Led by
International Women’s Day 2024: Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges

Date & Time:

March 7, 2024, 5 pm – 6:00 pm PST
March 8, 2024, 9 am – 10:0 am HKT/MYT
March 8, 2024, 10 am – 11:00 am JST
March 8, 2024, 12 nn – 1:00 pm AEDT

Check your local time here


Program Summary:

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, this APWiL webinar’s theme, “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges,” emphasizes women’s various roles in society and the necessity of gender equity. The focus is on reducing barriers to women’s success and promoting collaboration and teamwork towards equity. This webinar aims to inspire APWiL mentors and mentees and to present women leaders as role models, demonstrating their abilities and inspiring others to achieve their personal goals. This webinar is brought to you by APWiL in collaboration with APWiL Mentoring Program alumni mentor mentees from Universiti Malaya.

The structure of the webinar includes a panel discussion with opportunity at the end to ask questions during a Q&A with our speakers.


The webinar is led by:

  • Speaker: Dato’ Professor Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, President and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Monash University, Malaysia; Honorary Professor and former Dean of Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya

  • Speaker: Professor Kyoko Ohara, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University

  • Moderator: Professor Dr. Stefanie Shamila Pillai, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, Universiti Malaya



APRU Disclaimer: The views, information, or opinions expressed during the webinar are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (“APRU”) and its employees. APRU is not responsible and does not verify for accuracy any of the information contained in the series.

Dato' Professor Dr. Adeeba Kamarulzaman
President and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Monash University, Malaysia; Honorary Professor and former Dean of Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya

Professor Adeeba Kamarulzaman is the President & Pro Vice-Chancellor of Monash University Malaysia.  Prior to this appointment, she was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya and continues as an Honorary Professor at UM and as Adjunct Associate Professor at Yale University, USA.

An infectious diseases physician by training, Professor Kamarulzaman is a passionate advocate for social justice especially as it pertains to HIV prevention, treatment and care and drug policies. She presently serves as the Chairman of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation and is the immediate Past President of the International AIDS Society. She is also the founding Chair of ROSE Foundation, an organization that is committed to eliminating cervical cancer in Malaysia and regionally.

At the international level, Professor Kamarulzaman has been an advisor to numerous WHO, UNAIDS and UNODC committees on HIV/AIDS and substance use. She is presently Vice Chair of WHO’s Science Council and is a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and the Global Council on Inequalities, HIV and Pandemics. Her achievements have been recognised through several national and international awards including as a two-time recipient of the prestigious Merdeka Award and recently as Tokoh Akademik Negara. In April 2015 she was honoured with a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from her alma mater, Monash University for her role as a health advocate and contributions to medicine.

Professor Kyoko Ohara
Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University

Professor Kyoko Hirose Ohara is a distinguished scholar in the field of linguistics, renowned for her groundbreaking research and contributions to the understanding of language. She earned her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1996, where she honed her expertise in cognitive linguistics and computational linguistics. Currently affiliated with the Faculty of Science and Technology at Keio University, Professor Ohara holds a pivotal role in advancing linguistic studies.
Since 2017, she has served as a Research Fellow at the RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project, where her work delves into the intersection of linguistics and artificial intelligence, pushing the boundaries of language processing technology. With a keen interest in exploring linguistic phenomena from various perspectives, Professor Ohara embarked on a Visiting Researcher position at the Center for Japanese Studies, University of California at Berkeley, in 2019, broadening her academic horizons
and fostering international collaboration.

Professor Ohara’s dedication to scholarly inquiry is reflected in her numerous research grants and awards. Notable among these are the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, which she has received consistently over several periods spanning from 2007 to the present. Additionally, she has been a recipient of the Amano Institute of Technology Research Grant in 2023-2024 and the Keio University Next Generation Research Grant from 2020 to 2023. In recognition of her exceptional teaching abilities, Professor Ohara was awarded the Best Lecturer’s Award at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, in 2022. One of her significant
collaborative endeavors includes the JSPS Grant for a US-Japan Bilateral Joint Project on “Frame-based Japanese-English Bilingual Lexicon” from 2007 to 2009, showcasing her commitment to fostering international partnerships in linguistic research. Professor Ohara’s scholarly achievements, coupled with her passion for advancing the understanding of language, continue to inspire colleagues and students alike, cementing her reputation as a leading figure in the field of linguistics.

Professor Dr. Stefanie Shamila Pillai (Moderator)
Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, Universiti Malaya

Stefanie is a Professor at the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics (FLL), Universiti Malaya (UM). She was previously the Dean of the Faculty and Chair of the Social Advancement and Happiness Research Cluster at UM. She also previously headed the university’s Centre for Industry and Community Linkage. She also served as a mentor in the 3rd cohort of the APWiL Mentoring Program.

At present, Stefanie is a pioneering member of the Malaysian Chapter of the International Deans Course (MyIDC) where she led sessions on effective communication and has thus far mentored ten participants from various disciplines over the two cohorts of MyIDC. Recently, she led an early career researchers’ development programme funded by the Association of Commonwealth Universities and UM where she also mentored six of the participants. In addition, together with her UK collaborator, they conducted training sessions on the documentation of endangered languages to build the capacity of researchers (funded by a Newton grant).

In terms of research, she works in the area of language use in multilingual contexts which includes issues related to language education, language policy, and language endangerment. Her linguistic research also focuses on the Malaysian variety of English and Melaka Portuguese (an endangered language). She has led funded projects and published academic papers in these areas and has been invited to speak on these areas at international conferences and in the media.



Glynis Kincaid 
APWiL Mentoring Program Manager