FASS alumni win Singapore’s highest cultural honours


– ST PHOTO: NURIA LING

We are proud to report that FASS alumni are among the award recipients at the recent Cultural Medallion and Young Artist Awards ceremony! Ms Jennifer Tham (Philosophy and Sociology major) and Mr Thirunalan Sasitharan (Philosophy and Literature major) won the Cultural Medallions in the music and theatre categories respectively, while Mr Looi Wan Ping (Sociology major) and Ms Zizi Azah Bte Abdul Majid (Philosophy and Sociology major) won the Young Artist Awards in the film and theatre categories respectively.

Read the Straits Times article here.

Click the links below to read about the artists:

Jennifer Tham (citation; artist article)
Thirulnalan Sasitharan (citation; artist article)
Looi Wan Ping (artist article)
Zizi Azah (artist article)

Success for Malay Studies Society Production

A Malay musical titled “Langkat Muazzam” was staged on 22 September 2012 at the Kallang Theatre as part of the society’s Cultural Night. Spearheaded by a group of students from the NUS Malay Studies Society (MSS), this initiative involved a total of 60 youths ranging from those in primary schools to tertiary institutions. It was based on the history of the Malay Sultanate, aimed at creating awareness about the rich history of the Malay Sultanate.

Scene from the Climax scene
Scene from the Climax scene

  

The former President of MSS, Nur Diyana Abdul Kader,  a fourth year Malay Studies major, said that intensive research was done in order to replicate as close as possible the feudal life of the Malay society during the golden age of the Sultanate.

Diyana, who was also the producer, mentioned that the audience was impressed that the MSS was able to successfully execute the production, especially considering that they are a very small student society to begin with. Members from the audience also encouraged MSS to continue this effort as classical Malay productions are rare in Singapore.

Putting together a production of this magnitude was no easy feat and the biggest challenge facing the society was funding, which affected their plans in getting training spaces as the project was tight on budget. They are definitely proud of the fact that they managed to successfully pull it off! It was their first production and they have made quite an impression by garnering rave reviews from members of the audience as well as getting positive coverage from Berita Harian.

The organising committee was thoroughly satisfied after the production and they were encouraged by the large turnout, about 1,200 tickets were snapped up. It was beyond their wildest expectation as many queued and bought tickets at the door. They are hoping to make Cultural Night an annual event. The Malaccan Sultanate is the most famous of the Malay Sultanates but there were scores of other Sultanates throughout the history of the Malay world as well. The Society wants to educate the public on these different Sultanates and plan to present the different Sultanates in future musicals.

The Cast and Organising Committee
The Cast and Organising Committee

Welfare Pack Distribution

Dear Psychology Students,

As exams are approaching around the corner, NUS Psychology Society has prepared exam Welfare Packs for everyone! Do come down to our booth to collect yours!

Date: 5th November (Mon) and 7th November (Wed) 2012
Time:
 10am – 6pm
Venue: Along AS1 walkway

 

Wear your Psych Shirt OR bring your NUS Psyche membership card to collect yours!

If you have not collected your membership card, you can also bring your receipt along to collect your membership card! 

Do come down and collect your welfare pack while stocks last! Hope to see you at our booth. 🙂

 

Warmest Regards,

NUS Psychology Society

http://nuspsyche.org/

 

Julianne Tan Wen-Li and Soh Wei Jie win Singapore Psychological Society Undergraduate Research Awards!

We are very proud to announce that two of our undergraduates, Soh Wei Jie and Julianne Tan, have had their undergraduate research recognized by the Singapore Psychological Society. Specifically, Wei Jie won the 2012 Best Undergraduate Research Award while Julianne won the 2012 Undergraduate Research Award for Best Qualitative Research. Congratulations, Wei Jie and Julianne!

julesprofile Photo

Julianne:

While recent research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has turned its eye towards better understanding the high rates of comorbid anxiety difficulties in children and youths with ASD, there is a knowledge gap regarding how anxiety is qualitatively experienced in their everyday lives and the impact of this condition. Specifically, in this population of children who are different in terms of the way they perceive the world, behave and express themselves, are the various triggers and signs of anxiety, and the coping strategies used, unique to ASD or shared with other common experiences of anxiety in non-ASD individuals? Most studies have so far utilized standardized checklists developed for typically developing children and not children with ASD. Important information is often missed out as we try to “fit” ASD children’s experiences into those of children without ASD. Moreover, in most cases parents provide the information; teachers, who can provide unique and important observations from the often stressful school environment, are often ignored .

Therefore, this exploratory study reported a series of focus groups discussions with teachers from Special Education schools in Singapore regarding the anxiety difficulties of their students with ASD, most of whom also have associated intellectual and adaptive behaviour limitations. Teachers were interviewed in depth about their experiences with regards to their students’ anxiety triggers, signs, impact and strategies employed to manage anxiety. Their rich narratives were coded verbatim and a detailed coding system was developed to explore shared and autism-specific themes emerging from their perspectives. Taken together, the teachers’ views were strikingly consistent and provided a unique constellation of findings. Teachers identified change/unpredictability, aversive sensory experiences, social-communication difficulties and being prevented from engaging in stereotyped interests and activities as ASD-specific triggers of anxiety. These are thought to reflect common ASD-specific difficulties in sensory sensitivities, impairments in communication and perspective taking, and inflexible processing styles respectively. In addition, they also identified anxiety triggers that are shared with non-ASD individuals, such as specific phobias and performance-related demands. Strong themes were evident when we asked teachers how they can tell that their students are anxious, with most saying that they largely “see” anxiety in their students’ behaviour. For example, when children with ASD get anxious they will engage in more challenging, sensory or repetitive behaviours and more avoidance/escape behaviors.

The focus group results were also used to examine the potential validity of an existing framework of ASD-related stressors that has been proposed to account for heightened anxiety in ASD. While the existing model by Wood and Gadow was largely supported by the findings of the study, we also argued that the model was incomplete and that a more broad-based conceptualisation of anxiety across the entire autism spectrum is required.

Wei Jie:

The winning work is entitled “Hear No Evil: Can Music Attenuate the Irrelevant Speech Effect?”. Dr. Lim commented, “Many students listen to music while they study. We believe that this phenomenon transcends preferences towards learning styles, so that the benefits reaped from music listening during study actually have a very fundamental (biological) basis. Our goal was to show that music helps to consolidate cognitive resources that will in turn boost learning. Imagine the following scenario: In a noisy environment that is highly distracting, music creates this “transparent room”; when you step in (and close the door behind you), the distractors surround the room, remain visible (or rather, audible) and intelligible, are in fact processed, but they can no longer stifle you. Importantly, we think that it is the “music-ness” in music that creates this fascinating effect (which is why students listen to “music” in the first place). Through this work, we also hope to understand at least in part just what exactly constitutes “music”, a long-standing philosophical question that continues to fascinate scholars across a variety of fields.” For more information, go to our earlier story: http://blog.nus.edu.sg/fassnews/2012/10/22/nus-department-of-psychology-wins-singapore-psychological-society-sps-best-undergraduate-research-award-2012/

Soh Wei Jie wins Singapore Psychological Society (SPS) Best Undergraduate Research Award 2012

Among the top psychological research entries from the respective Universities and Institutes in Singapore, the NUS Department of Psychology is proud to have won the overall Best Undergraduate Research Award conferred by the Singapore Psychological Society (SPS) this year. This Award recognizes the top psychological research of the year accomplished by an undergraduate student, and can be withheld unless there is a deserving candidate. Mr. Soh Wei Jie, who recently graduated from the NUS Department of Psychology with First-Class Honours, pursued his undergraduate thesis research under the supervision of Dr. Lim Wee Hun Stephen, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology who has won multiple awards for excellent teaching and student research supervision. Mr. Soh’s thesis research emerged as the best among all 83 Honours Theses received and examined by the NUS Psychology Department in the 2011-12 academic year, and was subsequently nominated for the 2012 SPS Undergraduate Research Award.

Dr. Stephen Lim (left); Mr. Soh Wei Jie (centre); SPS President and MinDef Psychology Head Col. Dr. Bernard Lim (right)

The winning work is entitled “Hear No Evil: Can Music Attenuate the Irrelevant Speech Effect?”. Dr. Lim commented, “Many students listen to music while they study. We believe that this phenomenon transcends preferences towards learning styles, so that the benefits reaped from music listening during study actually have a very fundamental (biological) basis. Our goal was to show that music helps to consolidate cognitive resources that will in turn boost learning. Imagine the following scenario: In a noisy environment that is highly distracting, music creates this “transparent room”; when you step in (and close the door behind you), the distractors surround the room, remain visible (or rather, audible) and intelligible, are in fact processed, but they can no longer stifle you. Importantly, we think that it is the “music-ness” in music that creates this fascinating effect (which is why students listen to “music” in the first place). Through this work, we also hope to understand at least in part just what exactly constitutes “music”, a long-standing philosophical question that continues to fascinate scholars across a variety of fields.”

Our heartiest congratulations to Mr. Soh and Dr. Lim on winning this Award!

Study by Schirmer & Escoffier highlighted in Scientific American

Annett Schirmer and her graduate student Nicolas Escoffier recently presented a study on the effects of rhythmic sound at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting (http://www.sfn.org/am2012/), a major conference that attracts more than 30,000 attendees.

Their work has attracted attention from Scientific American, the leading source and authority for science, technology information and policy for a general audience, and has been featured as a blog entry on the Scientific American site (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/10/19/the-power-of-music-mind-control-by-rhythmic-sound/). Well done, Annett & Nicolas!

FASS Forward to the Exam (Sharing Session and Relaxation Techniques Class)

FASS Forward to the Exam – Sharing Session

 

 

 Register HERE

Seats are available on a 1st-come-1st-served basis

Upon registration, please be sure to attend the talk or find a replacement if you are unable to make it

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FASS Forward to the Exam – Relaxation Techniques Class

 

Register HERE

Seats are available on a 1st-come-1st-served basis

Upon registration, please be sure to attend the talk or find a replacement if you are unable to make it

For further queries, please email faslp@nus.edu.sg or call 65167274.

Training Leaders

Training Leaders

By: Tan Wei Yuan, Year 4, Sociology Major, FASS Club President (33rd Management Committee)

The FASS Student Leaders Camp took place from 28th to 30th September, at the Outward Bound School in Pulau Ubin. In its second year, it was attended by 28 FASS students from different societies within the Faculty, as well as students from the NUS SM2 programme.

We were broken into four different groups; namely Awesome, Batman, Coolcumber and Dolphins. Games and classes were planned and conducted to convey the principles of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to us, challenging us to better ourselves.

One of the toughest challenges we faced was the final segment, a height element test which required some form of teamwork, organisation and a collective goal between all groups. Despite the difficulties we faced as a camp, we managed to pull through to meet our target. This was truly a remarkable achievement for a group partially divided by nationality and language, and without prior interaction with each other.

I strongly encourage all future members of societies to take this chance to experience this camp. Members of my team had successfully internalised some of the teachings in camp, which I believe to be of great benefit to the individual. I would like to hereby thank OSA and the FASS Dean’s Office for granting us this chance to participate in this event.

MOE The Outdoor Classroom Programme 2013

(https://moe.wufoo.eu/forms/application-for-the-outdoor-classroom-2013/)

What our past interns had to say!

“It was an amazing experience and the skills and knowledge gained will help me plan for future trips with my school.”

– Nur Azlyna Binte Mohamed Tahir, Geography graduate and The Outdoor Classroom Ambassador 2012, who went to South Korea for her school field trip with CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent

 

“I really appreciated having the chance to see the other duties of a teacher, it has really been a beneficial experience to not only share what it’s like to be with the students – venturing into a new place but as well, learning through observation and hands on work, what teachers need to do in any and every circumstance – pre, during and post trip.”

– Joanna Lim, Geography graduate and The Outdoor Classroom Ambassador 2011, who went to Vietnam for her school field trip with Shuqun Secondary