Global Forums Teach, Inspire Bruin Communities Abroad




Earlier this summer, Bruins around the world had the opportunity to hear from UCLA faculty and alumni about their research and accomplishments in their respective fields in the Global Forum Series. The Global Forums, organized by the International Institute, aim to connect UCLA alumni, friends, students and families living abroad by inviting professors and alumni to speak on topics of global and local importance. Throughout the month of June, members of the UCLA community came together for Global Forums in four different cities: Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei and Seoul.


Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement Cindy Fan said the events are designed to not only allow participants to hear about UCLA’s cutting-edge research and global impact, but to provide them with time to engage in stimulating discussion and form meaningful connections with fellow Bruins as well.


“We want to make sure that the audience and the participants feel the excitement …. that they're not there just to listen to a lecture, that they are there also to contribute,” Fan said.


For the first time, the Global Forums were held on the same days and in the same locations as the New Bruin Send-offs, prompting many new Bruins to attend the Forums shortly after the Send-offs.


Participants in both the Send-offs and the Global Forums received a warm welcome from Chancellor Gene Block and responded energetically to his presence, often bursting out clapping throughout his speeches.


UCLA Alumni Affairs’ Director of Regional Networks Monica Lee ‘01 said scheduling both events together allowed for the incorporation of a larger part of the UCLA community into the Global Forums, as incoming and current students and their families were motivated to participate in the Forums along with alumni.


“ It was good having a younger perspective on the questions (asked in the Forums),” Lee said.


Hong Kong (June 21)


Chancellor Block and Wing Hung Ki ’90, Ph.D. ’95 in Hong Kong



More than 100 people attended the Global Forum in Hong Kong, during which Wing Hung Ki ’90, Ph.D. ’95, professor of electronic and computer engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, spoke on the diverse and versatile applications of wireless power technology.


Taipei (June 23)


Jau-Hsiung Huang,  M.S. ’85, Ph.D. ’88



Jau-Hsiung Huang, M.S. ’85, Ph.D. ’88, the chairman and chief technology officer of Cyberlink Corporation, spoke on the power of software technology, drawing on his experiences in both American and Taiwanese cultures and economies to discuss the future of engineering education, upcoming trends in tech, and the UCLA community’s role in expanding new tech opportunities in both countries. Huang also spoke on the importance of connectivity between members of a community, explaining how his connections to UCLA and Taiwan not only propelled his career, but enabled him to mentor others in both settings. About 50 people were in attendance.


Beijing (June 28)


8-clap in Beijing



About 150 attended the Global Forum in Beijing, during which Min Zhou, professor of sociology and Asian American studies and director of the Asia Pacific Center at UCLA, spoke on the Chinese experience in the United States and the challenges that Chinese immigrants face in light of the country’s current political climate and discussion about immigration. Zhou’s discussion helped provide a thorough insight into life in the United States to parents and family members of incoming students from China who had questions about how their students would be impacted overseas.


Seoul (June 29)


Professor Dennis Hong presents his work in robotics



More than 100 people attended the Global Forum in Seoul, which featured a conversation with Professor Dennis Hong about his work in robotics with the Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLA). Hong demonstrated not only his cutting-edge research in the field of robotics through his talk, but also conveyed the importance of teamwork and resilience. In his presentation, Hong showed videos of robots engaging in activities such as playing soccer or opening doors, many of which were unsuccessful in carrying out these tasks or broke while doing so. Through showing videos of both successes and failures, Hong demonstrated the importance of not giving up and moving forward when problems arise.

Upcoming Global Forums and New Bruin Send-offs


Manila New Bruin Send-off (Aug. 4)
2 – 5 p.m.
The Rockwell Club, Hidalgo Function Room
#23 Amorsolo Dr.
Makati, Manila, Philippines


Ho Chi Minh New Bruin Send-off (Aug. 12)
9 – 11 a.m.
The Workshop Coffee
27 Ngo Duc Ke Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Bangkok New Bruin Send-off (Aug. 19)
3 - 5 p.m.
Royal Bangkok Sports Club
1 Henri Dunant St.
Pathumwan Bangkok, Thailand


Bangkok Global Forum (Aug. 19)
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
InterContinental Bangkok Hotel
Pinnacle Rooms 4-6
973 Phloen Chit Road
Lumpini, Pathum Wan
Bangkok, Thailand


Chancellor Gene Block will discuss his research on how circadian rhythms regulate our sleep and wakefulness cycles, and how shifting work schedules, technology exposure and travel across time zones can disrupt these cycles.


Manila Global Forum (Aug. 23)
6 - 8 p.m.
Manila Polo Club
Turf Room
McKinley Road, Forbes Park
Makati City, Philippines


Archeologist Mylene Lising will give a talk titled, "The Journey of Humans: The First People Out of Africa." Professor Stephen Acabado will provide commentary to supplement Lising’s talk, and UCLA alumnus Venu Kotamraju will moderate a Q&A.


Singapore Global Forum (Aug. 24)
7 - 9 p.m.
Regent Singapore Hotel
Tanglin Room
1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore


Hwee Hua Lim, MBA ’89, former minister at the Singapore Prime Minister's Office, will give a talk titled, "Ahead of the Curve: From Traditional Education to Lifelong Learning."


Singapore New Bruin Send-off (Aug. 25)
6 – 9 p.m.
The Sail at Marina Bay
2 Marina Boulevard, Tower 1, Level 44 Function Room


Indonesia New Bruin Send-off (Aug. 25)
2 – 4 p.m.
Hoshino Tea Time
Menara BTPN, Jl. Dr. Ide Anak
Agung Gde Agung, Kuningan
Jakarta, Indonesia


For more information and to RSVP for future Global Forums, visit


For more information and to RSVP for New Bruin Send-offs, visit