Assoc Prof Stephen Lim wins Grand Prix Award at the Yamaha Electone Festival 2017 Singapore


We are delighted that Assoc Prof Lim Wee Hun Stephen (Department of Psychology) had clinched the Grand Prix Award (First Prize) at the national-level Yamaha Electone Festival (YEF) 2017 Singapore (Senior Section) held on 24 June 2017 at the Lee Foundation Theatre, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

Assoc Prof Lim will thus be representing Singapore at the 2017 Asia-Pacific Electone Festival (APEF) which will be held on 15 October in Singapore at the Capitol Theatre, and competing with winners from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand. Winner/s of the APEF will proceed to compete at the international-level Yamaha Electone Concours 2017 which will be held on 2 and 3 December in Osaka, Japan.

Last year, on 29 October 2016, the NUS Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music inaugurated the YST Electone Orchestra, of which Prof Lim was a part.

We wish Assoc Prof Lim all the best and every success in representing Singapore!


NUS geographer Professor Henry Yeung conferred prestigious international award

Professor Henry Yeung, Co-Director of the Global Production Networks Centre at NUS, and economic geographer from the Department of Geography at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, has been conferred the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers [IBG]) Murchison Award 2017.

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Professor Henry Yeung

The award was conferred by the Council of the Society in recognition of Prof Yeung’s pioneering publications on globalisation, and will be presented to him by the Society’s President, Mr Nicholas Crane, at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Medals and Awards ceremony 2017 in London on 5 June 2017. The Murchison Award is the most senior accolade in the awards category to be presented at the ceremony; the other category being the medals category.

Sharing his thoughts about receiving the prestigious award, Prof Yeung said, “It gives me enormous pleasure to have my work, which is all done in Singapore, recognised by the Royal Geographical Society. This award will spur me on further to take on Anglo-American geography and social science in an increasingly post-colonial world of knowledge production. I hope this award paves the way for further decentering of such knowledge production, particularly in the fields of humanities and social sciences. This means the rise of new centres of knowledge production, for instance in Asia, that can capitalise on our own locations as sites of laboratories for new insights and thoughts.”

Professor Henry Yeung

Prof Henry Yeung graduated with B.A. First Class Honours in Geography from NUS in July 1992, and obtained his PhD from the University of Manchester in England in 1995. He returned to Singapore on 31 December 1995 to begin his career in the Department of Geography at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. An eminent economic geographer and a highly cited academic, Prof Yeung’s research interests include theories and the geography of transnational corporations, global production networks and global value chains, East Asian firms and developmental states in the global economy.

Throughout his career, Prof Yeung has been accorded many honours, including being ranked first in the list of top 50 human geographers in the Journal of Economic Geography (Vol. 10) in 2010, and being conferred a Fellowship with the Academy of Social Sciences in the UK in 2012, in recognition of his significant contributions to social science.

A leading authority in his field, Prof Yeung has published widely. His latest book with Cornell University Press, titled Strategic Coupling: East Asian Industrial Transformation on the New Global Economy (2016), examines economic development and state-firms relations in East Asia, focusing in particular on South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.

About the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), and its Medals and Awards

Founded in 1830, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is the UK’s learned society and professional body for geography. It is a world leader in advancing geography and supporting its practitioners in the UK and across the world. Since 1832, the Society’s medals and awards have recognised excellence in geographical research and fieldwork, teaching and public engagement. They are presented annually in recognition of those who have made outstanding achievements within the sphere of geography.

For more information about the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), please visit:

The Goh Sin Tub Creative Writing Competition 2017 (The Short Story)

To all staff and students of NUS,

Enter your original unpublished short story in The Goh Sin Tub Creative Writing Competition 2017 (The Short Story) now and stand to win!

1st Prize: $10,000

2nd Prize: $6,000

3rd Prize: $4,000

The biennial Goh Sin Tub Creative Writing Prize is a gift from Dr Sylvia Goh to NUS in memory and recognition of her late husband Goh Sin Tub, one of Singapore’s best-known writers. The Competition is open to all members of the NUS community.  The closing date for receipt of entries is at 5pm on Thursday, 31 August 2017.

For more details of the competition and the official registration form, please click here.

Please email Angeline ( for more information.

Department of Japanese Celebrates its 35th Anniversary!


On 5 November 2016, the Department of Japanese Studies and the Japanese Studies Alumni Group organised a dinner party at the NUSS Suntec City Guild House to celebrate the Department’s 35th anniversary. More than 60 former and present staff, alumni members and guests attended the special event. Participants were treated to an awesome night of good food, exciting games, and attractive prizes.

For more photos, visit the Department’s Facebook page!

Undergraduate Student Lounge at AS8 is now open!

The Faculty is pleased to announce that a new student lounge has been created exclusively for FASS undergraduates at AS8/01-03. Conveniently located near the Central Library and The Coffee Roaster café, the lounge will be a cosy corner for our undergraduates to discuss project work, study or mingle with fellow students. (Please note that no food and drinks are allowed in the lounge.)

The lounge is now open.  Do feel free to drop by to explore another possible study venue as you prepare for your examinations.

Wishing all students the best for your coming examinations!



Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards (FTEA) 2016

We are very pleased to extend our warmest congratulations to the following colleagues on their achievements in teaching.  Forty-two FASS faculty members have been awarded the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award for their work in AY2015-16.  Of these faculty members, 15 have also been nominated for the Annual Teaching Excellence Award and one for the Outstanding Educator Award.  We will know the outcome of these nominations in due course (early 2017).

Name Department
Dr Chan Kwang Guan Daniel Centre For Language Studies
Dr Izumi Walker Centre For Language Studies
Dr Park Mihi Centre For Language Studies
Mr Yuzuru Hamasaki Centre For Language Studies
Ms Rungnapa Kitiarsa Centre For Language Studies
Ms Sasiwimol Klayklueng Centre For Language Studies
A/P Ong Chang Woei Chinese Studies
A/P Phua Chiew Pheng Chinese Studies
A/P Yung Sai-Shing Chinese Studies
Dr Mohamed Elmie Bin Nekmat Communications and New Media
Mr Gui Kai Chong Communications and New Media
Dr Georgios Georgiou Economics
Dr Ong Ee Cheng Economics
Dr Sng Tuan Hwee Economics
Mr Chua Yeow Hwee Economics
A/P Wee Su-Lin, Valerie English Language & Literature
Dr Ang Wan Ling, Susan English Language & Literature
Dr Leslie Lee English Language & Literature
Dr Liang Peilin English Language & Literature
Dr Loon Seong Yun, Robin English Language & Literature
Dr Daniel Adam Friess Geography
Dr Kamalini Ramdas Geography
A/P Neo Choong Tiong, Harvey Geography
A/P Maitrii Victoriano Aung Thwin History
A/P Timothy Percy Barnard History
Dr Donna Maree Brunero History
Dr Chris McMorran * Japanese Studies
Dr Sher Banu A.L. Khan Malay Studies
A/P John Christian Holbo Philosophy
A/P Lim Tze Kiat, Elvin Political Science
A/P Terence Lee Chek Liang Political Science
A/P William Ward Bain Political Science
A/P Trevor Bruce Penney Psychology
Dr Cha Yeow Siah Psychology
Dr Iliana Magiati Psychology
A/P Stuart William George Derbyshire Psychology
A/P Esther Goh Chor Leng Social Work
Dr Lee Geok Ling Social Work
Dr Wong Yuh Ju Social Work
A/P Joon Mo Son Sociology
Dr Feng Qiushi Sociology
A/P Irving Chan Johnson Southeast Asian Studies

Congratulations to all our winners for their excellent work!

Of Courage and Character – The Story Behind the New Sociology Scholarship

We are pleased to announce that the new SP Shotam and Sarojini Shotam Scholarship has been up in memory of Mr SP Shotam and Ms Sarojini Shotam at the FASS. The Scholarship will be awarded to students majoring in sociology, with preference given to candidates who double major or minor in social work.


The following article on the courage and character of the Shotams was kindly contributed by the donor.

This scholarship is in memory of Srirekam PuruShotam and Sarojini Shotam, who gave generously – materially and otherwise – to their families and friends, acquaintances, and even strangers who came into their orbit. S. P. Shotam was a British Subject, and passed away before Singapore attained independence.  Sarojini Shotam, born British Malayan, embraced Singapore’s independence with a glad heart.

Both of them provided all who were blessed to be connected with them with real-life lessons of courage and daring; of staying steadfast in times of immense difficulties; and of enjoying, with gratitude, the gift that Life is.

Two aspects of their lives suffice to illustrate this. S. P. Shotam was interned and suffered terrible tortures at the time of the Japanese occupation of Singapore. He survived, to live on without rancor nor bitterness of any kind.  He rebuilt his business, S. P. Shotam & Company Ltd at 12 Orchard Road.  He set up home at 21 Balmoral Road.  He loved the challenge of his work and balanced it well.  His hobbies included communicating globally via the ham radio system he set up in his home, at a time when wireless communication was relatively new.  As a member of the Royal Singapore Flying Club he would fly over his house to the delight of his children. But the war had taken its toll on him: he died five days before his 44th birthday.

Sarojini Shotam was 38 years old when she became a single mother to eight children. The eldest was in her teens and the youngest was five months of age.  She was a phenomenal role model to all who knew her.  A prime aspect of her character was understanding the power of resources which went well beyond the material.  Her home and her table – filled with the amazing food she always provided – was always open to all and sundry despite her having eight children to feed!  She glowed with an inner strength and compassion that is hard to describe. Her gentle firmness and her certitude about the Truth, came from her deep interest in philosophy and history. Nary a day went by without her spending some hours in the afternoon studying the Bhagavad Gita.

It is hard to abstract the potency of their lives in a short brief. S. P. Shotam, to give one example, was skin and bones, terribly ill and severely in pain after his internment.  His wife was not yet back in Singapore:  He had insisted she take the last boat out, with two young children.  There was to be no communication between them thereafter.  Her ship was bombed and he presumed she had died.  She, similarly, had no clue he had been accused of anti-Japanese activities, imprisoned and tortured.

But S. P. Shotam had made an impact on people that would be repaid to him at this time. Former servants returned to him to care and tend him back to life after the Japanese Occupation. Indeed, one of them had saved him from death in the ‘camp’:  he took a job there and risking his own life, surreptitiously provided him with extra food and nursed him whenever he could.  Others returned to take care of him after the occupation:  nursing him, feeding him, providing for him at a time when he was physically unable to work, hire anyone to help him, nor be fully aware of what was being done for him out of the love he had engendered among former servants. He never forgot their love and kindnesses:  a gratitude his wife shared, when she finally returned to his side after the war.  His plight was still unbearable to see, but he had survived despite all the odds.

Sarojini Shotam also had a character that drew people to her. After she passed away, one of her children had called for a taxi to take her from her mother’s home to work.  The taxi driver, a Chinese man who was mostly conversant in Mandarin, said, “Oh I know the woman who lives here.”  “My mother” she replied.  “Oh how is she?” he asked. “She passed away”.  On hearing this the cab driver, who had already driven some way off, asked to please return to her home so he could his respects to her.  She had such an impact on him that he went before a framed photograph of her, prostrated before it, and using incense sticks like Chinese joss sticks, did what devotees at a Chinese temple would do.  When asked how he knew her, he said they talked when she had used his cab, three or four times in all!

Through a marriage arranged early in their lives, S. P. Shotam and Sarojini Shotam, shared a sense of direction and purpose. They were independent of thinkers, beyond the times they lived in, and their lives provided the example of living not by what others thought and did, but with an inner compass of a Spirit within.

The recipient of this study is thus chosen with respect to sociology; preferably paired with social work. Sociology harbours a project similar to the way S. P. Shotam and Sarojini Shotam were in their thinking if the potential of its intellectual daring is recognised.  It asks questions of assumptions that are considered unquestionable and it refuses to allow one the comfort of living merely by received knowledge.  Social work underlines the importance of lived experiences connection to varied lives and a recognition that when we give generously we are also simultaneously being given in return.  Both can lead to that most amazing gift of all that both the Shotams had:  the beauty of the silence within which gave their lives that Light that this scholarship celebrates.

The Department of Sociology has selected one scholarship recipient in Academic Year 2016-17. For more details on the Scholarship, please click here.

FASS Psychology Student Mr Elvis Tan Wins National-level Singapore Psychological Society Gold Medal


We are delighted that our CDP (Concurrent Degree Programme) student Mr. Elvis W. S. Tan has snared the coveted Gold Award conferred by the Singapore Psychological Society at the national-level Student Research Awards on 1 October 2016, on the basis of his ongoing Integrated Thesis research mentored by Dr. Stephen Lim, Director of the NUS Cognition and Education Laboratory. This was a joint research venture with the Division of Cognitive Psychology in Education, Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University.

The researchers comment: “Here, we explored the role of cognitive processes — global versus local processing styles — in students’ academic risk taking tendencies. Participants first read a short passage, which provided the context for their subsequent academic risk taking decisions. Following which, participants undertook the Navon’s task and attended to either global letters or local letters only, i.e., were either globally- or locally-primed. The effects of priming on academic risk taking were then assessed using a perception-based measure (Experiment 1) and a task-based measure (Experiment 2). Experiment 1 provided preliminary evidence, which Experiment 2 confirmed, that globally-focused individuals took more academic risk than did locally-focused individuals, after controlling for participants’ need for cognition (how much they enjoy effortful cognitive activities). Additionally, the inclusion of and comparisons with a control group in Experiment 2 revealed that locally-focused participants drove the observed effects. The theory of predictive and reactive control systems (PARCS) provides a cogent account of our findings. We discussed future directions and practical applications in education.”

The winning research, titled “The influence of global-local processing styles on academic risk taking”, has recently been accepted for publication in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.130).

Elvis shares his research experience: “Research – the notion of testing our ideas fairly and rigorously – is a truly integrative experience. The process of research is arduous, exciting, and humbling all at the same time. It has taught me to move forward with a sense of confidence and humility – not only in the field of research, but also in education and in life. Whilst research may seem like a primarily independent endeavour, this journey is fondly shared with mentors, family, friends, and eager participants. I would like to dedicate this award to the giant in my academic journey, Dr. Stephen Lim, for his dedication, guidance, and inspiration.”

We extend our congratulations to Elvis and Dr. Lim!

FASS Commencement Class Giving 2016

Back Row (left to right): Phua Pei Pei (ERSL staff), Jenny Tang (ERSL staff), Lui Yong Sheng, Sin Xin Yi, Swee Cheng Wei, Navin Vijay Wadhwani, A/P Loy Hui Chieh (Vice Dean, ERSL), Kenrick Chin Seated (left to right): Alicia Chua, Karen Ang, Clement Law
Back Row (left to right): Phua Pei Pei (ERSL staff), Jenny Tang (ERSL staff), Lui Yong Sheng, Sin Xin Yi, Swee Cheng Wei, Navin Vijay Wadhwani, A/P Loy Hui Chieh (Vice Dean, ERSL), Kenrick Chin
Seated (left to right): Alicia Chua, Karen Ang, Clement Law

FASS won the Top Achievement Award and Leap Award in this year’s Inter-faculty competition for the annual Commencement Class Giving campaign. The awards give recognition to the Faculty for the overall participation rate and the biggest improvement in participation rate of our undergraduate and postgraduate students respectively. This is the first time since the competition started in 2011 that FASS has won the Top Achievement Award for attaining the highest participation rate among faculties with over 1,200 graduating students.

The annual giving campaign is an initiative by NUS Development Office (DVO) that runs across the campus in a spirit of friendly competition to inspire commencing students to support bursaries or student programmes for their juniors. It is a collaborative effort with the External Relations and Student Life Division (ERSL) at the faculty.

The Leap Award is one of the two new categories that was added to the competition this year. The other new category is the Outstanding Achiever Award, which gives recognition to the top five fundraisers among more than 100 class champions campus-wide. We are proud to share that our Class Champions, Sin Xin Yi (Psychology) and Navin V. Wadhwani (Geography) came in 1st and 4th respectively for the Outstanding Achiever Award. On his experience as Class Champion, Xin Yi said: “After getting over the initial awkwardness of asking my friends and batch mates for their donations, I became more comfortable striking conversations with people I did not know, and telling them about the Campaign and how meaningful it would be to contribute to the Bursaries to support their juniors in financial aid.”

As a Class Champion, Navin was grateful for the opportunity to reaffirm old friendships with his fellow majors and make new ones with fellow Class Champions from FASS and other faculties. He said: “At the end of the day the Champions are just the final link in the chain, the heart of the Giving campaign are the donors and graduates themselves. Their contributions, no matter large or small, add up to something much bigger and meaningful in the long run.”

It is heartening to see an increasing number of Class Champions over the past few years. The Champions has made great and worthwhile effort to encourage their cohort to raise funds for the FASS Student Advancement Bursary in the midst of their own honours theses and assignments. These Class Champions will assume the role of Class Ambassadors after their graduation, and we look forward to continue working with them to enhance the connectivity among the alumni as well as with FASS.

We would like to thank the following Class Champions for their commendable efforts:

  1. Lim Bee Leng (Chinese Studies)
  2. Hsu Chen (Chinese Studies)
  3. Dominic Pang Jing Ping (Japanese Studies)
  4. Karen Ang Yunn Harn (Japanese Studies)
  5. Nurain Bte Mohammed Zulkepli (Malay Studies)
  6. Saraln Udomkichdecha (Southeast Asian Studies)
  7. Alicia Chua Mei Yin (English Language)
  8. Elliot Marcell Tan Yen Yun (English Literature)
  9. Chan Mun Keet Walter (Theatre Studies)
  10. Wang Shu Qin Sandy (History)
  11. Siti Rasyidah Bte Shiek A H (History)
  12. Adeline Chang See Mun (European Studies)
  13. Leong Jie Xiang (Philosophy)
  14. Esther Phua Ying Li (Philosophy)
  15. Toh Di Di Andy (Communications and New Media)
  16. Lee Sian Kang Philip (Communications and New Media)
  17. Teh Tien Li Cheryl (Communications and New Media)
  18. Kee Hwee Leng Amanda (Communications and New Media)
  19. Tey Shou Heng Jason (Economics)
  20. Swee Cheng Wei (Economics)
  21. Lui Yong Sheng (Economics)
  22. Jeslyn Tan Yi Ting (Economics)
  23. Sin Yueh Taur Anita (Geography)
  24. Navin Vijay Wadhwani (Geography)
  25. Zheng Zhangxin (Environmental Studies)
  26. Shaun Tay Yue Ming (Political Science)
  27. Law Yong Xiang Clement (Political Science)
  28. Kenrick Chin Jin Rui (Political Science)
  29. Christopher Chia Sheng Hui (Political Science)
  30. Muhammad Khairul Bin Abdul Rahim (Global Studies)
  31. Sin Xin Yi (Psychology)
  32. Soh Chang Yuan (Psychology)
  33. David Seah Teck Wai (Social Work)
  34. Chan Jianhong (Social Work)
  35. Damien Wong Li Jian (Sociology)
  36. Chang Siong Wei Angelique (Sociology)