SONSIK International Conference 2024: Advancing Collaborative Leadership and Interdisciplinary Innovation

SONSIK International Conference
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20 June 2024, Kathmandu

The Society of Nepalese Students in Korea (SONSIK) celebrated its 20th anniversary with the SONSIK International Conference 2024 at Namseoul University, themed “Collaborative Leadership: Catalyzing Interdisciplinary Innovation and Scientific Excellence for Sustainable Development.

The event featured keynote speeches, special sessions on mental health, and parallel discussions across various disciplines, drawing over 200 participants from six countries. The conference culminated with the launch of the SONSIK app and the signing of an MOU with Korea Study News, marking a significant milestone in fostering international academic collaboration.

The Society of Nepalese Students in Korea (SONSIK), in collaboration with 남서울대학교(Namseoul University) and with the support of the Embassy of Nepal in Seoul, successfully organized the SONSIK International Conference 2024, marking the society’s 20th anniversary.

This significant event, which also represented the 10th edition of the SONSIK Educational Seminar, was held under the theme “Collaborative Leadership: Catalyzing Interdisciplinary Innovation and Scientific Excellence for Sustainable Development.” The conference saw the participation of over 200 students, researchers, scientists, and professors from various universities, with presenters from six different countries.

The conference was graced by the virtual presence of Hon. Sumana Shrestha, Minister of Education, Science, and Technology of Nepal, and special guests including Prof. Dr. Yoon Seung Yong, President of Namseoul University; Mr. Pushpa Raj Bhattarai, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Nepal, Seoul; and Ms. Kim Na Yun, Team Director at the Study in Korea Center, National Institute for International Education (NIIED). The opening ceremony was inaugurated by Prof. Dr. Yoon Seung Yong and Mr. Pushpa Raj Bhattarai and was chaired by Mr. Meghanath Poudel, President of SONSIK.

In her congratulatory address, Hon. Minister Shrestha emphasized the importance of such conferences in uniting scientists and researchers from Nepal, South Korea, and around the world. She expressed her support for holding similar events in Nepal in the future. Namseoul University President Prof. Dr. Yong, Deputy Chief of Mission Mr. Bhattarai, and Honorary Chair of the Scientific Committee Dr. Devi Basnet also highlighted the significance of interdisciplinary collaboration for sustainable development and commended SONSIK for organizing the event.

Due to health reasons, H.E. Prof. Dr. Jyoti Pyakuryal (Bhandari) could not attend, but her congratulatory message was read by Mr. Meghanath Poudel. Mr. Kiran Suwal, Program Coordinator of the conference, delivered the welcome speech, and Mr. Poudel expressed gratitude to all guests and participants.

The ceremony was jointly hosted by Mr. Narayan Sarraf, Dr. Kamala KC, and Ms. Kanti Khatiwada.

During the opening session, SONSIK launched its long-awaited SONSIK app, designed to ease student life in South Korea. Mr. Kumar Shrestha, coordinator of the SONSIK IT subcommittee, introduced the app, and Mr. Bhattarai, Deputy Chief of Mission, launched the SONSIK app.

Keynote speeches were delivered by Prof. Dr. Niranjan Parajuli of Tribhuvan University, Nepal, on “Journey Towards a Sustainable Common Future,” and Prof. Dr. Lewis Nkenyereye of Sejong University on “International Students’ Study Choices for Sustainable Development: The Role of AI and Cybersecurity.” Renowned TV personality Mr. Sujan Shakya gave a special speech on “Navigating the Scope After Graduation in South Korea: Opportunities and Challenges.”

The first day featured special sessions on mental health by Prof. Dr. Kim Eun Sil and Prof. Dr. Thapa Sirjana from the Department of Global Addiction Rehabilitation Counseling at Namseoul University. Their session, titled “Mind Matters: Understanding and Supporting Mental Health,” focused on psychological well-being, mental illness, counseling strategies, and brain systems involved in cognition, emotion, perception, and behavior. The day also included a talent show, a drawing competition for immigrant Nepali children, and a quiz contest.

During the SONSIK International Conference 2024 at Namseoul University, participants engaged in four parallel sessions aimed at exploring diverse fields of study crucial for global advancement. The sessions covered a spectrum of disciplines, catering to the academic interests and research endeavors of attendees.The Natural Science and Medicinal Science session, chaired by Prof. Dr. Agni Koirala and moderated by Dr. Saugat Siwakoti, delved into groundbreaking research in natural sciences and medicinal advancements. Discussions revolved around innovative approaches in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and environmental sciences, highlighting contributions towards sustainable development.

Simultaneously, the IT, Engineering, and Computer Science session, led by Prof. Dr. Gyanendra Prasad Joshi and moderated by Dr. Bimal Subedi, showcased cutting-edge developments in technology and engineering. Participants explored themes ranging from artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to software engineering and robotics, emphasizing the role of technological innovation in addressing global challenges.

In the Social Science and Management Studies session, chaired by Prof. Dr. Madhu Sudan Atteraya and Prof. Dr. Shreejana Gnawali, with moderation by Dr. Kapil Gurung, discussions centered on socio-economic trends, management strategies, and policy implications. Scholars presented research on organizational behavior, governance frameworks, and sustainable business practices, underscoring the importance of integrating social sciences with management principles for holistic development.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing session, chaired by Prof. Dr. Sirjana Thapa and Prof. Dr. Eun Sil Kim, and moderated by Hammad Ul Hassan and Sakuntala Rai, addressed critical issues in psychological well-being and mental health support systems. Topics included therapeutic interventions, mental health advocacy, and the societal impact of mental health policies, highlighting interdisciplinary efforts to promote holistic health care solutions.

These parallel sessions not only facilitated in-depth exploration of specific fields but also fostered cross-disciplinary collaborations among researchers and academics from diverse cultural backgrounds. The collective insights shared during these sessions are expected to contribute significantly to advancing knowledge and fostering sustainable development initiatives globally.

In total, 29 oral presentations were given, including special invited presentations by Dr. Puna Maya Maharjan, Prof. Dr. Han Byeol Yoo, Prof. Dr. Han Yun Jung, Prof. Dr. Ae Jong Park, and Prof. Dr. Sharan Hari Shrestha. Over 25 young scientists presented posters evaluated by a team led by Prof. Dr. Ghanashyam Gyawali.

At the closing ceremony of the conference, an MOU was signed between SONSIK and Korea Study News, and certificates of appreciation were distributed to scientific committee members, session management committee members, all the oral and poster presenters, and sponsors: Expert Education and Visa Services, Siddhartha Football Club, Gmoney Trans, Learn Korean with Bibek, Royal Indian Restaurant, and the Universal Cultural Center (UCC).


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