Experiencing Southeast Asia with OdySEA 2012

In the spirit of Homer’s epic poem, the purpose of OdySEA is to give students an opportunity to undergo a journey, both intellectually and physically, and allowing them to establish a new sense of self in relation to the region. Jointly offered by FASS and the Faculty of Science, the inaugural OdySEA attracted 30 students from both faculties who spent six weeks in the Special Term reading modules centred on Southeast Asia. Between going for classes and finishing up on reports, they also spent two weeks in either Thailand or Philippines to do field work.

Read more about the experiences of three FASS students who embarked on OdySEA 2012!


Sarah Lim (Philippines)                                      Dean Wong & Jeremy Ho (Thailand)

Also check out the documentary on Thai social etiquette Why Wai by four students for OdySEA 2012. Filmed and produced by Jeremy Ho, Kenneth Poon, Teng Horm Earm & Dean Wong.

For more information on OdySEA, visit the Study Abroad @ FASS Summer Programmes page.

The Digital Media Industry: What the Internet Won’t Teach You (18th September 2012)

Two representatives from Yahoo! – Katherina Park from Human Resource and Jeffrey Oon, the country editor of Yahoo! Southeast Asia – came on campus on 18 September to share their insights on the digital media industry and resume tips with FASS students.

The audience comprised mainly Communications & New Media (CNM) students who wanted to know more about the opportunities in Singapore’s digital media industry, Yahoo!’s work culture and how they can secure internships and jobs in this industry.

Ms Park shared her view on the Southeast Asian market for digital media companies, Yahoo!’s internship programme and the opportunities and challenges when working in Yahoo!. She said that Yahoo! expects the interns to be independent and empowers them to take charge of their own internship. For example, their interns crafted the current intern programme to include exposure to Corporate Social Responsibility Projects and interaction with staff and interns from different departments.

Mr Oon talked about his personal challenges and satisfaction of being a journalist and the differences between mainstream media and the digital newsroom. He said that students interested in journalism should have a deep passion for writing, read widely across subjects, love to meet people and are opinionated.  At the same time, they need to know that a career in journalism has long, irregular hours and has tight deadlines to meet.

Both speakers also shared candidly what they look out for in the resumes they received. They told the students to highlight their achievements instead of simply listing down job functions and to be careful about grammar and spelling mistakes in their cover letters.

Indeed, this was a useful talk for our students and most of them said they have enjoyed and benefited from it.


FASS 7 Habits Orientation Camp 2012

Jointly organised by FASS and the Office of Student Affairs, the FASS 7 Habits Camp was held at Pulau Ubin under Outward Bound Singapore as part of the Freshmen Orientation Programme.

Using ideas from Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Effective People, students embarked on a journey learning to: 1) Be proactive; 2) Begin with the End in Mind; 3) Put First Things First; 4) Think Win-Win; 5) Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood; 6) Synergise, and 7) Sharpen the Saw.

Students enjoyed a weekend of fun activities as they learned more about themselves through experiential learning, something that cannot be taken from textbooks. Bonds were forged as students went through various obstacle courses and worked together to overcome the hurdles presented to them. With such an experience, students are better prepared to not only deal with the semester to come but to also have a competitive edge beyond their University life.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the pictures of the event.

SAP TERP10 : Information Session on 17th October

The School Of Computing SAP Students Trainer Team will be conducting an information session for the SAP TERP10 certification workshop on 17th October.

Our guest speaker, Ms Alicia Woo from SAP will also be present to share some insight on how knowledge in SAP system will help to transform businesses and give you a jumpstart in career.

Please refer to the e-DM appended below for more information.

Details of the session are as follows :

Date                 : 17th October 2012

Time                : 5PM to 6PM

Venue              : Seminar Room 1 at COM1 #02-06

If you would like to attend, please register online by 10th October at https://register.comp.nus.edu.sg/UGOffice/

You may also refer to our website for the details and updates of the workshop http://sap.comp.nus.edu.sg/

If you have any inquiries, please direct to terp10@comp.nus.edu.sg. Thank you and we are looking forward to seeing you there!

FASS Departments Welcomes Their Newest Alumni

Every year, over 1,400 students commence from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). 2012 is no different, except that most of its graduates had a memorable send-off! All FASS Departments were encouraged to organise events to celebrate their graduants’ success and to welcome them as NUS’s newest alumni. Ranging from teas, lunches and dinners to a homecoming weekend and graduation party, the graduants (BA, Honours and graduate studies) had a great time meeting with one another for the last time as a unified cohort.

Called ‘Celebrating Commencement Class 2012’, the FASS hopes to inculcate a spirit of camaraderie among its graduants, and to bond them to their individual departments. Most of the celebratory events were in the month of July, to coincide with Commencement 2012.

The Department of Social Work had an extra special reason to celebrate as 2012 marks its 60th anniversary. One of the department’s most prominent alumnus Mr. S. R. Nathan was also conferred an Honorary Doctor of Letters at the commencement ceremony of 5 July along with Social Work graduates. A lunch was organised immediately after the event at University Town and was attended by over 90 students, parents, guests and staff.

Head of the Department of Social Work, Dr. Rosaleen Ow congratulating a student
Social Work commencement lunch

The Department of Communications and New Media welcomed its newest alumni by organising a Homecoming event for over 100 guests on Saturday 21 July. A unique feature of the celebration was a batik-painting activity that took place alongside the festivities. After the professional batik painters laid the basic motif, all guests were encouraged to add their individual touches. The end result is a colourful masterpiece reflecting the vibrancy of its graduating students and faculty members. An incredible keepsake to remember the Class of 2012!

CNM celebrates commencement 2012

Many other departments held celebratory events on the same day of the students’ commencement. The events mostly took place on NUS grounds, providing students an opportunity to show their family members well-loved ‘memory spots’. For example, the Geography class had its farewell lunch in the Earth Lab – appropriately so because the Lab was where students enjoyed a warm welcome tea three or four years before. At the lunch, Ms. Joanna Lim (former three-time president of the NUS Geographical Society) was recognised for her contributions to the department and her fund-raising efforts which saw over 77 per cent of geography graduates giving back to the university. The Department of Geography had the highest proportion of graduants participating in the Annual Class Giving 2012 in FASS.

Geography celebration lunch, at Earth Lab

The South Asian Studies Programme had its commencement lunch right in their department corridor, a place all students find intimate and welcoming! Although the programme graduates a small number of students each year, it is clear that graduates and faculty colleagues enjoy a very close bond. At the lunch, new graduant Ms Priscilla Vincent revealed she had enrolled in NUS hoping to major in another discipline, until she took SN1101E and was fascinated by to know more about the region and its people. During her time at NUS, she interned at an NGO in India where she helped villagers acquire simple IT and language skills. Her stint was also featured in a Straits Times article in December 2009.

South Asian Studies Programme’s new alumni posing for a photo before lunch

Economics graduates were invited to a dinner organised by the NUS Economics Alumni. Over 100 people attended the event including new alumni, many of whom were meeting the new Head of Department Professor Julian Wright for the first time. Apart from dinner, the alumni enjoyed an evening of games (Bingo and Treasure Hunt) and new friendships (guests from SMU Economics Society were also invited, allowing for bonds to be established between SMU and NUS economics students and alum).

Committee helpers at the Economics Alumni Annual Dinner 2012

Souvenirs galore also marked the celebratory events. Chinese Studies students were most fortunate to have a faculty member in their midst, Dr Ho Chee Lick, who is a most accomplished artist and calligrapher. Each student left with a card bearing farewell wishes, written in beautiful calligraphy. The Chinese Studies event was very well attended by family members, especially parents. The commencement celebratory event provided an opportunity for students to publicly acknowledge their parents’ love and sacrifice. All the graduating students were also warmly invited to join the NUS Chinese Alumni Association at the party.

FASS AS7 Foyer, with a new look, for the Special Celebration

On 9 July 2012, the Department of Psychology organised a special pre-Commencement Graduation Lunch for its graduating students. Directed by Stephen Lim with the support of Lee Li Neng, Lim Yonghao, and Exco members of the Psychology Student Society, this event attracted around 200 guests, including graduands, their loved ones, student alumni, as well as Faculty members. An elaborate buffet-style lunch comprising of a live chef station was accompanied by special instant photography services which, Psychology Head A/P Sim Tick Ngee commented, “made the occasion much more meaningful as a commencement occasion”.

Philosophy graduands at the Philosophy Commencement Tea Party

The Philosophy Commencement Tea Party was held on 9 July 2012, to coincide with the subsequent evening graduation by the Philosophy cohort. Although the numbers were small, a meaningful time was had by all who were present. Graduands mingled with their lecturers, reminisced about their time in the Department and spoke of their plans after graduation. A ‘photo-booth’ was set up in the Resource Room, courtesy of Honours student Jonathan Sim. Graduands put on their gowns and took photos with each other, and also with the Head of Department A/P Tan Sor Hoon who gamely brought her own academic regalia for the occasion. The day ended with the distribution of a door gift – a mug designed by A/P John Holbo, in which mortarboards are interspersed with names like Confucius and Kant.

Indeed, most of the commencement lunches/dinners and events were very well attended by the graduants’ family members, especially parents and siblings. The festive family mood is most appropriate reflecting the warm camaraderie FASS hopes to foster among its students and graduates.

‘Ideas for Life’ Challenge

Calling all passionate and aspiring social entrepreneurs – the inaugural ‘Ideas for Life” Challenge is for students who are motivated to solve the world’s pressing social problems.  If you are a social entrepreneur, here is your chance to submit and win prizes for innovative solutions to change society for the better. Your solutions or ideas should offer extreme ‘value for money’, sustainable, engaging and implementable on a wide scale. They solve a compelling problem in communities in or outside Singapore. They are likely to involve engineering / design innovations which are simple and novel. They have great commercial value.

Successful ideas and proposals should address :

  • Scenario to which the proposal applies
    • Social impact : compelling problems which are observed, needs identified, opportunities seized, communities served
    • Technical Design : creativity,  simplicity, innovative, robust, detailed illustrations
    • Enterprise : value-for-money proposition,  marketing and business strategies, distribution and reach
    • Sustainability : Business and environmental

Participants should submit a detailed proposal using a template which can be downloaded at ‘Ideas for Life’ Challenge. Eight teams which are shortlisted by the judging panel will present their proposal. See the deadlines below.


Teams of 4 undergraduates from any department / faculty of NUS are eligible. Multi-disciplinary teams are most encouraged and welcomed.

Important Dates

Registration                                                        :  30 Sept 2012

Proposal submission                                       :  22 Oct 2012

Announcement of shortlist / finalists      :  26 Oct 2012

Presentations by finalists                             :  31 Oct 2012


1st Prize :                              SGD2000 + trip to India*

2nd Prize :                             SGD1000 + trip to India*

3rd Prize :                             SGD600

Consolation prizes :         SGD400 x 3 teams

*The trip to India will take place over 2 to 3 weeks in December 2012. Dates are currently being finalized. The airfare and accommodation in India will be fully paid. The cash prize goes to your pocket money for the trip. 

The trip to India is a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to gain first-hand experience in a society with pressing needs. The ideas created in this Challenge need not be directly targeted at the community which the winners will be visiting in India. It will be a great bonus if your ideas apply to the scenario in India. Otherwise, your trip to India is a new opportunity for you to apply your passion as a social entrepreneur.

Visit www.i4lchallenge.org for more details.

Tamil Teachers Honoured (Edvantage.com.sg)


7 September 2012

Tamil Murasu presented Dr S.P. Thinnappan, Fellow in the South Asian Studies Programme, the inaugural ‘Lifelong Inspiring Teacher Award’. Selected with the help of the Singapore Tamil Teachers’ Union, Dr Thinappan was clearly moved by the award and said:

“We may have retired. But this award inspires us further.”

Click here to read the full article.

Think Fun, Think Yahoo! The Digital Media Industry: What the Internet Won’t Teach You Talk By Yahoo!

You are invited to attend Think Fun, Think Yahoo! The Digital Media Industry: What the Internet Won’t Teach You Talk by Yahoo!.

The talk aims to create more awareness of the Digital Media Industry and to help students understand what HR practitioners look out for in their resumes or during interviews. The talk will also highlight the internship opportunities that are available and also focus on how to transition from an intern to a full time employee of the company. Their country editor will also share what it is like working in Yahoo!.

Date: 18th September 2012 (Tuesday)
Time: 12pm – 1.30pm
Venue: CIT Auditorium, Computer Centre Level 2

Please register for this talk HERE.

Speaker Profiles

Jeffrey Oon
Jeffrey Oon has over 10 years of radio, broadcast, print and online experience. He built his career as a reporter with Singapore national broadcaster MediaCorp before moving on to hold a variety of editorial positions including sub-editor, writer, host/presenter, editor and senior manager at Singapore Press Holdings and then Yahoo! based in Singapore. At Yahoo! SEA, as Country Editor, he transformed Yahoo! Singapore into a credible and authoritative source of news and has since led its media properties — News, Entertainment, Sports — to No. 1 positions on ComScore.

Katherina Park
As a Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP), she establishes firm partnerships with a highly matrix organization and works in consultation with their long-term growth plans e.g. human capital resourcing, reward and retention strategies. Katherina also runs the internship program in Yahoo! as well as manages the HR operations of the employees in Vietnam and Philippines. She also spearheads the Employee Engagement program, which aims to incubate a creative, progressive and fun work force in Yahoo!.