Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf – Susan Villanueva – Teacher with a Cause
Susan Villanueva takes pride in teaching simply because she helps develop skills in order to compete in a challenging global market. As a Faculty in Graphic Design at Higher Colleges of Technology in Sharjah Women’s College at the UAE, she says that the UAE is such a diverse country with different cultures that it’s so rewarding to see her students come out ready for the work force. “I create challenging projects for students to measure how much they can stretch their critical thinking process,” she says. “I keep them engaged from the beginning to final completion of their project. I make them understand their work with excellence! I also represent the United Arab Emirates at the WorldSkills Competition as an Expert in Graphic Design. I train nationals who is selected to compete for the international competition.”
One of the challenges that she initially faced was asking herself how she can affect the Filipino Community in a positive way. Although she is not instructing Filipinos people directly, she believes that she is able to influence Emirati women to treat their Filipino employees as well as co-workers with respect – and to do this, she must understand. “While educating the Emirati Community, I learned that it is important to understand their culture, religion and traditions first so I can teach effectively,” she says. “I learned different learning styles from the many years of my teaching experience. I am also given a change to share to my students our people, country, art, culture and traditions.”
In the near future she would like to embark in a PhD program in Curatorial Studies to help curate the Philippine art in the next coming years. She also wants to curate Philippine art shows and share art to the global art scene and want to continue teaching in a different form.