The three-day seminar assisted younger scholars from Asia and the Pacific in developing papers suitable for international publication.
Su-Mi Lee, assistant professor of political science at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, recently traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, to participate in a research seminar geared toward emergent scholars.
The second Emergent Scholar Seminar was held at Kasetsart University in March. Attended by younger scholars from various Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership (APHERP) institutions, participants presented work in response to an organizing concept paper prepared by the seminar coordinators Christopher Collins of Azusa Pacific University (APHERP associate director) and Deane Neubauer (APHERP co-director).
The two-and-a-half-day seminar (link to organizing concept paper is below) is intended to assist younger scholars in developing papers suitable for international publication.
The UH System is a founding member of APHERP. The Emergent Scholar Seminar engages newer faculty in focused research and writing activities that will lead to publication of their work in international journals. There were about a dozen participants at this seminar, including three from Hawai‘i (in addition to Lee, there was one researcher from UH Mānoa and one from Hawai‘i Pacific University).
“It was a group of great and fun people who participated in the seminar,” says Lee. “They are from a number of Asian countries — Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Malaysia — and the United States. I was surprised to see a majority of the participants were female.”
The trip was not all work and no play. The group had a lot of fun sight-seeing, dining, and shopping together. Lee says their host, Kasetsart University, treated each researcher like a VIP. They were fed well at nice restaurants. They even had a group of student musicians at one of the dinner gatherings. They never had the same selection of foods. The upcoming university president made time to be with the group for dinners on two nights and two vice presidents came to spend time with them. They always had at least two people attending to them wherever they went.
“I had so much fun,” she says. “We laughed most of the time. We enjoyed each other’s company. But we were serious when it came to our research.”
Lee says organizers Collins and Neubauer both worked diligently with the researchers to develop their works as solid research pieces.
“We had homework to complete each day,” explains Lee. “We stayed up past midnight to prepare the progress on our research paper for the next day’s seminar. We talked with each other to share some thoughts on each other’s papers, encouraged each other to do better, and gave each other pep talks when any one was disappointed with his or her progress.”
Lee’s research: conflict management
Lee’s current research interests center on topics of conflict management, with a particular emphasis on how mediators’ characteristics affect the likelihood of mediation occurrence and success. Her dissertation, entitled “Mediator Impartiality and Interest,” examines how the additive value, rather than the individual values, of mediators’ impartiality and interest affects the likelihood of successful mediation in international militarized disputes.
Based on the findings of her dissertation, Lee examines the conditions under which mediator impartiality becomes more important than mediator interest. Such conditions include culture, the nature of the dispute, and the nature of disputants’ relationship with each other. Her research has been published in the International Journal of Peace.
“In line with the conference concept paper, my research examines the strengths and limitations of the university as a source of conflict management that can be utilized by community members,” Lee explains. “Through this examination, this research recognizes the university as an ideal institution that can lend its expertise to help manage community conflict.”
The plan of the group is to get all manuscripts ready by the end of summer and try to publish them in an edited book. Lee notes the previous cohort of the seminar was able to get their manuscripts approved for publication.
More photos from Lee’s trip:
About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.