CNM at the Races

by Daniel Teo, CARE

On August 25, a team from CNM took part in RunNUS 2013. The team comprised CNM teaching assistants and graduate students, and research assistants from CARE.

The CNM runners took part in either the 5km fun race or the 10km competitive race.

About the run, Miguel Sánchez, a visiting Mexican PhD student said: “It was a fun and interesting bonding experience.

Abdul Rahman, who currently works at CARE, was also a former CNM student. “It was cool to come back as alumni,” said Rahman. “I’m happy I got to give back to the NUS community.” Net proceeds from RunNUS will be channelled to University-wide bursaries which support needy students.

CNM graduate student Pauline Luk was on the organising committee of RunNUS 2013 and was a driving force in pulling the event together. She was also the only PhD student on the organising committee.

“It was an excellent experience and I got to work with a great team. I really enjoyed working with the undergraduates.” Pauline said. “I’m also happy that the runners gave lots of positive feedback about the event.”

(L to R) Gayatheri Manikam, Miguel Sánchez, Daniel Teo, Abdul Rahman, Sarah Comer, Satveer Kaur, Pauline Luk, Ahmed Khan. (Photo credit: RunNUS)

CNM Instructor speaks on the Elderly User Experience at UP Singapore Hackathon

Pin Sym speaking at the Active Ageing Hackathon workshop

“Keep on Keeping On” was the theme of Interactive Media Design instructor, Ms Foong Pin Sym’s talk on how to make desirable, useable interactive systems for the elderly.  The Active Ageing Hackathon was focused on developing technology which can help senior citizens not only to lead healthy, active and independent lives but also to continue to be valued and contributing members in their communities.

In her talk to the workshop attendees, whose average age was 32, Pin Sym outlined the vagaries of the ageing experience and how that changes people as users of technology. Ultimately, the ageing is everybody, and what we want most are applications that help us to continue doing what we love and being whom we are.

The workshop was followed by a 48 hour hackathon where Pin Sym and other people working with elderly user groups, guided eager participants into conceiving product ideas and then fashioning prototypes out of some of the ideas.  The possibility of some of the prototypes being eventually developed into marketable and useful products, attracted diverse and talented students and professionals from research, education, corporate and government sectors, including  A*Star, NUS, NTU, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the CPF Board.

The list of winners is available here .They reflect the incredible diversity of talents and ideas the hackathon generated.

Pin Sym was pleasantly surprised at the number of people interested in working with the silver user group in Singapore. “It was an honor to be invited to speak at this Hackathon, and to have a chance to work with these talented and passionate individuals.”

EDIT: For a written version of the talk, please click here.

CNM Adjunct, Terence Heng launches the UniSIM Centre for Chinese Studies Seminar Series

In August 2013, Dr Terence Heng, adjunct lecturer at CNM, gave the inaugural session of the UniSIM Centre for Chinese Studies Seminar Series (UCCS). In his presentation, Hungry Ghosts in Urban Spaces, Terence spoke on his research on spiritualist Taoist practices in suburban Singapore, part of which was funded by the UCCS Small Research Grant fund.

Using a series of visual essays, Terence demo

nstrated how the different spatial and material practices in Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Batok and Bukit Brown Cemetery became performances of diasporic ethnicity and place-making in the city. This work is part of Terence’s wider research practice in CNM where he is investigating the visualisation of racial and spiritual spatialities in Singapore, as well as the potentialities in hypermedia for research communication.

A visual essay based on this talk is in press for the next edition of the journal, Visual Communication.

About the speaker:

Dr Terence Heng is documentary photographer and visual sociologist. He is concurrently an adjunct lecturer at CNM, UniSIM and the Glasgow School of Art Singapore, where he teaches on a wide variety of topics including communication design, photography, sociology and creative industries. His current research focuses on diasporic ethnicities and racial and spiritual spatialities in Singapore, particularly in Bukit Brown Cemetery.


Learning for Life

By Isabelle Janine Marchand, Year 3, CNM

This summer I interned with Bayer, a German chemical and pharmaceutical company. Not many people are familiar with the company, but if they are everyone will refer to Bayer as “the company who invented ASPIRIN”, the little white pill that treats headaches.

Bayer actually has three sub-groups: health care, material science and crop science. During my internship, I was allocated to the communications division of Bayer CropScience in Japan.

Before I started my internship, I did not care much about the agricultural business and was not aware of its reach and impact. Primarily, I was excited that I had secured an internship in Japan since I have a great interest for the country and its culture.  I did not think much about the industry I would be dealing with, which is why the first two weeks I was assigned to read up on the industry and the company itself.

I probably would have been demotivated and disappointed by the fact that I did not actually have to work and write things at the very beginning of my internship. But the communication management classes at CNM have me one important lesson: that the most crucial step in doing public relations is the first step – which is to become an expert in the industry that the company is sited. Otherwise, you will not be able to effectively communicate within the company or with the company’s publics.

My desktop mugging paid off. After learning about the industry and the company’s history, I got to do a diverse range of things – I was part of the organizing team for its 150th anniversary celebration. I wrote speeches for the CEO and was responsible for recording them for all employees across Japan to watch. I had a hand in building the company’s intranet to enhance its internal communication. I got to go on business trips and documented them by shooting photos and writing articles.

My work stint was not always easy, but I managed to tackle all challenges and I believe that what I studied in NUS has helped me in making the best out of my time with Bayer CropScience. Team work, presenting, media tracking, writing speeches and articles, planning and organizing events and creating engaging presentations are all skills I developed during my communication studies at NUS and which were valuable in the real life working environment.

My working experience in Japan showed me that the time we spend in NUS should not just be about studying for the next test or exam. It should be about learning and exploring new things every day.  These things will sometimes push us to our limits, but are the very ingredient which will give us a great foundation for the working world that awaits us outside of NUS.

Getting to know her Japanese colleagues is part of Isabelle’s learning journey


A whole new world awaits NUS students – Embrace it