ALUMNI MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
JUL-SEP 2017 // ISSUE #110
TA K I N G O N
TOMORROW DIFFERENT PATHS, COMMON VALUES — NUS GRADUATES ON WHAT BINDS THEM
JUL - SEP
Dear Alumni and Friends, This is my favourite time of year on the University calendar. Why? Because, it is that time of year when we welcome our newest members into the NUS alumni family. To the Class of 2017, my heartiest congratulations! You are now part of our extended family of over 280,000 alumni members spread around the world. This is a ready-made global network that you, our alumni, have automatic and immediate membership in. This is also the time of year when we celebrate and build upon the strong ties and bonds that exist with our broad alumni base as we welcome alumni back to the annual Bukit Timah and Kent Ridge Homecomings on 1 July and 19 August, respectively.
IN THE NEWS
02 04 06 07 08 09
10 As A New Chapter Begins
NUS University Awards 2017 NUS Lifelong Learning Initiative Class Ambassadors Investiture Thirsty Thursdays Canadian Film Festival Indian Film Festival
18 Get The Balance Right Mr Chandra Mohan (Law ’76)
ONCE UPON A MEMORY
20 A Journey Through Time
Prof Bernard Tan (Science ’65)
I would also like to invite you to join us for the NUS Day of Service on 9 September. At NUS we have always been proud of our long-established tradition of service to society. Many of our alumni, faculty and students actively engage in community work and champion several meaningful causes. Through contributions of time, talent and treasures, our collective efforts have and will continue to benefit society. Please join us in dedicating this day each year towards strengthening this culture of giving back to society. We look forward to sharing this day for the community with you.
22 Beyond The Four Walls
Ms Lisa Lim (Arts and Social Sciences ’89)
24 Keeping The Flame Alive NUS Alumni Arts Groups
26 A Home Away From Home NUS Alumni Melbourne Chapter
ALUMNI SCENE GIVING
27 Seeding The Multiplier Effect Ms Chew Gek Khim (Law ’84)
30 A Shared Future NUS Alumni Leaders Forum 2017 32 Events PERSPECTIVE
PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE
46 A Lasting Impression
28 Calling The Shots
Mr Kelvin Tong (Law ’97)
48 Back To Varsity Life
Cover illustration: Getty Images
Mr Ang Yu Qian (Design and Environment ’13)
OFFICE OF ALUMNI RELATIONS 11 Kent Ridge Drive #05-01 Shaw Foundation Alumni House Singapore 119244 Tel: (65) 6516-5775 Fax: (65) 6777-2065
Advisor MR BERNARD TOH (Architecture ’84) Editor MS YEAP SU PHING (Business ’17) Assistant Editor MS TAN LING ING Production Assistant MS NOREEN KWAN Publishing Consultant MEDIACORP PTE LTD
F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N O R T O R E A D T H E A L U M N U S O N L I N E , P L E A S E V I S I T A LU M N E T. N U S . E D U . S G /A LU M N U S M A G A Z I N E .
The AlumNUS is published quarterly by the NUS Office of Alumni Relations. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the NUS Office of Alumni Relations or the National University of Singapore. Copyright 2017 by the National University of Singapore. All rights reserved. Printed in Singapore by KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd.
Speaking of graduation and thus careers, I am often asked, what does the Office of Alumni Relations do? Helping to build meaningful and lifelong relationships that will benefit alumni and alma mater is at the core of all that we do. We organise a wide range of activities and events, ranging from homecomings and talks to film festivals, in order to meet the diverse and evolving needs of our alumni. Many of our events are held at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House — your home on campus. I am pleased also to share that NUS has launched a Lifelong Learning Initiative for NUS alumni (see page 4) for which we received a large number of applications for our first semester. Do look out for the next
application in October 2017, as well as executive programmes, seminars, and talks organised by various NUS faculties. Some of you may also be considering graduate studies, and we would be most delighted to welcome you back to school. This ‘business’ of engaging alumni is one that we strive to do, purposefully and organically. I am heartened when I hear that young alumni have plans to engage the University (see Cover Story). In the pages of The AlumNUS, we read about inspiring alumni who are role models to us all. And recently, NUS appointed 223 new Class Ambassadors who play an important role in building connections between their class and their alma mater.
To the Class of 2017, my heartiest congratulations! You are now part of our extended family of over 280,000 alumni members spread around the world.
Let me close with a quote from Sir Winston Churchill. He said: “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, everascending, ever-improving path.” The University is very proud of your accomplishments and achievements. And of course, an NUS alumnus never rests on his or her laurels. So, may NUS continue to be a part of your ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path.
MR BERNARD TOH (Architecture ’84) DIRECTOR, NUS ALUMNI RELATIONS
Mr Bernard Toh with alumni and friends at various events.
J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
IN THE NEWS
NUS UNIVERSITY AWA R D S
ASSOC PROF P R AV E E N L I N G A
“The science of adversarial reasoning asks whether a design can withstand an intelligent attack. It is a way of thinking about all our creations.”
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
ASST PROF P R AT E E K S A X E N A
Eight outstanding members of the NUS
Department of Computer Science
community were recognised for their notable achievements and impactful contributions to education, research and service on 28 April at t h e N U S U n i ve r s i t y Aw a rd s 2 0 1 7.
NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan (Medicine ’83) said, “The exceptional University Award recipients this year once again reaffirm our University’s deep engagement in contributing
to shaping the future, through high-impact education, research and service. Their achievements reflect not only their individual commitment to excellence, but also their
O U T S TA N D I N G R E S E A R C H E R AWA R D spirit of enterprise, and the determination to advance the frontiers of teaching, knowledge creation and application for the betterment of our nation and the wider global community.”
P R O F C H O O C H I A U B E N G Provost’s Chair and Professor (Practice), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, NUS Engineering; Department of Management and Organisation, NUS Business School • Chairman, Centre for Maritime Studies, NUS Board Member, Institute for Engineering Leadership, NUS Engineering • Rector, Residential College 4, NUS • Chairman, M1 Limited; NRF Holdings Pte Ltd; Raffles Institution Board of Governors • Advisory Board Member, Centre for Liveable Cities • Board Member, National Research Foundation • Member, GIC Investment Board
ABOUT THE AWA R D S ASST PROF THOMAS YEO BOON THYE Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
PROF LIU XIAOGANG
P R O F L E O T A N W E E H I N Professorial Fellow,
Department of Chemistry
Department of Biological Sciences; Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum • Chair, Advisory Committee, NUS-Science Centre Singapore, Science Communication Programme • Chairman, National Youth Achievement Award Council; Singapore Garden City Fund; Science Sub-Commission, Singapore National Commission for UNESCO; Temasek Foundation Innovates • Vice-Chairman, Singapore Environment Council • Trustee, Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund; Singapore University of Social Sciences • Board Member, Mandai Park Holdings
“When I chose our only university over other well-established ones abroad for my graduate studies in 1969, many thought me foolish. However, I believed that this institution would one day be counted among the world’s best. That faith was well placed. Today I am justifiably proud to be an alumnus of this highly respected, global university centred in Asia.”
“Machine learning will revolutionise scientific discovery, just as it will transform many industries.”
“I strongly believe that being a researcher requires inspiration, imagination, a lot of small innovations and not settling for mediocrity. Sometimes it is important to recognise the benefits of failure in your work, knowing that a new opportunity is just beginning.”
O U T S TA N D I N G S E R V I C E A W A R D “Whatever contributions that I can make is a privilege and I hope NUS can continue to grow in strength and be at the forefront in teaching and nurturing students to be caring and passionate professionals for the public and private sectors. In the various research and postgraduate institutes, I hope that students and researchers can contribute not only to Singapore, but to Asia and the rest of the world.”
“Developing simple solutions to practical problems through translational research is a fascinating journey.”
YO U N G R E S E A R C H E R AWA R D
O U T S TA N D I N G E D U C AT O R A W A R D
“I recognise students’ raw talent, curiosity and restlessness, then aim to create a learning environment that fosters self-discovery, synthesis of knowledge and effective communication.” “The ubiquity of technology in the modern world obliges us as educators to integrate technology into the education of our students. The provision of an education that does not integrate technology lacks authenticity.”
DR CHRISTOPHER McMORRAN Department of Japanese Studies
THE OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD
acknowledges faculty who have excelled in engaging and inspiring students in their knowledge discovery. THE YOUNG RESEARCHER A W A R D recognises
researchers below 40 years old who have made impact and shown promise in their research. THE OUTSTANDING RESEARCHER A W A R D recognises
researchers who have consistently achieved research excellence over a period of time, and made significant breakthroughs or attained outstanding accomplishments. THE OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
honours accomplished and respected individuals from the NUS community who have distinguished themselves through their sustained and exceptional contributions in serving the University and society.
DR ADRIAN LEE Department of Chemistry J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
IN THE NEWS
Visit scale.nus.edu.sg/programmes/AlumniLifelongLearning.html for course catalogue and online application
NUS LIFELONG LEARNING I N I T I AT I V E Alumni can now develop their fullest potential with a range of modules offered at the University.
AS PART OF NUS’ efforts in promoting lifelong learning, the University has introduced a new lifelong learning initiative for its alumni to take up courses at the University over the next three years. Beginning this August, the first-year pilot phase offers 140 modules from a wide range of subject areas from computing and engineering to science and business.
Open to all NUS alumni, the three-year Professor Tan Eng Chye (Science initiative has begun with a one-year pilot ’85), NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost, said, “We are excited from August 2017 to July 2018, during which the modules are available for free. In the to welcome our alumni back to school, subsequent two years, course as we continue our efforts THE FIRST-YEAR fees — which range about to support the national PILOT PHASE OFFERS $3,000 to $3,500 per module SkillsFuture movement, and — will continue to be waived, make lifelong learning a with only a Student Services critical part of our DNA.” Fee of $261.85 payable per “With the rapidlysemester. changing world, our NUS alumni can take up graduates have to learn and to two modules over the next adapt as they develop their FROM A WIDE RANGE OF three years, from 1 August careers, and in tandem with S UBJECT AREAS 2017* to 30 July 2020. To that, our mental construct F R O M C O M P U T I N G expand learning opportunities of a university education A N D E N G I N E E R I N G for more alumni, alumni are has to change. NUS hopes to TO SCIENCE limited to enrol in one module further engage our extensive AND BUSINESS. per semester. network of 278,000 alumni The 140 modules are offered by eight by providing new and progressive courses schools and faculties, namely the Faculty and programmes, to continually enhance of Arts and Social Sciences, NUS Business the capabilities and competencies School, School of Computing, School of our students and graduates. Our of Design and Environment, Faculty of initiative is an encouragement for our Engineering, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public alumni, new and old, to start Policy, Faculty of Science, and the School adopting this lifelong learning mindset.” for Continuing and Lifelong Education. The majority of the courses are at the postgraduate levels, but the wide-ranging selection also includes undergraduate modules. The University may expand the course offerings after the pilot phase. Alumni enrolled in these modules will study alongside current NUS students during regular term time, which typically runs from August to December, and January to May.
*Enrolment for the first term closed on 31 May 2017. The next enrolment will be in October 2017
EXPLORE MORE RESOURCES HERE IS A LIST OF SOME OF NUS’ FACULTIES, SCHOOLS, CENTRES AND INSTITUTES THAT OFFER EXECUTIVE COURSES AND SEMINARS. PLEASE VISIT THEIR WEBSITES FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Arts and Social Sciences www.fas.nus.edu.sg/clslang Business www.executive-education. nus.edu/programme-finder/ by-programme-topic Continuing and Lifelong Education http://scale.nus.edu.sg/ programmes/edp.html Dentistry www.dentistry.nus.edu.sg/ Events/cde.html Engineering www.eng.nus.edu.sg/ executive-education Health Informatics http://chi.nus.edu.sg/ programmes.html Public Policy www.lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/ executive-education Public Health www.sph.nus.edu.sg/ public-health-professionals Systems Sciences www.iss.nus.edu.sg/ executive-education Yale-NUS President’s Speaker Series: www.yale-nus.edu.sg/events/ president-speaker-series
Note: Please check the detailed information of each event to find out if they are open to alumni/public. J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
IN THE NEWS
THIRSTY T H U R S D AY S The networking platform is MORE THAN 120 young alumni gathered at Privé Clarke Quay on 20 April for the everpopular Thirsty Thursdays. Guests heard from and chatted with Ms Koh Ching Ching (Business ’90), Head of Group Corporate Communications, OCBC Bank; and Mr Alexander Kho (Business ’16), Management Associate, Ascendas-Singbridge.
CLASS AMBASSADORS INVESTITURE NUS appointed leaders to champion class needs, interests and rally the class into action.
CLASS AMBASSADORS play an important role in building connections and strengthening ties between their class and the University. They are leaders to champion class needs and interests, and to rally their classmates into action. To welcome the new batch of 223 Class Ambassadors, the annual Class Ambassadors Investiture was held on 31 March. The event was graced by NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost, Professor Tan Eng Chye (Science ’85). Guests included NUS Alumni Advisory Board members, Alumni Groups leaders, Class Ambassadors from other cohorts and the respective Associate Directors for Alumni Relations and Alumni Relations representatives from the various Faculties, Schools, Halls and Residential Colleges. It was a proud moment for the Class Ambassadors as they received their Certificate of Appointment from their Deans and Masters. The event also presented an opportunity for the newly-appointed Class Ambassadors to interact with the guests and learn from the experiences of their seniors.
proving to be a hit for alumni seeking to make new friends and connections. A veteran in the banking industry, Ms Koh shared her rich experiences and imparted invaluable career advice to the young alumni. Mr Kho shared on his initiative to develop an ‘NUS Entrepreneurial Village’, with the purpose of connecting experienced alumni entrepreneurs with young alumni who are interested to start their own businesses. Thirsty Thursdays provide a platform for young alumni to socialise with friends and network with fellow alumni, as well as the opportunity to hear from successful alumni and about new initiatives that can benefit alumni professionally.
ALUMNI CAUGHT UP WITH OLD FRIENDS AND NETWORKED WITH FELLOW ALUMNI
Mr Alexander Kho and Ms Koh Ching Ching were speakers at the event.
Prof Robbie Goh (Arts and Social Sciences ‘88), extreme left, and Assoc Prof Loy Hui Chieh (Arts and Social Sciences ‘97), second from right, with Class Ambassadors from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
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IN THE NEWS
INDIAN FILM F E S T I VA L
More than 600 people attended the event, which was graced by His Excellency Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of India to Singapore.
Edited by: Professor Bernard Tan Tiong Gie (Science ’65), Professor, Department of Physics, NUS • Professor Lim Hock (Science ’69), Founding Director of Temasek Laboratories, NUS • Dr Phua Kok Khoo, Founding Director of Institute of Advanced Studies, NTU
CANADIAN F I L M F E S T I VA L Celebrating with ‘ a t o u c h o f m a p l e r e d ’.
Her Excellency Lynn McDonald, High Commissioner of Canada to Singapore with the Ambassador of Mexico, His Excellency Nathan Wolf Lustbader.
MORE THAN 1,000 alumni, staff, students and guests attended the 7th Canadian Film Festival held on 25, 26, 29 and 30 May. Jointly presented by the High Commission of Canada in Singapore and the NUS Office of Alumni Relations, the Festival was graced by Her Excellency Lynn McDonald, High Commissioner of Canada to Singapore. Guests invited to the opening night came dressed with ‘a touch of maple red’ and added to the festive mood of the event. In conjunction with Canada’s 150th anniversary this year, guests were treated to a diverse genre of films that showcased the different segments of the Canadian culture – Room, My Internship in Canada and Sleeping Giant. The High Commission of Canada in Singapore also generously sponsored goodie bags filled with delightful Canadian foodstuff and gifts, given to a lucky draw winner at the end of each movie.
THE THIRD ANNUAL Indian Film Festival was held from 7 to 12 April at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House, jointly presented by the High Commission of India in Singapore and the NUS Office of Alumni Relations. The festival opened with the highlyacclaimed film Bajirao Mastani, with welcome remarks by His Excellency Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of India to Singapore and Mr Bernard Toh (Architecture ’84), Director, NUS Alumni Relations.
His Excellency Jawed Ashraf, High Commissioner of India to Singapore
More than 600 alumni, staff, students and guests attended the festival, which also featured three other movies – Mantra, Chitrokar and Irudhi Suttru. At the end of each night, one lucky member of the audience went home with a pair of return air tickets to India, kindly sponsored by Air India, Indigo Airlines and Jet Airways.
50 YEARS OF SCIENCE IN SINGAPORE tells the story of how Science in Singapore was seeded, nurtured and how the scientific landscape has flourished over the course of 50 years. Many of the chapters within this book are penned by authors who were personally and intimately involved in this journey. Contributors recount personal anecdotes and share candid stories of how they and their colleagues had contributed towards the building up Singapore’s scientific scene. Available at all major bookstores including Kinokuniya, Times and MPH.
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W A N D A
T A N
NEW CHAP TER BEGINS
The Class of 2017 joins NUS’ alumni ranks and is raring to go, guided by the University’s v a l u e s o f r i g o u r, e xc e l l e n c e , and service to the community.
NUS GRADUATES RANK 11TH IN THE WORLD AND TOP IN ASIA FOR ACADEMIC REPUTATION AND EMPLOYER REPUTATION, ACCORDING TO THE LATEST QUACQUARELLI SYMONDS (QS) WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS 2018.
Liana Gurung (Arts and Social Sciences ’17)
Arif Nurhakim (Arts and Social Sciences ’17)
ooking back on one’s university years can bring on a multitude of emotions. Relief at no longer having to complete assignments or revise for exams. Affection upon recalling the beginning of lifelong friendships and relationships. Pride in realising how far you have come since then and how much has been accomplished. The same is true of this year’s crop of NUS graduates, with one exception — they have yet to know what awaits them as they step into the ‘real world’. Making that leap could be smoothsailing, or it could be fraught with challenges. This state of not-knowingness understandably fills some with trepidation. To get a sense of how the Class of 2017 feels about embarking on the next phase of their lives, The AlumNUS speaks to six 20-somethings from the cohort. While descriptions such as “scared” and “nervous” pepper the conversation, their optimism and excitement — bolstered by the undergraduate education they have received and the NUS values ingrained in them — is palpable.
Goh Seng Chiy (Engineering ’17)
RACHEL TAN (Nursing ’17)
ART DIRECTION: NEO AIK SING; O P E N I N G P H OTO A N D P O RT RA I T S : H O N G C H E E YA N
Lim Guo Hong (Computing ’17)
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R I G O UR A N D R E L E VAN C E
NUS’ undergraduate curriculum consists of three layers:
A set of General Education modules to nurture 21st-century competencies.
A set of core and higher-level modules containing deep technical knowledge in one’s chosen major.
An opportunity to gain interdisciplinary exposure, for example by taking a second major or a minor.
“The body of knowledge we impart to students is rigorous,” says Professor Bernard Tan Cheng Yian (Science ’89), NUS Vice Provost (Undergraduate Education and Student Life). “We ensure a strong foundation for all majors, so students can pursue their intended career paths once they go out into the workforce. We have enough space for Unrestricted Elective Modules, so students can explore beyond their major and cultivate a love for lifelong learning.” Emphasis is placed on crafting a curriculum that is rigorous as well as relevant. “What we teach is applicable in the real world. Students can expect to see more authentic assessments that correspond to what they will experience in their working life,” explains Prof Tan. Such alignment between degree courses and real-world practices served Mr Lim Guo Hong (Computing ’17) well. Unlike most other undergraduates, Mr Lim was already immersed in the working world during his freshman year. In 2013, he cofounded RC9, an online platform that enables customers to compare and book rental cars from different car rental companies.
education NUS has given you, and don’ t forget to give back to the community.
UNIVERSITY LEVEL REQUIREMENTS
Prof Bernard Tan, Vice Provost (Undergraduate Education and Student Life)
PROF BERNARD TAN CHENG YIAN, 53 (Science ’89)
“The Information Systems programme blended my dual interest in IT and business,” he says. “The topics I was studying, such as database automation and entrepreneurship, coincided with what I needed to strengthen my business. I could apply what I learnt straightaway.” Mr Lim, 25, cites the ‘Principles of Technology Entrepreneurship’ module — taught by Professor Francis Yeoh, who would become a mentor to him — as being especially helpful. “At the time, I was trying to raise funds for my company, so learning about investor-friendly practices was very useful. Prof Yeoh also said something that I will never forget: to succeed as a startup, you need (a) undying optimism to keep you going and (b) a narrow service
offering to focus on what drives the most revenue.” From its initial focus on long-term car rental services for local Uber and Grab drivers, RC9 now offers a variety of short- and long-term options for customers in more than 7,300 locations and 150 countries. In an unexpected but welcome turn of events, RC9 was sold for $1.6 million in December 2016. The coincidental timing is not lost on Mr Lim. “I started my business when I started studying at NUS, and cashed out of it just before I completed my degree,” he muses. In a fitting end to his time at NUS, he was named by the Singapore Computer Society as ‘IT Youth of the Year’ at the IT Leader Awards ceremony in March 2017.
PHOTO BY MARK LEE
Leverage on the
CHANGING WITH THE TIMES Prof Tan chairs the University Committee on Educational Policy, which reviews, evaluates and recommends changes to the overall curriculum structure as well as the various degree programmes. A high-quality curriculum does not stay static but evolves over time. “To enhance students’ employment prospects, we refresh the curriculum
Mr Lim receiving the IT Youth of the Year award in March 2017.
periodically as industries undergo transformation, and as the nature of jobs changes, through revisions or upgrades to our programmes,” he says. One relatively new offering within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is the Global Studies programme, introduced in the Academic Year 2012/2013. It is a unique multidisciplinary major that encourages students to think about the world’s most pressing public policy issues through the prism of their own Theme/Region/ Language combinations. Mr Arif Nurhakim (Arts and Social Sciences ’17), a member of the second Global Studies
cohort, opted for a Population and Migration/Southeast Asia/French track. This combination gave him a “broad and deep” understanding of human migration. For his Honours thesis, he delved into the hotbutton issue of refugees stranded in Greece. “Because of the programme’s flexible curriculum, I could tailor my academic journey to suit my interests,” enthuses Mr Hakim, 26. “Taking Global Studies helped me to break out of my bubble. It made me aware of the privileges I have as a Singaporean and forced me to see the world for what it is: a landscape where opportunities are not equal.”
MR LIM GUO HONG, 25 (COMPUTING ’17) HIGHLIGHT AS AN UNDERGRAD: “CO-FOUNDING AND RUNNING MY COMPANY, RC9, WHILE PURSUING MY DEGREE.” SUMMING UP HIS NUS EXPERIENCE:
Incredible. My peers and I have grown in our own unique ways, but supported each other every step of the way.
MR ARIF NURHAKIM, 25 (ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ’17) HIGHLIGHT AS AN UNDERGRAD: “Finding my purpose as a documentary photographer to give a voice to marginalised communities.” SUMMING UP HIS NUS EXPERIENCE:
One of a kind. Each year got better and better because I accomplished more.”
student-driven initiative that brings together undergraduates from all over Asia to engage in meaningful academic, cultural and social exchange. Having founded and chaired the inaugural AUS, Mr Goh is thrilled to see a new team of students taking over the reins each year. “I envisioned the AUS as a platform for thought leadership and crosscultural exchange, as a catalyst for eventual leaders who have gone through the programme to do bigger things within the region,” he says. “Hopefully it will continue long after I leave NUS.” Likewise, Mr Putra Ong (Engineering ’17) joined NUS in 2014 and saw it as a chance to try his hand at something new: dragon boat racing. “It was hard mastering the paddling technique, and the training was demanding and tough,” he admits. “But seeing the others around me going through the same thing motivated me to carry on. They wouldn’t give up on me unless I chose to give up on myself.” In time, his perseverance paid off. He was a member of the first-placed
E XC EL L EN C E E V E R YWH ER E
Notwithstanding the importance of getting good grades, a high Cumulative Average Point is not the be-all and end-all of the NUS experience. “Multiple pathways have been created for students to enjoy their learning experience,” says Prof Tan. “Apart from their studies, students can also excel in other areas such as arts, sports or community service.” In addition to overseeing the undergraduate curriculum, Prof Tan handles co-curricular matters and oversees Residential Colleges, Halls of Residence and student organisations. A prominent member of this year’s graduating batch is Mr Goh Seng Chiy (Engineering ’17), formerly Chairperson of the NUS Students’ Union Council. He also served as President of the University Scholars Club, set up for those enrolled in the University Scholars Programme (USP). Prior to joining NUS, Mr Goh, 24, had not been involved in student governance. Doing so helped him to grow personally and intellectually. “I learned how to carry myself better — how to articulate my vision and convince people to get on board with it, how to bring people with conflicting perspectives to the same table and get a conversation going.” His proudest achievement? Mobilising the various parties — Organising Committee teammates, NUS administrators, external sponsors and partner universities — for the first Asian Undergraduate Summit (AUS) in 2015. The AUS is a
Mr Goh handing a thank you gift to Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam after a dialogue with USP students and alumni.
NUS Dragon Boat Team at the Singapore River Regatta (Tertiary Open 200m category) in 2015, and again at the SAVA Sprints (Tertiary Open 200m category) in 2016. He also travelled with the team to compete in the Penang International Dragon Boat Race, although they did not finish on the podium. Another activity the Electrical Engineering graduate signed up for was his department’s Peer Tutoring Scheme. Started in 2015, the scheme pairs junior students who are having difficulties in their studies with senior tutors like
Mr Ong who had performed well in the Year 1 and Year 2 modules. “In University, I became much more independent and responsible for my learning progress. On top of that, I had to manage my time well between my academic, peer tutoring and dragon boating commitments,” says Mr Ong, 26. “These traits will be critical in the working world.”
IT’S ABOU T THE EXPERIENCE At NUS, the undergraduate learning journey is ultimately an experiential one. Valuable insights and life lessons can be gleaned not just from books but by participating in student exchange and internship programmes, attending a NUS Overseas College (for the entrepreneurially-inclined) or staying at a residential college. In 2016, Mr Ong went on a week-long trip to Japan as part of the annual Japan–East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths programme. Having developed an affinity for the country, he took a Japanese language module after returning to Singapore and recently went to Japan again for his graduation trip. Meanwhile, Mr Goh stayed at Cinnamon College — a residential college in University Town (UTown) for USP students who hail from different faculties — throughout his four years at NUS. “Interacting with people outside Engineering and seeing things from their point of view improved my lateral thinking skills,” he says of the experience.
MR PUTRA ONG, 26 (ENGINEERING ’17) HIGHLIGHT AS AN UNDERGRAD: “TRYING NEW THINGS LIKE DRAGON BOAT RACING WHILE DOING WELL ACADEMICALLY.” SUMMING UP HIS NUS EXPERIENCE:
“This should put me in good stead to navigate the complex reality of the world.” Also situated in UTown is Tembusu College, where Ms Liana Gurung (Arts and Social Sciences ’17) served as a Resident Assistant towards the end of her English Literature degree. Most Tembusians move out after their first two years at NUS, so she counts herself “lucky and privileged” to have been able to stay on campus for all four years.
“Tembusu College’s motto, ‘The Home of Possibilities’, rang true in the support we were given for almost any house activity we wanted to run, from Nerf gun wars to pillow fights in the Dining Hall,” says Ms Gurung, 23. She was a member of The Verve, the College’s poetry-appreciation society, and also joined fellow Tembusians in a couple of reading club sessions called Reading Pods.
A time of exploration. I am grateful for every opportunity given to me during my studies.”
MR GOH SENG CHIY, 24 (ENGINEERING ’17) HIGHLIGHT AS AN UNDERGRAD: “PUTTING TOGETHER THE ASIAN UNDERGRADUATE SUMMIT AND SEEING IT SUCCEED.” SUMMING UP HIS NUS EXPERIENCE:
Unexpected. I never thought that I would get to do the things I ve done.”
Mr Ong (front row, seated, first from right) with Team NUS winners at the SAVA Sprints 2016.
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COVER STORY A six-week internship at NUS Museum while on vacation in December 2016 further fuelled Ms Gurung’s literary passion. Besides pitching in on day-to-day curatorial work, she was tasked with writing a museum guide for a new permanent exhibition, Radio Malaya: Abridged Conversations About Art. The project gave her an eye-opening look into Singaporean literature and the works of early local authors. “I really appreciated the autonomy us interns were given to decide and delimit our research foci,” she says. “There are so many amazing plays out there we haven’t even begun to skim the surface of, and so many things that bear taking a second look at.”
A CAR I N G ATTI T U D E
Rounding out their education is the importance attached to serving the community. “To receive higher education at a top institution like NUS is a privilege,” explains Prof Tan. “If given this privilege, our students should give back to the community and contribute not just money but their time, energy or talents to help others. A well-educated person is not a graduate who has good grades but a graduate who knows how to give back to the community.” A wide range of volunteering opportunities is available for NUS undergraduates. “By exposing students to these activities, they can see the value in helping others and derive satisfaction from it,” says Prof Tan. “Our aim is to cultivate their intrinsic motivation to engage in community service, so they will want to keep doing it beyond their graduation.” Mr Hakim, the Global Studies major, echoes that assertion: “To give meaning to what we
Life in a Greek refugee camp, as captured by Mr Hakim.
MS LIANA GURUNG, 23 (ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ’17) HIGHLIGHT AS AN UNDERGRAD: “Being selected to stay at Tembusu College for all four years.” SUMMING UP HER NUS EXPERIENCE:
I t passed by way too quickly. I t was a
whirlwind of words and books, people and conversations.” ”
are doing, our lives must be spent in the service of others; it’s not always about me.” He came to this realisation midway through his degree. Moved by the plight of the 2015 Nepal earthquake victims, he decided to put his photography hobby to good use and travelled there to interview and film the survivors. It was there that he found his calling as a documentary photographer. The first half of 2016 saw him head to Paris for an exchange programme, during which he covered the French labour law protests going on at the time. He then went to Greece and — as a precursor to his Honours thesis on the refugee crisis — captured the stories of asylum-seekers as well as local volunteers. To date, Mr Hakim’s work has been published by the likes of Entitled Magazine, a digital platform based in London, and Lighthouse Relief, a nongovernmental organisation operating
in Greece. “I hope my work will be a voice of empathy in a world that is becoming increasingly cold and distant,” he says. In her own way, Ms Rachel Tan (Nursing ’17) is also looking forward to making a positive difference in people’s lives. “Nurses are more than just doctors’ assistants,” she notes. “We are trained to be critical thinkers and to play an active role in coordinating patients’ treatment. The education that I received puts me in a much better position to be a patient advocate.” Residing at UTown’s College of Alice and Peter Tan (CAPT) — which seeks to inculcate active citizenship and community engagement in students — further reinforced her civic-mindedness. Ms Tan, 23, returned to CAPT in August 2016, having previously stayed there
during her sophomore year, and took up the role of Resident Assistant. She also participated in a brand-new community service project: CAPT Student Leader Action Mentorship (CAPT SLAM). CAPT SLAM is a mentoring programme that connects CAPTains with a mix of promising and at-risk youth from Tanglin Secondary School (TSS). For three months, CAPT mentors guide the TSS mentees through a series of sports and event-planning activities to cultivate their leadership and teamwork skills. It culminates in a cultural immersion trip — in Ms Tan’s case, to Yunnan, China — where the mentees take the lead in conducting sports sessions and delivering presentations to the local children. “If studying Nursing was the best decision I made coming to NUS, joining CAPT SLAM was the best decision I made returning
to CAPT,” says Ms Tan. “Being a CAPTain taught me that no matter whom we reach out to, we should always think about how to make that relationship worthwhile and how to make a lasting impact.”
LASTING CONNECTION So where to next for these newlyminted graduates? For some, the future — at least in the near term — is mapped out. Shortly after selling RC9, Mr Lim set up Corsiva Lab: an IT-cum-marketing agency that provides website development, branding and digital marketing expertise to entrepreneurs. Mr Ong has started work as a defence engineer at ST Electronics. Ms Tan will soon assume her post as a Staff Nurse at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. Others view their immediate pursuits as stepping stones to further ambitions. Mr Hakim is
MS RACHEL TAN, 23 (NURSING ’17) HIGHLIGHT AS AN UNDERGRAD: “JOINING THE COLLEGE OF ALICE & PETER TAN STUDENT LEADER ACTION MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME IN MY HONOURS YEAR.” SUMMING UP HER NUS EXPERIENCE:
currently balancing his job in the Singapore Arm Forces with his freelance work as a documentary photographer, his latest project spotlighting the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh; eventually, he wants to dedicate his life to the latter. Mr Goh will join Boston Consulting Group’s Singapore office as an Associate in August, but has set his sights on one day “doing something in the education space to improve intergenerational social mobility” — not what one would typically expect of a Chemical Engineering graduate. Then there are those like Ms Gurung who have no concrete plans yet and are adopting an “openminded” approach to the issue of which industry to enter. While the prospect of this blank slate is by turns “exhilarating and petrifying”, the freedom built into NUS’ curriculum has given Ms Gurung the confidence to face the future. “Literature has equipped me with the daring to delve into the huge, yawning abyss of this uncertainty without going into too much panic,” she says.
Ms Tan (back row, middle) with CAPT SLAM mentees and local children from Yunnan, China during a frisbee-teaching session.
Unforgettable. At times I felt overwhelmed but it was all worthwhile.” ”
Now that their student days are behind them, the six individuals appear to be splintering into different directions. However, they do have one thing in common: a desire to keep in touch with their alma mater. Mr Hakim, for his part, is keen to form an alumni club for Global Studies graduates, while Mr Lim has hired two NUS student interns at his new company. Mr Goh and Ms Tan also intend to make return visits to NUS and hear about future editions of AUS and CAPT SLAM, respectively. In line with the focus on lifelong learning that would be important in a fast-changing world, Prof Tan encourages the alumni community to come back to NUS to attend courses geared towards upskilling or reskilling themselves. “Some people say that everything is uncertain now, but one thing that is certain is our capacity to learn,” he says. “We see our relationship with graduates lasting not four years but rather, 40 years long. Through offering opportunities for continuing education, we want to be a part of their entire career journey.”
J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
For senior lawyer Chandra Mohan K Nair (Law ’76), it is important that
students have a life that goes beyond just studying all the time.
J I M M Y
Y A P
P H OTO
K E LV I N
C H I A
WHO IS HE? After graduation, Mr Chandra Mohan joined law firm Tan Rajah & Cheah and he has been there ever since. He became a partner three years after joining and now practises civil and criminal litigation, arbitration, mediation, family and matrimonial, probate, employment and commercial-related matters. He is also a Commissioner for Oaths, a Notary Public and a Justice of The Peace.
I’m not sure these are the best people to run a country though — I think it should be naughty, cheeky fellows who have experienced life, who have experienced negatives, and then matured from those experiences. I would love for students today to get involved in a world beyond just their studies. As an undergraduate, they should do community work. Community service for the poor or grassroots work really builds your character. You become a better person. You may not turn out to be an excellent student academically, but you will be an excellent student overall. I also think the student body and the alumni body can do more by working together. If I had my way, I’d implement a points system. When you’re an undergraduate, whenever you do something good, you get points and this continues after graduation. But you don’t get anything for those points; the points itself are the reward and you feel good about it. You can also bring out the goodness in people by setting an example. After I left the University, I felt I had to give back to my alma mater so I joined the University of Singapore Society. I asked my friends to join the Guild House with me, but they didn’t want to. To get them on board, I paid for them to become members (and now they thank me for it). After I got them on board, I asked them to contribute to the society by joining the subcommittees, which they did. That was my trick — bring them in, then prick their conscience. Undergraduates today have been given fantastic opportunities. My message to them would be: You are all bright, you have so many interesting courses, you have this enormous knowledge base. I hope you’ve taken all the opportunities you have been given and that you will give back to society. Don’t follow set patterns. Instead, come up with new institutions, with new and creative ways of giving back to society so that you go beyond the shores of Singapore.
Don’t follow set patterns. Instead, come up with new institutions, with new and creative ways of giving back to society so that you go beyond the shores of Singapore.
BALANCE RIGHT B Y
entered [the then] University of Singapore in 1972 after completing my National Service. I was the first one in my family to go to university and it was a pleasurable burden. My father was a simple clerk [who told me] “You are the first one and you are representing the family, I know you are very good in sports but please study, and make sure you graduate. I’m not expecting you to be the top but do well.” My life in University was all about sports, studies and friendship. I studied quite hard but I played hard too. I was the football captain, the hockey vice-captain and the athletics vice-captain. After practice, we would hang out at the food stalls at Adam Road. We often had no money so we would hutang (owe) the stallholders. The guy at the stall would have a notebook and he would note how much money we owed. Whenever we had money, we’d pay him back. The stallholders trusted us and we never cheated them. One of the greatest gifts I got out of University was friendship. I got to know so many people who are now my kakis (buddies) and today, they are my lifelong friends. They came from all over — Law, Medicine, Arts and Business Administration. When I was admitted to NUH recently, the doctor who saw me was a guy I had played football with. The University was a time for romance as well. When I was a first-year Law student, my dean was Professor Tommy Koh (Law ’61). He used to hang out with us and he’d tell us: “You fellows must study. But don’t forget to hold the hands of girls and walk around. Romance a bit and be happy.” I met my first love there. She was in first year in Law school and I was in third year. I waited for her to graduate and then we got married. If you were to ask me, I’d say the compactness of the Bukit Timah campus helped to foster the camaraderie. The Union House was where the canteen was and that’s where all the kakis from the other faculties like Medicine and ‘Biz Ad’ would congregate — mainly because they loved the ladies; there were pretty girls in the Arts and Law faculties. That was also where the University of Singapore Student’s Union held its meetings, which created a buzz within the University. This was the time of student leaders like Tan Wah Piow and Juliet Chin. Students were becoming political novices, getting involved in politics, and I think this is a natural thing as young people mature and become intellectuals. The requirements for academic work were probably less than they are today so there was more time for nonacademic things. Of course, not everyone approached university as I did — a lot of students were very studious. They didn’t participate in activities; they were the nerds and became top students and went into top civil service jobs.
GIVING BACK 1980s-Present
Management Committee member of the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS)
President, The Law Society of Singapore
Nominated Member of Parliament of Singapore
President of NUSS
Member, Board of Governors of Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
Member, Board of Trustees of the National University of Singapore J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
ONCE UPON A MEMORY
A Y E N JOUR
H G U O R
In his long career at NUS, Emeritus Professor B e r n a r d Ta n ( S c i e n c e ’ 6 5 ) has had a hand in many milestones of the University’s progress.
After teaching so many generations, I find that I am learning as much from the students as they learn from me.
E IM B Y
S L I L Y
D E PA RT M E N T O F P H YS I C S
The Department of Physics at the former Bukit Timah campus is memorable for Prof Tan, not least because it was where he himself studied. “I loved that building. It was spacious and the location was so convenient,” he says. Prof Tan vividly recalls sitting in a groundfloor laboratory that faced the quadrangle, while watching the University of Singapore Military Band – predecessor of the NUS Symphonic Band – rehearse. It was a special moment, given his twin passions for science and music. “I’m first and foremost a scientist. But
EMERITUS PROFESSOR B E R N A R D T A N , 74
hen Emeritus Professor Bernard Tan says that “NUS is Chairman of the Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and my life”, you can say he means Processing (CRISP), and the it, quite literally. After all, he Singapore Synchrotron Light has spent more half a century Source (SSLS). He is also Director of the Centre for with the University – first as an undergraduate in Maritime Studies. the ’60s, then as a staff member of the then-University of Singapore which he joined in 1968 as a Physics lecturer innovation. For example, he points out that it was the University’s before rising through the ranks to be Dean of Science from participation in BITNET (an international computer network for 1985 to 1997, and Dean of Students from 1997 to 2002. universities to get online) that paved the way for the introduction Despite holding multiple key administrative appointments of the Internet in Singapore in 1991. As Dean of Science then, it was currently, Prof Tan much prefers teaching and research, and describes he who recommended NUS to connect to BITNET. relationships with students as a reward that money cannot buy. “After For his many contributions, Prof Tan was conferred the teaching so many generations, I find that I am learning as much from Emeritus title recently. “I am extremely honoured because it is a the students as they learn from me,” he says. significant achievement and form of recognition. It also allows me Bearing witness to the evolution of NUS over the years, to keep my links with NUS,” he says. Prof Tan says that the University has always been at the forefront of
OFFICE OF STUDENT A F FA I R S ( O S A ) During his tenure as Dean of Students, Prof Tan implemented some changes that did not go down well with student representatives. For example, he pushed for a transparent hall point system that applies uniformly across halls, which was perceived by some as a threat to the autonomy enjoyed by halls’ Junior Common Room Committee (JCRC). To Prof Tan, being Dean presented an opportunity to impart non-academic values in students. “I may not be terribly popular, but I always treated students as adults and emphasised mutual respect. What pleased me was that I remained friends with some former NUSSU and JCRC presidents, and some even invited me to their weddings!”.
SINGAPORE SYNCHROTRON LIGHT SOURCE (SSLS)
PHOTOS BY KELVIN CHIA
SCIENCE DEAN’S OFFICE Back when the university cohort was much smaller, resources were limited. Another challenge Prof Tan faced was that the Faculty of Science comprised students with differing abilities. For those who showed aptitude for research in more advanced topics, Prof Tan launched the Special Programme in Science in 1996. The multi-disciplinary initiative is still ongoing today, as a component of the NUS Talent Development Programme. The Science Faculty was one of the first faculties to introduce the modular system in 1995, which gave undergraduates more flexibility in structuring their education. Prof Tan also initiated a committee that looked into the setting up of a School of Computer Science, which eventually led to the formation of the current School of Computing in 1998.
music is so important in my life that I would not call it a hobby,” says Prof Tan, who has been participating in choirs and composing since young. At NUS, he was the Acting Head of the Department of Music in 1977, when the late Dr Goh Keng Swee roped him in to help establish the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Prof Tan was later involved in setting up the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in 2003. He still teaches ‘Science of Music’ – a General Education module that has been under his charge for the past 18 years.
Situated within walking distance from the Central Library, the SSLS houses one of about 60 synchrotrons – a superconducting ring that produces electromagnetic radiation from accelerating electrons – in the world. Prof Tan says that this research centre had its origins in the Physics Department and he was involved in the “arduous process” to acquire it. With the support of Emeritus Professor Lim Pin, his team applied to the former National Science and Technology Board (now known as
A*STAR) for funding. “There was a less than 50 per cent chance that NSTB would approve the funding request. But by some miraculous turn, they did,” he says. The team faced logistical difficulties in transporting the machine from the US and assembling it in Singapore. Commissioned in 1999, SSLS now serves the local community. “This synchrotron is the largest scientific machine in Singapore that is used solely for research purposes,” he says.
J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
WHO IS SHE? B Y
W A N D A
After leaving NUS, Ms Lisa Lim, 50, entered the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) — and there she has remained for almost 30 years. Her first encounter with inmates occurred five years after joining the SPS, when she was posted from the SPS Headquarters to Changi Women’s Prison (CWP). Since then, she has taken up roles including Superintendent of CWP (1999–2005) and Institution A5 (2013–2017), where male inmates serve the last few years of their sentence.
T A N
WA L L S
Ms Lisa Lim (Arts and Social Sciences ’89) believes ex-offenders should not have to face the “second prison”: discrimination in the community. the four walls of a prison institution. Happily, however, I was wrong. How so? In 1999, the SPS initiated a transformation of the prison environment. The focus is no longer just on ensuring the security of prisons, but also rehabilitating and reintegrating inmates — mostly drug offenders — into society. Our hope is that they will go on to lead productive lives in the community and will not return to prison. Being able to reach out to offenders
A QUICK LOOK
865 NEW MEMBERS JOINED ISCOS
VOLUNTEERS CLOCKED A TOTAL OF
and make a meaningful difference in their lives is very fulfilling.
members were placed in jobs through an ISCOS-Workforce Singapore joint programme
1,258 889 VOLUNTEER HOURS
STUDENTS BENEFITED FROM THE FGP
MAIN PHOTO BY KELVIN CHIA
ou have spent your entire career with the Singapore Prison Service (SPS). Did you know you wanted to do this from a young age? My original ambition was to be a police officer. I liked reading mystery and crime stories, and the idea of fighting crime while seeing all of Singapore sounded exciting to me. But when I applied to join the civil service, I was offered a position with the SPS instead. At first, I was a little disappointed not to get my first-choice job because I thought that I would be confined to
At the time of this transformation, you were Superintendent of Changi Women’s Prison (CWP). What changes did you implement? CWP was one of the first institutions to change the way housing units in prisons were run. Prison officers now supervise the inmates and engage in purposeful interactions with them to create customised rehabilitation programmes. We also introduced a Mother’s Day celebration where the children of inmates could have physical contact with their mothers instead of the usual closed visits. Our intent was to strengthen the mother–child bond, so inmates would be motivated to change for the better. Staff from the other prisons were so moved by what they saw at our event — mothers and children hugging and crying — that they started holding similar Father’s Day celebrations. How did your NUS education prepare you for your career? I majored in Sociology and English Language. The former in particular gave me a good understanding of how societies work. For example, one module exposed me to different theories of why people commit crime and deviance, while another module examined the dynamics of family relationships and functional family units.
Inmates are just like you and me: we are all human. We all make mistakes and deserve a second chance. What must be done to combat the social stigma against ex-offenders? Garnering community acceptance and action is key. This is the aim of the Yellow Ribbon Project, set up in 2004 by a group of organisations including the SPS. To raise awareness for this cause, and to break the ice between visitors and inmates, I organised prison ‘open houses’ and public concerts. I also engaged grassroots volunteers to pay home visits to ex-offenders and their families, as part of the Yellow Ribbon Community Project.
such as job placement programmes, subsidised training courses and support groups. Through our Fairy Godparent Programme (FGP) — launched together with the Yellow Ribbon Fund — tuition assistance, mentorship and student bursaries are also given to children of exoffenders so they can achieve their academic potential. Inmates are just like you and me: we are all human. We all make mistakes and deserve a second chance. By helping ex-offenders, we are also helping them to be better parents to their children, who in turn will avoid going down the same path. This will break the cycle of inter-generational offending and make Singapore safer.
In March 2017, you were seconded to the role of Executive Director of the Industrial and Services Cooperative Society (ISCOS). What does ISCOS do? We provide a range of after-care services for ISCOS members (exoffenders) after they get out of prison,
Ms Lim speaking to an ISCOS member.
HOW CAN PEOPLE SHOW THEIR SUPPORT FOR ISCOS? MS LIM SAYS THAT PEOPLE CAN CONTRIBUTE IN THREE WAYS:
Make a monetary or in-kind donation to our programmes, or come on board as a sponsor.
Help out at our events, befriend our members, mentor children in the FGP, or share your expertise in web design, content creation, etc.
Open your company’s doors to ex-offenders by hiring them. J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
For information on making a gift to NUS, please contact 1800-DEVELOP (1800-338-3567) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
ALUMNI SCENE GIVING
A HOME AWAY F R OM H OME
THE CHEW GEK KHIM BURSARY Aims to help financiallydisadvantaged Faculty of Law students
The NUS spirit is s t r o n g D o w n U n d e r, thanks to the work of the NUS Alumni M e l b o u r n e C h a p t e r.
DR ANG’S TIPS FOR FELLOW OVERSEAS ALUMNI LOOKING TO CREATE SIMILAR GROUPS:
Find common goals and interests for members Form a committee that is enthusiastic and committed Turn to the NUS Office of Alumni Relations for support and assistance
eing more than 6,000km from the University campus in Singapore has not diminished the NUS spirit among the 100 or so members of the NUS Alumni Melbourne Chapter. “We share a common NUS heritage that we are proud of,” says Dr Ang Woo Sin (Dentistry ’68), the group’s chairperson. True to this heritage, the Chapter took up the University’s call to give back to the community during last year’s NUS Day of Service. Fifty members gathered for a charity lunch at a restaurant to raise funds for disadvantaged communities in Melbourne. Given the positive response to the event, Dr Ang believes that NUS Day of Service will now become an annual feature in the group’s calendar. “We appreciate that we are in a more privileged situation than many others and hope to do what we can to give back,” says the semi-retired dentist.
To Dr Ang, 74, activities like this don’t just benefit members professionally, but also socially. “Beyond networking, members can meet new friends and activity partners at our events,” he says. The group also offers a familiar community to alumni when they first move to Melbourne. “Newcomers may find Australia’s environment, laws and social norms vastly different from (Singapore), which can be daunting. We share advice about things like finding a home, which helps them cope with their new environment.” The group is looking to diversify its activities to remain relevant to its members, who come from a variety of professions like teaching, medicine and law. There are also plans to have joint activities with Singaporebased alumni groups. But no matter the activity, it is likely to end the same way: with a hearty meal. “Being Singaporean, we simply love good food,” says Dr Ang. Get in touch with the NUS Alumni Melbourne Chapter by emailing email@example.com.
MULT IP LIER EF F ECT
Ms Chew Gek Khim (Law ’84) continues her family’s philanthropic tradition
by establishing a bursary in the hope of
The prominent businesswoman made headlines by being named the Businessman of the Year 2014 at the Singapore Business Awards in 2015, and has also made it to Forbes’ list of Asia’s 50 power businesswomen on multiple occasions. She is also known for her pragmatic approach towards philanthropy. “In both business and philanthropy, we are giving up a valuable resource, putting it in the hands of another, in the hope of getting something better,” says Ms Chew. She adds, “It is part of my ‘brief’ to ensure that we are stewards of resources that have been entrusted to us, be it time, money or people. Such resources should be assiduously invested or cultivated to ensure they reap a maximum return or realise their maximum potential.”
maximising the potential of recipients.
hilanthropic success to me would be if society ends up a better place, because of what we have done,” says Ms Chew Gek Khim (Law ’84), Deputy Chairman of the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation and NUS Law alumnus. Ms Chew recently made a personal gift to establish the Chew Gek Khim Bursary at the NUS Faculty of Law. It was Ms Chew’s father who suggested that she make a gift to celebrate her recent birthday. “Education is an avenue that will help a young individual to find employment or a calling which can sustain him or herself,” shares Ms Chew, who deeply believes in
causes with a ‘multiplier effect’. The Chew Gek Khim Bursary will provide financial aid to needy students at the NUS Faculty of Law. Hailing from an established philanthropic family, Ms Chew is a long-term supporter of the University. Besides her various personal gifts to the University, Ms Chew, along with her siblings, has been helping their mother to manage the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation founded by their late grandfather, Tan Sri (Dr) Tan Chin Tuan. The Foundation has been a stalwart partner of NUS, supporting educational excellence through gifts to professorships and various student programmes at the University.
“THE BURSARY HAS O P E N E D U P A WO R L D OF OPPORTUNITIES.” Aparajita Hariharan, NUS Bursary recipient
TO MAKE A GIFT: annualgiving.nus.edu.sg/onlinegift 1800-338-3567 firstname.lastname@example.org
J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE
K O H
Y U E N
L I N
Thai-produced Ultraman “in which you could see the zipper at the back of Ultraman’s suit”. Wolfgang Petersen’s World War II submarine drama, Das Boot – “a downright depressing film to bring a child to in many ways, but I’m glad it is the first movie I recall, as opposed to Snow White And The Seven Dwarves.” These are just two of the movies that Mr Kelvin Tong’s father brought him to as a child, and which helped to get him hooked onto films. “The power of film to entertain, provoke and move still amazes me till this day. Every time a great movie teleports me to a parallel universe for two hours, I thank my lucky stars that I am working in film,” says the 45 year-old movie director. Halfway through his pupillage at a law firm, Mr Tong quit to review movies for The Straits Times. “There was no film industry in Singapore then, in the late 90’s. The closest I thought I could get to movies, back then, was either working in theatre or writing about the big screen,” he recalls. Then, in 1998, Jack Neo’s Money No Enough made $5.8 million, breaking box office records for Singaporean films then. It rebooted the Singapore film industry. “I was confronted with the very real possibility that perhaps I, too, could make a film. And I did.” The year after Money No Enough, Mr Tong made his first movie, Eating Air, an urban love story between two local youngsters. “I had applied to film school in the US. When I got the tuition cost and syllabus, I was shocked. For way too much money, they were going to teach me from textbooks I had already read. So I plowed my savings into my first film instead. Eating Air was my film school.” “Right after Eating Air, which performed only modestly at the local box office, I hit an early plateau. I knew the movie didn’t capture fully what I really wanted to do in film.” He spent the next six
For his love of the moving
p i c t u r e , M r K e l v i n To n g ( L a w ’ 9 7 ) eschewed a career in law for the a r t i s t ’ s l i f e o f a f i l m - m a ke r. years “brooding, writing and rewriting” before he felt ready to make his second film. Mr Tong felt the horror film genre was right for him as a filmmaker. But no one had made a horror film in Singapore then, and therefore no one (including investors) was convinced a local horror film would succeed. “But after years of being moody and angsty, I decided to go with my gut,” the selfproclaimed dreamer says. The Maid, released in 2006, was a box-office smash and still holds the record for being the highest-grossing Singapore horror film. “The movie vindicated every fear and doubt I had before, but the six years before that were very dark. I pushed away commercial jobs (such as making television series or commercials) to focus on cinema. That meant I was constantly broke. A lot of my friends were doing well in their various careers.” “That stability allowed them to get married and start families. In contrast, I was living alone, chewing my nails to the quick, terrified of bills in the mail and agonising over a screenplay.” In 2007, Mr Tong made the horror-parody Men In White. “It was meant to top what I had achieved with The Maid. Lots of seemingly-knowledgeable people were around me then and I was listening to way too many of them. “Undoubtedly, they had good intentions… but I was not experienced and confident enough as a filmmaker and made
I never quit. I don’t know how to stop. I think the first and foremost quality you need to have to be a filmmaker is obstinacy.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO… Eating Air Young Cinema Award, Singapore International Film Festival 2000 Jury Prize, Stockholm International Film Festival 2000 Finalist, Rotterdam Film Festival 2000 Love Story Best Director Award Singapore International Film Festival 2006 Closing film for the 2006 Locarno International Film Festival Rule Number 1 Best of Puchon nomination at the 2008 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. It also won the Silver Screen Award for Best Singapore Film at the 2009 Singapore International Film Festival.
PHOTOS BY KELVIN CHIA
the mistake of trying to incorporate everybody’s ideas. The result was a mess, the film didn’t do well at at the box-office and was shredded in the press.” “It made me doubt [then] whether I had good enough instincts to succeed as a filmmaker,” he says. Yet by 2008 he was back with Rule Number 1 – a horror action-thriller. His most recent movie, The Faith of Anna Waters in 2016, also made Mr Tong Singapore’s first movie director to make a Hollywood-produced show. “I never quit. I don’t know how to stop. I think the first and foremost quality you need to have to be a filmmaker is obstinacy. Simply because filmmaking is too painful,” he says good humouredly. “Nobody wants you to make a film. Your parents don’t, your wife doesn’t. The knee-jerk reaction from film investors, distributors, cinema owners – anybody who has something to lose should your film bomb – is ‘NO’. “Even the weather is going to spit in your face because it always rains when
you don’t want it to. So, to beat all that negativity, you’ve got to be one tough, overconfident, deluded, stubborn dreamer.” His NUS education has influenced his work ethic. “The Law Faculty had exacting standards and excellence was ingrained in every lecture and tutorial. NUS taught me to push myself beyond the limits as well as to be intellectually rigorous and honest while I’m at it.” The sterling education he received for “very modest school fees” left its mark. “It says a lot about Singapore and our belief in world-class education. I remember that debt and try to give back whenever I can. It’s why I contributed a short film, Grandma Positioning System, to the SG50 anthology 7 Letters. It’s also why I made another short, Beijing, Mumbai, Tampines, for a national campaign about social integration.” He is now working on Season 3 of Eat Already, a television drama series in dialect, aimed at communicating government messages to seniors. “I usually do not do TV but took on this project because it felt meaningful.”
Next up is another feature film early next year, which Mr Tong describes as “a personal film set in the 60s”. His dream is to make a film in China. “Their industry is fast dwarfing Hollywood. To be able to work there would be incredible.” “In mainstream cinema, success is measured by box-office. In arthouse (which he started out doing and continue to do whenever he gets the opportunity), success is counted by the awards you win.” “Film suffers from this dichotomy but one can make a film that succeeds both at the box-office and at film festivals. That said, there is another less obvious gauge of success. It’s longevity. Not many filmmakers can continuously find the millions of dollars needed to keep their cinematic careers going. “Just breathing, laughing, cursing and sweating while making one film after another — in other words, just surviving day by day — is also a measure of success. This is my 18th year as a filmmaker. So far so good.” J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
A SHARED FUTURE
NUS ALU MN I LEADERS FORUM
NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan
NUS has to be the place where people, especially the young, experience the FUTURE and see its possibilities.
SPEAKER AND PA N E L H I G H L I G H T S
The sixth NUS Alumni Leaders Forum created greater awareness of the challenges and opportunities presented by an increasingly VUCA world.
T Mr Julian Low (Science ’08) reminded alumni to “pay it forward”.
he theme for this year’s Forum ‘A Shared Future’ asks how our alumni and students can be futureready, in the context of a world that has become increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). This event was attended by 106 participants. Keynote speaker, NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan (Medicine ’83) remarked that “at NUS, we see exciting possibilities for the future”, and NUS has introduced innovative programmes
for our students. He added that “NUS has to be the place where people, especially the young, experience the FUTURE and see its possibilities… and feel excited and empowered to help shape the future”. There are also opportunities in the new economy for alumni. Dr Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise, announced the launch of the NUS Entrepreneurial Village, which will be a go-to place within the NUS community where aspiring entrepreneurs can seek mentors and partners, and find helpful resources. The Forum included a tour of NUS Enterprise’s Blk71 at Ayer Rajah, a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse at what goes on in a start-up hub. Participants heard a presentation from
Prof Tan Chorh Chuan, NUS President, was asked how alumni can help build the University. He replied that alumni can be role models, and serve as “mentors and connectors” for our students. He cited the annual NUS Day of Service, which is an alumni initiative. Community engagement is also a way to reimagine the future, drive change and give back to society. Ms Crystal Lim, Director of the Centre for Future-ready Graduates gave participants important insights about the millennial mindset, and the need to cultivate students’ sense of self- and interpersonal awareness.
Participants at the 99.co office in NUS Enterprise’s Blk71.
99.co, which is a map-based property search engine founded by alumnus Mr Darius Cheung (Engineering ‘05), and learned more about how Blk71 is enlivening the Singapore start-up scene. There are two other similar Blk71 setups in Suzhou and San Francisco, to enable NUS entrepreneurs to access these markets. Ms Crystal Lim spoke about future-ready skills.
Participants then enjoyed a hearty lunch at Timbre+. The casual, open setting was ideal for networking and exchanging views on the day’s Forum with fellow alumni leaders. The NUS Alumni Leaders Forum serves as a learning platform for alumni leaders, as well as student leaders and alumni relations staff, to come together to exchange ideas and best practices. Launched in 2011, the Forum is spearheaded by Mr Peter Tay (Business ’75), an NUS Alumni Advisory Board member and his committee members, and organised by the NUS Office of Alumni Relations. Dr Lily Chan on forging a sustainable start-up ecosystem.
NUS Enterprise events are open to alumni. Visit: enterprise.nus.edu.sg/event To register for the NUS Lifelong Learning Initiative, visit: scale.nus.edu.sg/ programmes/AlumniLifelongLearning.html
Dr Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise talked about how to forge a sustainable start-up ecosystem. She introduced the NUS Alumni Start-up Catalyst where alumni can receive pre-seed funding of up to $10,000 and support in the form of co-working space and mentorship. Mr Julian Low (Science ’08), cofounder of zopim.com and Executive Director of Investment at Vertex Ventures, shared his entrepreneur journey which started at NUS, and how he received support from various faculty members and NUS Enterprise. Inspired by these acts of kindness, he is now paying it forward by mentoring aspiring NUS entrepreneurs. Professor Tan Eng Chye (Science ’85), NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost encouraged alumni to embrace lifelong learning. He said that alumni can take up to two complimentary modules at NUS, administered by NUS School of Continuing and Lifelong Education (SCALE). (Refer to pg 4).
J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
ALUMNI HAPPENINGS EVENTS
THE COMMUNITY APPROACH THE SCHOOL OF DESIGN AND ENVIRONMENT (SDE) organised the Greater Good Series forum on ‘Successful Community Ageing-in-Place’ on 29 March at the Mandarin Oriental. It was attended by alumni, students, faculty and staff. This forum provided insights, and presented possible challenges and solutions to a rapidly ageing population. By 2030, the number of Singaporeans aged 65 and above is projected to double to 900,000—this means that one in four Singaporeans will be in this age group, up from one in eight today. Dr Teo Ho Pin (Building ’85), President of the Building and Estate Management Alumni (BEMA) was the speaker at the forum. Drawing from over
Dr Teo Ho Pin speaking at the Forum.
20 years of experience of management of Town Councils, as a Grassroots Adviser and Mayor of the North West District, Dr Teo shared that it is critical that the built environment, be it through upgrading, is designed to be seamless and connected for barrier-free access for the seniors. This includes community spaces like senior activity centres, fitness corners, park connectors and town amenities. In addition to hardware development, equally important is the ‘software’ and social fabric of the community. Through social activities such as gardening, qigong and brisk walking, and lifelong learning through SkillsFuture courses and social employment, seniors will enjoy an improved quality of life, and be kept active and socially engaged, for a more strongly-knitted community. Both hardware and software are complementary to each other for our population to age gracefully and age-in-place. After the presentation, a panel session chaired by former Dean of SDE, Professor Heng Chye Kian, provided a platform for exchange of ideas, suggestions and feedback.
By Ms Ong Yen Peng (Design and Environment ’02) Panel session chaired by Prof Heng (left) with Dr Teo (centre) and Prof Fung John Chye (Architecture ‘82).
IT WAS AN EVENING of fun and laughter as the University Scholars Programme (USP) Class of 2015 gathered for a reunion organised by their Class Ambassadors on 25 March. Held at the USP Master’s Commons,
the event marked the first reunion after their graduation. About 45 alumni returned to USP for a cosy and intimate gathering, caught up with one another, and reminisced about their USP days. The Class champions also took the opportunity to encourage their classmates to give to the USP International Programmes Fund – a fund initiated by the same Class of 2015 to help financially-disadvantaged USP students to embark on USP international programmes. Mr James Hii (Engineering + USP ’15) was thrilled to spot several familiar faces, many of
whom he had not seen since his graduation. Mr Hii shared, “It was just great hanging out with the wonderful people I used to live with, at the place that was my second home. It was like being transported back to when we were still living there. Super nostalgic.” “It’s great to see everyone progress in life, and to see such a dynamic group of people contributing to society in their own ways,” said Mr Varun Soni (Engineering + USP ’15), who felt that the reunion was like coming back home, even though it has been almost two years since their graduation.
SHARING SESSION WHO SAYS TEACHERS are doomed never to enjoy any weekday night dates? Debunking this myth (and more) was a lively sharing session between USP alumni in the teaching profession and USP undergraduates on the evening of 3 May. It was a relaxed and occasionally hilarious exposé of all the pressures and pleasures of teaching in Singapore, providing a clearer picture to prospective teachers about what joining the education service truly entails. Conscious of the divide between perceived and actual conditions of teaching life, the organisers—led by
Mr Christopher Chok (Arts and Social Sciences + USP ’14), and comprising Ms Esti Asmira (Arts and Social Sciences + USP ’14), Mr Ow Yeong Wai Kit (Arts and Social Sciences + USP ’13), and Ms Tay Su Yin (Arts and Social Sciences + USP ’13)—felt the need for a down-to-earth dialogue about the realities of being a classroom teacher. They brought together a group of fellow USP-alumni teachers to address questions from their juniors, while sharing their experiences—including both inspiring tales of success and a few chilling horror stories! J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
ALUMNI HAPPENINGS EVENTS
FOR THE SECOND YEAR in a row, the Singapore Alumni Chapter of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) organised a Bintan getaway weekend from 5 to 7 May for both alumni and soon-to-be alumni. The 20 participants ranged from the earliest batches in 2004 to students about to graduate from LKYSPP next year. While Chapter President Mr Johannes Loh (LKYSPP ’10) made it clear that no “official” programme would take away time from
LKYSPP SINGAPORE ALUMNI CHAPTER
relaxing, there were more than enough activities for everyone to participate in. These included exchanges of the most memorable and embarrassing student stories from the past; activities at the beautiful beach; an impromptu evening ocean party; and a BBQ dinner with bonfire and games.
By Mr Martin Stavenhagen (LKYSPP ’10), Vice President LKYSPP Singapore Alumni Chapter
China Film Festival 2 Dates
| 25 – 27 September 2017
| Shaw Foundation Alumni House, Auditorium
gister Please re
t /cnff2017. n e v e / g s . u d e . s u lumnet.n online at a
Admission Admission is is FREE FREE Venue: Venue:Shaw ShawFoundation FoundationAlumni AlumniHouse, House,Auditorium Auditorium Time: Time:7.30pm 7.30pm Register Registerat: at:alumnet.nus.edu.sg/event/MMjul17 alumnet.nus.edu.sg/event/MMjul17 For Forenquiries, enquiries,please pleasecontact contact Mr MrDelon DelonLim Limatat email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 65165769. 5769.
27 27july july
寻龙诀 Mojin: The Lost Legend 25 Sep
滚蛋吧！ 肿瘤君 Go Away Mr. Tumor 26 Sep
战狼 Wolf Warriors 27 Sep
Film ratings will be advised on website
中华人民共和国驻新加坡共和国大使馆 Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Singapore
NUSBSA MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME
OFFICIAL LAUNCH THE NUSBSA (NUS Business School Alumni Association) Mentorship Programme was officially launched on 7 March. 40 mentors and mentees kick-started the programme at an event held at Boat Quay. The mentors are successful individuals from various industries, and they had accepted the invitation to be the mentors of bright young graduates and senior undergraduates of NUS Business School. After a round of self-introductions, mentors and mentees split into groups for discussions and sharing of experiences. The mentor-mentee teams have also exchanged contacts and arranged to meet up regularly .
HELP US TO REDUCE OUR
CARBON FOOTPRINT! Read The AlumNUS magazine online at alumnet.nus.edu.sg/alumnusmagazine. In line with NUS’ sustainability efforts, we will no longer be sending print copies of The AlumNUS magazine to our readers, with effect from January 2018. Subscribers will be notified via email when a new issue is fresh off the press. Print copies will only be available to those who indicate their preference to continue receiving them at alumnet.nus.edu.sg/ updatemyparticulars. If you missed our last deadline to opt-in, please do so by 30 September 2017 to ensure you receive your print copy in January 2018. We look forward to your continued support!
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ALUMNI HAPPENINGS EVENTS
DIALOGUE ON EDUCATION
MINISTER SHARES INSIGHT AS PART OF THE National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) Ministerial Dialogue Series which aims to provide a forum for sharing of insights and stimulating of discussions on significant topics relevant to Singapore, NUSS hosted Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence, to a Dialogue at NUSS on 18 April. Focusing on education, a vital component of nation-building, Mr Ong shared with attendees on key initiatives and changes to the higher education landscape in Singapore, and touched on the Government’s plans for higher education in the next five years. The topic struck a chord with members and guests from NUS, many of whom benefitted from Mr Ong’s in-depth and fulfilling views shared during the question-and-answer segment.
Afghanistan President, H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani gave an engaging presentation on key regional issues relating to Singapore and Afghanistan.
H.E. Ashraf Ghani with NUSS President Mr Eddie Lee Choy Peng (Law ’81).
Minister Ong with members of the NUSS Management Committee.
AT THE OPERA!
the importance of moderate Islam in the region. The first-ever visit by an Afghanistan President to Singapore, the dialogue was jointly organised by NUSS and KADIN Indonesia (Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) – Singapore Committee, and was well attended by close to 200 NUSS members, NUS alumni, staff, students and guests. Besides speaking on significant issues relevant to Singapore, Afghanistan and the Southeast Asia region, H.E. Ghani also engaged attendees through a lively question-andanswer session moderated by Dr Michael Goutama, Chairman of KADIN Indonesia – Singapore Committee.
THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE SOCIETY (NUSS) was privileged to host His Excellency Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at Kent Ridge Guild House on 7 April, where he shared on trade and investment opportunities in Afghanistan and
NC O C
DIALOGUE WITH AFGHANISTAN PRESIDENT
Minister Ong Ye Kung with moderator, Mr Jeffrey Khoo (Science ‘94), Chairman of NUSS Intellectual Pursuit Sub-Committee.
An edutainment concert to foster the appreciation of opera among NUS alumni.
16 September 2017, Saturday
Shaw Shaw Foundation Alumni Foundation House, Auditorium Alumni House, Auditorium
Come and be enraptured by songs of love and friendship from Programme well-known European opera! Presented by 6 professional
10.00am Registration 10.00am Registration and accompanied at the piano by Dr Robert Casteels. 10.30am Admission10.30amsingers Admission 11.00am Performance 11.00am Starts Performance Starts
To reserveT your o seats, reserve please register at your seats, please register at G. Verdi P. I. Tchaikowsky G. F. Handel W. A. Mozart alumnet.nus.edu.sg/event/ECsep17. alumnet.nus.edu.sg/event/ECsep17 . H.E. Ashraf Ghani with NUSS Management Committee members.
ALUMNI HAPPENINGS EVENTS
SDE’S GUEST LECTURE SERIES
‘MOVING THE WORLD FORWARD’ DR J. MICHAEL McQUADE, Senior Vice President for Science and Technology at United Technologies Corp (UTC) was invited to speak at the NUS School of Design and Environment (SDE) as part of a Guest Lecture Series, on 24 April.
Professor Lam Khee Poh with Dr Michael McQuade.
ALUMNI & FRIENDS GOLF TOURNAMENT
Hosted by SDE and coordinated by the Centre of Integrated Building Energy and Sustainability in the Tropics (CiBEST), Dr McQuade’s lecture attracted an audience of around 70, including alumni, industry leaders, research and academic staff as well as post-graduate students. Professor Lam Khee Poh, Dean of SDE, welcomed Dr McQuade and his team to NUS, and introduced Dr McQuade to the audience. Titled ‘Moving the World Forward’, Dr McQuade’s lecture addressed the global challenges
that companies and individuals would face, offering a fresh perspective and an outlook on how innovation can lead to a better-connected, more efficient and safer world. In addition, he vividly shared the innovation-driven technologies designed to support an increasing population living in urban areas. An open-discussion and question-and-answer session was held after the lecture whereby Visiting Professor, Professor Hashem Akbari, as well as faculty members Professor Chandra Sekhar, Professor Sekhar Kondepudi and invited guests engaged in discussions and exchanged knowledge in areas of commercial and academic potential.
Thursday, 12 October 2017 1.00pm Shotgun Raffles Country Club, Lake Course Alumni/Friends $150 Students $100 RCC Members $60 Register at: alumnet.nus.edu.sg/event/ANF17 For enquiries, please contact Mr Chua Sin Chew at email@example.com or 6516 5005.
ALUMNI HAPPENINGS OVERSEAS CHAPTERS FA C U LT Y O F L AW
CELEBRATING YEARS OF LEGAL EDUCATION THE SHANGHAI LAW ALUMNI REUNION was held on 3 March at the InterContinental Shanghai Ruijin Hotel. A strong turnout of almost 70 alumni filled the elegant venue with chatter and laughter as they connected with one another and caught up with Associate Professor Eleanor Wong (Law ’85), Vice Dean (Student Affairs); and Associate Professor Joel Lee. Alumni and current students from the LL.M. (International Business Law) Programme were well-represented, and were delighted to be reunited with classmates and to get to know other alumni. The event was also a welcomed opportunity for alumni based there to swap notes on life in Shanghai, and to break out into their native Singlish tongue with fellow Singaporeans.
FINE CUISINE AND CLASSICAL CHINESE MUSIC THE NUS ALUMNI TORONTO CHAPTER held its reunion at Golden Light Buffet on 22 April. Dr Toh See Kiat (Law ’82), Chairperson of the Chapter, kicked off the dinner by introducing Mr Tejas Aivalli (LKYSPP’ 11), Vice Chairperson of the committee (and Acting Chair), as the emcee of the evening. The highlight of the dinner was a solo pipa performance by one of the guests, Ms Wendy Zhou, spouse of Mr Jason Li (Business ’12).
2 persons concert Ad_FA copy.pdf 1 6/12/2017 4:40:00 PM
IN LONDON, alumni gathered for a cocktail reception on 7 April at Red & White, the in-house restaurant of Latham & Watkins LLP. The reception was graciously hosted by Ms Jayanthi Sadanandan (Law ’95), Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins’ London office,
together with Professor Simon Chesterman, Dean of NUS Faculty of Law. The warm and cosy event provided a fantastic opportunity for alumni to network and to meet up with faculty members including Professor M. Sornarajah, Miss Rachel Leow (Law ’11), Mr Timothy Liau (Law ’14) and Mr Ivan Lee (Law ’14). Many lingered to enjoy the good company and conversation way past dinnertime.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
FASHION AND RETAIL
MAKE IT WORK (MIW)
10% off regular-priced items for NUS alumni and staff. 20% off regular-priced items for NUS students.
MICHAEL’S GRILL AND BAR
1-for-1 pizza for delivery to NUS through Deliveroo. 10% off total bill for dine-in guests. Enjoy shots of the day for $1 (Usual Price $2). Happy Hour Drinks all day everyday. Pint of beer @ $9.90 each / half pint @ $7.90 each. Dine-in guests are entitled to a free scoop of New Zealand ice cream for every main course ordered. Spend a minimum of $3,000 and be entitled to private use of the restaurant.
15% off à la carte food and beverage items.
PRINCE OF WALES
Branding Package Promotion: Logo Design $888 nett (U.P. $1,120) Corporate Stationery $1,480 nett (U.P. $1,900) Brand Identity Package $2,700 nett (U.P. $3,400)
Your complimentary AlumNUS Card entitles you to a host of benefits and privileges! Get your complimentary AlumNUS Card at alumnet.nus.edu.sg/alumnuscard. Terms & Conditions apply. The NUS Office of Alumni Relations and the AlumNUS Card merchants reserve the right to amend the terms and conditions governing the offers without prior notice. All information is correct at press time. Visit alumnet.nus.edu.sg/ alumnuscard for the latest privileges and promotions.
We welcome alumni business owners to come on board as our AlumNUS Card merchant partners. Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and make an exceptional offer to fellow alumni.
BEAUTY AND WELLNESS
For Existing Customers: 15% off, capped at $5. For New Customers: 18% off, capped at $8
10% off with a minimum spend of $60.
(A) Dental Wellness Package at $150 nett: X-Ray, Scaling and Polishing, Fluoride Therapy. (B) Teeth Whitening Package at $380 nett: Consultation, Take Home Whitening Kit. (C) Tooth Implant Package at $2,300 nett: X-Ray, 1 Tooth Implant, 1 Crown. (D) Braces Package at $3,800 nett (Only at Woodlands and Marine Parade branches): X-Rays, Photos and Study Model, Braces + Monthly Brace Adjustment sessions, 1 Retainer Set (in-house). (E) Invisalign Package at $5,500 nett: X-Rays, Photos (Before & After) and Study Model, Custom Invisalign Aligner sets + Follow-up Sessions, 1 Retainer Set (in-house).
1 year subscription (12 issues) to AUGUSTMAN at $69. Complimentary 3 months trial subscription to AUGUSTMAN.
20% off regular-priced accessories. 10% off regular-priced P.E.Ts (inclusive of 1-year local warranty, complimentary helmet, protector sets and training). Free Trial Training! (no purchase required)
10% off The Olive 3 hand bouquets/ table arrangements OR The Olive 3 Surprise Music Delivery Package @ $120 (weekdays)
Enjoy additional $200 off with a minimum nett spend of $3,800 at the Robinsons Bedshop at The Heeren.
EDUCATION AND SELF ENRICHMENT
1 year National Geographic Magazine (12 issues) at $48, Free World Map [Newsstand: $110.40]. 1 year National Geographic Kids OWL READERS CLUB (10 issues) at $44 [Newsstand: $75]. 20% off club membership fee. 10% off for first time purchasers 1 year National Geographic Little from the club. Kids (6 issues) at $32 www.owlreaders.club [Newsstand: $45]. 1 year National Geographic Traveller (6 issues) at $40 [Newsstand: $55.20]
$15 off with minimum spending of $100.
ARANDA COUNTRY CLUB
Off-Peak Period: $180 (U.P. $400) Peak Period: $320 (U.P. $480) Super Peak Period: $340 (U.P. $580)
LE GRANDEUR PALM RESORT JOHOR
In retail stores: 10% off regular-priced items. Receive a Pedro membership upon a minimum spend of $180 in a single receipt (U.P. $250). Online: 15% off first online transaction with code ‘PDNUS15’ and 10% off each subsequent purchase with code ‘PDNUS10’. Receive a Pedro membership upon a minimum spend of $180 in a single transaction (U.P. $250).
TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION
2 Day 1 Night Stay @ RM268 nett (Deluxe room): Inclusive of breakfast for 2, and 2 Complimentary bowling games. 10% off on dining at any hotel F&B outlets.
FAR EAST HOSPITALITY
15% off regular-priced items.
HOME AND LIVING $38 for spine check, postural analysis and chiropractic adjustment.
10% off all items. Additional 5% for purchases at Primero’s store/ warehouse.
10% off regular-priced items for NUS alumni and staff. 15% off regular-priced items for NUS students. For NUS students: 1-for-1 all night house pours and half pint beers. (Available from Mondays to Thursdays, and Saturdays).
10% discount off all purchases.
$39 for ladies dream or gentleman retreat classic facial.
Free trial in self-defence course.
10% off selected à la carte items.
10% off food and beverage. $5 bottle beer (Asahi/Corona). $5 spirits with standard mixer (+$1 for juices and Redbull mixer).
THE BRIDGE BISTRO AND BEACON BAR
15% off site-wide.
SPORTS AND OUTDOORS
12 issues of Singapore Tatler, 6 issues of Singapore Tatler Homes and 2 issues of Singapore Tatler Weddings at a special subscription rate of $88. (Newsstand Price: $164)
Exclusive rates for weekends stay at Singapore and Malaysia: - The Quincy Hotel, Singapore - Oasia Hotel Downtown, Singapore - Oasia Hotel Novena, Singapore - Rendezvous Hotel Singapore - AMOY, Singapore - Village Hotel Katong, Singapore - Village Hotel Albert Court, Singapore - Village Hotel Bugis, Singapore - Village Hotel Changi, Singapore - Orchard Parade Hotel, Singapore - The Elizabeth Hotel, Singapore - Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
SHANGRI-LA HOTEL SINGAPORE AVENUE LEARN
20% off usual price of $150
Tower Wing Deluxe Room at $330 (Single/Double) – Room only.
TO BE OF SERVICE
Having talent alone does not guarantee excellence. Excellence, like most things in life, can benefit from a cross-disciplinary perspective. That means pushing the boundaries to contribute to fields outside your own, whether the relevance is immediately visible or not. This could mean using your skills in computer science to tackle climate change, or applying logistics expertise to alleviate the refugee crisis. IT’S ABOUT KEEPING THE BIGGER PICTURE IN MIND WHILE MAKING A MEANINGFUL IMPACT.
I USED TO BELIEVE THAT EXCELLENCE WAS MEASURED IN RELATION TO HOW OTHERS ARE DOING. BUT I’VE SINCE REALISED THAT IT REQUIRES NO SUCH Y A R D S T I C K . I’ve stopped competing with others and now compete with myself, seeking to outdo myself whenever possible.”
ERIKA TERRONES-SHIBUYA 22, BANKING PROFESSIONAL (YALE-NUS ’17)
I N T E R V I E W S
A N D
A S H U T O S H
I S K A N D A R
R A V I K R I S H N A N
R U H A I Z A T
22 (LAW ’17)
GOH JIAN KAI, JAKE 24, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF CROSS-BORDER PAYMENT START-UP, RATEX (ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ’17)
MARISSA FUAD 23, FINANCIAL SERVICES CONSULTANT (BUSINESS ’17)
I’VE HAD GREAT MENTORS WHO HAVE SHOWN ME THAT EXCELLING IN YOUR CAREER ISN’T JUST ABOUT DOING GOOD FOR YOURSELF — IT’S ALSO ABOUT BRINGING OTHERS UP WITH YOU. AS SUCH, I WANT TO PAY IT FORWARD IN THE COMING YEARS.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
H o w h a ve N U S ’ v a l u e s o f R i g o u r,
Excellence and Service to Community
IF YOU’VE GOT AN IDEA FOR AN ACTIVITY THAT WILL BENEFIT SOCIETY, REGISTER IT AND ORGANISE IT AS PART OF NUS DAY OF SERVICE 2017, TO BE HELD ON 9 SEPTEMBER 2017. THERE ARE NO RESTRICTIONS ON THE TYPE OF ACTIVITY AS LONG AS IT BENEFITS THE COMMUNITY.
impacted these young graduates?
BRINGING OUT THE BEST AT MY BUSIEST, I TRAINED UP TO 10 TIMES A WEEK. JUGGLING SCHOOL AND SPORT WASN’T EASY BUT I HAD THE SUPPORT OF MY PEERS AND P R O F E S S O R S . I hope to recreate this nurturing environment for the kids I coach, by teaching them the importance of time management and priorities. I hope they will become all-rounded stars in their own right.
27, BASKETBALL COACH AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (ENGINEERING ’16)
DURING HIS TIME AT NUS, SHENGYU PLAYED BASKETBALL FOR THE SINGAPORE NATIONAL TEAM, THE SINGAPORE SLINGERS AND THE UNIVERSITY TEAM, AMONG OTHERS. PHOTO BY KENNETH CHUA PHOTOGRAPHY
There’s definitely a positive correlation between academic rigour and innovation. Both require students to think critically to overcome challenges. Rigour also hones tenacity, which I learnt at NUS Overseas College New York, where I had to juggle an internship and schoolwork. Tenacity is key in the startup world, as you juggle various roles and try to excel in all of them.
Overseas but still want to take part? No problem! NUS Day of Service is committed to helping communities, no matter where they are. Register your activity at alumnet.nus.edu.sg/event/DOS17
LEAD THE FUTURE SHARE YOUR WISDOM AND EXPERIENCE WITH UNDERGRADUATES BY MENTORING THEM. AS A MENTOR, YOU CAN ALSO IDENTIFY AND GROOM TALENTED INDIVIDUALS, MOULDING THEM INTO FUTURE LEADERS FOR YOUR ORGANISATION. Email your interest and resume to email@example.com
25, EXECUTIVE AT A NON-PROFIT ORGANISATION (ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ’15)
To me, being of service to the community means caring for those in need through sincere deeds, like spending time at a soup kitchen or helping a child with his schoolwork. A newswriting module at NUS opened my eyes to the plight of the elderly who live alone in Singapore. It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race and think that we can’t make a difference, but as I talked to the elderly, I realised that every bit helps. J U L- S E P 2 0 1 7
D A T E S
VA R S I T Y LIFE
BUKIT TIMAH HOMECOMING @ Bukit Timah Campus, Upper Quadrangle, 5.00pm
continuous pursuit of lifelong learning.
Ms Josephine Chng firstname.lastname@example.org
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THINKING OF GOING BACK TO SCHOOL IS TO… WANDER AND GET LOST, SO YOU CAN FIND YOURSELF AGAIN, AND BUILD ON YOUR DREAMS. DON’T LOOK BACK AND REGRET THE DECISIONS YOU’VE WAITED TOO LONG TO MAKE, THE RULES YOU WERE TOO AFRAID TO BREAK, OR THE CHANCES YOU DIDN’T TAKE.
I M A G E S
my advice to peers
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If you wish to withdraw your consent to be contacted, please visit https://myaces.nus.edu.sg/PSR/index.do.
G E T T Y
The Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme was established in October 2000 by a donation of US$210 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge, the largest-ever single donation to a UK university. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.
JUST BECAUSE I’VE FINISHED UNIVERSITY DOESN’T MEAN I’M DONE WITH LEARNING. THERE IS ALWAYS MORE TO BE LEARNT. ATTENDING AN OVERSEAS INSTITUTION WILL ENRICH ME WITH NEW IDEAS AND KNOWLEDGE, FRESH PERSPECTIVES AND DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES.
MR ANG YU QIAN is about to tap out of his role as Senior Assistant Director (Research and Enterprise Division) at the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore for about nine months to pursue his longtime goal. Come September, Mr Ang will be in the company of scientists and engineers in an intensive masters programme, the MPhil in Technology Policy, at the Cambridge Judge Business School in the United Kingdom. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” says the 30 year-old, who is also a recipient of the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship. When completed, the programme would be Mr Ang’s second postgraduate degree – he received his Masters of Science (Building) at NUS in 2016. No surprise then that Mr Ang is hardly nervous about going back to school; that his time at NUS has prepared him well. “The academic rigour, project-based work and myriad opportunities help to ensure NUS students [like me] are globally competitive,” he says. “This plethora of opportunities in many different areas ensures diverse pathways of excellence. Among my peers, for example, many have secured good jobs, founded successful startups, and gone on to pursue research careers in top universities.”
I L L U ST R AT I O N :
A GATE-WAY TO GREATER THINGS
M A N S O R
a life of learning
R E M E M B E R JUL
(Design and Environment ’13) on his
F A I R O Z A
G a t e s C a m b r i d g e s c h o l a r M r A n g Yu Q i a n
Mr Chua Sin Chew email@example.com
MOVIES ON THE HOUSE
THE GREAT WALL (PG13) @ Shaw Foundation Alumni House, 7.30pm
Mr Delon Lim firstname.lastname@example.org
J U L A U G S E P
KENT RIDGE ALUMNI FAMILY DAY @ NUS University Town, 5.00pm
Mr Samuel Tan email@example.com
NUS DAY OF SERVICE
EDUTAINMENT CONCERTS @ Shaw Foundation Alumni House, 11.00am
Ms Josephine Chng firstname.lastname@example.org
25 26 27 MON
CHINA FILM FESTIVAL @ Shaw Foundation Alumni House, 8.00pm
Mr Delon Lim email@example.com
Organised by: Office of Alumni Relations
, SATURDAY 19 AUGUST 2017University Town
NUS Partners: Office of Campus Amenities Office of Environmental Sustainability
5pm – 9.30pm • N
than featu Leong & P ring Stash ennylane a Wo ng
Student Life Fair
Alumni & Students Sports Challenge
’15 ineering uan, Eng Qin Yunq pap Academy CEO, Ka
Alumni Networking Booths
Battle of the AlumNUS Foodpreneurs
Register at alumnet.nus.edu.sg/event/KR17 Partners:
AUGUSTMAN SINGAPORE’S DEFINITIVE MEN’S JOURNAL
Alumni Art Exhibition
AlumNUS Jul - Sep 2017