FASS Class of 2017

Graduate Spotlight

Here at FASS, we encourage our students to embrace challenges and make the most out of their undergraduate lives. The following students exemplify the fearless spirit well, as each of them have went beyond excelling in their studies to pursue their passions as well, from Yi Feng, a mental health activist, and Jacqueline who champions for greater accessibility in campus; to Kevin and Jake, who actively look for ways to contribute to society. In 2017, we also celebrate a number of firsts, such as the Faculty's inaugural batch of graduates from the Concurrent Degree Programme (CDP) in Psychology. Click into their respective profiles to find out more!

Southeast Asian Studies graduate, active volunteer, founder of the Mental Health Wing at NUS, two-time FASS Student Leadership Award (FSLA) winner, and champion of mental health in Singapore, Southeast Asia, and beyond. Meet Yi Feng.

Jacqueline's resilience in the face of adversity inspires us all. Despite living with Generalised Dystonia, which affects both her mobility and speech abilities, Jacqueline excelled in History and participated fully in college life. Find out more about this CAPT resident and be inspired!

One of our valedictorians, a troupe member of NUS Lion Dance, and an Officer with the NUS NPCC, Elvis is also a fresh graduate from the Concurrent Degree Programme (CDP) in Psychology. Take a peek into his journey through FASS!


When a language disappears, a culture's unique ideas, perspectives, and realities evaporates with it. This is why Kevin is on a mission to revive Kristang, a unique creole of Portuguese, Malay, and Chinese languages; and the language of Portuguese Eurasians. Kevin runs Kristang classes, and has developed a 30 year masterplan to revive the 500 year old language. How about learning some basic phrases with him and Frances? An Economics graduate, Jake is the CEO and co-founder of RateX, a start-up that is featured on Straits Times as one of the top three Forex disruptors. What does RateX do? For one, it allows you to shop stress-free on Amazon and other international e-commerce platforms, as the Chrome extension allows you to pay in SGD and do away with the hidden fees that come with credit cards. Find out more in the video!



Interview with Elvis Tan, Valedictorian

2017 marked the graduation of the Faculty's inaugural batch of students enrolled in the Concurrent Degree Programme (CDP) in Psychology. A five year programme, the CDP allows students to graduate with two degrees, B.Soc.Sci (Hons) M.Soc.Sci, in just five years, instead of the usual six should the degrees be pursued separately. Below, we chat with Mr Elvis Tan, one of the graduates of the programme and the Psychology Department's Valedictorian of the Class of 2017. An all-rounded student, Elvis is also a troupe member with NUS Lion Dance and an officer with the NUS National Police Cadet Corps. Enjoy the interview!

1. Why did you decide to major in Psychology, and why FASS?

I have always been curious about the varied ways in which people think and behave. Furthermore, Psychology is a subject that is close to my heart, since we are surrounded with people every day. I did not actually choose FASS specifically—it happened to be the home faculty of Psychology! However, over time, I have come to appreciate the FASS curriculum—it encourages us to embrace diversity, and trains us to be thorough, critical, and versatile scholars.

2. Did the subject matter of Psychology align with your expectations?

Yes, except for the minor fact that I still cannot read people’s minds! :P The Psychology curriculum has equipped me with the relevant theories and lens through which I can better make sense of people’s thoughts and behaviors. An unexpected takeaway from the Psychology curriculum was its strong emphasis on statistics and evidence-based practice, which has honed me to be more deliberate and critical about collecting data and interpreting them.

3. Which branch of Psychology did you enjoy studying the most?

Evolutionary Psychology (EP). I find it especially interesting and thought-provoking.

I enjoy pondering about, and marvelling at, how humans could have evolved into who we are today. Besides, it was an eye-opener to learn about how EP could be conceived as an overarching framework that can integrate the different aspects of Psychology!

4. What topic(s) did your thesis/dissertation investigate?

My research lies at the intriguing intersection of cognitive and educational psychology. Specifically, we investigated how students’ attentional focus might influence their academic risk taking. A part of our work has been published, so I wish to humbly invite interested readers to look it up!

Reference: Tan, E. W. S., Lim, S. W. H., & Manalo, E. (available online). Global-local processing impacts academic risk taking. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

5. How has the Concurrent Degree Programme (CDP) benefitted you?

Most prominently, the CDP allowed me to commence my Masters curriculum earlier, and hence to save one year’s worth of time. Of course, I was not short-changed in any way and experienced the full rigor of a Masters curriculum. In fact, because of the accelerated nature of the programme, I had to stretch myself more, and have thus grown even more from the process. I am grateful to my supervisor—Associate Professor Stephen Lim—as well as the faculty administrators for their patience and consistent support amidst all the uncertainties associated with being the inaugural CDP cohort.

6. Now that you have graduated, what lies ahead for you?

I am a grateful recipient of an undergraduate scholarship from the Singapore Prisons Service, and am looking forward to my stint as a Prisons Officer! I’m excited to apply what I have learnt in the working world!

7. Any parting words for your juniors at FASS?

Take ownership of your own education—act on opportunities to grow yourself (there are plenty!), enjoy the process of learning, and make the best of your time as an undergraduate! Someday, you will look back fondly at these lessons and memories, and appreciate how much you have grown over the years! :)

Thank you Elvis. We wish you all the best in journey ahead.

FASS Class of 2017

Congratulations to all our students from the FASS Class of 2017! As this chapter of your lives come to a close, we would like to take you on a ride down the memory lane. Why did you choose to join FASS? What are your fondest memories of the Faculty? What would you miss about school, and what wouldn't you miss about school? What are you most looking forward to in your time ahead? Click on the menu options at the top to explore the rest of the pages, which includes student features and interviews with graduates from the Class of 2017.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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