ROE 2021: Celebrating Brilliance on a Virtual Stage
Further apart and yet very much closer. Amid the pandemic, SIT’s first virtual Recognition of Excellence strikes a memorably intimate note in a special year
The screen came alive at about 4:20 pm on 25 November 2021 – with the bright young faces of 10 SITizens. They had one thing in common: All had received donor supported scholarships and student performance awards.
Among them was scholarship recipient Ms Lim Wan Ting, a Year 3 Air Transport Management student. She talked about volunteering with her fellow SITizens at a soup kitchen on a monthly basis since the beginning of 2021. She was not alone. As Nursing student Ms Shehzahdi Shehrin put it in a later segment, the donor support had given her and her fellow presenters, Mr Alex Tan and Mr Mervin Ho (from the Civil Engineering and Hospitality Business programmes respectively), the inspiration and the bandwidth to explore exciting learning opportunities at SIT and beyond.
Mr Alex Tan, for example, spearheaded “The Late Bloomer Project” to tutor underprivileged secondary school students. Mr Tan, himself once a Normal Academic Stream student, shared how he was “lucky enough to be guided by dedicated educators” and hence was “inspired” to do the same for other students with a similar background as his.
Close-up images of these earnest and smiling young faces set the tone for ROE 2021, giving SIT’s first virtual ROE presentation a warm personal touch in a year of social distancing. Most memorably, nine donors expressed their well-wishes for the students, through a series of special video recordings that they had made time to shoot.
At ROE 2021, a total of 62 donor-supported Book Prizes, Performance Awards and Gold Medals were presented along with 44 named scholarships to 189 recipients. Speaking from SIT@Dover, Prof Chua Kee Chaing, President-designate, SIT, thanked SIT’s donors for seeing the potential in its SITizens, and for their generous commitment to nurture these young talents. Speaking on how SIT’s students are able to participate in the University’s applied research and innovation initiatives with the industry, Prof Chua said, “These projects allow our students to put their knowledge to application in real work settings, and further prepare SIT students as a talent pipeline that can help local companies move up the innovation value chain.”
In his closing address, Prof Tan Thiam Soon, President, SIT, gave a snapshot of how well its SITizens are doing – academically and also in the industry, as evidenced by GES 2020, the latest Graduate Employment Survey, which found that SIT’s fresh graduates are enjoying an overall employment rate of 95% and a mean gross monthly salary of $3,675. He added that their success had been shaped by SIT’s unique pedagogy that integrates work, study, and community – one that also offers its students many service-learning opportunities through the university’s Community Leadership and Social Innovation Centre.
Prof Tan, who presided over the first ROE in 2015, looked back at that small cosy event which presented just 23 donor-supported book prizes, performance awards, and gold medals. He ended the afternoon by looking ahead, to SIT’s future campus in Punggol that will help transform Punggol North into a vibrant learning and economic hub – with the support of the SIT community.
He said, “I am optimistic that we will have many more opportunities for further interaction, collaboration, and progress. This year, ROE has had to go online, but perhaps we can meet again in person next year at this happy event.”