Our Alumni

Yanik Nyberg (Class of 2013)‘s original research about the potential for using seawater to grow sustainable food crops as a way to utilise degraded and marginalised land has developed into Seawater Solutions, a unique startup that teaches farmers how to grow crops using water from a source which won’t run out – the sea. Based in Glasgow, the start up is looking to expand their scope to Asia next year.

This quick film from Reuters gives the latest updates about Yanik’s project.

Yanik’s time at UNIS and, subsequently, at universities in Scotland has fostered a passion for sustainable agriculture in the context of food security and climate change. Through pilot projects in Scotland and South Asia, Yanik’s team hopes to develop the blueprints for seawater farming systems that can be applied to most coastal regions around the world for food production and the creation of wetland habitats and coastal defence against seawater intrusion.

For more background on the project, check out this feature from Uniquely UNIS Summer 2018 Edition.

Every week we feature a short profile or an activity from our global alumni community in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

As Amy Lau (Class of 2009) puts ‘Live/Play’ by Riot Games as the film components for her Year 9 students’ English class: More Than A Game, she reflects on her journey in esports, the 10-year anniversary of League of Legends and its significance to her as both a secondary school teacher and a gamer.

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of League of Legends. Scrolling through my Twitter feed, it has been a joy to see and share in other people’s reflections on the 10 years of League of Legends.

Video games have always been a big part of my life. There is no doubt about that. It may sound cliché to say that League of Legends has changed my life, but it has certainly done that and more.

I started my esports journey in 2013 as a journalist for Team Dignitas. The opportunity to interview professional players who I admired was a thrilling experience. However, they were all overseas and given that communication was limited to Skype and emails, the disconnect was real.

In 2014, I took up the role as the Lead News Writer for Team Immunity. Despite Australia’s professional esports scene being in its infancy, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved at a more localised level, knowing the logistics of it would be more tangible. I vividly recall the very first time I covered an event for their League of Legends team. It was in a cramped venue situated on St. Kilda Road with barely any room for the players to compete, let alone for an audience to spectate.

Little did I know that it was that day, in that stuffy venue, that I would meet people I would call friends for life.

From then onwards, we would go on to form the Chiefs Esports Club and I signed on as their Team Manager. The formation of the Oceanic Professional League led us to compete in overseas tournaments such as the International Wildcard Qualifier. As with anything that you’re strongly passionate about, there were many celebrations, sleepless nights, frustrations, and tears.

Eventually, I did reach a point in my life where I had to make a difficult choice. Esports as a career had to be put aside and I accepted that it was time to start the next phase of my life.

It was time for a new adventure.

A few years ago, if someone had told me that esports and education would not only just co-exist on the same sphere but thrive, well, I would have entertained that thought as nothing more than an idealistic dream.

Today I sit here, on the eve of my 28th birthday, reflecting on my journey in esports and as a secondary school teacher. This year, I chose ‘Live/Play’ by Riot Games as the film components for the Year 9 English Unit: More Than A Game. I had the opportunity to invite industry professionals in esports, who I also have the privilege of calling my friends, to my school to present their story.

As a gamer and an educator, it has been exhilarating to share that part of my life with my students and to show them that the qualities that exist within traditional sport – teamwork, passion, resilience and building meaningful relationships – can transcend into esports.

Amy Lau
Class of 2009

Amy is an Action Research Grant Recipient, who is undertaking a collaborative research project funded by the Australian Research Council with the Australian Catholic University, Marcellin College, Macquarie University and University College London, while teaching Year 7-11 in a Secondary School in Melbourne, Australia and tutoring English and Piano. 

Every week we feature a short profile or an activity from our global alumni community in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

Ruby Davies (Class of 2013) started the blog Endo and me, sis in order to raise awareness for endometriosis and the effects it can have on people’s lives. Endometriosis is a condition where endometriotic tissue (very similar to the cells forming the uterine/womb lining) is located elsewhere in the body causing tenderness, extreme pain during the monthly period and other long-term effects. Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women worldwide (that’s over 176,000,000!) and is currently incurable. However there are lifestyle and medical adjustments that can help lessen its impact on life.

Having been diagnosed with endometriosis in 2014, in the blog posts, Ruby discusses her experiences with endometriosis, as well as the tips and tricks adopted after over 10+ years living with the condition. Ruby shared: “I find the blog therapeutic as it also holds me accountable for my own holistic treatment plan – I have to take care of myself in order to practice what I preach. The blog has followings on Facebook and Instagram, with over 1,500+ supporters.  Through the blog itself, as well as the social media platforms, I have already made friends with fellow endometriosis warriors across the world. The support from them, as well as my friends and family has been truly overwhelming. I cannot wait to see where things go from here!”

Ruby graduated from the University of Dundee in 2017 and from the University of Edinburgh this last May and is currently a trainee lawyer at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm.

Every week we feature a short profile or an activity from our global alumni community in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

Eunji (Scarlett) Park (Class of 2013) had a chance to meet Ban Ki Moon in person (again, first time was at UNIS Hanoi in 2010) when she attended the European Alpbach Forum in Austria as a Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen’s Scholar this summer. The scholarships are provided to individuals who were working on community-level projects in alignment with the SDGs.

In 2017 Eunji structured a project with Asian Development Bank to provide clean drinking water by utilizing rainwater harvesting methods for societies with limited accessibility to tap water in Marinig, Laguna, Philippines (SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation). Eunji shared: “I was working in a community where ‘25 households gathered $400 in 5 years to install 4 water pumps’. I still cannot forget these words and promised myself to go back to these locals with solutions for better drinking water.”

Eunji first met Ban Ki-moon when he came to visit UNIS Hanoi in 2010. Ban Ki-moon’s speech at UNIS Hanoi encouraged her to follow interest in international affairs. At the European Alpbach Forum, as a Ban Ki-Moon Global Citizen Scholar, Eunji finally had the chance to tell Ban Ki-Moon in person about her adventure and how he inspired her passion.

Eunji is pursuing a Master’s Degree in ‘Environment and Development’ at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is also planning to scale her project by coordinating with relevant organizations and ultimately launch the project by 2020 after undergoing consultation and field research. Eunji wishes to connect with Alumni who has expertise in water or is currently residing in the Philippines.

Every week we feature a short profile or an activity from our global alumni community in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

Louisa de Wet (Class of 2010) has been recognised for her work by visiting Assistant UN Secretary General, Anita Bhatia, during a high-level delegation mission in Uganda.

Louisa works as a Monitoring and Evaluation officer at UN Women, the UN agency dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment at a global level. With a strong academic background and penchant for research, Louisa’s primary role is to monitor and assess the impact and results of UN Women’s work across five priority areas in Uganda.

“The UN does incredible work across the world, and a lot of my commitment to the organisation comes from UNIS Hanoi’s focus on sustainability, life-long learning and the sense of community that the school fosters”. Louisa describes her time at UNIS Hanoi with fond recollection – “I was actively involved in extracurricular activities like Habitat for Humanity, which allowed me to work alongside and together with local communities in meaningful and impactful ways”.

Her passion for gender issues and women’s rights grew from experiencing and witnessing first-hand how women are consistently and systematically oppressed across the world, irrespective of culture, demographic group, socioeconomic status or geographic locality. “No country in the world has accomplished gender equality, and I have made it my mission and calling in life to address the structural and social inequalities that prevent women and girls from equal opportunities”.

Louisa has a bachelor’s in International Relations from Southampton University (UK) and a master’s degree in Development Studies from Lund University in Sweden.

Every week we feature a short profile or an activity from our global alumni community in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

Annie Gainsborough (Class of 2012) signed up to complete a 4km swim on Sunday 28th September in a lake in Exmoor, South West England in aid of Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).

Having loved and done swimming occasionally throughout her life, Annie has taken to Wild Swimming in England from last October and now swims roughly once a week with friends in reservoirs, lakes and rivers near her home in Sheffield. “Yes, the UK Autumn as the water gets slowly and steadily colder before reaching icy lows February!” Annie said. “During our first winter (with the water under 5ºC!) we’d sometimes only stay in for a few minutes, but by spring (10-15ºC) we’d built up tolerance and strength and started swimming longer distances. I usually swim in a wetsuit, but my friends swim “skins”, the colloquial term for swimming without neoprene. Swimming is something I do to get out into nature and away from everyday life.”

Coming from an outdoors-y family, Annie will be completing this challenge alongside her mother Mary Gainsborough (Alumni Parent) in aid of Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW), where Mary works as a doctor. Annie shared: “I’ve worked in an adult hospice previously, as well as volunteering for CHSW as a child, so it is a cause close to my heart.”

Annie is working for a small business called Gradconsult, supporting student employability and University careers services across the UK (and around the world!) as well as working with employers to recruit, train and develop graduates. Annie was at UNIS for one year when she was just 11 years old but it was a year that forever changed who she was and how she saw the world. Read more about how UNIS Hanoi became the place that shaped Annie’s life’s purpose here.

Every week we feature a short profile or an activity from our global alumni community in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

Duy Nguyen (Class of 2006) started the page Closer to Earth as an initiative to share actionable steps that everyone could take to make a positive impact on our planet, whether it’s going zero waste, ideas/ works that turned single used wastes into useful items or projects.

Duy shared, “I really believe that one of the best ways to help raise awareness is that we just have to start with ourselves. We run an e-commerce business selling children’s products, and it really bothered me seeing the amount of packaging waste that would accumulate over time. Since we already have an audience of thousands of customers and growing, I thought there’s no better way to spread the words through our products. Starting October 2019, we will start to replace our current packaging to using the reusable pouch for packaging and D2W biodegradable mailer bags and will continue to find ways to address the problem.

Every week we feature a short profile or an activity from our global alumni community in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

Sofia and Erik Cunelius (Alumni Faculty/Staff) found out that Linnea Niklasson (Class of 2019) was coming back to Sweden after graduating in May 2019 and organized a mini reunion in their home in Stockholm. Sofia was Linnea’s Swedish teacher at UNIS Hanoi in Grade 6 and 7 and her husband Erik Cunelius was the soccer coach during this period. Linnea got to meet Sofia and Erik’s two new family members while talking memories. Sofia is working at an IB school in Stockholm.

Every week we feature a short profile or an activity from our global alumni community in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

Effective July 2020, Andy Page-Smith (Alumni Faculty/Staff) is appointed the next Academy of International School Heads (AISH), a community of heads and deputy heads of international schools around the globe. AISH membership consists of heads of school of 45 different nationalities, in 90 different countries and spread across six continents at schools with different curricula systems and language offerings. Andy was UNIS Hanoi Elementary School Principal from 1998 to 2001. Below is an article from The International Educator Vol. 33 No 4 April 2019 by Dr Chip Barder (Alumni Head of School about the appointment.

“It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Dr. Andy Page-Smith as the new CEO of the Academy of International School Heads (AISH), effectively July 2020. Andy brings almost 40 years of service as a professional educator, including 18 years as a Head of School in Kuwait, Hong Kong, and currently in Johannesburg.

In addition to his time and commitment as a teacher, principal, and Head of School, Andy has served as a professional learning consultant in a variety of schools offering a wide range of expertise and support. AISH is extremely fortunate to have such an accomplished and distinguished international school leader as its next CEO.

Andy will succeed Dr. Deb Welch, who has been CEO since 2015 and who has done a remarkable job of facilitating the growth and development of the organization. We congratulate Deb for all that she has done to lead the organization to its current position of stability and strength. Deb will remain at the helm of AISH until July 2020, at which time Andy will assume his new role.

Our organization is at its largest ever, counting 450 individual members (Heads and Deputy Heads of international schools). The AISH standards are being used more and more by Heads around the world and are providing a research-based tool for their growth and development. Because of its expansion and the growing member requests for support and advocacy, AISH has teamed up with Global Online Academy to offer a series of professional learning modules facilitated by experienced colleagues.

OASIS day drew over 120 as a type of “pre-conference” to Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) Conference. The Summer Seminar continues to receive extremely positive reviews from attendees each year. And of course, AISHnet continues to provide “just in time” advice and support for those questions, problems, or concerns that need immediate attention.

Andy will be the fourth CEO as AISH enters its 21st year, following in the footsteps of founding CEO Clark Kirkpatrick, succeeded by Bambi Betts, and then of course Deb Welch – all distinguished and accomplished international school leaders. AISH has been fortunate to have had a tradition of strong leadership and we are confident in Andy’s ability to take AISH forward.

We anticipate a smooth leadership transition over the next 18 months while we continue to work hard to support and advocate for our membership. In the meantime, congratulations to Andy on his successful appointment.”

Every week we feature a short profile of one of our global alumni in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe! 

Our Alumni

Nicholas Svensson (Class of 2011) and friends completed a trek to the highest point of Africa, Mount of Kilimanjaro, at 5,895m. To make the trip more purposeful, while the cost of the trip was self-funded, Nicholas and the team partnered with UNICEF for a personal fundraiser and raised over GBP 2,000 for children in needs.

“It was an incredibly tough but magical experience”, Nicholas shared from Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro, 5895 Amsl.

Every week we feature a short profile of one of our global alumni in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

Daphne de Leeuw (Class of 2009) wrote to share that she started working at CIS from January 2019. As the Events Coordinator in the Higher Education Service area, Daphne coordinates and organizes annual events for CIS Higher Education, among which are the CIS Institutes, school and university fairs in Europe and the CIS Global Forum on International Admission and Guidance 2019.

Having worked at large corporations prior to CIS, Daphne shares, “I honestly did not foresee that I would be working within the Education industry, as hospitality and events were really my career ambitions. Nevertheless, when I saw the vacancy at CIS as an Events Coordinator, the fit could not have been more perfect! […] Seeing as I had several years of experience as an events manager in combination with having an international background, I am able to give ‘something back’ to the community and be a better global citizen. It is really a great joy to work for CIS!”

Every week we feature a short profile of one of our global alumni in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

My Tran (Class of 2014) won the 2019 Chautauqua Janus Prize for their story “Tree rings, like concentric ghosts”.

My Tran (Class of 2014) attends Brown University in Providence where they identify as a cross-genre/gender artist making sculptures and performances.

Impossible to summarize or categorize, and touching on everything from longing and loss to theories of language, consciousness, and time, “Tree rings, like concentric ghosts” is featured in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Black Warrior Review and was nominated by its editors for the Prize.

Started in 2018, each year the Chautauqua Janus Prize celebrates one emerging writer’s single work of short fiction or nonfiction for daring formal and aesthetic innovations that upset and reorder literary conventions, historical narratives and readers’ imaginations.

As the winner My will receive a summer residency at Chautauqua during the 2019 summer season where My will present a public lecture and reading at a celebratory event. My’s writing will also appear in a future issue of the Literary Journal Chautauqua.

Every week we feature a short profile of one of our global alumni in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

Kevin Wade (Class of 2009) is running for Virginia House of Delegates. Kevin will be on the ballot for the Democratic Primary Election on June 11. Kevin comes from a Thai-American family and attended UNIS Hanoi from Grade 9 to Grade 11. Click here to find out more about Kevin and support him.

Every week we feature a short profile of one of our global alumni in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

Brendan McGibbon (Alumni Faculty) wrote to share about his most recent project – an AI character that can help in the classroom. Read Brendan’s message below:

“Hello from Japan!

I left UNIS about 4.5 years ago and I really miss my friends there and of course – beautiful Vietnam. I left because I was offered the opportunity, with my wife Izumi, to start a new boarding school in Japan and design a 3- year stand alone leadership course that focuses on Mindfulness, Neuroscience, Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship. It has gone really well and it’s now the cornerstone of the school ethos. I think the school wide leadership course is really unique and would love to share it far and wide.

Right now my most recent personal Leadership project is starting to take off. I am focusing on how we might use AI in the classroom to help students think through difficult problems when they get stuck. I created the character TIVI and he is helping people in two ways. Firstly I am writing some good old fashioned graphic novels aimed at creating a growth mindset in elementary students and help reframe challenges as opportunities to learn about themselves and secondly I have created a fun conversation bot. When I have enough data I will refine it and begin the laborious work of coding the AI. 

Here is the link to the Kindbot Beta TIVI: https://landbot.io/u/H-140105-20LRFAH93KRY9Y0I/index.html

I’m at 500 users now and growing. Each time someone uses it it can be refined and expanded to learn more scenarios and I can program more features. Try it out.
I wish UNIS well and please reach out if you are in Japan – want to know more about the leadership program (Gr10-12) or my AI project.

Kind Regards,
Brendan McGibbon”

Every week we feature a short profile of one of our global alumni in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Our Alumni

Brendan McGibbon (Alumni Faculty) wrote to share about his most recent project – an AI character that can help in the classroom. Read Brendan’s message below:

“Hello from Japan!

I left UNIS about 4.5 years ago and I really miss my friends there and of course – beautiful Vietnam. I left because I was offered the opportunity, with my wife Izumi, to start a new boarding school in Japan and design a 3- year stand alone leadership course that focuses on Mindfulness, Neuroscience, Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship. It has gone really well and it’s now the cornerstone of the school ethos. I think the school wide leadership course is really unique and would love to share it far and wide.

Right now my most recent personal Leadership project is starting to take off. I am focusing on how we might use AI in the classroom to help students think through difficult problems when they get stuck. I created the character TIVI and he is helping people in two ways. Firstly I am writing some good old fashioned graphic novels aimed at creating a growth mindset in elementary students and help reframe challenges as opportunities to learn about themselves and secondly I have created a fun conversation bot. When I have enough data I will refine it and begin the laborious work of coding the AI. 

Here is the link to the Kindbot Beta TIVI: https://landbot.io/u/H-140105-20LRFAH93KRY9Y0I/index.html

I’m at 500 users now and growing. Each time someone uses it it can be refined and expanded to learn more scenarios and I can program more features. Try it out.
I wish UNIS well and please reach out if you are in Japan – want to know more about the leadership program (Gr10-12) or my AI project.

Kind Regards,
Brendan McGibbon”

Every week we feature a short profile of one of our global alumni in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to 55% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!