A UTM student, Rooster Tumeng is the only Malaysian academic fellow representative at the Youth Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Academic Fellowship Program, hosted by the University of Connecticut.

Rooster Tumeng is a student at the Department of Software Engineering, Faculty of Computing, UTM who is enrolled in a Master of Philosophy Software Engineering program. The success of his selection into this program is due to his deep interest in learning about social entrepreneurship for the betterment of rural communities. His hope is to acquire as much knowledge as he can throughout his stay in the United States.

The Youth Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is U.S President Barack Obama’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. This year, 21 youth leaders across ASEAN nations from different academic backgrounds were selected for a fully funded, academic fellowship on Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut. The academic fellowship is a 5-week program that includes an academic residency, leadership development, an educational study tour, local community service activities, and opportunities to engage with American peers. The program will conclude in Washington, D.C., to allow for engagement with policymakers, governmental representatives, businesses, and think tanks.

The distribution of this year’s YSEALI selected academic fellows  is as follows; 1 Malaysian, 1 Singaporean, 1 Lao, 2 Thais, 2 Cambodians , 2 Burmese , 2 Filipinos, 5 Indonesians, and 5 Vietnamese.

These academic fellows have been selected by their respective local U.S embassies based on their background, experience, leadership record, and commitment to service. This year’s spring academic fellowship commences on March 5 and ends on April 8, 2016.

The selection criteria for this program are as follows; demonstrate strong leadership qualities and track record in their university, place of work, and/or community; demonstrate knowledge, or professional experience in one of the YSEALI themes: civic engagement, environment and natural resources management, or entrepreneurship and economic development; demonstrate a commitment to community service, volunteerism, or mentorship; indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States and ASEAN as a region; be willing to actively participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and study tour; have a commitment to return to their home country to apply leadership skills and training to benefit their community, country, or the ASEAN region; and preferably have little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States.

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