Staying Connected Through the UC Alumni Association

The University of Cambodia Alumni Association (UCAA) is a growing organization with big aspirations. The University of Cambodia (UC) established UCAA in March 2009 with the participation of hundreds of alumni.

According to Sean Thorninn, President of UCAA and a part-time instructor in the College of Management, the objectives of UCAA include serving both students and alumni while supporting the university; developing alumni opportunities to network and socialize; providing alumni and students lifelong connections to each other and the University of Cambodia (UC); bringing personal and professional benefits to alumni, students, staff and faculty, and the University; and contributing to social and community development activities.

The short term goals of UCAA are to strengthen its organizational structure and management framework, host a few workshops related to career development, organize an event that allows alumni to network and share their experiences, and contribute to at least one social or community development activity.

For its long term goals, UCAA plans to raise funds for local and international scholarships for poor students who wish to pursue their degrees at UC, help the University organize student exchange programs, and successful implement its short term goals.

Dr. Y Ratana, Dean of Undergraduates Studies and Foundation Year, said that UCAA helps students to connect with each other even though they have graduated from the University and work at different institutions.

‘’UCAA is important to guide and share [the] experiences of former UC students to current UC students through workshops or conferences, and to give feedback to the University,’’ said Dr. Y Ratana.

Although UCAA formed two years ago, some students still do not know about the organization and the benefits of joining it. ‘’I used to hear about UCAA, but I don’t know. . .[its]. . .function and its benefits,’’ said Kheam Lavy, a UC student majoring in English Literature studying in term four.

She added that she participated in a workshop hosted by UCAA in the past, and that she will register for this association once she completes her degree because it is important for graduates.

Mr. Sean Thorninn said that it is simple to enroll in UCAA. Once a student graduates from UC and has filled out the alumni application, he or she will be automatically registered in UCAA. He added that if the association functions well, it will offer many benefits to UC, its students, and alumni.

He also shared that the elected officers of UCAA have a two-year mandate; after that, new officers will be elected by alumni at an annual meeting. Candidates are nominated by themselves or their friends to run for one of the five UCAA officer positions: President, Vice President of Administrative Affairs, Vice President of Technical Affairs, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Last year, UCAA hosted a workshop at UC on career development, the development of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia, and work opportunities at Amret MFI. This year, it hopes to garner even more support from other UC alumni and invites the UC community to partake in its activities.