A total of 38 faculty members received the long-service award at UIC’s 2019 annual party held on 27 March. Several international faculty members were recipients of the award, having spent over 10 years at UIC. Below, some of the international recipients look back at what brought them to UIC and why they have stayed here so long, as well as the most memorable moments of their 10-year venture.


Group photo of the recipients of the long service award 2019


Dr Edoardo Monaco

Division of Humanities and Social Sciences (DHSS) Associate Professor, Dr Edoardo Monaco, has always had an interest in coming to Asia ever since he was a young boy in Italy. “Since my early studies in Italy, in fact, I have been interested in growth and development governance, and for long I have wanted to come to Asia and experience first-hand the dramatic change that this continent has been undergoing.”

Dr Monaco explained that UIC has provided him with not only a platform from which to explore and observe the Chinese development context but also with the opportunity to be an active agent of that very process of change.

When asked about memorable moments at UIC, Dr Monaco included the President's award for teaching and service 2015-16, receiving regular emails from alumni saying they valued what they learned with him. However, one particularly touching single event perhaps was the book-by-book, hand-to-hand human chain from library-to-library, when UIC moved from the old campus to the new, “It was a tangible example of unity and cooperation for common growth, with top management - President included - directly and personally leading (again, by example) the actual efforts, offering a smile and a handshake to each and every student they approached along the lengthy human chain.”


Mr Michael Mehrubon Mavloni

Born in Palermo, Italy and later moving to Saint Petersburg of Russia where he was raised, English Learning Centre (ELC) lecturer Mr Mavloni was attracted to UIC, as it was one of the best universities in Zhuhai.

“Seeing my students improve, and the continuous support I receive from the Director of ELC and others from senior management made me want to stay longer” explained Mr Mavloni.

Mr Mavloni’s most memorable moment at UIC has been meeting his former students again at a Homecoming Event.


Dr Nazrul Islam

General Education Office (GEO) Associate Professor Dr Nazrul Islam from Bangladesh explained that UIC was his first job after completing his PhD. “I was impressed by the natural beauty of Zhuhai city during a personal visit.”

When Dr Islam’s friend informed him about a job at UIC, he did not hesitate to accept the offer. Having been at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) prior to moving, Dr Islam found Zhuhai very different to Hong Kong in various ways during that time, “It was less crowded, less busy and having lush greenery”.

“Successfully organizing the Second Interdisciplinary Forum on Belt Road Connectivity and Eurasian Integration, receiving Long Service Award, the moment the hard copy of my sole-authored book ‘Chinese and Indian Medicine Today: Branding Asia’ had arrived” have been Dr Islam’s most cherished moments during his time at UIC.

Dr Islam described UIC students as gentle, hardworking, and respectful to their teachers. “They don't make the teacher's life difficult. UIC let me do the academic works I intended to do.”


Dr Monaco (second from left), Mr Mavloni (fifth from right), Dr Islam (fourth from right)


Mr Darrell Rea

ELC Senior Lecturer, Mr Darrell Rea, had been in China already for five years when he applied for a position at UIC. The demand for Mr Rea was high as five other universities had all offered him positions, but it was UIC’s freedom of living off-campus helped Mr Rea with his final choice.

“My son was born in Zhuhai. He is Chinese. I wanted to raise him with both the Chinese and the Western culture,“ Mr Rea explained.

“I have so many happy memories of UIC, I hope they are not my last,” he said when asked about his memorable moments at UIC. “Was it the time we all clubbed together to make a long line of students to move all our books from our old library to our new building? Or the second time when we moved all the books to the new campus? Or the first time I came to the new campus lost and confused? Maybe one of the annual dinners, where we ate and chatted with our co-workers. Maybe the best times for me were meeting so many smart professors from all over the world, and talking to them.”

Mr Rea says he is happy and proud to have helped, if only in a small way, so many students.


Mr Darrell Rea (second from right)


Dr Sunny Seon Phil Jeong

South Korean native and Division of Science and Technology (DST) Associate Professor, Dr Sunny Seon Phil Jeong, was working for a local government and a university in Korea simultaneously when he applied to UIC. “One of my best friends introduced me to UIC. Then, I got to know UIC's uniqueness and was fascinated by the philosophy of UIC.”

Dr Jeong thinks the particularity of UIC has kept him here for the past ten years.

“The most memorable moment is when I attended the first graduation ceremony at UIC,” said Dr Jeong. “I still keep in touch with some of the UIC graduates and now we became lifetime friends. I feel special whenever I receive greeting messages from UIC graduates from the world.”

Dr Jeong claims he is lucky to have smart, kind and generous colleagues that he continues to learn from. In short, Dr Jeong says "I am growing with UIC".


Dr Sunny Seon Phil Jeong (second from right)


Reporter: Samuel Burgess
Photograph: Ivy Liao
Editors: Deen He, Marissa Furney, Étienne Fermie
(from MPRO)