Prof David Higgitt – Guest Editor of Innovation and Secretary General of AOGS

Professor David Higgitt
Professor David Higgitt

Prof David Higgitt, Geomorphologist and Professor in the Department of Geography, is the co-guest editor of the latest issue of Innovation, the Singapore Magazine of Research, Technology and Education (Vol.10 No.2, 2011). This special issue on Earth Sciences in Singapore is co-edited by Dr Grahame Oliver, a Geologist from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Grahame is now Visiting Senior Fellow in the Department of Geography, where he teaches modules in geology and petroleum geoscience.

Earth Science comprises the four basic sciences of geology, meteorology, oceanography and astronomy. As Prof Higgitt notes, “For much of its history, there has been no formal teaching in earth sciences in Singapore.” However this is all changing with the establishment of the Earth Observatory of Singapore at NTU and the Singapore Geological Office, as well as the reintroduction of Geology to the curriculum at NUS. A Geosciences Minor programme, administered through the Department of Geography, has proved very popular with students.  The current issue of Innovation shows how earth scientists in Singapore are playing key roles in efforts to resolve problems ranging from volcanoes, earthquakes and landslides to floods, tornadoes and cyclones. In August 2012 Singapore will be hosting a major geosciences conference as Asia Oceania Geosciences Society and the American Geophysical Union host a joint assembly.

In related news, Prof Higgitt has recently been elected as the Secretary General of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS), by a vote of 464 to 3. Congratulations from FASS to Prof Higgitt on this remarkable appointment.

Limited copies of Innovation magazine are available in the Geography Department and more on AOGS can be found at:

CNM celebrates new department status with graduands and alumni

CNM & Chinese Lion Dance

12 different batches of Information and Communications Management (ICM) and Communications and New Media (CNM) alumni came together for our annual tradition of Homecoming and celebrated in a big way — for 2011 marks the growth of CNM into a full-fledged department from programme.

Festive cheer greeted the guests on Saturday 16 July, when alumni, graduate students, staff and their families arrived to the roar of the lion dance. The lion dance is performed at important events and ushers in a year of plenty, according to Chinese beliefs.

Plenty of teaching awards, tenure and promotions, graduates from CNM’s first PhD cohort, babies added to the extended CNM family — all of which are good reasons to celebrate 2011.

Indian Rangoli
Indian Rangoli

Then a super-sized Indian rangoli with colorful petals forming the letters CNM was painstakingly decorated by the nimble fingers of the experts. The rangoli is an Indian symbol of joy.

Malay Dance
Malay Dance

Malay dancers entertained with their graceful moves before the award-winners were announced. Apart from the teaching awards, new graduands were lauded for their achievements.

Shaiful Rizal - Best Well Rounded CNM Honours Student and Hill Knowlton Best Communication Management Student
Shaiful Rizal

Wong Wai Kuan Rhoda won the NTUC Income Prize for the Best Honours Student in CNM while Shaiful Rizal B Abdul Malek was awarded Best Well-Rounded CNM Honours Student plus the Hill & Knowlton Best Communication Management Student prize. A second Best Well-Rounded CNM Honours Student award was garnered by Tan Xiu Fang.

Among the BA graduands, Ang Min Jia and Muhammad Rasul B Sulaiman were both awarded the CNM Best Well Rounded 3rd Year Student prize.

The CNM alumni achiever award went — without a doubt — to 2011’s most famous and new media-savvy local politician Nicole Seah.

Dr. Linda Perry
Dr Linda Perry

Apart from the teaching awards, no one in the room could forget the heartwarming tribute paid to Dr Linda Perry through thank-you videos from former students.

To top off the multicultural mood, yummylicious Thai food was served while the guests mingled, laughed, bonded and took numerous pictures. A few hours later, after basking in the strong network and camaraderie of our growing CNM family, and armed with the new edition of the CNM Magazine, our alumni walked away, in small and chatty groups. No goodbyes were necessary. They will return next year.

Welcome Tea for New Research Students – Aug 2011

The semestral welcome tea for new graduate research students was held on 3 August 2011.  The Vice-Dean and Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies, Assoc Prof Shirlena Huang and Assoc Prof Bruce Lockhart introduced the new students to graduate life at FASS.  The section on graduate life ended with a quiz which drew much laughter and saw many hands being shot up in a bid to win the prize – a backpack-cum-laptop bag!  Other presentations touched on Graduate Student Exchange opportunities, the FASS Research Clusters, the NUS Career Centre and the Graduate Students’ Society.  Steering committee members of the FASS Research Clusters were also present to answer any questions students had on the Clusters over tea.  Over 80 students attended the session and had a great time mingling with each other and staff from the Faculty.  A student was overheard saying she thought it was just a simple tea session and never imagined she would get so much out of the session – getting a chance to speak to the faculty members and especially learning more about the Research Clusters!

– FASS Graduate Studies Unit