Adelina Asmawi | Alumni | Doctor of Education

After completing the Doctor of Education, international student Adelina has had excellent success in her field. She says her studies were a large part of this success, sharing that the MGSE "always pushed me to reach my potential, to question and to be analytical."

Doctor of Education student

Q: Can you please briefly outline your life prior to studying this program?

I completed my high school at Bukit Bintang Girls’ School, Kuala Lumpur. I then received my Bachelor of Education (TESL) and Master of Education Technology degrees from University of Malaya, Malaysia.

Q: Why did you choose to study at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education for your PhD?

I chose the MGSE as it is a prestigious school with quality academics and programmes – challenging yet rewarding. I wanted a place like home but with international recognitions and quality education. Being an academic, I needed to pick up quality research and supervision skills too.

Q: What was the most valuable/rewarding aspect of PhD in Education?

Let’s just say that I felt humbled most times at the massive amount of knowledge I gathered from being there. I am now extending this knowledge to those in University of Malaya. Such extensions, like a butterfly effect, spread across communities through postgraduate scholars under my wings from Malaysia, Yemen, Indonesia, Iran and China.

Q: What interested you most about the area you studied? How do you apply it in your current role?

With guidance from my amazing supervisors I expanded my academic and research understanding in three areas – professional development, TESOL and instructional technology. I was allowed to explore ideas and infuse my own take into my own work. Space for growth was always allowed. Yes, I cried at times when the going gets tough but this made me who I am today – a tough cookie in University of Malaya, I was told and I cherish this very much.

Q: Please expand on your current role and the organisation where you work.

The most recent project would be the online community engagement for the project I founded called ‘PEARL project’. It is aimed at developing pedagogical skills of volunteer-teachers and English acquisition of Urban Poor Learners. This award winning project has expanded over three areas in Kuala Lumpur with funders from both public and private organisations. When the pandemic struck in March 2020, the project immediately went online – and this was no easy feat – with learners not equipped with connectivity nor have the tools and surroundings needed for conducive learning. Volunteers struggled too. Where people see challenges, we see opportunities.

Q: Since graduating, how has your degree contributed to your career development?

My career needs me to excel in teaching, research and other academic endeavours. From MGSE, I was always pushed to reach my potential, to question and to be analytical and of course, work hard. These have contributed largely to my career development.

I was Deputy Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Quality Manager at the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya (2014-2017). I’ve won many awards both locally and internationally. In 2017, my team's invention: T.O.P Module won a Silver Award by the MBOT, MHE and UMP and my invention: E-Thesis for Dummies won a Bronze Award at H-Inovasi 2017 Competition. I was awarded Best in Teaching at the 2017 University of Malaya Excellence Award and was double awarded: the GOLD Award and Special Award for Student Support for my research and product: Thesis Easy at the Liter Research Conference 2018.

I represented University of Malaya for the prestigious 2018 National Academic Award, AAN12 (Teaching Category). I won 2nd place for my PEARL project at Community Engagement Academia Conference in Dec 2018. In Feb 2019, I won a Silver Medal at CITREX 2019 and in April 2019, 2 Platinum medals at the Innovation and Design Expo, UM for my PEARL framework (English language acquisition of urban poor children) and REACH framework (professional development of teachers through community engagement). I am also VIWA 2019's Outstanding Woman in Humanities and Social Sciences. I recently received another Platinum medal for my team's innovation 'MAID in Malaysia'.

Q: What would you say to students who are thinking about studying your program at The University of Melbourne?

Go for it, but be ready mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It is more than worth it.

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