Mrs May McAllister

May (Mavis) McAllister received a Masters of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona, US, and embarked on a career in change management and business development in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Along the way, she discovered that creating sustainable change is a difficult and uncertain task. Whilst systems can be fixed and processes changed, employees’ reactions to change or managers’ desire for quick bottom-line results can frustrate the development of deep change. Conversely, stimulating team building or leadership workshops can create feel-good excitement, yet leave no lasting change.

She has increasingly shifted her focus on the people within organizations and their potential for change, returning to school for her Executive Masters in Coaching and Counseling for Change (at the INSEAD in Singapore). Her thesis, We Could Be Heroes, analyses the unexpected success of an Asia-based training/coaching programme in transforming unmotivated mayors and doctors into inspiring change agents who in turn transform the people in their communities.

At Tembusu, May is part of the team that develops and facilitates the Third Year Experience workshops, which are designed to give students the rare chance to slow down and experiment with some of the building blocks of resilience, self-confidence, and the ability to connect authentically with others. May’s hope is that these experiences will help equip students for change, conflict, new relationships, and the wonderful possibilities that lie in store for them.

May lives with her husband Dan, and teenage son Jackson, at NUS’s King Edward 7 Hall as an Resident Fellow family.

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.