NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences celebrates contributions of distinguished alumni

In recognition of the contributions of its outstanding alumni, the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) presented the Distinguished Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Award 2023 to four recipients – Dr Khoo Kim Choo, a trailblazer of early childhood development and education; Mr Hawazi Daipi, a dedicated educator and public servant; Ms Junie Foo, a corporate banker who transitioned into public sector leadership roles; and Ms Janice Koh, a passionate champion of the arts, design and heritage.

A hallmark of distinction since its establishment in 2015, the award is a prestigious accolade reserved for individuals who have displayed exceptional scholarship and remarkable service to the Faculty, the University, and Singapore, as well as unwavering commitment to advancing the arts and social sciences.

Held on 11 October 2023, the event also feted faculty excellence in research, teaching, mentoring and service and honoured dedicated faculty members with long service awards.

Elevating the arts and social sciences  

“From dedicated public servants to impassioned activists, devoted educators to visionary artists”, FASS Dean Professor Lionel Wee noted how each of the alumni recipients has pursued their passions with unwavering determination and achieved remarkable success in their chosen fields.

Dr Khoo Kim Choo has dedicated her life to early childhood development and education in Singapore. Apart from being the first CEO of the NTUC Childcare Group, she has applied her wealth of expertise and unbridled passion for early childhood development across a multitude of roles, including positions as a consultant to local government organisations and global bodies such as UNESCO and the World Bank. Dr Khoo was also involved in the establishment of an education and training curriculum in Singapore to professionalise the field’s workforce and served as a Specialist Volunteer with the Singapore International Foundation.

Former Member of Parliament, unionist and journalist, Mr Hawazi Daipi is the current Chairman of the National Council Against Drug Abuse. He is also a board member of the Lee Kuan Yew Bilingual Fund and a member of the National Committee on Prevention, Rehabilitation and Recidivism. Mr Hawazi is also Senior Advisor to the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST) and Advisor to the Malay Youth Literary Association (4PM).

Ms Junie Foo is the current President of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, which comprises over 60 member organisations representing more than 500,000 women and champions the cause of “Equal Space, Equal Voice and Equal Worth’ for women in Singapore. She has carved out her career in several multinational financial organisations. Most significantly, she was the first non-Japanese and the pioneering female in the management of the Corporate Banking Division, Asia Oceania, within a Japanese financial institution. Ms Foo also co-founded BoardAgender, an initiative aimed at highlighting the economic benefits of having more women on boards and fostering a robust pipeline of senior women in leadership positions.

Ms Janice Koh is a respected stage and screen actor, passionately championing the importance of the arts, design and heritage. On-screen, she appeared in Warner Brothers Pictures’ blockbuster hit Crazy Rich Asians as Felicity Young and starred in over 30 television projects in Singapore. A former Nominated Member of Parliament, Ms Koh currently co-chairs the Wild Rice Board and is one of the founders of Pasar Glamour, a non-profit social enterprise, which raises funds each year to support the arts, and children and women from less privileged backgrounds.

Whether it is improving the lives of Singaporeans, shaping local and international policies or cultivating the creative environment, the award recipients have played significant roles in various domains.

Congratulating the recipients at the ceremony where he presented the awards, Prof Wee said, “Their exceptional accomplishments stand as a beacon, illuminating the path for the next generation of students who will tread in their footsteps. They have paved the way for the young to build upon their achievements, to take bold risks, and to innovate in ways that promise to make our world a better place."

More information on the recipients can be found in the Annex.

By the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences