FAS Dr Cheah appointed as Visiting Assoc Prof at UCF
Faculty of Arts and Social Science academic (FAS) Assoc Prof Dr Cheah Phaik Kin is appointed as a Visiting Associate Professor at University of Central Florida (UCF), with the Office of the Assistant Provost, UCF Downtown.
With more than 71,000 students, UCF, located in the Orlando metropolitan area of Florida, United States is ranked among the nation’s top 20 most innovative colleges (US News and World Report). In 2020, it was ranked as one of the best national universities (Washington Monthly) in the USA.
As a Visiting Assoc Prof, Dr Cheah is able to expand her expertise in police volunteerism and education, as well as contribute, in collaboration with UCF, to produce academic scholarly works that may include books and academic journal articles. Her appointment also establishes collaborative opportunities that will facilitate the development of proposals for funded research projects and new studies involving volunteers, and assist in data collection and analysis.
Having previously worked with UCF faculty, Dr Cheah commented that the appointment also strengthens the collaboration between UTAR and UCF and continues to set a good platform for her to work in partnership with Prof Ross Wolf, a Professor of Criminal Justice, Interim Assistant Provost of UCF. Her first project with Prof Wolf was to compare volunteer policing in Malaysia, the United States of America, England and Wales. Currently, they are working together on a few projects.
“I am humbled by this appointment. It is not only meaningful to me, but also to the University because it signifies the appreciation and recognition for the contributions towards innovation and the creation of new knowledge in volunteerism and volunteer policing,” enthused Dr Cheah.
“We, together with a few other researchers got together and brainstormed to explore salient issues in volunteer law enforcement globally. All the researchers in the team were from different parts of the world, but we all shared the same interest. It was not easy. But what all of us had was the same spirit of wanting to advance the research and innovation in volunteer policing. That was enough to drive us to keep going. We took almost three years to see the first project bear fruit. There were a lot of challenges, of course. But the process was meaningful as we all shared the same goal. The same spirit that got us started is keeping us going because there is a lot more to do,” said Dr Cheah.
Prof Wolf also commented, “Working with Dr Cheah has enabled us to inform from a different viewpoint and focus for our international research into volunteerism. Her research has, and will continue to be, important to understanding motivations, experiences, challenges, and the risks associated with utilising volunteers in public service.”
He added, “We opened our UCF Downtown campus in Fall 2019 with a shared vision of partnership in the urban core of Orlando. UCF Downtown serves nearly 8,000 students and offers a complete campus experience to students in the heart of the urban core of the city of Orlando. UCF Downtown partners with Valencia College, the City of Orlando, Orange County government, and local businesses and community organisations to uplift lives and livelihoods of students from the Parramore community downtown, from all of Central Florida, and from throughout the state, nation, and world. As a metropolitan research university, we continually strive to do more by expanding opportunity through innovation, and this academic partnership with Dr Cheah and UTAR brings an international focus to this vision.”