By Siti Zulaikha Shawaludin
Work is a big part that shaped Prof. Dr. Shawaludin Anis’s character. For this, he is grateful that his educational achievements and the experiences he went through have brought him this far in life. He said there are several other factors that drove him to succeed.
Prof. Dr. Shawaludin, 68, is currently the Dean at the Department of Communication and Multimedia, University College Bahrain, Kingdom of Bahrain.
He was at one time the former Head of the Department of Communication at IIUM. He had also served as Head of the Department of Communication Studies at University Malaysia Sarawak.
Dr. Shawaludin regarded teaching as a noble profession. He said: “As I get older I began to get close to religion. And as you learned, teaching is an honourable profession as stated in the Al Quran and Hadith.”
He added: “Material gains in life are important. It is a necessity for without it life in modern times would be difficult. But it is certainly not the focus of everything or the end by itself. You realised that what you do in your lifetime are accountable in the hereafter.”
“Bringing someone from the darkness of ignorance to the light of good (righteous) knowledge is what education professes. It allows people to think, as revealed in Surah Al Rahman. This is what education is all about.”
Dr. Shawaludin is a dedicated and a respected professor. To-date he has had more than 40 years of teaching experience, serving the higher education sector both in the public and private universities in Malaysia, Oman and Bahrain.
Born in Batu Pahat, Johor as the first of five siblings, he lost his father at an early age and was raised by his grandparents. His mother then remarried someone in the police force.
His early life had been highly influenced by both the lost of his father and later his grandfather.
To lose two people whom he had looked up to when he was young, had affected him in such a way that it made him become independent and hard working.
To him “determination” and “hard work” became key words to achieve his goals later in life.
Dr. Shawaludin had his primary school education at Pengerang where he had to attend a Malay medium school in the morning and a religious education at the same school in the afternoon, which was a practice then in Johor.
Then he continued his education at the English Primary School for another three years and proceeded to Batu Pahat High School from form one till form five. After completing his Senior Cambridge and Malaysian Certificate Examination he joined MARA College in Petaling Jaya.
He later pursued his studies in the United States of America obtaining Master of Science degree in journalism and advertising from North Western University and a PhD in communication management from University of Southern California. He also acquired qualifications in advertising from the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Chicago, and a Council for National Academic Awards (CNNA), a post-graduate diploma in education technology and marketing management from United Kingdom.
Prof. Dr. Shawaludin is an internationally respected scholar in communication studies and media. For the past 42 years he was involved in extensive research. He is a professor and an academician and has carried out supervision of post-graduate students and undergraduate programme. He also had several years of working experience in the advertising industry in both Malaysia and USA.
To-date Dr. Shawaludin has published his research papers in more than 80 publications. He has written four books and produced a video to his credit. He was also involved in Intensive Research in Priority Areas (IRPA) for Malaysia and participated in many short-term university’s grant funded research projects. He was involved as a principal investigator of a research project on “Mass media and society” in the Sultanate of Oman.
He received honours from the University of Science Academic Staff Training Scheme Scholar (1970 – 1975), Commonwealth Scholar UK for 1980, and the University of Science Academic Staff Training Scheme Scholar (1986 – 1991).
Dr. Shawaludin described that in our contemporary life the ‘Islamisation of knowledge’ attempts to approach the ethics of Islamic teaching in various fields of modern thoughts.
He said: “In a nutshell the end product of education is to ‘raise consciousnesses’ among Muslims on the appropriateness of the teaching of Al Quran and Sunnah and using the scientific methods of inquiry that do not violate Islamic ethical norms or ‘the’saur , the Islamic worldview’. I found there are higher virtues than just material gains.”
In trying to inspire his vision among the younger generation to succeed and achieve their objectives in life, Dr. Shawaludin gave the following advice.
He said, “I happened to have lived in the era before and after country’s (Malaya) Independence. The environment that I grew up, the strengths, the threats, the opportunities and the challenges were different as compared to in the years post-Malaysia’s Independence.”
He said the 21st century environment was probably different. “We would certainly face new challenges in the era we live in now. History had taught us something that we learned from.”
Education is not everyone’s cup of tea. Therefore, we all will excel in our own fields of expertise that we choose. If we choose to excel in field of educational or professional knowledge it will be.
“Whatever it is, deep in us, we are all teachers in our own right.”
Prof. Shawaludin concluded: “We learn, share, create, and transfer modern knowledge. As long as we propagate knowledge that does not violate Islamic ethical norms and uphold to the principle pillars of Islamic faith, and ask forgiveness and blessings from Allah Almighty to show us the right path, our route will be ‘barakah’. Insya’Allah.” ***