Celebrating the rhythm of life at NUS Student Life Awards 2022

Students who continue to keep the NUS campuses vibrant and upbeat with their multifarious talents and passions, undampened by pandemic restrictions, were lauded at the NUS Student Life Awards 2022 on Oct 29 at a red-carpet celebration attended by more than 300 guests held at the University Cultural Centre. The annual awards recognise exceptional students and student groups who have made outstanding contributions to the University beyond their academic pursuits.

After months of deliberation, 21 award recipients earned nods in seven different award categories, namely, Community Engagement, Community Service, Competition (General), Competition (Sports – Sportsman of the Year), Competition (Sports – Sportswoman of the Year), Competition (Sports – Sports Team of the Year), and Leadership. Institution-wide events that have made a tangible impact on community cohesion, social integration and community outreach were also presented with the Campus Vibrancy Award.

True to the theme, “Rhythm of Life!”, the Awards recognised students who have helped to create a thriving and engaging campus culture and encouraged others to be involved in various aspects of student life, such as participating in the arts, community service, sports, and other co-curricular activities, or even taking up leadership positions.

Campus life beyond grades

Speaking at the ceremony, NUS alumna (Class of 2007) and Guest-of-Honour Ms Tin Pei Ling encouraged students to “try new things” and have the tenacity to learn from failures.

“What is important in NUS’ education is not just the grades, but the development of strength in character and leadership qualities. Academic grades give you the foundational knowledge and skills to do your jobs,” she said. “But what determines success is not the class of honours that you graduate with. It is the intangibles such as knowing how to navigate difficult personalities or situations, finding novel ways of solving problems, thinking several steps ahead and leading your team out of uncertainties that will set you apart.”

Taking home Merit Award in the Community Engagement and Campus Choice (Group) category was the team behind the “24th The Dream Composition”, an annual bilingual song-writing competition created by students of King Edward VII Hall.

Recounting their experience, Year 3 students from the NUS Faculty of Science, Wong Wei Ting and Mah Shian Yew Brendan, who were Head and Vice-Head of the competition, said, “At the start of our journey, we were very scared and overwhelmed with the daunting task of executing a large-scale event.” It was through the difficulties they faced, along with their engagements with one another, that they learned the “importance of teamwork and communication”.

Gabriel Lau Rongyang, who recently graduated from the NUS Concurrent Degree Programme, bagged the Campus Choice Award (Individual) and the Distinction Award in the Leadership category. A believer in living life to the fullest on campus, the former President of the NUS Intellectual Games Club said, “University education is transient and ephemeral. Let’s make the most out of the high-quality education NUS offers to flourish holistically and lead a well-balanced student life while making a positive impact on the NUS community and beyond.” “I look forward to giving back all that I have received,” he added.

The Sportswoman of the Year Award went to Aloysa Margiela Atienza, who is currently pursuing her dream of becoming a professional golfer. Aloysa, a former captain of NUS Golf and recent Civil Engineering graduate, said she was honoured to have received the award to cap off her undergraduate journey in NUS. Sharing a word of advice with future student athletes, she said, “Juggling sports with school was never an easy task. As cliché as it sounds, managing your time and knowing your priorities are the most important. Sacrifices have to be made. It’s also a good practice to celebrate the small wins in both academics and your sport so that it keeps you motivated.”

View the full list of awardees here.

Recognising our passionate staff advisors

This year, a new award category was introduced to pay tribute to NUS staff advisors who have made a positive impact on students and paved the way for them to pursue their projects and activities. Two staff advisors – Dr Helen Chai from the NUS Students’ Business Club and Dr Shobha Avadhani from NUS Comedy Club – were presented with the inaugural Staff Advisor Recognition Award. Nominated by students, they were appreciated for their significant contributions to the clubs and their unwavering support to the students.

“Dr Shobha has played a pivotal role in shaping the NUS Comedy Club,” Alec Singh, President of NUS Comedy Club, said. “It is with her caring guidance and thoughtful personality that the Club has become a student organisation that is not only fun and engaging, but also purposeful and meaningful for students.”

NUS Forever music video premiere

This year, the Office of Student Affairs also teamed up with students and staff for a new production of the “NUS Forever” song. Originally written for the 2005 NUS Centennial Celebration by Associate Professor Ho Chee Kong from the Yong Siew Toh (YST) Conservatory of Music and Professor Robbie Goh, former Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the remade “NUS Forever” music video was a labour of love. Made possible by the efforts of many in the NUS community, it features NUS alumnus and accomplished local singer-songwriter Marcus Lee as the lead vocalist, musicians and audio engineers from YST, and student film director-producers from Raffles Hall Media. The reconstructed music video premiered at the award ceremony, bringing the celebrations to a rousing and memorable close and heralding many more years of vibrant campus life to come. 

By NUS Office of Student Affairs