News & Stories

Campus Update June 2024: Academic Activities

Forman’s Department of Psychology launched its First International Conference on Psychology focused on “Innovative, Futuristic and Ethical Practices in Psychology”, setting the stage for three days of presentations and discussions involving dozens of original papers. As Vice Rector Dr. Douglas Trimble noted in his introduction to the conference, psychology has long been taught at Forman. In fact, this year marks a special milestone — the 100th anniversary of Forman’s offering Bachelor degrees in the discipline.

Not surprisingly, an event of this size and magnitude involves a large core committee that included Dr. Ivan Suneel (Department Head) and Dr. Sarah Shahed (Conference Secretary) as well as Dr. Abia Nazim, Dr. Afshi Khan, Aisha Ateeq, Dr. Elizabeth Schwaiger, Nazia Asif, Rehan Sohail, Dr. Saima Majeed, Umer Chaudhry and Dr. Uzma Ashiq. Other faculty and staff who worked hard to make the conference happen include Easha Shahid, Mahnoor Ali, Khola Tahir, Alina Sajid, Dr. Shaista Jabeen and Haroon Sabir.

Separate from the conference, the Psychology Department organized a program titled Breaking Stigmas: Raising Awareness About Mental Health that featured videos prepared by undergraduates to shed light on the realities of mental health concerns while also encouraging a culture of openness and acceptance.

Somewhat related, Forman’s Campus Counseling Center introduced a series of Group Therapy sessions on May 13 to address Anxiety Management and Emotional Regulation concerns. As described by the organizers, such sessions “provide a supportive environment where participants can share their personal growth experiences, gain valuable insight, and learn coping strategies from both professional facilitators and peers facing similar challenges”.

Forman’s Department of Mass Communication sponsored several events in May that further highlighted our continuing and very productive partnership with Metropolitan University in Oslo, Norway. In particular, this included a Journalists Safety Training Workshop and a Climate Journalism Workshop to which faculty and students from other universities were also invited.

Forman’s Geography Department sponsored a talk on May 15 on Changing Climate and its Impact on Tourism delivered by Yasir Usman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Government College University. Also, on May 6 the department organized an introductory talk on Geospatial Technology featuring Ahsan Iqbal. Finally, the Geography Department arranged for an interactive session on Air Quality facilitated by Dr. Sahar Zia, Assistant Professor at the Lahore College for Women University.

Forman’s Earth Watch Club organized a seminar on May 24 titled Breaking Ground on Sustainability: The Cement Industry’s Role in Decarbonization with Dr. Arif Bashir from DG Cement serving as guest speaker.

Forman’s Benade Physics Society hosted a talk on NASA’s Artemis program titled Return to the Moon and Onwards to Mars delivered by Mansoor Ahmed, recently retired from the Goddard Space Flight Center where he served as Associate Director in the Astrophysics Projects Division.

Forman’s English Department hosted several events including a series of lectures on Science Fiction that concluded with Dr. Sobia Kiran from York University in Canada speaking on the Origins and Evolution of South Asian Science Fiction. More than 200 people participated including many who joined online from other universities in Pakistan, India, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

Another highlight was the Third Annual Forman Literary Festival, hosted by the Ewing English Society and held on May 8-9. As Forman’s Dean of Humanities Dr. Altaf Ullah Khan noted, “Literature gives meaning to life. It also brings the human out of us”. Let me express special thanks to the many people who made this event possible including Dr. Fatima Syeda as well as Ewing English Society President Mr. Irfan, Vice President Mr. Umair and Faculty Advisor Naomi Justin, among others.

In addition, the Ewing English Society hosted a lecture by Dr. Ayesha Jalal on May 23 titled History and Literary Imagination. I happily attended this talk, in part because Dr. Jalal is on the faculty of my alma mater, Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

Both Fiona and I participated in the Polyglot event, organized by Forman’s Center for Language Development and headed by Uzma Khan. The program included a variety of performances delivered by students and faculty in all four languages taught at Forman (French, German, Korean and Chinese). As I observed, the passages from the Qu’ran and the Bible, read at the start of the event in Arabic, English, Chinese and Korean, were especially timely, speaking directly to the occasion: “And of His signs is . . . the diversity of your languages and colors” (taken from Surah Rum) and “If I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner” (taken from I Corinthians 14)!

Forman’s School of Management in partnership with The Leadership Forum and Young Entrepreneurial Platform organized a program on Empowering Students: Paths to Financial Independence on May 13. Among other things, the seminar aimed to equip students with the knowledge and tools needed to foster financial independence and responsibility.

Associate Professor Dr. Hira Khalid from Forman’s Chemistry Department was featured on a Fulbright Women Podcast, providing an opportunity for her to reflect on her experience in the United States. Having received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2021, she was also asked to discuss her academic journey including the inspiration behind her passion for science and the challenges that she has faced as a female scientist in Pakistan: Meanwhile, Irtifa Nasir, Assistant Professor in Forman’s School of Management, was interviewed by NEO TV on April 30.

Forman’s Population Research Center (PRC) organized a one-day workshop on data management for FCCU students on May 25 with Dr. Sharoon Hanook, Professor in the Assistant Statistics Department, serving as facilitator.

Forman’s Center for Public Policy and Governance (CPPG) hosted several outstanding programs during May including a presentation by retired General Noel Kokhar, Pakistan’s former Ambassador to Ukraine, based on his recent monograph titled National Commission for Minorities Act 2023: An Expectation for a Better Tomorrow. Former Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani presided over the wellattended session as Chief Guest. Both General Kokhar and Chief Justice Jilani are Forman graduates.

CPPG also hosted the launch of Dr. Sara Rizvi Jafree’s pioneering book Social Policy for Women in Pakistan (Palgrave 2023), with Dr. Asghar Zaidi, former Vice Chancellor of Government College University, serving as Guest of Honor. A few days later, CPPG presented the launch of the latest edition of Dr. Sikandar Hayat’s book Leadership Odyssey (Oxford University Press, 2023), with Dr. Umber and Dr. Bangash serving as discussants. I was privileged to speak at both events.