By Patrick Beech
It was indeed a memorable moment for Izzati Khairunnisa Ismail, 32, when she received her degree scroll alongside her father at the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) 33rd convocation recently.
Izzati, an accounts supervisor, graduated with a Master of Science (Managerial Communication) while her father, Ismail Zakaria, 62, a retiree obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Social Studies.
The father-daughter duo was among 244 other graduates who received their scrolls at the convocation.
Izzati Khairunnisa said that she was very grateful her father could be with her in the hall to watch her receive her scroll, as graduates’ parents were not allowed to enter the hall in compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of Covid-19.
“It is a special day for us as we both witnessed each other go on stage to receive our scrolls,” she said as reported by Bernama.
Izzati Khairunnisa, who works at a cooperative in Perlis, and is the second of three siblings, said she planned to follow in her father’s footsteps to continue her studies to PhD level.
Meanwhile, her father Ismail, who is a former Pokok Sena district Social Welfare Department (JKM) officer, said he completed his studies at the PhD level in about eight years.
The grandfather of three grandchildren said he was very happy because he had succeeded in achieving his childhood dream of obtaining a PhD, despite facing challenges that almost discouraged him.
“I faced challenges in terms of the time needed to complete the thesis. While being a student, I also worked (before retiring) and the most challenging thing to do was data analysis, which I had to re-do until I got it right. Although it did dampen my spirit a little, I kept telling myself that if others could do it, why couldn’t I?” said the part-time lecturer at a private university in Kedah.