Students Engagement Program
the Risk of Zoonotic Diseases
by Harmonizing Hard
and Soft Skills
“I'm so very happy to join the SEAOHUN in the video competition, that was a new experience for me to create the video for raising awareness for people to understand the Risk of Zoonotic Disease… my team members [and I] learned a lot from making the video, especially about teamwork… we always motivate each other and keep working together during the pandemic. Finally, I thank you for creating this program that is an opportunity for youth to learn from each other and we contribute to helping our society or community.”
While the impact of this competition remains to be realized in its entirety, SEAOHUN can already see a great deal of talent in the next generation of the One Health workforce. Students are showing positive response to the entire competition, including what one student wrote in our anonymous post-competition feedback survey.
For the second year in a row, the students of SEAOHUN were given the opportunity to utilize their creative skills and technical knowledge to engage unscientific communities. Teams of 4 multidisciplinary students from member Universities across Southeast Asia One Health University Network entered the 2021 SEAOHUN Students’ Regional Competition. Teams had to create an original video to communicate the risk of zoonotic diseases from 3 topics: gender and zoonotic diseases, underserved communities and their interactions with animals, and wildlife and zoonotic diseases. These topics are especially applicable in 2021 as the world is reminded of its vulnerability to pandemics. The competition stimulated students’ learning on how to disseminate scientific knowledge in plain language and to practice the use of “soft” skills such as communication, collaboration, and creativity, in harmony with the “hard” or technical skills taught in their university programs.
On May 28th 2021, SEAOHUN, in partnership with the One Health Workforce – Next Generation consortium and Chevron, held a webinar focusing on effective narrative and compelling delivery style. About 200 interested students joined the webinar resulting in 52 submissions from 7 member countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Additionally, on June 28th, 2021, SEAOHUN in collaboration with Chevron’s media professionals, organized one-on-one virtual sessions with teams who wanted to receive feedback to make their videos more engaging and attractive.
Students’ submissions demonstrated their comprehension not only of the topic but of how to relay key information in engaging ways. Judges from One Health disciplines and public relations were tasked to rank videos based on various criteria including scientific accuracy, creativity, and the conveyance of One Health principles. Students’ ability to blend knowledge and creativity in storytelling impressed the judges. The top two videos in each country are featured on SEAOHUN’s YouTube channel.
Through social media interaction, the videos reached beyond just the students, judges, and member universities. Viewers from over 10 countries tuned in to the videos allowing some of them to gain recognition by educators and aid organizations. One example of this comes from the Panthera Tigris team in Malaysia who received nearly 39,000 views, and more than 20,000 likes over 6 days of public voting:
“As the video went viral, there was one teacher in another district who contacted us, she told us how amazing the video was, and she was very excited to share it with her school students. I think this is a great opportunity for us to share this video with our younger generation so they can gain information about what is going on in Malaysia and what they can do help improve this.”
-Shasha, Panthera Tigris
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