Faculty Academics:
These are the core faculty who teach required courses in the Interdisciplinary Studies programme.  Our BASc students also take courses from other professors across the university faculties.

Dr Andrew Hoang

Dr Andrew Pau Hoang

Programme Director

Andrew graduated with a PhD in the field of social work from The University of Hong Kong, as a Swire Scholar of Robert Black College. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Academy for Leadership in Teacher Education under the supervision of Professor A. Lin Goodwin and a lectureship in social sciences. He now serves as Associate Director of the Bachelor of Arts & Sciences (BASc) programmes across the university faculties, and Programme Director of the BASc (Interdisciplinary Studies). He holds a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, and an Honors Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Philosophy from Western University, Canada.

He researches several issues at the intersection of education, social welfare and mental health systems. He is particularly interested in risk and inequities, the history of educational professions, and therapeutic/pedagogical practices that support youth aspirations and their holistic development. His work has been published in the British Journal of Social WorkEducational Review, Equity & Excellence in Education, Multicultural Education Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, and the China Journal of Social Work, among others.

He teaches leadership development and coaching (BASC2001), transformative learning (BASC3100), diversity and social inclusion (SOWK2140) and interdisciplinary methods of research and inquiry (BASC1001/BASC1002).  He also supervises interdisciplinary capstone projects (BASC4001).

Andrew also serves as Senior Resident Tutor and Head of College Mental Health at Chi Sun College. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor at the Smith College School for Social Work.

Ms Rivka Dong

Ms Rivka Dong

We live in a world of interdependence, where each of us is dependent on many others. This interdependence also applies to the subjects offered in the university. At its best, it takes the form of interdisciplinarity, which pushes us to think across disciplinary boundaries.

My academic training has been in anthropology and linguistics. As a researcher in these fields, I was encouraged and inspired to integrate different perspectives in my two biggest research projects: Studies of the Jewish community of Hong Kong and the linguistic landscape in Shanghai. Such research allowed me to explore the relationship between various dimensions of society, such as religion and politics, which are often studied independently. Interdisciplinarity not only offered me valuable insights as a researcher but has also helped me as an educator in the social sciences, enabling a more holistic understanding of complicated issues.

I have been teaching English both online and offline at different levels for about ten years and have learned how to interact with students from different backgrounds, tailoring my lesson to their needs in order to share knowledge more effectively. My years as an educator have taught me that no matter what subject we are assigned to teach or how narrowly-defined the course, it is always interdisciplinary in nature. Only when we come to recognize this truth will we make substantial progress. Enriched by interdisciplinary knowledge, our studies are sure to thrive. As other researchers have observed, creativity often requires interdisciplinary knowledge.

Dr Michael Johnson

Dr Michael Johnson

Michael is a Lecturer in the BASc program and also teaches in the Department of Philosophy. He received his PhD in philosophy from Rutgers University in 2011, whereafter he moved to Hong Kong. His research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, formal semantics, and pragmatics. He is editor (with Paul Saka) of The Semantics and Pragmatics of Quotation (2017).

Mr Abel Lau

Mr Abel Lau

Abel believes the beauty of the world cannot be fully appreciated if we only view it from one perspective. As such, he has been exploring along edges of disciplines including philosophy, arts, history, economics, medicine, politics, law, AI etc. during his years studying and teaching in universities, before feeling home after joining the HKU BASc programme. Outside his role as an Assistant Lecturer, he is a traveller passionate about experiencing different cultures and learning things that he does not know.


Dr Hannah Mumby

Hannah is an Assistant Professor in the Area of Ecology and Biodiversity at the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Politics and Public Administration. She has an interdisciplinary training in anthropology, epidemiology and ecology. She uses analytical tools from across these fields in her research on human-wildlife interactions. She primarily studies large mammals including Asian elephants, African savanna elephants, wild boars and humans.

Dr Jennifer Nado

Dr Jennifer Nado

Jennifer Nado is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy. Her research work focuses primarily on issues surrounding the methodology of philosophy, particularly with regard to the use of non-empirical ‘intuitions’ as evidence, and to the evaluation and amelioration of the discipline’s conceptual repertoire. As such, her work often explores analogies with—and comparisons to—methodologies of other academic disciplines, particularly the sciences.

Dr Timothy Wotherspoon

Dr Timothy Wotherspoon

Tim has been a Lecturer in the HKU Faculty of Science since 2012. Largely working in support of Common Core courses, Tim has been able to teach a wide variety of subjects from many disciplines, including many interdisciplinary courses such as Our Place in the Universe and Science and Science Fiction. His PhD research was in the field of Complex Systems, which seeks to understand the emergent behaviour of strongly interacting systems.

Ms Nicole Lai

Ms Nicole Lai

Nicole is the Assistant Lecturer (E-learning and development specialist) at the Faculty of Social Sciences. She truly believes creativity flourishes when disciplines intersect. With her background in English Studies and Literary and Comparative Studies, she had experience working at HKU and the HKUST in the fields of digital literacies, internationalization of Higher Education, intercultural studies, future-readiness, graduate teaching assistants training program, and professional development in teaching and learning. She is currently working on the Faculty Virtual Teaching and Learning project, Communication-intensive Courses initiative, experiential learning e-learning development and training, and course e-learning enhancement within the Faculty. Apart from revamping courses, developing e-modules, gamifying learning and teaching, creating videos and designing works, she is also passionate about writing poems and mental wellbeing.

Dr Estela Ibanez Garcia

Dr Estela Ibáñez-García

Estela is a Lecturer in the BASc in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences. She is an interdisciplinary scholar interested in understanding how human experience is articulated through complex and mediated cultural expressions. As a holistic educator, she helps students grow to become lifelong learners who tackle the complexity of reality from a multi-perspectival, integrative, and ethical approach.

Estela completed her PhD in The University of Hong Kong in 2016 with a dissertation that examined the role of music in the audience’s experience of dramatic performances in and through films, by focussing on issues of world-making, (inter)mediality, adaptation, recordings, meta-theatricality, performance, and ritual. She holds degrees in Art History and Musicology (University of Salamanca, Spain), a Higher Diploma in Guitar (Madrid Royal Conservatory, Spain), and Master’s Degrees in History and Aesthetics of the Cinema (University of Valladolid, Spain) and Advanced Studies in Philosophy (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain). In 2010–2011, she was a Research Fellow in the Film Studies Department of the University of Stockholm with a scholarship offered by “la Caixa” Foundation.

Before joining the BASc program, Estela worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor in African Studies at The University of Hong Kong (2018–2020), and as a Lecturer in Complementary Studies at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (2021-2023).

Dr. Michael B. C. Rivera

Dr Michael B. C. Rivera (he/him)

Michael is a Filipino-Chinese researcher, educator, and publicly engaged scholar. He is currently a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences, teaching courses for the BASc Programme in Interdisciplinary Studies. These include classes on anthropology, wellness studies, and interdisciplinary research methods. Trained as an inter- and transdisciplinary anthropologist, he studies human history, biology, and culture from multiple angles.

Dr. Rivera is currently working on promoting interdisciplinarity and bioanthropology in Hong Kong, in terms of research, teaching, laboratory and field projects, and public engagement projects. This involves the establishment and bringing together of various areas of academic inquiry, including media and cultural studies, genetics, biology and anatomy, animal ecology and environmental conservation, as well as history and Hong Kong studies.

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