgraduate student at the Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations (ISITI) UNIMAS, and also previously worked as a Research Assistant for the Reporting, Marketing and ICT Enrichment Training Programme, which targets resource poor communities in rural and urban communities in Malaysia. Since I join ISITI, I have been involved in several research and development projects with Penan communities, including the documentation, digitization and preservation of Oroo’, the sign language of nomadic Penans. I was involved with the Service Learning in Long Lamai with Cornell University in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Since January 2021, I have started my journey with Non-Governmental Organization called People’s Association for Development and Education of Penan Sarawak.

Tim is from Sarawak.   He spent most of his years growing up in Sabah. He recently graduated with a major in multimedia computing.  During his studies, he was involved in service-learning program revolving around information technology with local communities. Currently, he is working on creating a product using the theory of inventive problem solving (Triz) to trigger our creative thinking in order to invent new products. In his free time, he enjoys gaming, making music, and   creating artworks. 


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