PENANG, 6 December, 2012: Two professors from the School of Humanities, Professor Wan Ruslan Ismail, who researched on physical geography and Professor Sohaimi Abdul Aziz, who specialises in literature (Theory and Literary Criticism), gave public lectures for their professorial appointments at USM Dewan Budaya today.

In the lecture titled “Sedimen Sungai: Warisan dari Gunung” [River Sediments: Legacy of the Mountain], Wan Ruslan said that sediments in the form of particles or dissolved substances resulted from the weathering and transported by agents such as running water, is a source of pollutants in aquatic systems and is the main cause of deterioration of water quality.

“The situation is aggravated when there are uncontrolled felling of trees and poor planning for highland forests; for example, housing projects, the development of agro-tourism park or recreational park have resulted in soil erosion because forests, serving as a natural water catchment areas, have been destroyed.

“As a result, mud and silt carried down, especially during the heavy rains, have contaminated rivers and lakes as well as ruining the water quality and destroying the ecosystem of the area,” said Wan Ruslan.

Professor Wan Ruslan Ismail was born in Kampong Guar Syed Alwi, Kangar, Perlis, and has served as a lecturer of Universiti Sains Malaysia since July 14, 1984. He was attached to the Malaysian Meteorological Service Department before pursuing a Masters degree in the field of Oceanography at the University of Southampton.

Together with him, Professor Sohaimi Abdul Aziz who also delivered a public lecture for professorial appointment, discussed the "Teknoteks dan Transformasi Pengajian Kesusasteraan: Mensinergikan Sastera, Teknologi dan Kritikan” [Technotexts and Transformational Studies in Literature: Synergizing Arts, Technology and Criticism].

“When literature and media technologies merge, they result in an electronic literature known as technotext. Harry Potter films are the best example in the field of technotext because this work is very unique,” said Sohaimi.

According to Sohaimi, teaching literature also needs to transform to be in line with the transformation of higher learning around the world that is taking place.

“With this transformation, the study of literature is not only able to transfer knowledge of literary and intellectual skills, but also contribute to the creative industry which a major contributor to the national and global economy.

“Furthermore, this transformation is expected to produce graduates with greater added value while preserving a balance between knowledge and wisdom in the field of science and technology,” said Sohaimi.

Sohaimi who pursued his higher education at the Temple University, Philadelphia, is active in community activities and also developed a learning culture through associations where he participated.

The two professors were introduced by the dean of the School of Humanities, Professor Dato' Abu Talib Ahmad. Also present in this public lecture is Prof. Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Division of Academic and International Affairs). - Text: Nor Rafizah Md. Zain & Tan Ewe Hoe / Photo: Mohd. Fairus Md. Isa / Translation: Yong Check Yoon

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