Yale-NUS residential colleges take learning out of classrooms

Saga College students, faculty and guests gather for freshly made dinner and meaningful conversation at a Simmering Supper Session (Photo: Ms Munira Hyder-Adam)

The learning doesn’t stop at Yale-NUS College (Yale-NUS), with its residential colleges — Saga, Elm and Cendana Colleges — offering unique educational opportunities throughout the semester.

For the third semester running, Saga College has brought faculty and students together for conversations over freshly prepared, multi-course meals as part of its Simmering Supper Series. The programme was initiated by Ms Munira Hyder-Adam and her husband, Associate Professor of Science (Physics) Shaffique Adam.

Before each session, Ms Hyder-Adam and a group of students craft a menu based on the dinner’s featured guest and prepare all the food from scratch. For instance, a dinner on diplomacy that featured German diplomat and Asia-Europe Foundation Executive Director Ambassador Karsten Warnecke included dishes from all the countries that he’s been posted to so far.

The aim of the Simmering Supper Series is to expose students to different perspectives and academic insights by tapping into the knowledge and resources of residential faculty and creating a platform for meaningful conversations to take place.


Assistant Professor of Science (Life Sciences) Ajay Mathuru talks about the link between his discipline and climate change as part of Elm College’s “Liberal Arts and the Climate” talks (Photo: Charmaine Chua/Yale-NUS College)

Over at Elm College, a series of weekly talks on “Liberal Arts and the Climate” sees 12 faculty members exploring the intersections between their respective disciplines and the climate crisis.

The brainchild of the residential college’s Rector Associate Professor of Humanities (Philosophy) Amber Carpenter, the talks allow students to consider the enormity and complexity of the climate crisis beyond the field of Environmental Science, to areas such as computing, anthropology and politics.

“These talks are intended to both share more widely discipline-specific ‘fun facts’ that are intrinsically interesting, and get all of us thinking about what the connections are between these things we think about ‘for fun’ and one of our most pressing practical concerns,” said the Rector.

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