These awards recognise excellence in teaching among Tembusu and CAPT faculty. Since 2013, the two Colleges have been part of the University-wide teaching awards process that applies to all faculties, schools and programmes at NUS. In future, RC4 will also be included. The Residential Colleges Teaching Excellence Awards focus on Junior and Senior Seminar teaching within the University Town College Programme, whereas Ideas & Exposition teaching is covered under the Centre for English Language Communication.

Nominations for these awards are judged annually by the Residential Colleges Teaching Excellence Committee (RCTEC), and results are announced in October-November. The dossiers of the strongest candidates are further submitted for the Annual Teaching Excellence Awards (ATEA) and Outstanding Educator Awards (OEA) at the university level.

Academic Year 2013/14

Residential Colleges Teaching Excellence Award

Dr John van Wyhe

Dr John van Wyhe’s student feedback shows him to be an engaging and inspiring educator. An expert on the life and work of Darwin and Wallace who is known to be a strong public speaker and lecturer, Dr van Wyhe has successfully adapted his teaching style to the UTCP seminar format. He emphasizes skills as well as knowledge, and allows students to pursue their own interests within the boundaries of the module. Being jointly appointed, he has nevertheless found time to contribute to Tembusu’s teaching mission more broadly by hosting soirees and work-in-progress seminars.

Dr John van Wyhe's classes are truly a delight to attend. His knowledge of the subject is truly deserving of its global renown, and it has been an honour to learn under him. Yet despite his qualifications and unrivalled competency, he has never caused students to feel inferior, in fact he genuinely encourages the input of each and every student and actually makes the student feel it is of value.

Dr John van Wyhe's Student Feedback

Dr Connor Graham

Dr Connor Graham’s approach to teaching and learning makes excellent use of the residential college environment of University Town. The boundaries of his classroom are made permeable through fieldtrips, the involvement of guests, and assignments that prompt students to engage external audiences. Beyond his well-regarded teaching of junior and senior seminars, Dr Graham has made a deep contribution to Tembusu through his mentorship of student projects under the Third Year Experience, and by nurturing the debate, and writing, culture at the college.

An excellent educator who is genuine and sincerely interested in the learning process of his students. Goes out of his way to give detailed and personalised feedback and also organising field trips during class periods to better allow students to apply what they’ve learnt in class to the real world. A great teacher whose efforts need to be recognised.

Dr Connor Graham's Student Feedback

Academic Year 2012/13

Residential Colleges Teaching Excellence Award

Dr Kelvin Pang

Dr Kelvin Pang is a highly effective teacher, with a talent for making students feel at ease in the classroom. He is very good at building trust, which allows him to push and challenge his students while always remaining supportive. His module, ‘Social Innovation’, is highly regarded by students for its innovative assignments, its real-world relevance and the passion Kelvin brings to it.

He is very receptive to feedback and is constantly improving himself to better address our needs and concerns. He is a humble teacher who listens and gives constructive feedback. [...] He is always prepared for lessons and ever ready to tell us more about what he had found over the weekends. He is energetic and lively in class, and makes me really want to attend his lessons, because I always end up feeling so inspired and enlightened afterwards.

Dr Kelvin Pang's Student Feedback
The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.