UP VOICE VOL.39 – May 2020

The Official Newsletter of the University of Puthisastra (UP)-Vol.39 April 2020 Download

UP launches New Semester by taking lead in Online Orientation

Academic success is critically important for students, schools, universities and communities. Universities need to support a range of resources and services to orientate students to help and support them take their first steps to achieve their goals. Orientation programs are one of the most successful features to maximise student engagement, student retention and success rates regardless of gender, age, major, placement score, and employment status.

UP regularly conducts Orientation Programs for students and lecturers at the beginning of each academic year. COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the ways we teach students so for Semester 2, online delivery is the most effective method whilst physical classes in Cambodia are closed. The orientation sessions for both students and lecturers were prepared through online using Google Meet. During the first week of the semester II, year 2, 3, 4 and 5 students are required to attend these programs separately. The main objectives of the program for students are:

1.updates of online teaching delivery
2.the semester II study program and learning outcomes for each course
3.updated information about their career pathways
4.updates about current assessment policy and related policies
5.students “self-preparation” and study tips for upcoming semester
6.the services and responsibilities of different departments/office at UP
7.updates about learning teaching resources at UP including eLearning centre and dedicated Learning Facilitators

Similarly, for full-time and part time teaching staff the main objectives of the program are

1. training on online teaching delivery, particularly using UPOP (UPs own learning system)
2. updates and training in assessment methods
3. updates on assessment policy and related policies
4. updates about university expectations for teaching staff
5. updates about the payroll process.

These orientation sessions play a role as the influential compass that leads to success outcomes for students, lecturers, university and community.

Faculty of Medicine provides free access to Scholar Rx an innovative digital learning online platform used in the United States

The Faculty of Medicine is very proud to be offering free and full online access to the Rx Bricks repository from Scholar Rx (a well-known USA company) to all its Year 2 to 6 MD students. UP hopes that this leading, innovative resource will help UP students learn about modern medicine.

Rx Bricks uses interactive, short, flexible, and customizable lessons called “bricks”; the lesson content is organized around basic science topics and/or clinical concepts. Each “brick” uses clear language to explain and contextualize key topics in 15-20 minutes, and students can therefore learn anytime and anywhere at their own pace.

In addition, Rx Bricks has evaluation tools that allow the students to immediately test their understanding of the content, with clear explanation at every step of each question. The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Puthisastra is proud to offer to its MD students the same digital learning platform that is employed by many leading Universities in the USA.


UP is very fortunate to have in its Faculty of Dentistry 5 local and 3 foreign dentists with PhD degrees. The PhD is regarded as the highest academic qual fication, and usually takes 3-5 years of study and research to attain. No other Cambodian dental school has even half this number of top quality dentists with PhDs on their staff. Below you can read about who these exceptional people are. Each of them has gained their degree from a top university in Thailand, Korea or Japan, and is now helping us to raise the standard of dental education in Cambodia.

At UP apart from teaching they are also involved in thesis supervision and undertaking research, contributing to a growing number of papers being published in international journals each year. Students at UP are fortunate to have such a talented group of lecturers and thesis supervisors helping them to become Cambodia’s next generation of top dentists.

Dr. KONG Sophannary is the Dental Research Coordinator at University of Puthisastra (UP). She graduated with a D.D.S. degree in 2012 from University of Health Sciences, Cambodia, and received her Ph.D. degree in 2018 from Department of Periodontology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU), Japan. At UP, she also teaches Dental Ethics, Dental Research, and Laser Dentistry.

Dr. CHEA Chanbora is an editor and a reviewer of several international journals. He got his D.D.S. in 2006 and received his Ph.D. in Oral Pathology in 2016 from the Hiroshima University (HU). He then became an independent researcher in HU for 3 years. At UP, he teaches Oral Pathology.

Dr. KONG Kalyan is the Assistant Dean of Faculty of Dentistry, University of Puthisastra (UP). She graduated with a D.D.S. degree in 2006 from University of Health Sciences, Cambodia, and received her Ph.D. degree in 2018 from Department of Cariology and Operative Dentistry, Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU), Japan. At UP, she also teaches Dental Materials, and Dental Research.

Dr. Bethy TURTON, BDS, MComDent, PhD She is a New Zealand trained specialist in Public Health Dentistry and she completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2018. Over the last 10 years she has set up and evaluated different approaches to the management of caries among high risk communities, developing research that is hoped will inform a policy. Dr. Bethy TURTON is now the Adjunct Fellow at University of Puthisastra and has helped many students with their theses.

Dr. SEANG Sonntana is the Deputy Head of the Department of Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry at Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital (KSFH). He graduated with a D.D.S. degree in 2010 from the University of Health Sciences, Cambodia, and received his Ph.D. degree in 2018 from the Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. At UP, he teaches Oral Biology and Oral Pathology, providing students with a foundation in craniofacial development /anomalies, oral diseases and treatments.

Dr. Hemanth TUMKUR LAKSHMIKANTHA is a UP lecturer in Head&Neck Anatomy and Orthodontics. He received his B.D.S. degree from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India in 2009. He completed his MScD, majoring in Orthodontics in 2015 from the University of the East, Manila, Philippines and his Ph.D. in Orthodontics in 2018 from Kyungpook National University, Daegu, South Korea.

Dr. TRY Ky is a UP lecturer in Oral Biomaterial Science. He graduated with a D.D.S. degree in 2012 from University of Health Sciences, Cambodia, and completed his Ph.D. in Biomaterials in 2017 from Hiroshima University, Japan.

Dr. Adith VENUGOPAL is a lecturer of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at UP. He also treats orthodontic patients in the UP dental clinic. Dr Adith earned a B.D.S. (Honors) from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, India. He completed his Clinical M.S. with an Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Orthodontics in 2014 from the University of the East, Manila, and his Ph.D. in Orthodontics from Kyungpook National University in South Korea.

Online Class for the new semester at UP

Final year dental students Choun Lina and Lao Ryna flew to the US in late January to undertake a 2-week exchange program at the University of New England (UNE) in Maine, just as the Covid-19 pandemic was starting in the US.

Unfortunately, UNE suspended classes, and Ryna and Lyna became trapped unable to fly home to Cambodia. Fortunately, Lina’s uncle in Boston opened his home to the two students and made them very welcome.

Before lockdown, Lina and Ryna were able to travel to see some local sights, however for the past two months they have been confined to the house. This week they joined other UP dental students for the new semester and have enjoyed doing online learning with their classmates.

We hope they will return to Cambodia in a few weeks, once flights resume. We commend Lina and Ryna for the resilience they have shown during this challenging time.


Nursing is now expanding its successful mentorship model as we take up the challenge of moving, more rapidly than planned, into online teaching for our new semester.

This challenge requires much more from our part time teachers, who in Nursing& Midwifery,​have been the back bone of our students’​education for many years.

So, now each teacher will now have a nominated Nurse or Midwife staff member to support, advise, encourage and care as we all focus our preparation on a seamless beginning to the new semester continuing to educate the next generation of Nurses and Midwifes.

Our duty is to educate and nurture the future generation of Nurses and Midwives, and in changing times we must come together to work through the challenges thrown at us but in so doing we must realize the wellbeing of all those around us which is so fundamental to success.

Soft-Skill Training by Zoom at UP

Career success is related to two broad categories of skills (hard and soft). During the job application and interview, employers are carefully looking for potential candidates with a set of both hard and soft skills. Hard skills are technical abilities related to occupation such as engineering, marketing, accounting, pharmacy, finance etc and is easy to quantify and typically learnt from the classrooms, from books or on the jobs. Whereas soft skills are how you get on with yourself and other people and in comparison, are hard to quantify. They are less tangible and are much easily transferable to many occupations.

Soft skills include problem solving, strategic thinking, collaborating, communication, leadership, teamwork etc. Only the people who build a balance set of hard and soft skills reach the highest levels of performance. Most of current educational curriculum or training program in health sciences have traditionally emphasized hard skills. Seeing this important skill, UP has collaborated with Friends International to design a soft skill training by using online platform (Zoom).

This online training will specify on 7 topics:

1.Personal development – values, strengths, and motivation
2.Time management.
3.Stress management.
5.Being part of a team.
6.Money management.
7.CV and interview skills

This online training requires 10 hours of completion. 4 groups of 10 students will be selected consecutively through online registration. The first group will start from May 04, 2020. After completion of the training, students will be provided with the certificate of participation.

This training will be one of extra training which UP have supported the students to achieve their academic and professional careers. We hope that these important skills will enable UP students to fly high in their future career and continue to satisfy employers.

Introducing Learning and Teaching

My name is Boy Vibol. I am the Coordinator of Learning and Teaching in the Department of Quality, Learning and Teaching, and Students (QUILTS) at the University of Puthisastra (UP). My role at UP is to develop, coordinate and implement modern Learning and Teaching pedagogy approaches at UP, integrating modern learning technologies to deliver best practice learning for our students. I also provide curriculum leadership and support classroom teaching to ensure best quality curriculum and assessment.

It is a challenging role, but one which is very important to the improvement of the development of Health Sciences practitioners and Information Technology professionals in Cambodia. We help our students to be the very best they can be – to benefit not only the students but the whole of Cambodia. I earned my Bachelor degree in English in 2006 from the Institute of Foreign Languages, Royal University of Phnom Penh. I won a New Zealand ASEAN Scholarship Award and completed my Master degree in Educational Leadership in 2017 at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. I currently live and work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I have a keen interest in blending learning – the way of learning that integrates online and traditional classroom learning. Blended learning is what I experienced when I was pursuing my studies at University of Auckland, New Zealand, and I can see the fantastic value of this kind of learning experience in schools and universities across Cambodia.

UP is one of the best universities in Cambodia, and we are working hard to introduce blended learning by using UPOP, UP’s online learning platform together with improved teaching practices that really engage students in their learning. The advantage for students is that they will learn more, and enjoy their learning more. Last year, as a member of UP’s Learning and Teaching Committee, I helped to organize and run the two-day Learning and Teaching Workshop which brought together all of UP’s lecturers to learn more about modern teaching pedagogy and assessment practices.

More recently, I had a leading role in supporting UP’s lecturers to learn how to use Google Meet, Google Drive and Gmail to teach our students online, in response to the closure of the UP campus as a result of the CoVid-19 Pandemic. It has been very encouraging to see how our lecturers dedicated themselves to learning a new skill which was very new for many of them, so that students could continue their studies. It is an exciting time to be at UP contributing to this important change.

Welcome On Board to Foundation Year

Ms Sruong Sreyhak joined Foundation Year as the General Science Coordinator in November last year and has single handedly raised the standards of learning and teaching in foundation year science since.

Sreyhak has been an educator for over five years with training in Pedagogy of Biochemistry from National Institute of Education and Masters in Applied Biotechnology from Jeju National University (JNU), South Korea. With superior scientific knowledge in the field of applied biotechnology along with technical knowledge of Molecular genetics and Tissue Culture. Sreyhak has a keen interest in research, her masters’ research was about “Purification and Characterization of Tumorsphere Formation inhibitor derived from Saururus chinensis’”

Syrehak has won multiple awards and scholarships and to give back she actively participates in the society, from volunteering in community projects on women empowerment and education as well takes part in conferences, workshops and residency programs for self growth and leadership.

Besides being an awesome front runner in Cambodian STEM landscape, she has a bit of fun occasionally, enjoys a good book and great music. If you are looking for organic pineapple and mangoes, talk to Sreyhak

Biography: Miss Tuy Manina: English Lecturer

Manina is a local Cambodian citizen, born and raised in Phnom Penh. She graduated with a Bachelor of English TESOL from Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia. Prior to joining U.P. for the start of this academic year, Manina worked as a lecturer at Paññāsāstra for 8 years, and she is very excited to join the English Department.

She loves her job and she believes very strongly in the power of education. Her number one goal is to help students to reach their fullest potential. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys exercising, cooking, reading, watching movies and spending time with her family.

Introduce: Mr. Jeff Siggins: English Lecturer

Jeff Siggins was raised on a Pennsylvania farm, went to New York and Hollywood (Los Angeles, California) to work as an actor, studied Education at the University of California (Berkeley) and participated in several medical and social research projects.

In 1989 he began teaching English in Mexico and has since taught ESL and other subjects in ten different countries. He is published in many newspapers and magazines often using his own photographs for articles.

Introducing digital learning facilitator SORN SOKHA

My name’s SORN Sokha, and I am a Digital Learning Facilitator in the Learning Centre (Library) at UP. I finished my Bachelor degree in Business Administration in 2017 at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC), and now I’m pursuing my Master degree in Management at the same university. I worked as a librarian for more than 7 years and now I’m still working in the library but in a different role. Besides this role, I’m also a member of the Cambodia Librarian Association.

Since joining UP last year, I have earned how to help students and lecturers to use UPOP (our Moodle Learning Management System) and have recently been part of the team that delivered training to lecturers about how to use Google Meet, Google Drive and Gmail so that students could continue to learn online while the campus is closed. I’m so excited about my work at UP as a Digital Learning Facilitator. I have more opportunities to help students and teachers with online and face to face training on how to use UPOP and Email, Google Drive, and Google Meet. I’m also keen to help students and lecturers to find learning and teaching resources using our hard-copy textbooks and online databases.

First Day of Online Class at UP Pharmacy

COVID-19 has rapidly altered the daily routine of Cambodian citizens. One of the major changes for children, teens, youths, and adults is the educational transition from physical class learning to remote learning or online learning. The immediate and indefinite closure of all types and levels of physical education was issued by Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) due to COVID-19 pandemic. Remote learning is encouraged and applied where schools, teachers and students have access to computers, smart phones and internet connection. The limitedly-resourced country like Cambodia is very challenging to provide an equitable quality education to the students. UP is very committed to promoting modern high-quality educational activities though online delivery. UP has officially selected Google Meet and UPOP as the virtual templates across the faculties.

For example in UPs Faculty of Pharmacy – “Today is first day of online class and the first day of semester II at the Faculty of Pharmacy. It is the achievement of several months of hard work at FoP and related supporting departments/office. It is an exciting day and I am very happy that I am able to provide the teaching during this closedown period. Overall, my class is running well. I believe that the students will able to achieve my course learning outcomes by the end of each session” said Ms. Chantha CHHENG, Botany lecturer at FoP.

“The first day of online class is exiting. I feel like getting something new and interesting. Lecturers do a good presentation. But, I feel that it is harder to ask questions and interact with the lecturers” mentioned Vichheka PISETH, year 3 pharmacy student. Although Pharmacy has faced few challenges and teething problems in the first day, online quality is improving over few weeks ahead. UP is working very hard to help students with this modern way of teaching.



Hello! I am Sren Rofiah. I am a midwifery student in year 3 batch 7 at University of Puthisastra. I am really happy to share my experience with you all, especially my unforgettable experience in the community as a midwifery student. The purpose of community practice for midwifery students is to promote health care in the community, especially to women and children. I was at Steung Meanchhey Health Center for my community practicum. As well as working at the health center, I also went out to interview women in the community and provide them with health education.

As student midwives we provide primary prevention health care, hoping that this will allow people to understand more about the importance of changing behavior to lead a healthy lifestyle. In this practicum period, we also learnt about the believes and cultures of people in the community.

This new knowledge highlighted the reason why people often carry out activities that may cause them to have health problems. There were many challenges working in the community. Firstly, it was challenging get people in the community to agree to have an interview or health education around birth spacing or family planning. The problem is most people are busy with their daily work at home, or at the factory, etc. I had thought that no matter how busy they are, they would still give us around 10 to 20 minutes for interview and education but not always.

Also, I found the topic of family planning actually makes people in the community very shy and they do not want to discuss this issue with a student midwife. I think perhaps they say they are too busy but are too shy to want to be involved in our health education. Every challenge in community practicum has provided me with good experience on problem solving and having to use my own knowledge base from the classroom to practice with people in the community. Also, I have learnt to acknowledge peoples priorities in health problems in the community and how to write these up in a report. Finally, I would thankful to the staff in the Steung Meanchhey Health Centre who were supportive and taught me such a lot while I was at the health center. The most memorable learning for me in community practicum was learning to share the responsibility with colleagues in the group and to work alongside people in the community helping each other.

Nursing Student Voice

“I am an undergraduate student (3 + 2) in the first year, second semester at University of Puthisastra. And I am also a full time nursing staff working at department of nursing at University of Puthisastra. I have classes at bridging program every weekend from Friday evening until Sunday evening.

During my studies, when the world is suffering from (Covid 19) my studies changed from classroom to online. Online learning is easy to learn as well as gaining new technology knowledge. Online learning is a benefit to students, with students being able to study everywhere without having to come to school, spend less time to travel, have more time with their families, and avoid transmitting of virus.

Lastly, as a student and teacher at the University of Puthisastra, I would like to congratulate the University on always paying attention to students as well as providing them with new knowledge. It is a challenge for students to study online since we have never experienced it before, but I also see it as an opportunity to grow for me as a student and also as a teacher”.


During this period the UP Dental Clinic organized training for its Dental Assistants, Chan Sreymao, Nop Navat, Sin Dalin and Chey Chansocheat. Dr Horn Sereybot, Clinic Manager, provided hands-on training covering a range of dental assisting skills, including: 4 handed dentistry with a video demonstration and practice in pairs; correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and aseptic techniques; and how to correctly take intraoral radiographs (X-rays) using our new film holders, as well as extraoral radiographs (panoramic and cephalometric).

The hard-working UP dental clinic assistants are a key part of our dental team, ensuring that high quality dental care can be delivered safely and efficiently to our patients. At present the UP Dental Clinic remains open every morning (Monday to Friday) to see emergency and orthodontic patients.