Dr. Saw Alwyn was born in Karen State – Kawthoolei, Burma. Dr. Saw Alwin is the Academic Dean of Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School & College with 464 students and 48 teachers and staff, the largest theological institution in South East Asia outside of Mae Sot, Thailand. He is also serving as Director of Kawtholei Karen Baptist Churches Department of Theological Education. Now he is doing his second Ph.D studies here at Payap University – Institute of Religion Cultural and Peace. He’s main passion in life is the engagement in the struggles for fighting for the justice and peace for his people, so he is deeply committed to staying in the center of Karen life and interest especially teaching and equipping his students in the Karen Refugee Camps along Thai-Burma border.
Attracted to learning and life, Eva Mazharenko, lived on three continents and travelled to over 45 countries. After years of facilitating international exchanges, Ph.D. in Peace Studies at Payap University feels like a natural step along this journey. “I hope to make a positive contribution to the global discernment of our common future. What started as a zest for knowledge with studies of World History and languages, progressed to a work and fascination with the global community and a quest for the wisdom accumulated around the world. My decision to study in Thailand is one of purpose to learn from and participate in the Asian reawakening. There is a palpable energy and excitement in Asia to figure things out. While not without its problems, it is a hopeful continent, rediscovering and reasserting its rich heritage and insight to shape the future ahead.” Eva has a dual M.A. degree with teaching certification from the former Czechoslovakia. She taught World History and English and Russian languages in Eastern Europe, Russian language and literature at Gettysburg College in the United States, and worked with a U.S. – Canadian development and humanitarian organization active globally in over 65 countries.
Qamaruzzaman Amir is a physics geek who has been involved with peace-building activities with young learners in the 17 to 23 year-age range since 2004. He is driven by the United World Colleges’ mission: “ Education is a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”. He graduated from the United World College in Canada in 1992, and has been trying to live this mission since then. Post-PhD, he aims to work with Ministries of Education to strengthen the affective education component of national education systems.
2016: Professional Development Certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies from Rotary Peace Centre, Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand).
2009: MEd (Science) from National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).
1999: PGDE (Science) from National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).
1998: BS (Physics) from National University of Singapore (Singapore).
Saw Eh Htoo
Saw Eh Htoo is a PhD student in Payap University. He is also one of the Directors of Myanmar LNGO, Kaw Lah Foundation. Academically, he has been trained in Anthropology and Theology. He has served as a teacher in Liberal Arts Program at Myanmar Institute of Theoilogy (MIT) and lecturer at Yangon Karen Baptist Bible School. Moreover, He also worked as a national Consultant in Myanmar. His primary research interests and advocacy works are socio-cultural, peace building and rural development. He has conducted fieldwork in many areas of Myanmar, including Rakhine State, Chin State, Shan State and Bago Region.
Hayso Thako was graduated from Patkai Christian College with his Bachelor Degree in Political Science and joined Oriental Theological Seminary where he finished his Master Degree in Divinity, in India. His Master’s thesis is “A Contextual Discussion on Liberation Theology as a Paradigm for the Karen Independence Movement in Burma”. Hayso had worked for migrant education in program management and co-founded a tertiary education program where he had served as a principal in refugee camp, in Thailand. He is now serving as Education Coordinator at Karen Refugee Committee and current member of Karen Peace Support Network, chairing in refugee affairs.
Matthias is a development practitioner with the longstanding experience of 15 years professional work in Southeast Asia. During these years, he contributed to development program design, led teams in the process of project implementation, and has been working as a consultant with a special focus on the sectors of TVET, Natural Resource Management, Organizational Development, and Capacity Building. In recent years, Matthias built a fruitful cooperation with government stakeholders and gained recognition in the sector. His wide technical background is complemented by advanced intercultural competence as well as management and leadership skills. Throughout his career, Matthias applied learning attitudes that have nurtured the desire to pursue higher education in the Peacebuilding sector. Envisioning peace as a cross-cutting theme of various international and national development issues, the peacebuilding study program at Payap University acknowledges Matthias’ technical background and allows harmonizing the pursue of further studies with ongoing work as a development professional. It is his desire for the future to contribute to peace building processes and education programs that positively impact the learners’ lives.
Mon Mon Myat
Mon Mon Myat is an independent writer, journalist and documentary filmmaker/producer from Myanmar. She was a co-founder of Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival (HRHDIFF) in Yangon. She works as a freelance journalist and has written for several news agencies including Spectrum – Bangkok Post newspapers, The Irrawaddy News Magazine, AFP, IPS, New Time Norwegian Magazine and IRIN News. Her first documentary film, The Floating Tomatoes, which she produced, won second prize in the ASEAN Festival of Photos – Reportage – Documentary Film 2010 held in Vietnam. Her later productions include the films, Transparency or Accountability in Practice and An Old Man’s Homesickness. Her recent film is “A Long Way Panglong”, a documentary of Aung San Suu Kyi’s Journeys toward recent peace process in Myanmar.
Mon Mon earned two Master degrees: MA (Journalism) from Ateneo De Manila University in the Philippines and MBA from Payap University in Thailand. She is now studying in PhD Peace Studies Program in Payap University, Thailand.
Robert Ottenhof has been involved in grassroots holistic development in southern Thailand since 2003. He has a background in physiotherapy (Hogeschool van Amsterdam, 1991), and turned his interest to community development in inter-cultural and inter-religious contexts. He completed his M.A. in international development from William Carey International University, and joined the PhD program in peacebuilding at Payap this year. Rob continues his role as the director at Peace Communities Foundation in southern Thailand. Rob seeks to grow in understanding in the interrelated fields of development and peacebuilding with specific interests in the value of local knowledge and inter-cultural-religious dynamics.