Professor Joyce Ma said joining CUHK and Shaw College was serendipity. She said with a smile that she benefited from the mass migration wave in the 1980s and 1990s. The Department of Social Work was in urgent need of a lecturer to teach mental health at that time. Although she only had a master degree, Dr Agnes Ng, then Head of Department thought her professional background was suitable and well-qualified, so Professor Ma joined the Department of Social Work in 1988. She was then assigned by the Department as member of Shaw College.
At that time, Professor Ma, who was a graduate of HKU, had no idea about college system. When she first joined CUHK, she focused on teaching, research, doctoral degree studies and her family. She only occasionally participated in college activities, which she thought provided good opportunities to get to know and communicate with other colleagues. Later, the College invited her to join different committees as chair and member. She even took up the role of Associate College Head from 2016 to 2020. Among all these roles, Professor Ma enjoyed the participation in Scholarship, Award and Financial Assistance Committee the most, as she could directly understand the thoughts of students. She arranged donors and student awardees to meet and communicate with each other, and also benefited herself when she met people from different walks of life.
Having joined CUHK for thirty-four years, Professor Ma said the social unrest in 2019 was the most unforgettable. One night, when student residents had to be evacuated from the hostels, Shaw College Student Union and college colleagues arranged them to leave one by one, and alumni enthusiastically returned to the university to give students a ride. She was impressed that everyone in College was fully engaged, giving the fullest expression to the meaning of teammateship.
Professor Ma believes that what is most important is to be active in the university. She advised new colleagues to participate more and look at problems from multiple perspectives; students should actively take part in various activities, get in touch with new things, broaden their horizons, and create a rich university life for themselves. "A gentleman is as gentle as a piece of jade", Professor Ma hopes that students can learn to become gentlemen in the university, and truly live the motto: "Through learning and temperance to virtue".
This article was originally published in the Newsletter of the College, Shaw Link in Sep 2022.