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MOE Announces Winners of 2nd Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Awards

From left, Dr. Kuncoro Foe, Professor Felycia Edi Soetaredjo, and Lin Dean Shiang, after the presentation of Professor Soetaredjo’s award

The Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Awards, inaugurated in 2018, are presented biennially to foreigners who have studied in Taiwan. The winners are selected for their outstanding achievements and considerable contributions to their country and society. 

The Ministry of Education announced the five winners of the 2nd Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Award on April 17 who were selected from an enormous number of people recommended. Their details are given below.
The honorable Bruce Bilimon, Minister of Health and Human Services in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, one of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, graduated from National Chengchi University with an IMBA degree, before working in the public sector. Minister Bilimon feels strong ties with Taiwan and has shared details of his successful experience of studying in Taiwan with Marshallese people for a long time. He promoted and assisted the establishment of the Marshall Taiwan Alumni Association, and as well as making an outstanding contribution to exchanges between the two countries, he has repeatedly been a voice for Taiwan in the World Health Assembly. 

The honorable Law Choo Kiang, the Speaker of the Penang State Legislative Assembly in Malaysia, graduated from the College of Law and Business at National Chung Hsing University (now National Taipei University). He has worked in Malaysian politics for more than 20 years and has actively promoted the economic, trade, and educational exchanges between Taiwan and Malaysia. He has visited Taiwan many times to promote a wide range of cooperative bilateral exchanges and is an important friend of Taiwan.

Professor Felycia Edi Soetaredjo, Vice Dean of the Professional Engineer Study Program at Widya Mandala Catholic University in Surabaya in Indonesia, is a graduate of the Department of Chemical Engineering at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. Professor Soetaredjo is a role model for Asian women working in STEM fields. She has done outstanding research and in 2018 she was selected as one of the Asian Scientist 100 - an annual list of 100 prize-winning Asian researchers, academicians, innovators and business leaders.
Dr. Françoise Mengin, a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Studies and Research (CERI) at Sciences Po in Paris studied Mandarin at National Taiwan Normal University. Dr. Mengin won the 10th French–Taiwanese Cultural Foundation Award, and she has been one of the pioneers in the Taiwan Studies field in France. She has many publications on Taiwan Studies related topics in both French and English and has successfully promoted international research on Taiwan and increased the recognition that Taiwan topics should be given serious academic attention in regional studies. 

Professor Nicolas Standaert, Professor in Sinology at the University of Leuven (KULeuven) in Belgium, holds a Master of Theology degree from Fu Jen Catholic University and a Ph.D. in Sinology from Leiden University. Professor Standaert has been actively promoting Sinology related research in Europe and training international specialists in the field for a long time, and he plays an important international role in Sinology related research.

These five winners were selected last year but the pandemic made it impossible for them to travel to Taiwan to receive their awards here as originally planned, and so their Distinguished Taiwan Alumni Award were presented by their local embassy or diplomatic mission. 

Such outstanding alumni represent an important force for furthering positive international exchanges and cooperation. The Ministry hopes that they will be spokespersons for Taiwan's quality higher education and serve as role models for foreign students in Taiwan.

You can find more details on the Taiwan Alumni E-News webpage.