Dance music artist uses social media to engage fans

CNM students with DJ Ferry Corsten at the Dutch Ambassador’s home

By Cheong Kakit, Graduate Student, CNM

Eight CNM students participated in a Q&A session with international DJ Ferry Corsten on 13 December 2013.

Best known for dance music tracks such as ‘Punk’, ‘Rock your body, rock’ and ‘Into the dark’, the DJ/music producer who is currently ranked 42nd in the world, invited and answered questions from the audience during a two-hour dialogue session held at the Dutch ambassador’s residence.

Apart from talking about the music industry and his life as a professional DJ, Mr Corsten also shared his views on the increasing importance of social media. He described his own usage of social media as a ‘fun’ and important way to connect with his fans. For example, he recently decided to host an ‘AMA’ (ask me anything) session where he personally responded to questions posted on his social media account.

About the experience, Agnes Chang, a second year CNM student said: “It’s definitely a rare opportunity to be able to meet one of the top DJs in the world and hear him talk about his passion for Electronic Dance Music. It is also amazing how he has managed to influence others and gain more followers with the facilitation of the Internet and platforms like Soundcloud, Youtube and Twitter.”

Associate Prof. Lim Sun Sun appointed Assistant Dean of Research

Come 1 January 2014, Dr Lim Sun Sun will be FASS’ Assistant Dean for Research

Deputy Head (Administration) of CNM, Associate Professor Lim Sun Sun will join the Dean’s Office as its Assistant Dean in the Research Division from 1 January 2014.

Said Dr Lim, “Having served as Deputy Head of CNM since 2009, I have had the opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of CNM. I have been exposed to an extensive range of administrative and service responsibilities at the departmental level. I look forward to contributing to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences as Assistant Dean for Research and I believe it will be a rewarding and enriching experience. I am grateful for the support of my CNM colleagues and intend to be very much a part of the CNM family even while I serve at the Dean’s Office.”

Congratulations, Dr Lim Sun Sun!

Communicate authentically in order to fly high

Authentic communication can garner support from stakeholders

Capitalise on social media in your communications, but make sure the content you generate is also always authentic.

This was the message in Prof Mohan Dutta‘s keynote address to the 60 communication professionals attending the IATA Asia Pacific Communicators Conference 2013 on 22 October.
The attendees, including representatives from Airbus, Boeing and ST Aerospace, had come from across Asia and the Middle East to pick up on the latest developments and trends in the field of corporate communication as well as the aviation industry. Prof Mohan’s speech set the stage for their discussions on media relations, social media and crisis communications in air travel.

“The IATA Communicators Conference is an industry initiative we organize annually to help airline communicators see how their role should evolve in tandem with developments in the field of communications. In this one and a half day gathering, we share best practices, and keep ourselves abreast of industry issues such as safety, security and climate change.  Prof Mohan’s talk on being authentic in all our communications is what we all need to prioritise if we want to continually provide the best service to our stakeholders,” said Albert Tjoeng, IATA’s Assistant Director of Corporate Communications for Asia Pacific.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a trade association represents some 240 airlines around the world accounting for 84 per cent of global air traffic.

Introduction of new Minor in Interactive Media Development

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new interdisciplinary Minor in Interactive Media Development, jointly offered by the Department of Communications and New Media (CNM), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Department of Computer Sciences (CS), School of Computing. It is open to all NUS students with suitable background, but preference is given to CNM and CS students.

For CNM students, the Minor programme is an upgrade of the present loose form of CS module offering to a structured programme. For CS students, this Minor programme continues to provide a structured programme for them to take NM modules after B.Comp. (CM) is merged into B.Comp.(CS). For students in other faculties, this Minor programme provides an interdisciplinary training and experience of both NM and CS modules.

Students in NUS may satisfy the Minor in Interactive Media Development as follows:

Complete 24 MCs of modules from the following NM and CS Module Lists, of which at least 12 MCs must be taken from outside the full set of modules which make up the student’s primary major. Up to 8 MCs of modules may be used to meet the requirements of both the Major and Minor programmes. Students must take modules from both the NM and CS Module Lists, with at least 8 MCs from the NM list and at least 8 MCs from the CS List.

NM Module List:


NM2213 Human-computer Interaction Design
NM2216 User Centred Design
NM3209 Creating Interactive Media
NM3216 Game Design
NM3221 Mobile Interaction Design
NM3222 Interactive Storytelling
NM3226 Location-based interactive experiences
NM3227 Critical Game Design
NM3228 Interactive Sequential Art
NM3229 Data Visualization
NM3231 Physical Interaction Design
NM4210 User Experience Design
NM4224 Sound and Interaction
NM4226 HCI and Interactive Arts/Entertainment Design

CS Module List:


CS2010 Data Structures and Algorithms II
CS3240 Interaction Design
CS3343 Digital Media Production
CS3283 Media Technology Project I
CS3882 Breakthrough Ideas for Digital Market
CS4249 Phenomena and Theories of Human-Computer Interaction CS4340 Digital Special Effects

The Minor in Interactive Media Development will be effective starting AY2013-14 Semester 2.
Current students may bid for appropriate modules to satisfy the Minor requirements.

Our Rock of Gibraltar: Dr Iccha, Winner of the FASS Teaching Excellence Award AY2012-13

By Brendan – Keefe Au Jun Ren, Year 4, CNM

I was happy to receive an email from Ms. Mary Lee some weeks ago saying that Dr. Iccha Basnyat had won another teaching excellence award. (She also won a CNM Outstanding Teacher Award  in AY 2010/11). That said, it wasn’t surprising news to me, at all.
There has always been a feeling of being in very safe hands when under Dr. Iccha’s supervision for any academic endeavor. On top of all the hallmarks of a great teacher – like the true mastery of course content and the abilities to communicate, to engage the class, and to convey the big picture as effectively as all the nitty-gritty details there are a few things that set Dr. Iccha apart from others.

There is, first of all, the trademark lightning speed and clarity with which she addresses concerns. Ideas and guidance usually come shooting forth with athletic precision a split second after you have put forth a doubt. Having a professor who always manages to function at top form even when fatigue may be written all over her face is an immense source of security for any student.

But the quality which, to my mind, sets Dr Iccha in the league of outstanding teachers, is her uncanny knack to identify and give support to a student in exactly the area and at exactly the time where support is needed.

I’m not sure if any other CNM faculty can wear a sterner demeanour than Dr Iccha. But any initial apprehension dissipates quickly when a student encounters her quiet, strong and steady mentoring. Yes! Dr Iccha is a Rock of Gibraltar for me, and I daresay, all of her students. In desperate moments like an impending submission deadline or sticky research situation, we hold fast to the calm and clarity that Dr Iccha provides us and in this way, elude the panic which can easily overwhelm us.

With these qualities, it would indeed be a surprise if Dr Iccha’s contributions weren’t recognized sooner.

Congratulations, Dr. Iccha!

Exchange of a lifetime

By Alexandra Lin, Year 2, CNM Major, on exchange from University of Zurich, Switzerland

“You can’t chew gum there!”. “It’ll be really humid!”.  “You’re going to have an amazing time!”

Yes, yes and yes. When I first got the news that I had secured a place for a semester at NUS, I was giddy with excitement. In fact, I was so enthusiastic that I signed up for five modules with CNM when most exchange students would pick only three to four modules, in order to make room for travelling in the region and managing the workload. Diving into the vast array of modules, I chose to take modules unavailable at my home university to get the most out of my exchange. These were Intercultural Communication (NM2201), Social Psychology of New Media (NM2209), Principles of Communication Management (NM2219), Introduction to Media Writing (NM2220) and Advertising Strategies (NM3215).

2201 was one of my favourite modules to attend, simply because Ms Julyn Kang can literally light up your mood and make you forget it’s a Friday afternoon sitting in her lectures. The tutorial sessions with Ms Chew where we had some interesting discussions were something I highly enjoyed as well.

Admittedly, 2209 was the module I struggled most with simply because of the amount of reading different case studies. However, the online lectures illustrated very interesting way of teaching, and I found the way Dr Lim’s lectures integrated with a “real” tutorial session very helpful.

I enjoyed my 2219 tutorials the most. In these tutorials, the theories introduced at lectures were taken to more profound levels and applied to different scenarios. It helped that Ms Lee also always found ways to elicit laughter when we were struggling with theories.

The tutorials in 2220 were where I always got to learn from Mr Siew’s insights into the journalistic world. Mr Siew would share with us interesting things from his own experiences. The assignments during the semester were also a good preparation for the finals.

3215 was the first module I absolutely knew for sure I wanted to take when I applied for my exchange. And it has been a real whirlwind. While I found it interesting that the  scenes from the movie, Mad Men made their way into Mr Law’s lectures, the tutorials where we had to create a campaign in teams provided me with some of the most instructive discussions I’ve had at NUS.  The module also gave me some of my best memories of NUS — the late nights spent working with my team members on the campaign report were also the times when my Singapore team mates introduced me to Taiwanese sesame chicken, Poifull Jellies and Gong Cha.

At some point, I’m pretty sure the amount of workload combined with my wanderlust to discover Southeast Asia almost sent me over the edge. In retrospect, however, I am glad I took on the additional modules. They were worth every minute of this window of being abroad and independent. I learnt a lot about myself, my capabilities and limits each time I got stressed over midterms (which I don’t have back home), regular assignments and getting the cheapest flight out of Singapore available.

After four months of what can only described as a roller coaster ride of an exchange, I have to say thank you to both University of Zurich and National University of Singapore for having given me this great opportunity. So, indeed, I did have an amazing exchange experience at NUS.

One tiny catch though: Can we turn down the aircon a bit, can? 😀

That’s a wrap for the kikki.k campaign team! I stand on the left of my NM3215 team members.

On assignments, toilets and social consciousness

By Tan Ee Lyn, Instructor, CNM

This past semester, students in our Writing for Communication Management (NM3219) course were given an assignment on toilets and the lack of sanitation. Here was the million-dollar question: How do you sell a problem that’s been around for thousands of years to the media and still convince them it is newsworthy? In the initial proposals, many of the students turned in media pitches that wouldn’t stay in any journalist’s mailbox for longer than 30 seconds.

“One in every three people in the world does not have access to proper sanitation. Please come cover our event.”

The teachers were in a bind. We had expounded, and had expected new slants to a perennial problem. But what we got weren’t new takes. What we got were context, background, history. In short, we got old ‘news’ . So we got together and decided we would teach them all over again – about news and news pegs. We brought in the example of Nick Vujicic, the motivational speaker with no limbs. Here was a very well-publicised man who has had so much written about him. But yet, when he visited Singapore in September 2013, we were still pounded day after day with news of him. Why? Because his publicist made him swim with sharks, pose for photos with Singapore’s president, the list was endless.

The students understood. In subsequent drafts on the sanitation issue, some turned in story proposals about teenage girls in India who can’t go to school because of the lack of toilets; some wrote about how women fear rape when they venture outside to relieve themselves in the night; a couple of others discussed how engineers are working on projects to bring dry toilets to resource-scarce regions in the world. What was more heartening though was that through this exercise on news and publicity, the students’ social consciousness grew a little sharper, a little more profound.

On the morning of November 19, now officially known as World Toilet Day, I turned on my phone and scanned the news. Aha! I saw articles in the Wall Street Journal, the Voice of Russia and many others highlighting the sanitation problem from the angle of women. I spoke to our module coordinator Mary Lee later that morning and she said: “Our students could have told them that!”

Below are links to some of these stories:

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2013/11/19/why-women-go-to-the-toilet-in-groups/

http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_11_19/Women-deal-with-harassment-on-World-Toilet-Day-India-8907/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10459903/Ten-outstanding-loos-for-World-Toilet-Day.html