ACADEMIA NUTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

News from Prem

An all star cast at Prem’s career day

News from Prem

Sharing our planet: An exhibition

Mark Lebovitz talking to students at Prem about healthy eating habits.

Students building a frame to float Vetiver grass.

Eleven teachers across the school ranging from kindergarten to Grade 12 teachers are mentoring small groups of students from Grade 5 who have developed their own questions and then their own inquiry about sharing our planet. The exhibition is student-driven and students have organized visits to many locations and have also had a number of guest speakers to help them with their investigations. Dr. Adisorn, Head of the Department of Agriculture at Chiang Mai University, who also worked at the Royal Flora Expo, talked about fire burning in the mountains, and the benefits of Vetiver Grass. Mr. Mark Lebovitz talked to students about how important it is to eat healthy foods. Richard Gregory presented interesting information about fish. Students reported in their Exhibition Newsletter, “……. that people are fishing too much and now the population is less and people should only use fish as much as we need or the fish will become extinct.” One of the projects students focused on, is the use of Vetiver Grass to filter and clean out water. After a visit to the Land Development Council to collect many small samples of this grass, one group of students has constructed bamboo and netting frames to float this grass on the school pond in the hope that the roots will do their work of cleaning the water. They intend to attach bottles to the frame to keep the grass afloat.

As well as field trips to such destinations as Doi Suthep National Park for an overnight stay, the Royal Flora Expo, the Land Development Council and the Botanical Gardens, students have been working since January on the presentation of their findings to the whole Prem community.


An all star cast at Prem’s career day

Jon Hartmann

The conversation jumped around the world as 17 of Thailand’s brilliant professionals had lunch together before presenting short seminars on their careers to the eager students at PTIS (who were joined for the event by students from Lanna International School and CMIS.) From discussing the golf course in Alaska where the caddies have rifles to scare off Polar bears to problems of getting aid to Mogadishu Somalia, this group of people had skills, knowledge and talent combined with a huge slice of the best life has to offer in Careers.

The only question left after lunch was. “Would the kids really connect with these people?” Two hours later, the kids were bubbling over with enthusiasm. Comments abounded like “He loves his job so much”, “I didn’t realize work could be that much fun”, She was awesome” and the most telling comment of all “That’s exactly the job I want to do!”

Who were these “awesome people”? In no particular order they were:

Renee Weygandt from Dream Makers Productions representing the Film industry.

(Renee is a low budget film maker and has been involved in all aspects of film making. Her films have made the finals of film festivals in the USA. She is also co-director of Xtreme teen’s television. She has helped many young people in digital film making). Rick Holofcener who runs an online Sports and Travel Int. Business (Rick is CEO of Golf Zoo and Tours de Sport, online travel companies that specialize in ski/snowboarding vacations. He is also founder of Reslogic.)

Richard Bell who is a Chartered Management Accountant and member of the International Accountants that tend to work in business rather than audit. (His career includes working for Unilever in the UK, Rothmans International in Africa, Asia, TNT in Scandinavia and Britannia Airways) Prasanna Weerawardane who is an Archaeologist who has worked on the famous ruins of Angkor Wat.

Daniel Parker is a civil and structural engineer. (Daniel graduated from the UK, designed several buildings then taught structural Engineering for about 10 years. He made and broke a few models in his presentation!) Andrew Harrison(Manager of Four Seasons resort who talked on what it is like to have 32,742 people stay with you every year and serve 74,944meals to them. He has worked in hotel management for 23 years in 8 countries and 3 continents.)

Christopher Freeland Ph D. is a translator. (Christopher is a retired freelance Linguist who has specialized in French-English financial and nuclear translation. He has compiled 3 dictionaries and managed a translation company in France for 15 years.)

Stephan Lay who is a Journalist/Author and Media Lecturer (Stephan has written thousands of news articles in his career from Africa, Alaska, the Bahamas and the USA. He has written 3 books, and part owns a publishing company and a magazine. He is currently working on travel and wildlife articles on Thailand, writing two books and heading the Media Department at Webster’s University Hua Hin.)

Dr Varaphan Unachak MD a Neurosurgeon and Managing Director of Chiang Mai Ram 1 Hospital (Dr. Varaphan has a wealth of experience in all aspects of medicine and hospital administration with a specific interest in Surgery).

Ms. Rocha Trisilp also representing Hospitality and Hotel Management. Rocha has had extensive experience in Hotel and Hospitality working in all areas. She is currently the Thai representative for the Swiss Hospitality College Les Roches which is rated as one of the top 3 in Switzerland.)

Bob Johnson a Psychologist who has had extensive experience in Hawaii working in Health and Therapy teams for the State government. He currently teaches at CMU in psychiatric social work, has a private practice for children with special needs and works as an ESL teacher.

Pim Kemasingki, the Editor of City Life. (Pim has an MA from Aberdeen University UK and a Diploma of Fine Arts from Byamshaw School of Art London. She is Editor of both City Life and City Now; she is also the Director of Asia News Watch Company and Trisila Company. She freelance writes for Lonely Planet, Travel and Leisure and Tiger Air flight magazine. She has many awards and honors in her resume and is a highly credentialed and experienced presenter.)

Rick Gregory who has years of experience in International Development (Rick has a specialty in field based agricultural research and fisheries.)

Greg Beck is a Regional Director of International Rescue. (Greg is very experienced in running relief and development missions for International organizations in many continents and spoke about Careers in this area.) Linda Buck representing International Marketing (Linda worked for many years with large international firms in the area of marketing and has a wealth of practical knowledge in the area.)

Leslie Ankovitch is a Professional Tennis Coach. (Leslie works at the prestigious Four Seasons Resort in Chiang Mai as the tennis professional and spoke with much experience and authority on how to have a Career in sport.)

Why have a Careers Day? Students often live in a world dominated by teachers and school and rarely have contact with people who are in the very different world of industry, finance or entertainment/hospitality. They need to meet real people doing real things in order to have a legitimate grasp of a career. Teachers talking about other careers can be “second –hand information “and not have the impact of first hand contact. These professionals can inspire young people and most of them did! Congratulations and thanks must go to this dedicated group of people for giving so freely of their time and effort but I must add that most of them seemed to really enjoy the opportunity and are anxious to return next year to talk about their Brilliant Careers once more. The students who already heard them would welcome them back and for those that didn’t, a treat awaits you next year.