WMU News

Film highlights student research in Malaysia

Feb. 15, 2005

KALAMAZOO--"Jaunt to Malaysia: an Encounter with 'Developed' Malaysia," filmed and produced by Western Michigan University student Tristan Brown, will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, in Room 1001 of Wood Hall. The screening and refreshments following are free and the public is welcome.

The 40-minute film, cut from more than 11 hours of raw footage, depicts Brown's preconceptions about traveling to Malaysia, his reactions while getting acquainted with the foreign land, as well as his reactions to the "unexpected." The film also highlights the effects of development on the Temuan people--a native tribe of Malaysia. Specifically, the film documents the affects of a large state-sponsored dam on the sacred land and culture of the Temuan.

Brown says the film is educational, entertaining and "includes a great soundtrack." He will introduce the film and take questions afterward.

"Jaunt to Malaysia" was funded by undergraduate student research grants from WMU's Lee Honors College and College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Lynne Heasley, assistant professor of history and environmental studies, was Brown's faculty mentor for his research in Malaysia and for the subsequent film project at WMU. Thursday's presentation of the film and reception following are funded by the Western Student Association and Students for a Sustainable Earth.

Brown is a senior environmental science major from Franklin, Mich., and expects to graduate in April. In 2002, Brown studied abroad at Sunway College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was WMU's first Lloyd Meeds Policy Fellow, an honor that included a paid summer internship in Washington, D.C., at one of the nation's top lobbying firms. He also was selected in 2004 for a prestigious scholarship for environmental studies from the Morris K. Udall Foundation.

For more information, contact Tristan Brown at <t0brown@ecologyfund.net>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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