Prof Padmore Adusei Amoah
Assistant Professor, School of Graduate Studies, Lingnan University
Making Hong Kong Home
Dr Padmore Adusei Amoah has gone to great lengths to ensure that he received a stellar education. The thoughtful and soft-spoken Research Assistant Professor at Lingnan University received his BSc in Development Planning at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. The young graduate then spent two years at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology doing an MPhil in Development Studies, where he linked up by email with a professor at Lingnan who was researching healthcare in the developing world. He suggested to the young student, who had a similar interest, to apply for Lingnan’s PhD programme, where he got accepted with a government fellowship.
Having never visited any parts of Asia before, Dr Amoah was not quite sure what to expect. All he knew was his supervisor. After he arrived and settled down, he gathered his books, notes and proposal to be discussed at the first meeting with the professor, but the first question the supervisor asked him was “Do you play football?”
“I had all this stuff in my hands, and I was like ‘OK, yes, I play football….’ And he said, ‘OK then, let’s go and play football’,” Dr Amoah says, admitting that it was so confusing and comforting at the same time that he will never forget this episode. “He drove me to the pitch and on the way we discussed my work. He relieved all my anxiety about my research, and I got to talk freely about what I wanted to do. And I still play with the team he introduced me to.”
While some academics are in a pain to fulfil their obligations to publish studies, Dr Amoah has already published several articles since he graduated with a PhD about a year ago.
“And I see a lot more coming. I was actually working on one this morning” he says, explaining that he would like to expand his research undertaken for his PhD about social capital, health literacy and access to healthcare, and take the relevant parts to enlarge them into a comparative study between a country in Africa and East Asian countries.
He appreciates the support given by Lingnan, the resources available here and the opportunities for collaboration, especially meeting people of similar interest through conferences. To further promote collaboration in research, currently the Alliance of Asian Liberal Arts Universities is setting up research sub-teams, where researchers can work together. Apart from research, he also has numerous engagements with students.
“At Lingnan, our ambition is to contribute wherever we can, so I don’t only stick to writing or research, I teach as well. I mainly focus on postgraduates, because I work with the Division of Graduate Studies,” he explains.
Dr Amoah says, at Lingnan PhD students get excellent training in teaching, which was very helpful last year when he started teaching. He could revisit the portfolio he had put together and revise the best methods of class delivery, how to engage students, what materials to use and how to involve technology.
He is also responsible for a student-led research programme that encourages interdisciplinary studies. Students from different disciplines organise into groups, and come up with research ideas, which they can discuss and refine with Dr Amoah.
Conferences are also an important focus point of teaching and learning at Lingnan. There is one course which requires students to attend one of the numerous symposiums at Lingnan. As part of their participations, students must a take notes and then write an essay about what they have learned and how they relate that to their own learning experience and future research. Students usually give good feedback, and some think that it is even better than sitting in lectures.
Dr Amoah would like to see Lingnan becoming a Hong Kong or even East Asian centre for social policy research. As the only university in Hong Kong which has a department that combines Sociology and Social Policy, and a Centre for Social Policy and Social Change, it is well positioned to develop this area further. “I think Lingnan has a niche to be able to do that,” he says.