Healing powers of art therapy

Participants of 2 public workshops on art therapy held at DISTED College from 27 to 29 December 2013 discovered more about the creative process of art making in generating healing powers that help people to communicate, overcome stress and explore different aspects of their personalities to enhance personal well-being.

They learnt how art, when integrated with psychotherapeutic techniques, could be an effective tool in promoting the mental health of all ages including children and youths. [ezcol_1half]

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Prof Hildrun Rolff (right) from Germany’s Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences shares insights on the healing powers of artistic self-expressions at her art therapy workshop organized by the International Postgraduate Medical Training (IPMT) Malaysia in collaboration with DISTED.

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The art therapy workshop participants including DISTED lecturer and student counsellor Ruzanna Abdul Shukor (with headscarf) in an artistic self-expression activity.

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Workshop trainer Hildrun Rolff, who is the professor of art therapy and head of further education, art therapy, multidisciplinary medicine and psychology at Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences in Germany, said: “The workshops aimed to empower people who are interested in art therapy and want to do something to promote psychological well-being and inspire survival.”

“The training primarily focussed on the practical aspects of ‘how could I stay healthy’ and how artistic expressions could give us a clue on the development of children and youths.

“Their life stories may speak through art and images,” said the licensed art therapist with vast experience in teaching, coaching and supervising individuals and groups. [ezcol_1half]

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Pharmacist Lim Fang Huey gaining practical exposure to art therapy at the workshop.

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Wushu coach June Lee explores how one’s inner thoughts and feelings can be conveyed through images and colours.

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“The participants learnt how to develop specific indications in art therapy through observing basic artistic gestures of children and youths and taking cognizant of the physiological and psychological principles of human development,” said Hildrun, who has been an anthroposophic art therapist for over 30 years in various clinical and social fields.

Through sharing case studies and her practical experiences, Hildrun clarified how artistic self-expressions could help young people to resolve conflicts and problems, manage behaviours and achieve insights to raise self-awareness and self-esteem.
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DISTED lecturer Jayaeswari Sangaralingam (left) shares her views at the art therapy workshop conducted by Prof Hildrun Rolff from Germany’s Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences.

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Prof Hildrun Rolff from Germany’s Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (right) explains how people can stay psychologically fit with art therapy at her workshop held at DISTED.

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British university with global presence

Staffordshire University, a twinning programme partner of DISTED College, has a global presence that bolsters its reputation as a prestigious and progressive British university whose excellent degrees are well-recognised internationally for a vast range of job opportunities.

The university is connected to more than 30 institutions, across the globe in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa, on collaborative partnerships that include accreditation, distance learning, franchise and quality assurance models.

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 Staffordshire University vice-chancellor and chief executive Prof Michael Gunn (foreground) in a group shot with the delegates of the university's inaugural International Partnerships Conference including DISTED president Dr Koo Wee Kor (second row, third from left). (Image credit: Staffordshire University)

Staffordshire University vice-chancellor and chief executive Prof Michael Gunn (foreground) in a group shot with the delegates of the university’s inaugural International Partnerships Conference including DISTED president Dr Koo Wee Kor (second row, third from left). (Image credit: Staffordshire University)

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Representing DISTED at the Staffordshire University's first International Partnerships Conference are (from right) the college's president Dr Koo Wee Kor, School of Business programme coordinator Gwee Sai Ling and School of Business head Susie Khoo. (Image credit: Staffordshire University)
Representing DISTED at the Staffordshire University’s first International Partnerships Conference are (from right) the college’s president Dr Koo Wee Kor, School of Business programme coordinator Gwee Sai Ling and School of Business head Susie Khoo. (Image credit: Staffordshire University)

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Gwee, with DISTED president Dr Koo Wee Kor and School of Hospitality head Susie Khoo, participated in the Staffordshire University’s inaugural International Partnerships Conference held on 21 and 22 November 2013 at the university’s Octagon Building in Stafford, UK.

“The conference was insightful for the university’s education partners as it promoted the sharing of best practices in teaching, learning and assessment in different cultural contexts.

“It addressed various pertinent issues such as strategic partnership development, developments in quality demands, and how technology is going to impact learning and assessment in the future.

“There was also the great opportunity to network with representatives from other foreign institutions and the staff of the university,” Gwee shared of her experience at the event which was attended by over 120 delegates including 33 senior representatives from 17 partner institutions of the university.

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Staffordshire University vice-chancellor and chief executive Prof Michael Gunn (right) speaking at the international partnerships conference. (Image credit: Staffordshire University)
Staffordshire University vice-chancellor and chief executive Prof Michael Gunn (right) speaking at the international partnerships conference. (Image credit: Staffordshire University)

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Staffordshire University director of partnerships Chris Slade (foreground) addressing the delegates from partner institutions across the world at the conference. (Image credit: Staffordshire University)
Staffordshire University director of partnerships Chris Slade (foreground) addressing the delegates from partner institutions across the world at the conference. (Image credit: Staffordshire University)

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In conjunction with the conference, Staffordshire University director of partnerships Chris Slade said: “Our global partnership network has grown through working with partners who demonstrate our shared values and aims – openness, transparency, integrity and professionalism.”

“These collaborations continually influence our courses, our teaching and our commitment to enhancing the opportunity for students to study how and where suits them best,” she added.

Sterling achievements in SAM

DISTED College student Teh Xian Zhi carved sterling achievements in the 2013 examination of the internationally recognized South Australian Matriculation (SAM) with Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) 99.60 and a subject merit award for exceptional performance in Specialist Mathematics.

His brilliant success ranked him among the top most 1% of all SAM high flyers in the world this year.

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DISTED 2013 SAM top achievers jubilating over their achievements.
DISTED 2013 SAM top achievers jubilating over their achievements.

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DISTED 2013 SAM top achievers sharing a proud moment with (from left) lecturer Koay Jun Min, DISTED School of Pre-University Studies head Dr Loo Ai Yin, (standing, right) DISTED director of studies Ahmad Taiff Isahak and (front row, right) lecturer Teng Wei Jian.
DISTED 2013 SAM top achievers sharing a proud moment with (from left) lecturer Koay Jun Min, DISTED School of Pre-University Studies head Dr Loo Ai Yin, (standing, right) DISTED director of studies Ahmad Taiff Isahak and (front row, right) lecturer Teng Wei Jian.

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In sharing joy with the high achievers, DISTED School of Pre-University Studies head Dr Loo Ai Yin said: “This year, we’ve more brilliant SAM results with a student scoring a highly excellent ATAR of 99.60 and 2 students receiving the coveted merit awards for outstanding subject performance.”

“Congratulations to our high flyers for their remarkable results and thanks to our lecturers, technical and administrative staff whose dedicated efforts have yet again contributed to our world-class achievements in SAM,” she remarked.

DISTED School of Pre-University Studies programme coordinator Lucy Chin Soon Sim commented: “Our SAM top achievers with highly credible results have done us very proud as a choice college with a proven track record in pre-university education.”

“The SAM programme at DISTED is part of the course cluster that received a 5-star excellent rating in the Malaysian Quality Evaluation System for Private Colleges (MyQUEST) 2012/2013 conducted by the Ministry of Education.

“MyQUEST too ranked DISTED a 5-Star College,” she added.
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Placed among the top 10% of all 2013 SAM achievers in the world are DISTED students (from left) Teh Xian Zhi (ATAR 99.60), Nilasha Krishnan (ATAR 97.50), Jolene Joan Anthony Dass (ATAR 97.35), Sng Ya Ting (ATAR 90.00), Ch'ng Jian Sheng (ATAR 94.45), Namora Hadi Lubis (ATAR 92.20) and Ho Chen Rui (ATAR 91.60).
Placed among the top 10% of all 2013 SAM achievers in the world are DISTED students (from left) Teh Xian Zhi (ATAR 99.60), Nilasha Krishnan (ATAR 97.50), Jolene Joan Anthony Dass (ATAR 97.35), Sng Ya Ting (ATAR 90.00), Ch’ng Jian Sheng (ATAR 94.45), Namora Hadi Lubis (ATAR 92.20) and Ho Chen Rui (ATAR 91.60).

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Rejoicing over their fine achievements in SAM are DISTED students (from left) Loh Xunzheng (ATAR 89.45), Lau Lu Yew (ATAR 88.55), Jeffery Yeow Teh Thiry (ATAR 85.85), Alvin Boey Yeng Eu (ATAR 82.65), Janice Ng Jia Ying (ATAR 88.85), Melody Chong Yi Wen (ATAR 84.60), Gaurav Patel Vijay Kumar Patel (ATAR 85.50), Denise Su Yi Ting (ATAR 83.35), Iva Yee May Yan (ATAR 84.60) and Khoo Yi Sen (ATAR 81.60).
Rejoicing over their fine achievements in SAM are DISTED students (from left) Loh Xunzheng (ATAR 89.45), Lau Lu Yew (ATAR 88.55), Jeffery Yeow Teh Thiry (ATAR 85.85), Alvin Boey Yeng Eu (ATAR 82.65), Janice Ng Jia Ying (ATAR 88.85), Melody Chong Yi Wen (ATAR 84.60), Gaurav Patel Vijay Kumar Patel (ATAR 85.50), Denise Su Yi Ting (ATAR 83.35), Iva Yee May Yan (ATAR 84.60) and Khoo Yi Sen (ATAR 81.60).

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Hard work with good time management and relaxation underpinned the ATAR 99.60 par excellence success of Teh Xian Zhi, an ex-student of SMJK Chung Ling Pulau Pinang with SPM 11As, including 10A+.

“Paying attention in class is of paramount importance. By learning well in class, I saved considerable revision time at home.

“To be better prepared for the exam, I did plenty of academic exercises and often asked questions to consolidate my understanding of the lessons taught.

“I refreshed my mind for studying through de-stressing activities such as watching comedy movies and Korean variety shows,” said Teh, who plans to read for an applied mathematics or engineering degree in Singapore.

He was involved in the DISTED pet adoption programme where he contributed voluntary services to Save Our Strays (SOS) Penang.

In appreciating the good work of his SAM lecturers, Teh commented: “By teaching with enthusiasm and being ever helpful, they inspire students to strive harder academically.”

As to his choice of pre-university education, he pointed out: “The coursework component in SAM adds excitement to learning and is useful for developing academic skills and soft skills which are transferable to degree studies and working life.”
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DISTED mathematics lecturer Teng Wei Jian (left) congratulating par excellence SAM ATAR 99.60 achiever Teh Xian Zhi for obtaining subject merit award in Specialist Mathematics. Looking on is Nilasha Krishnan who scored ATAR 97.50 and received subject merit award in Biology.
DISTED mathematics lecturer Teng Wei Jian (left) congratulating par excellence SAM ATAR 99.60 achiever Teh Xian Zhi for obtaining subject merit award in Specialist Mathematics. Looking on is Nilasha Krishnan who scored ATAR 97.50 and received subject merit award in Biology.

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DISTED students celebrating their high flying success in 2013 SAM examination.
DISTED students celebrating their high flying success in 2013 SAM examination.

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Pharmacist wannabe Goh Wan Ling said of her high flying achievement of ATAR 98.30: “I’m exhilarated that my conscientious efforts and devotion to academic pursuit have borne fruit of great success in SAM.”

“I’m grateful to my SAM lecturers too as they are not only great in teaching but also, in giving students guidance and encouragement to deal with the challenges of studying the course,” said the former student of SMJK Perempuan China Pulau Pinang who scored SPM 9As, including 8A+.

“SAM is an ideal pre-university course as it can be completed in a fast-track pace of 1 year and provides a holistic education experience by combining coursework and examination,” she added.

Goh was the editor of the DISTED SAM magazine and took part in the college’s pet adoption programme to show care for the strays.

Bringing life to learning

DISTED College welcomed its first cohort of new students in 2013 to embark on the exciting journey of higher education that connects them to their future careers. 

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New DISTED students of 2013 January intake attending an orientation briefing.
New DISTED students of 2013 January intake attending an orientation briefing.

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All excited to begin their journey of higher education at DISTED are (from left) Valerie Ong Dina, Gan Wan Ning, Koh Siew Mei and Kristie Teng Ke Xin.
All excited to begin their journey of higher education at DISTED are (from left) Valerie Ong Dina, Gan Wan Ning, Koh Siew Mei and Kristie Teng Ke Xin.

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“Starting college education is thrilling as it marks a new phase in my life with exciting opportunities to pick up fresh learning experiences and make new friends.

“It requires adaptation to a more independent style of learning too,” said Cambridge A-Level student Kristie Teng Ke Xin.

Her desire to study at DISTED ignited when she attended Camp Boss, a financial planning workshop for secondary school students, at the college in 2011.

“I was greatly impressed with the nice campus ambience when taking part in the camp. Now I’m back here with the determination to excel in my studies while enjoying new social circles.

“I’m also attracted by the strong reputation of the college as a leading provider of pre-university education,” commented the former student of SMK (P) Methodist, who aspires to take up engineering or finance degree studies in the UK.
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Fresh DISTED students taking part in an induction programme that fosters fraternity and camaraderie.
Fresh DISTED students taking part in an induction programme that fosters fraternity and camaraderie.

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Sharing a happy moment are new DISTED students (seated, from left) Lim Shi Wei, Khor Gang Quan and (standing) Teoh Jia Hou.
Sharing a happy moment are new DISTED students (seated, from left) Lim Shi Wei, Khor Gang Quan and (standing) Teoh Jia Hou.

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SMJK Chung Ling Butterworth ex-student Teoh Jia Hou shared his excitement: “I’m looking forward to beyond acquiring an academic qualification.”

“I intend to be involved in extramural activities too to bring life to learning for a more fulfilling education experience,” said the Diploma in Accountancy student, whose choice of study discipline was influenced by personal interest and his mother who is an accountant.

Kristie Teng and Teoh were among the fresh students of Cambridge A-Level, South Australian Matriculation, business studies, accountancy, ACCA, computer science and psychology who took part in an orientation held on 2 January at the DISTED Yeap Chor Ee Campus on Macalister Road.

As for new hospitality students, they attended an induction programme at the DISTED Hospitality Campus on China Street Ghaut.
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New students of DISTED having fun in the water slide game during the orientation.
New students of DISTED having fun in the water slide game during the orientation.

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Orientation activity leader Thinakkaaran Thamilchelvam (standing, foreground), a Diploma in Creative Multimedia Production student, conducting a fun game for the freshies.
Orientation activity leader Thinakkaaran Thamilchelvam (standing, foreground), a Diploma in Creative Multimedia Production student, conducting a fun game for the freshies.

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New DISTED students getting better acquainted with each other the fun way in a game.
New DISTED students getting better acquainted with each other the fun way in a game.