Awards

These awards recognise excellence in teaching among Tembusu, CAPT, Residential College 4 and RVRC faculty.

Since 2013, these Colleges have been part of the University-wide teaching awards process that applies to all faculties, schools and programmes at NUS. The Residential Colleges Teaching Excellence Awards (RCTEA) focus on Junior Seminar, Senior Seminar and Ideas & Exposition teaching within the University Town College Programme.

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 submitted to be considered for the Annual Teaching Excellence Awards (ATEA) and Outstanding Educator Awards (OEA) at the university level.

Academic Year 2018/19

Annual Teaching Excellence Award and Residential Colleges Teaching Excellence Award

Dr Kuan Yee Han

Kuan Yee Han is a passionate, caring and nurturing educator. His students laud him for being very methodical, well-prepared and highly approachable. He is strongly cited by students for imparting practical wisdom and impacting lives. Using authentic learning as a key strategy, Yee Han designs modules and conducts class activities to engage students in the learning process. He has also made strong contributions to student life affairs at Tembusu College.

Yee Han is a really approachable and dedicated teacher. He puts a lot of effort into planning his lessons and his objectives for each class. His seminars go the extra mile to include various forms of class activities (e.g. role–plays, book discussions, lego building) rather than just relying on slides. During class, he also ensures everyone gets an opportunity to participate.

Dr Kuan Yee Han's Student Feedback

Residential Colleges Teaching Commendation Certificate

Dr Céline Coderey

Céline Coderey adopts a learner-centric approach in her teaching. She keeps student engaged using multiple modes of teaching that includes music, videos, visits to murals etc. Students particularly mention her ability to link course material to everyday happenings and for her ability to zoom out from a specific incident to a broader perspective while being equally adept at moving from a macro perspective to individual incidents. A novel aspect of her teaching approach is to employ student diaries of their module readings as a key indicator of student learning.

She is very encouraging and open when helping develop my ideas, even if I think that they are not feasible or too difficult to implement. As a result, I had to leave my comfort zone to interview a Palestinian living overseas and developed valuable communication skills in the process.

Dr Céline Coderey's Student Feedback

Professor Tay Yong Chiang

Tay Yong Chiang is deeply appreciated by his students for being supportive, open-minded, interesting, inspirational and his ability to draw connections between many disciplines. Where possible, he also employs a student-driven curriculum to have deeper student engagement. This award is for being a thought-provoking teacher and one who relentlessly challenges students’ perspectives.

I see and appreciate the enormous effort that Prof Tay put to teaching this Junior Seminar. Prof Tay encouraged us to be critical about truth and proof in different disciplines. This made me better appreciate the efforts people outside of my major. I think Prof Tay had done a good job in simplifying the mathematical concepts, like with the chessboard problem, so that we can understand (well, at least I personally did understand the gist of it). Overall, I think Prof Tay had made this Junior Seminar a very challenging and rewarding class.

Professor Tay Yong Chiang's Student Feedback

Academic Year 2017/18

Residential Colleges Teaching Commendation Certificate

Dr Kuan Yee Han

Kuan Yee Han is constantly cited by students for being engaging, super approachable and as someone who inspires thinking. Offering authentic learning experiences to students is a key objective of his work as an educator – thus, he employs field-trips, role plays and LEGO based learning to create back and forth learning journeys between the real-world and the classroom. In addition, he works with Tembusu College students on Negotiation and Leadership skills.

One of the kindest and most approachable professors I have had. He spends so much time giving consultations to his students even when he is not feeling well. He puts in so much effort in his lessons, such as bringing in items that are related to the cases, organising field trips so that we can see first hand the issues that are brought up during classes. He is always open to ideas in class, and even when the ideas his students give are irrelevant at times, he always seems to link it back to the topics mentioned in the module. His classes are engaging and well thought out- I really learnt a lot and had a lot of fun!

Dr Kuan Yee Han's Student Feedback

Academic Year 2016/17

Residential Colleges Teaching Excellence Award Honour Roll

Dr Connor Graham

Connor Graham is an exceptional educator known for his consistent work in stretching students’ thinking skills. His effective translation of pedagogical principles into classroom practices helps them examine issues in new and interesting ways, and appreciate the relevance of the subject matter. Often, he goes the extra mile to nurture individual intellectual pursuits by giving them prompt, useful and personalised feedback on their work. This award is for his sustained excellent use of the residential college environment for teaching and learning.

Dr Connor is an excellent mentor -- nurturing and well-equipped as an educator. Through the module I read under him, I learnt more than I could have ever hoped to, and he has helped me achieve and realize things about myself, and my writing calibre that have and will continue to prove useful in my academic endeavours, and otherwise.

Dr Connor Graham's Student Feedback

Kelvin Pang is

Kelvin Pang is a passionate educator best known for his ability to motivate and empower students through innovative and impactful practices in teaching and learning. He consistently engages students through signature pedagogies that include student case writing and “table-top” teaching. His excellent use of the residential college environment to help students improve their negotiation skills and develop mental resilience aligns strongly with NUS’ vision of producing well-rounded, future-ready graduates. This award is for his unceasing outstanding contributions in and outside the classroom.

Kelvin goes above and beyond to help my classmates and I throughout our cases. During consultations, scheduled or impromptu, he challenges us to push our cases to new heights instead of taking the easy way out by removing the nuances, and prompts us to find new angles of approaching the material. Classes every week take on a different format and I really did enjoy the different modes of learning. The email summaries were also very useful for understanding key take away points and introduce related readings beyond our discussion which I do thoroughly enjoy. 

Kelvin Pang is's Student Feedback

Residential Colleges Teaching Excellence Award

Dr Catelijne Coopmans

Dr Catelijne Coopmans has enabled students to have the courage and character to question assumptions and conclusions. Besides great teaching skills, she has the ability to promptly adapt to student needs and give enlightening feedback on their work. For many years, she has created impact among Tembusu faculty by spreading good educational practices and has enthusiastically shared first-hand experiences of teaching in a residential college.

Dr Catelijne is very dedicated towards her students as shown by her commitment to each of us. She provides very timely feedback on our progress and remains very open minded about our ideas and opinions throughout the course.

Dr Catelijne Coopmans's Student Feedback

Dr Adam Groves

Dr Adam Groves creates “thinking classes” where there is free sharing of ideas amidst fun and excitement. His creative teaching methods have made it possible to introduce unorthodox ideas to students and help them develop a deep love for the subject. His assessments are highly streamlined and build from the start towards a final goal aided by feedback comments. Overall he supports the intellectual development of students and cares about their overall well-being.

Dr. Groves displays true concern for the holistic development of each of his students, and this can really be seen from the work he does, the way he conducts his class, the way discussions, consultations are facilitated. Apart from focusing on the student's progress in a specific module, his concern extends to the student's overall well-being, as students find him approachable and eaasy to talk to. In addition, he facilitates discussions well by being open to creativity and encouraging individual thought and development of thought.

 

Dr Adam Groves's Student Feedback

Dr Margaret Tan

Margaret Tan provides a well-structured learning experience for her students. Her pedagogical strengths include conducting very informative seminar sessions and augmenting the learning process of students by being approachable and caring. Margaret’s other contributions have been in integrating the arts into the Tembusu curriculum, as well as organizing several out-of-class initiatives at the College. This award is for her excellent work in nurturing students in both formal and informal settings.

A great teacher who puts forth concepts in an interesting and easy to understand manner. Also provides useful and thought-provoking feedback and suggestions, especially for our intervention project - it wad fun and extremely fulfilling.

Dr Margaret Tan's Student Feedback

Residential Colleges Teaching Teaching Commendation Certificate

Professor Tay Yong Chiang

Tay Yong Chiang has an ability to intellectually challenge students and prepare them to critically question the assumptions and claims made by others. Students find him inspiring and engaging, as he enables them to look beyond their current mental boundaries and establish links into their majors. He is a well-regarded educator, with a high percentage of students nominating him for teaching awards.

Prof Tay is very proficient in the subject that he teaches. He encourages his students to read beyond what is discussed in class, and always provides genuine feedback in a timely manner. Prof Tay is also very open-minded about what the students have to say in class and what the students write in the essay. I truly appreciate this because he lets us explore and be creative with our thoughts while still guiding us on how to create a powerful argument.

Professor Tay Yong Chiang's Student Feedback

Academic Year 2015/16

Residential Colleges Teaching Excellence Award

Dr Connor Graham

Whether it was for the Level 1000 Junior Seminars or the Level 2000 Senior Seminars, Dr Connor Graham had received numerous compliments from his students for stretching their thinking skills, for encouraging them to develop their own ideas, for providing prompt feedback, and for skilfully facilitating classroom discussions, amongst other positive comments on his teaching and classroom experience. The compliments coincide with Connor’s teaching goals on helping his students to see things in new ways, in ways that are relevant to their lives, and to nurture their own intellectual interests. For his ability to effectively practise what he plans and to deliver on his teaching philosophy, RCTEC is pleased to recognise Connor with this award.

Whether it was for the Level 1000 Junior Seminars or the Level 2000 Senior Seminars, Dr Connor Graham had received numerous compliments from his students for stretching their thinking skills, for encouraging them to develop their own ideas, for providing prompt feedback, and for skilfully facilitating classroom discussions, amongst other positive comments on his teaching and classroom experience. The compliments coincide with Connor’s teaching goals on helping his students to see things in new ways, in ways that are relevant to their lives, and to nurture their own intellectual interests. For his ability to effectively practise what he plans and to deliver on his teaching philosophy, RCTEC is pleased to recognise Connor with the RCTEA for AY2015-2016.

Dr Connor Graham's Student Feedback

Dr Adam Groves

Dr Adam Groves credits his teachers across three countries who conveyed on him a wealth of experiences and memories. As he was inspired, so too does he seek to inspire his students. He champions the general education achieved though seminar-style learning at Tembusu College with a philosophy which combines the individual “student-centred” development with growth through “peer learning” facilitation amidst a diversity of undergraduates. In the classroom, Dr Groves weaves between student responses, allowing each a space and time to contribute and respond, whilst shepherding the discussion in the main learning direction. One reviewer regards this as part artistry. For the exploration he facilitates, the intellectual nurturing he provides and the encouragement to shrug off boundaries of students’ outlook, RCTEC is pleased to recognise Adam with this award.

Dr Adam Groves credits his teachers across three countries who conveyed on him a wealth of experiences and memories. As he was inspired, so too does he seek to inspire his students. He champions the general education achieved though seminar-style learning at Tembusu College with a philosophy which combines the individual “student-centred” development with growth through “peer learning” facilitation amidst a diversity of undergraduates. In the classroom, Dr Groves weaves between student responses, allowing each a space and time to contribute and respond, whilst shepherding the discussion in the main learning direction. One reviewer regards this as part artistry. For the exploration he facilitates, the intellectual nurturing he provides and the encouragement to shrug off boundaries of students’ outlook, RCTEC is pleased to recognise Adam with the RCTEA for AY2015-2016.

Dr Adam Groves's Student Feedback

Dr Kelvin Pang’s

Dr Kelvin Pang’s work as an educator at Tembusu College makes a compelling case for RCTEA based on his innovative approaches in teaching senior seminars. Practices such as student case writing, “table-top” teaching and classroom discussions have made a deep impact on students’ intellectual growth. Outside the classroom, he has helped students gain a variety of life skills including negotiation skills (through “Heart of Negotiation” workshop series put together with senior students and faculty at Tembusu) and be future-ready (through the “The Third Year Experience” platform). Kelvin’s work neatly fits into NUS’s vision of producing well-rounded, resilient graduates. Innovation in the classroom, creation of conducive learning environment and continuous improvement based on reflective practices set apart Kelvin to be a recipent of this award.

Dr Kelvin Pang’s work as an educator at Tembusu College makes a compelling case for RCTEA based on his innovative approaches in teaching senior seminars. Practices such as student case writing, “table-top” teaching and classroom discussions have made a deep impact on students’ intellectual growth. Outside the classroom, he has helped students gain a variety of life skills including negotiation skills (through “Heart of Negotiation” workshop series put together with senior students and faculty at Tembusu) and be future-ready (through the “The Third Year Experience” platform). Kelvin’s work neatly fits into NUS’s vision of producing well-rounded, resilient graduates. Innovation in the classroom, creation of conducive learning environment and continuous improvement based on reflective practices set apart Kelvin to be a RCTEA recipient for AY 2015-2016.

Dr Kelvin Pang’s's Student Feedback

Academic Year 2014/15

Residential Colleges Teaching Excellence Award

Dr Connor Graham

Dr Connor Graham is a reflective practitioner who shows outstanding preparation and profound care in his junior and senior seminar teaching. He shows students that their voices matter and challenges them to hone their thinking and expression. Beyond the classroom he has cultivated student leaders through his fourth-year mentoring, advising of the Tembusu Debate Society and the online student journal Treehouse - as well as acquainting students with important works of fiction through semesterly 'reading pods'.

He is a very knowledgeable and dedicated teacher who encourages students to think deeply and push our analysis further. From him we learnt how to understand deeply into the meaning and interpretation of facts provided and to make connections between different isolated ideas.

Dr Connor Graham's Student Feedback

Dr Adam Groves'

Dr Adam Groves' teaching philosophy prioritizes individual development on a student's own terms, as well as learning from peers who think differently. The sense of intellectual freedom and support for learning this generates is palpable from his student feedback. His versatility in teaching different modules and commitment to team-teaching are commendable. Beyond the classroom, Dr Groves has contributed to Tembusu as a mentor and regular convenor of 'reading pods', exposing students to great works of poetry and prose.

He doesn't restrict us or our thinking in anyway and gives us the full freedom to pursue whatever we are interested in which makes learning so much more fun and easy. He also has a unique perspective and gives us more insight to whatever issues that we are researching on, opening our eyes to different perspectives and ideas that we had never considered before.

Dr Adam Groves''s Student Feedback

In his formal

In his formal teaching and out-of-classroom engagement, Dr Kelvin Pang has effectively instigated a cycle of learning, which allows students to discover intrinsic motivation, embrace critique and failure as they learn and engage a topic, and eventually step up as mentors for their juniors. In the past year, his new module “Negotiating in a Complex World” impressed with its innovative design, rigour and glowing student reception. He has also made an impact as a fourth-year mentor, and as a designer-facilitator of regular workshops on negotiation and on personal development.

In my opinion, teaching at the university level ought to be creative and engaging and Dr Kelvin had shown how to achieve that in his own innovative ways. ... I felt motivated to put in effort and explored more in the module. He was very flexible and gave room for his students to develop our own interest and connect it to the module. The close relationship that he forged with his students also enabled students to come to him for assistance more comfortably and at ease.

In his formal's Student Feedback

Academic Year 2013/14

Residential Colleges Teaching Excellence Award

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

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

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.