Student Achievement Awards 2016
The annual Student Achievement Awards (SAA) 2016 ceremony was held on 29 January at the University Cultural Centre. The SAA recognises exceptional students or student groups who have made noteworthy contributions to the university outside of their studies. Various Science students and student groups clinched awards for new initiatives, leadership, competitions and achievements in community service.
The Project Angel XVIII - Hearts & Hands team won the Silver Award and the NUS Pharmaceutical Society together with Duke-NUS Medical School won the Bronze Award for community projects.
Under Project Angel, students headed to Phnom Penh, Cambodia in May 2015 where they helped children in the Widows’ Island, Kolap 4 Orphanage and Community Education School in Saang District through experiential learning activities. They also raised funds of more than $3,000 to help underprivileged children. Adam JASNI, Year 4, Chemistry, said, “Volunteering is not a duty but a privilege, and it comes from the heart.” View the Project Angel video at http://tinyurl.com/projectangel.
The Enhanced Health Mapping Exercise aims to improve the health outcomes of the elderly poor living in one-room flats. The NUS Pharmaceutical Society and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School collaborate with the Singapore Heart Foundation and Thye Hua Kwan Bedok Senior Activity Centre, to organise yearly health screening and community outreach programmes every three months to educate the elderly on important health facts such as blood pressure taking, signing up for the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS), organising mobile doctors and providing compliance pill kits to improve medical adherence. The first visit to the doctor is subsidised, which reduces elderly folks’ healthcare costs. Over a year, the project team assisted the elderly in 500 rented flats.
Aslam Iskhandar SHAH and his friend, a prospective NTU student, were the winners of the Social Venture Challenge organised by the Resolution Project, a New York-based non-profit organisation. Social Venture Challenge is a competition to inspire undergraduates to propose impactful projects which address pressing social issues. Aslam’s winning proposal, called One World Media, aims to bring together groups to share ideas online.
Willa KONG Jia Xin was recognised under the Leadership category as President, Red Cross Youth - NUS Chapter Bronze. Her work for the Red Cross Youth included disaster management, as well as Project Director & Safety Officer for the Singapore Red Cross Society: Project Humanité in AY2013/2014. She is also the Chairperson of the NUS Volunteer Network and a committee member of Amberbrook Ltd, a non-profit organisation that enhances the learning experiences of youth volunteers in a wide variety of community projects. Willa, Year 3, Life Sciences, said, “Effective leadership empowers my team members and instills confidence in them, so that they can perform to the best of their abilities and develop as leaders. I would not have been able to achieve anything without the support of my dedicated committee and members who trusted in my direction for the chapter.”
Our students also came up with new initiatives which were recognised at the SAA. These included BES Drongos by Environmental Studies Programme students which comprises a volunteer nature group that takes people on guided biodiversity walks through the Petai Trail at MacRitchie Reservoir Park. The walks are held weekly during the semester and are intended to promote awareness on local environmental, biodiversity and conservation issues amongst the general public and students. As part of the Love MacRitchie movement, fronted by the BES Drongos, other NUS environmental student clubs like the Toddycats under the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) and the Herpetological Society of Singapore, a group of enthusiasts who study and conserve reptiles and amphibians, the group raised awareness on the impacts of constructing the Cross Island MRT Line through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The project also generated discussion about the rare and endangered biodiversity and natural habitats in MacRitchie Reservoir and Singapore’s natural heritage. To support the project, BES Drongos launched an educational blog http://besdrongos.wordpress.com/. Jacqueline CHUA, Year 4, Environmental Studies, said, “It is great to have our work in outreach and environmental education recognised in NUS.”
Project Angel XVIII - Hearts & Hands in Phnom Penh, Cambodia