About Gulizar Haciyakupoglu

A PhD Candidate at Communications & New Media Programme, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

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 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

Homecoming 2013: Delightful evening of friendship, appreciation and recognition


CNM’s esprit de corps hit another high note this Commencement season when faculty and staff hosted the Class of 2013, older alumni, family, friends and industry partners to an evening of fun, friendship and food on 11 July at University Hall Auditorium.

Amongst the guests from industry was CNM’s Industry Advisory Council member, Han Fook Kwang.  Fook Kwang who is Managing Editor, The Straits Times gave a short talk about social media, its effects and implications for communicators.

CNM alums, new and old, found the evening delightful. Said Melissa Lim (Honours, 2013):  “I was rather tired after the commencement ceremony and commemorative photo-taking but I had an enjoyable evening reconnecting with some of my juniors and seniors over dinner. It was a delight to chat with the lecturers again after the end of the school term two months ago, especially in such an informal setting”.

Cheong Ka Kit (Honours, 2013) appreciated the homecoming because it “allowed me to thank my CNM lecturers who have helped me during my studies. Special thanks to Retna and the administrative team for making the event a huge success.’

For Melissa, the homecoming was also a time for reflection of the past and growth:  “When I first stepped into CNM, I did not have a clear plan on what I wanted to do in the future and I did not know what to expect from the course. Over the years, however, CNM has helped me gain a better understanding of the communications and media industry, learn more about myself and what I want (or what I don’t want) to do in the future. More importantly, it helped me sharpen my skills in both communications and design”.

In keeping with tradition, the celebration also provided an occasion to recognize the contributions of outstanding students, alumni and faculty. This year, the CNM Honor Roll includes:

CNM Best BA Student – Mr Darryl Seah

Darryl is a media enthusiast and mathematics educator.  He utilizes communication and education theory to help children solve mathematical problems in vibrant and creative ways.  He wrote the popular guidebook, Daily Dose of Maths (P1 to P6) with the aim of sustaining children’s interest and confidence in the subject, and sharpening their skills for mastering it.

CNM Best Honors Student – Ms Nguyen Thi Hong Phu.

Phu has a strong background in events management, client account management and corporate communications.  Her dynamic personality, passion and leadership make her not only an active volunteer with SG Cares (Singapore Cares) and its partnering NGOs, but also an ideal FASS Champion fund-raiser for student bursaries in Class Giving 2013.  She was also a Cluster Leader for promoting social bonding among students of different nationalities at the Prince George’s Park Residences.

Best Well-Rounded Student  – Ms Angelina Tan.

Like the other award winners, Angelina is a top performer both in and outside of school.  As the brand strategist for the World Federation of United Nations Associations, she has contributed substantially to rebranding the Federation and providing strategy for pitches targeting sponsors, donors and partners.  Angelina is also the founder of ‘Fit Angels’ a social media network connecting 147,000 members around the world to whom she tirelessly provides advice on fitness, nutrition and directions in life.  Throughout the year, Angelina has put to great use her public speaking talent as master of ceremony in many CNM events.

Best Alumnus – Mr Donald Lim, Vice-President, Concepts, Savant Degrees

As co-founder of Savant Degrees, a web management company, Don is responsible for driving strategy, business development and for creating for clients, compelling experiences that balance product innovation, user intent, branding and business needs. He also heads the agency’s human resources, playing a key role in shaping it into being one of Singapore’s best places to work in. Since its founding in 2009, Savant Degrees has grown to become one of Singapore’s leading digital innovation companies, with a team of more than 25 of the region’s most talented product managers, UX/UI designers and software engineers. Savant Degrees has worked with well-known global and regional brands in business and government in markets across Asia. Brands it has partnered include Banyan Tree, Converse, Media Development Authority of Singapore, Nike, Standard Chartered, Sony and Vodafone. Outside work, Don develops the digital product design field.


The CNM Best Teacher Award 2013 went to A/P Lee Seow Ting, A/P Wyse, Lonce and Ms Mary Lee

The CNM Best Teaching Assistants for 2013 are Ms Gayatheri Manikam and Mr Christopher Ong

The CNM Outstanding Researchers are A/P Cho Hichang and Dr Julian Lin

Ms Malathi V received the 2013 CNM Outstanding Service Award


CNM Alumnus, Elmie Nekmat finishes his PhD with top honours

CNM alum, Elmie Nekmat (MA, 2010) graduated with a Ph.D. in Communication and Information Sciences from the University of Alabama.  He graduated fabulously – by receiving the 2013 Knox Hagood Doctoral Student Award for outstanding performance, collegiality, and potential to contribute to the field.

He is currently doing a visiting scholarship under NUS’ postdoctoral fellowship and a visiting scholar at the Department of Communication, University of California Santa Barbara.

“Time passed quickly for me during my Ph.D years, when I was swamped with classes and research projects, and needing to balance them all with family obligations. But, the experience was also a “growth spurt” in my life.  It taught me the importance of time management and resilience.  Apart from work and studies, my time doing the Ph.D. was filled with the camaraderie from my peers and professors at the University of Alabama. The intellectual stimulation and cheer from the many conversations with these wonderful people had made this phase of my life all the more meaningful”.

Elmie is interested in the processes and effects of online communication for public opinion formation, collective action and strategic communication.  For his dissertation, he examined the effects of online message sources on people’s willingness to take part in collective activities.  He also researches on media literacies, particularly those dealing with digital communication technologies.

Elmie has presented at national and international conferences, and won recognition for his papers, including those from the International Communication Association, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Broadcast Education Association.

Elmie had gone to the US on the NUS Overseas Graduate Scholarship.

Media Law Expert Explicates Innovations in British Libel Law

Media Law Expert Explicates Innovations in British Libel Law

On May 29, Professor Mohan J. Dutta, Head of the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore, and Professor Ang Peng Hwa, Chairman of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, Nanyang Technological University, co-hosted a talk by Professor Kyu Ho Youm, the inaugural Jonathan Marshall First Amendment Chair at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, at the Stephen Riady Centre in NUS’ University Town.

Prof Youm, who is the current President of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and expert on media law, delivered an interesting talk on the innovativeness and liberalisation of British libel law as it moves closer to adopting the US idea of free speech.

Prof Youm’s research on freedom of expression has been cited by American and foreign courts, including the Supreme Court of Great Britain, the Supreme Court of Canada, and the High Court of Australia.  In addition, his media law research has been used by U.S. and non-U.S. lawyers in representing their clients in press freedom litigation.  He has also written for the New York Times.

His conscientious tweeting is noted in Forbes.com as “one of the best media and law resources on Twitter” and serves as a valuable resource on research in media law and freedom.

The talk comes amidst the current debate on media freedom as the Media Development Authority issues its latest licensing requirement for online news websites.

From New Jersey to Singapore: For public relations writing, campaigns, durians and camaraderie

By Mariko Curran

I am an “exchange student”, but I am not an exchange student.  This is effectively the truth. As part of the small breed of international non-graduating students whose home universities are not exchange partners with NUS — the rather ambiguously named “non-exchange students” — I am an English major graduating this year from The College of New Jersey, a small public liberal arts college in the United States.  My experience here over the past four months has affirmed that I made the right choice in stepping outside the box to apply to NUS instead of pursuing an existing programme.

One of the reasons I wanted to study in Singapore was its growing influence in global business.  As a Professional Writing minor at my home university, I have taken modules in journalism and writing for interactive and social media, among other things, and I was interested in taking a highly practical module at NUS in writing for business.  NM3219 Writing for Communication Management caught my attention as a module that I wouldn’t want to miss, and fortunately, I was approved to read it.

As my first real exposure to public relations, NM3219 and its highly realistic assignments have piqued my interest in the field as a career option.  While the research involved is rigorous, I found that I enjoyed building expertise on a particular company, industry, or issue and crafting strategic writing based on that – as my group and I did for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for our term project.

I also experienced firsthand the privileges and opportunities available to me as a student at NUS and in the CNM department in particular. During recess week, I participated in a Campus Programme session held by U.S.-based PR firm Waggener Edstrom especially for NM3219 students. At the session, I was able to learn how the course material took action in the real world and try my hand at the kind of brainstorming that drives PR campaigns. It was also interesting to see how a company based in my home country moulds itself in Singapore. (The employees there all said that the Singapore office was “the fun one”.)

Another indelible way CNM helped shape my Singapore experience: two of my 3219 group mates brought me out to Geylang to try the (in)famous durian, king of fruits.  My verdict on the taste?  As rich as my experience at NUS, or actually, maybe even a little richer – I could only eat two pieces.

My group mate works on opening up the next section of our 猫猫王 (māo māo wáng) durian as I pretend to help. (I am joking around in this photo, but I did actually help!)



Startup as a place to apply school at work

By Tran Nguyen Quynh Khanh

I intern at Collegify, a startup.  The company does not have a strong brand name that catches recruiters’ immediate attention yet.  However, what it has given me is more meaningful than a name: Collegify has given me, experience.

With all of 10 staff on board, my company is small.  However, that just means I have the opportunity of work directly with the co-founders of the company, and they are among the best bosses I have ever had.  Granted I have not been in the industry that much to know who is good and who is bad, but my bosses are definitely great people.  They are considerate that I am still a student overwhelmed with projects and assignments.  And always take into account my time constraints.

“We shall give you the minimum amount of work which we think you can complete. If you want to do more, you have to ask for more.  And there is always work to be done,” one of the co-founders said.  And when I ask, they really give me more exciting tasks.

At Collegify, I have to do many different things: advertising, marketing, research, etc., basically covering everything I learn in school.  Working for a startup, I have no protocol to follow.  I am free to think of as many ideas as possible. As long as an idea is feasible, it will be implemented.  I report for work every Saturday, and join in discussions with my bosses and colleagues.  During these brainstorming sessions, I am fortunate to be able to contribute to the company’s advertising and marketing strategies.  The theories I pick up at CNM come in handy when I develop my ideas. And I find myself jogging my memory of a certain concept or model at times.

Recently, Collegify introduced a new service, SAT preparation course – SITFOR.  I was entrusted with managing SITFOR’s online marketing campaign. I have to admit that it was not easy.  Keeping your audience informed is not enough, and engaging them is a big challenge.  Some people just refuse to get involved.  We have tried different methods, but have yet to produce our desired results.  It is hard, but what I have learnt in school comes in handy.

So, that’s why I disagree with people who tell me that the knowledge for working life and school life is different and that what is taught in school is not applicable in “real working life”.  Maybe I am not experienced enough to know how diverse working life is. But I find that what I picked up from CNM modules has been very relevant to my internship.  School and work meld at Collegify, and for that, I am grateful.

Pitch It! 2013

By Reynold Kwok


The champion of Pitch It! 2013, the annual case competition for communication and marketing majors in Singapore, is team Extranormal from NUS. The winning team won $2,000 and internship positions at Mindshare Singapore, one of the country’s biggest media agencies.


First and second runner-ups, team Bizinga from NTU and Flying Penguins from NUS, took back $1,500 and $750 respectively.  The two best speakers, Ng Lin Kai from NUS and Melvin Sim from NTU, also won themselves $150 each.


The winners were announced on 30 March 2013 following a two-month long competition in which 10 teams from various tertiary institutions in Singapore pitted themselves against one other, in a bid to bring glory to their polytechnic or university.


The winners emerged from a total of 35 teams, formed from students from four polytechnics and three universities.  Most of the participants belonged to communications or business programmes, and lent a fair and enriching opportunity for participants, judges and supporters to witness the different ways, students from the various academic institutions, thought and worked through a case.


On top of networking opportunities, participants also had a taste of working with industry professionals directly.  The Communications & New Media Society had organized the competition with the goal of bringing passionate students and industry professionals together and, in the process, bridge the gap between academia and industry.  As a student-run body, CNM Society wanted to give students a chance to sample the real world experience of pitching for business accounts; and sought the commitment of Mindshare Singapore to secure this opportunity.


To challenge participants further, CNM Society also collaborated with another Singapore brand, DeltaNano, an SME company specializing in off-the-shelve anti-bacterial solutions.


Said the Marketing Communications Director of the CNM Society, Reynold Kwok, “Giving students a local brand to work on, really expanded our perspectives.  Textbooks only use big-brand, million-dollar campaigns as examples, and we usually read about only this one segment of industry.”


In the spirit of returning to the community, DeltaNano donated $10, 000 to the champions’ institution as a bursary donation, and expressed the hope that all participating students and their supporters saw the value in their efforts.


A memorable exchange experience

By Joyce Xu


I am an exchange student majoring in journalism and political science from the University of Hong Kong and would like to share what this semester has been for me.  For this term, I have taken modules in Communications & New Media, Political Science and Southeast Asian Studies.


At the Department of CNM, I took Introduction to Media Writing (NM2220) and Writing for Communication Management (NM3219).  As a journalism major in my home university, I was taught news reporting and writing, television production as well as journalistic ethics. We rarely touched on public relations. In contrast, at NUS, I have gained a lot of practical knowledge and integrated training in the field of public relations.  The two modules exposed me to a wide range of knowledge and skills such as public relations theory and practice, crisis communication, speech and press release writing.  The subjects have sparked my interest in corporate communication and led me re-think my career goals. It seems now to me that becoming a public relations practitioner is a viable way of engaging in the print media industry.  My mods at NUS required group-based multi-disciplinary projects and presentations.  They were great opportunities to make the acquaintance of local and foreign friends and get myself steeped into a vibrant academic culture. I am also impressed with how NUS profs use social media for teaching. Google Plus, for example, is really an effective platform for teachers and students to interact with one another and exchange ideas in a quick yet sustained manner.


Interview with Mdm Leong, the owner of Nam Seng Noodles & Fried Rice

Outside class, I am grateful to be given the chance to write an article comparing Singapore and Hong Kong for The Ridge magazine.  The campus paper also despatched me to interview Mdm Leong Yuet Meng, the owner and chef of Nam Seng Noodles & Fried Rice.  Many Singaporeans will fondly recall Mdm Leong’s bustling wanton noodles stall standing just next to the National Library when it was the library was still at Stamford Road.  I went on to report on the opening ceremony of the Festival of Media Asia 2013 held from 3-5 March at Sentosa.


My Southeast Asian Studies class, on the other hand, led me to carry out fieldwork in Chinatown.  For this project, I interviewed the shopkeepers at Pagoda Street and conducted in-depth research on the history of this Chinese enclave.


These hands-on experiences mean a lot to me: they broadened my social and intellectual horizons and enhanced my understanding of Singapore. My analytical and communication skills have also been improved amid the multicultural learning environment of NUS.

Reporting the Festival of Media Asia 2013 at W Hotel, Sentosa

Flying miles away from home to experience a different culture has given me valuable cross-cultural insights and interesting encounters.  I feel my perspective of the world expanding by the minute at each encounter with a classmate, lecturer or interviewee.  When I return to Hong Kong, I hope to continue to keep an open and curious mind and capitalize on every learning opportunity to explore and reflect about the world around me.  As I prepare my return to HKU, I know I shall look back at the past four months with delight and gratitude.


Joyce Xu is an exchange student studying Bachelor of Journalism (II) at the University of Hong Kong