Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Research

My research interests fall into two main areas, namely sustainable surf tourism, including coastal resources and tourism management, and the history of Asian civilizations, including ethnohistorical research on the Bunun, a Taiwanese indigenous group.

Teaching

Since 2007, I have been teaching various courses including Interdisciplinary Studies, Environmental StudiesEastern and Southeast Asian Civilization and Geography at the Department of Thai and ASEAN Studies, Faculty of International Studies (FIS), Prince of Songkla University, on the island of Phuket, Thailand.

Education

In 2013, I earned my PhD in Environmental Management by developing an index for coastal management. The surf resource sustainability index (SRSI) I developed is a methodology which is now used for assessing the conservation aptitude of surfing areas globally.

In 2010, I obtained my MBA in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Prince of Songkla University (PSU) in Phuket, and subsequently received a full scholarship for PhD research in Environmental Management.

Through the support of a Taiwan Scholarship from the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Los Angeles, I completed a Master's of Arts in Taiwan Studies in 2006 at National Chengchi University (NCCU), Taipei, ROC.

I graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies (Experiential Studies in Chinese Culture & Philosophy) with the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH) in 2001, after earning my Associate in Arts degree from the Hawaii Community College (HCC) in 2000.

Publication

My research output to date includes more than 50 articles and papers, ranging from articles in popular magazines to peer-reviewed international journal papers. Please visit the Surf Tourism Research and Taiwan Journal pages to learn more about my key research and publication areas.

Study Abroad

I am happy to see that international education and study abroad programs are increasingly seen as important and relevant globally, and I regularly mentor and facilitate groups of students in intercultural exchange programs.

I attribute a great deal of my academic success to experiential learning. I have traveled to more than 40 countries, and taken part in nine undergraduate study abroad programs:

  • 5 Summer Programs in China (University of Hawaii and Peking University — PKU).
  • 1 Summer Program in Costa Rica (University Study Abroad Consortium — USAC).
  • 1 Semester Program in South Africa (School for International Training — SIT).
  • 1 Semester Program in Spain (College Consortium for International Studies — CCIS).
  • 1 Academic Year Program in Taiwan (Ming Hsin University of Science and Technology — MUST).

Video and Film

When I was living in Taiwan, I was approached by an agent for a Taiwanese film production company. They recruited me to appear in various TV commercials, including some for blue-chip companies such as Nissan. This led to my being offered a leading role in the successful made-for-TV Taiwanese drama film Numbers.

One of my classmates introduced me to American filmmaker Tommie Williamson, who invited me to fly to Taidong in southeast Taiwan, to work as a researcher and writer on an oral ethnography project. We would be documenting on film the life-histories of a fascinating and unique people who were among the last to be contacted and subjugated by the Japanese colonists.

The project changed the direction of my life, and I spent the next four years making ethnographic films for the Bunun, an ethnolinguistic group who had lost their traditional lands during the Japanese Colony on Taiwan (1895-1945).

At present, I am working with Edward E. Vaughan, an accomplished Associate Director (CBS News) and Assistant Director, Production Manager, Producer and Director on many popular TV shows and movies. Our work focuses on creating educational content including personal video-taped interviews of students and professors, exploring the diverse range of leadership and international education experiences currently available in Asia, especially in Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.