Tembusu College Students Win Star Award for Community Engagement

September 02, 2021

Tembusu College students, Malcom Lau, Francisco Chensan and Pang He Xuan, were awarded the NUS Engineering Faculty’s Star Award for group community engagement.

The students founded the group All Hearts on Deck (AHOD) to inspire community spirit and service by celebrating the unsung heroes in our midst. The students identified two key groups of unsung heroes at the college – 24 Tembusu student leaders undertaking a multitude of responsibilities within and outside of the college, as well as the housekeeping team taking care of our college grounds and facilities.

The students launched a series of exhibition at the college lobby to showcase the student leaders and their contributions, in hopes the exhibition will inspire Tembusians to step up and serve their community. At the same time, the team also encouraged their peers to appreciate and engage with the housekeeping team in charge of our college grounds. They created posters to introduce and humanise the housekeepers responsible for each level, and encouraged residents to be considerate by not overloading the common waste bins, but to use the refuse rooms instead to discard their waste. They also organized a “Lunch Jio with Cleaners” for students to socialise with the housekeeping team. During the event, 13 students had lunch with the cleaners and learned about their daily lives, interests, and aspirations. The cleaners’ meals were kindly sponsored by students, along with the prizes for the games that were played during the event.  

In our fast-paced but efficient society, it is often easy to take things for granted and forget the invisible labour that enable our world to function smoothly. As pointed out by Malcom Lau, group leader of AHOD, “this initiative stems from our viewpoint that many contributions are often neglected in the present society, yet should be recognised and celebrated”. So, thank you AHOD for reminding us of our humanity; the college is proud of your efforts!


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.