mpa 2013/2014 - graduating class of 2014

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  • MPA TIMESFriday July 11 2014 A Unique Publication for NUS and LKYSPP

    Time flies. Faster, perhaps, when we want it to slow down a bit. As we finish our MPA tenure at the LKY school, one cant help but wonder how momentary the year gone by has seemed to be. One year is not a very long time. After all, it is just a matter of a few months. In a school, however, it seems to be an even shorter duration.

    There is something about a school, college, or university that students, regardless of their academic prowess, do not seem to have enough of. I have not come across a single person who doesnt wish his or her student life prolonged, who doesnt speak fondly about the times spent in a school, or who doesnt want to relive the school days. People are possessive about schools like they are about no other institution they have been part of. In a certain, though admittedly limited, way, schools define a person. Tell a little bit about who they are. (The reverse is true as well. The quality of its students says a lot about how good a school is). Not surprisingly, therefore, most students leave a part of themselves on the campuses, and carry a lot many parts of the schools with themselves for the rest of their lives.

    When we began in July last year, we were told that our batch was being exposed to a newly designed course curriculum. I dont think that it mattered to many of us. After all, we did not have a

    yardstick to compare it with, since none of us had been a part of the previous curriculum. What did matter, I think, was what we would be able to take back from here after a year.

    For most of us, I guess, this part of our student life was qualitatively different from other years spent in an educational institution. Since all of us are mid-career professionals, I dont think many came here looking for a degree. The idea was to add value to our education and work experience. It was therefore important that we were able to learn from each other as much as from the professors and classroom lectures. It was, therefore, heartening to see professors relying as much on classroom discussions, group talk, and exchange of ideas as on lectures and presentations. In fact, sometimes the complaint was not that professors were not allowing us to speak but that they themselves were not speaking quite enough.

    In all, I think, it has been a fruitful year for all of us. I would not be wrong if I say that all of us are feel ourselves better off than a year before. And, it is not just because of what we got on the professional front. The football matches, the walks, the evening socials, the cultural festivals, the

    parties, everything together has made LKY a memorable year. It is sad that the year has now come to an end!!!

    A Gainful Year By Amitabh Sinhaamitabh.sinha@gmail.com

  • Unity in Diversity

    By Mrinalini Kaur Sapra and Wei Zheng mrinalini_sapra@yahoo.com, snzhengwei@yahoo.com

    It is an honour to represent the MPA 2014 class as Valedictorians for our classmates, who hail from twelve different nations. Each of us brings different perspectives to enrich our cohort experience and be part of a diverse community in vibrant, cosmopolitan Singapore.

    This past year we have all worked together, sharing the trials and tribulations of CBA fisheries, Alusaf smelter, 48-hour examinations and trying to rescue the drowning maharajah. Our TED Talks helped us to know each other better, understand our motivations and driving forces and work better as a team.

    It wasnt always assignments and group work. Informal dialogue and friendly conversations enabled us to share our personal experiences to arrive at a common ground that truly bound as one family. Where we needed help it was always there. Anita and Ekroop shared their homes for our class dinners; and we all shared in Lo Hei, the Prosperity toss.

    As time goes by, we will forget the stress, and our grades, but well still remember the night chats at CG, eating chicken rice at Adams, walking in Botanic Gardens, our Map Ta Phut visit and travels together around the region. We are the first cohort to do a flashmob dance outside the Manaseh Meyer building and were sure we wont be the last to continue the tradition of innovation at LKYSPP.

    Regardless of these good memories, we need to reflect on what the future holds for us. What kind of public policy managers will we be? How has LKYSPP changed us? Are we mindful enough for lifes challenges? We have learnt different skills and now know more about ourselves. By practicing mindfulness and initiating change from within, we are becoming better people contributing to our families and the workplace.

    We came here with a passion to change the world. After our one year, do we find this easier or more difficult? Whether in the case studies, or in real life, change is never easy. No matter how paramount the difficulties ahead, we will keep on trying.

    2

    Borrowing from the poet Robert Frost (18741963),

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

    Thank you for a wonderful year and best of luck for the future.

    Mrinalini Kaur Sapra and Wei Zheng

    We are the first cohort to do a flashmob dance outside the Manaseh Meyer building and were sure we wont be the last to continue the tradition of innovation at LKYSPP.

    We have learnt different skills and now know more about ourselves...By initiating change from within, we are becoming better people.

    Friday July 11 2014 The MPA Times

    First MPA cohort graduates under revamped course structure at LKY School of Public Policy. Surviving students reflect on the year gone by

    EDITORIAL

  • 3Message by Dean Kishore Mahbubani

    I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the MPA Class of 2014. You are members of an historic cohort. You are the first MPA class to experience the new MPA curriculum. Your MPA predecessors are envious that you did not have to take the Capstone examination. Instead, you undertook the governance study project which armed you to apply the core concepts and tools you learnt to a life case study.

    When you first arrived, I remembered vividly telling you that the year will go by fast. If you do feel that the year went by quickly, this is a good sign. It is one sign that the School succeeded in meeting its objective of creating a rich and fulfilling year for you through classes and guest lectures, and a special visit to Map Ta Phut industrial estate in Rayong province, Thailand to understand its unique challenges.

    I know that many of you made sacrifices to come back to School for this degree. It may have been difficult to come back to school after a long absence to meet the

    rigorous academic requirements of the programme. I hope you found this re-immersion into active learning to be a worthwhile experience. Through all this intense learning, you also made many new friends and developed a global network which will prove valuable for the rest of your lives. I am sure you will soon realize, if you have not done so, that you learnt as much from your peers as you did from the professors.

    This yearbook reflects the completion of your academic journey at the LKY School and hopefully captures the wide array of experiences you had during your time here.

    As you leave the School, my hope is that you will continue your personal learning journeys and also pursue your passion to inspire people, transform the lives of the people around you and make an impact in the world. These were the traits that brought you to our School and will also drive you forward. Our School is lucky to have been a part of your intellectual journey.

    Do remember that you are now a part of the LKY School family. Please stay in touch with us, keep us informed of your accomplishments and do participate as active alumni whenever you can. I look forward to learning from you how you have touched the lives of others in your communities and the world.

    I also wish you great success and happiness in the years ahead.

    Prof Kishore Mahbubani

    Parting words from the eminent Dean on the cohorts completion of MPA course 2013-2014 and academic journey at the LKY School

    Do remember that you are now a part of the LKY School family...I look forward to learning from you how you have touched the lives of others in your communities and the world.

    The MPA Times Friday July 11 2014

    by Prof Kishore MahbubaniDean, Professor in the Practice of Public Policy

    OP-ED

  • TO THE MPA GRADUAKnowledge, Skills

    and Networksby Vice Dean (Academic Affairs) &

    Associate Prof Kenneth Paul Tankennethpaultan@nus.edu.sg

    Please accept my heartiest congratulations on successfully completing the MPA programme, an achievement that you should all feel very proud of. Your batch was the first to read the recently revised MPA curriculum, featuring the Governance Study Project as a year-long capstone module integrating the different parts of the curriculum with a study trip and conference. I hope that the new curriculum has gone some way towards enriching your experience at the LKY School, where you will no doubt have gained the knowledge, skills, and networks to advance your careers and equip you to face the difficult challenges of todays complex world. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to know you and hope that you will stay closely in touch with us. I hope to see you at some of our alumni activities!

    Serve the Peopleby Assistant Prof Henry Yee Wai-Hang

    sppywh@nus.edu.sg

    Be creative, go into the crowd, and serve the people - It's been my pleasure to serve you this year. All the best!

    Make the World a Better Place

    by Assistant Prof Joo Yu Minsppjym@nus.e

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