The Distinguished Educator Award recognises faculty members who have demonstrated thought leadership within the SMU community, as well as long-term outstanding contribution to the scholarship of teaching and learning. This award may not be given out annually.
Professor of Economics
School of Economics
Professor Tse Yiu Kuen has been in academia for more than 35 years. He is highly regarded by his colleagues for his dedication and significant achievements in teaching, research, and service. As one of the pioneer faculty members of the School of Economics and Social Sciences in 2001, he laid the ground work for faculty recruitment and the development of postgraduate programmes. In 2007, he launched the Actuarial Science major at SMU. He is a well-known figure in the actuarial community in Singapore, and has made substantial contributions to the field of Actuarial Science and Financial Econometrics. He is also a prolific researcher whose numerous publications have appeared in top journals, and the author of two popular textbooks used for preparation of the actuarial professional exams.
At the undergraduate level, Professor Tse teaches Financial Mathematics, Risk Theory and Loss Models, as well as Statistical Methods for Actuarial Analysis. Testimonials from former students and peers attest to the meaningful impact he has made on students and colleagues alike throughout his long academic career. Among his former students, some were inspired by him to pursue an academic career and are now senior faculty members at SMU, or holding senior positions in the public and private sectors. His peers have also benefitted from his efforts to nurture and mentor junior colleagues.
Among the SMU Actuarial Science graduates, many of them have expressed their appreciation to Professor Tse for his dedication to teach and nurture them. He has gone to great lengths to help them prepare for the competitive professional exams, co-host career fairs, as well as provide ample opportunities for students to participate in competitions, which improved their prospects in securing internships and job placements. The graduates do very well in their actuarial exams and careers. Professor Tse is not only a well-respected professor, but a mentor who inspires beyond the classroom.
Professor of Economics (Practice)
School of Economics
An eminent Singapore economist specialising in International Trade and International Finance, Professor Augustine Tan joined SMU in 2000 and played important pioneering roles in the development of the university, including service as Deputy Director of the Wharton‐SMU Research Center, and Vice‐Provost of Research. At the undergraduate level, he teaches International Economics, Political Economy of Globalisation, and Economics of Globalisation.
Professor Tan began his academic career in 1968 and was an elected Member of Parliament from 1970 to 1991. He has informed and guided policy makers and researchers at many economics agencies, both within Singapore and internationally. With his dedication and decades of experience in research, public service and practice, generations of students have benefitted from his deep insights as an economist and politician who played an important part in Singapore’s development. His research contributions add up to a significant body of work that has enlightened students of international trade, and of the Singapore economy.
Professor Tan has made a lasting influence on his students, some of whom are now senior faculty members at SMU and NUS. He is remembered fondly for the stories he told, the life lessons he taught, and the wisdom he imparted. Apart from challenging his students intellectually, he has guided and mentored them well after their graduation. His junior colleagues at SMU have also benefitted from his useful advice and guidance.
Associate Professor Emeritus
School of Accountancy
Emeritus Associate Professor Michael Gan was a member of the planning team at SMU in 1999, responsible for space programming of the university’s campuses. He played a crucial role overseeing and coordinating the planning of facilities, including the design of the seminar rooms, white boards, computer terminals and audio-visual facilities. He also developed and taught the Financial Accounting course at SMU, and was instrumental in developing the Income Tax and GST and Tax Planning courses. He is a well-respected mentor who played an active role in guiding junior SOA faculty and FDS lecturers.
With over four decades of academic experience, Professor Gan has taught thousands of accountants in Singapore and a large number of partners of the Big Four accounting firms. Among his students, many have taken up teaching positions at SMU and NTU, or become successful leaders in the industry. Testimonials from students spoke to his perseverance and willingness to give his best, which made him outstandingly different. Although he had high expectations and standards of his students, his friendly disposition, care and concern for the students was inspiring. Students appreciated his patient mentorship and encouragement, and many have benefitted greatly from his passion which helped them embark on their careers with strong foundations.
After his retirement in 2010, Professor Gan continues to contribute to SMU as a member in SOA’s Financial Accounting Review Committee.
The Honour Roll was introduced in 2016 to recognise the sustained high performance in teaching for faculty members who have won at least three SMU Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Awards over the years.
Associate Professor of
Communication Management (Practice)
Lee Kong Chian School of Business
SMU-X Excellent Teacher Award: 2019
Excellent Teacher Award: 2015
Most Promising Teacher Award: 2006
Associate Professor Mark Chong teaches several communication-related courses, such as The Communication and Digital Media Industries, Storytelling for Organisations and Brands, Story Craft for Business in Emerging Markets, Foundations in Corporate Communication, and Management Communication. He fosters students’ learning by using the latest research and case studies, and by giving them the opportunity to address real, strategic challenges faced by leading communication companies. To this end, he collaborates extensively with eminent industry organisations to effectively combine academic foundations with experiential learning. He pushes the learning boundaries in students and challenges them to use their knowledge, skills and creativity. He also provides many learning and networking opportunities with leading industry practitioners to support students’ professional pursuits. Mark contributes actively to the scholarship of teaching and learning through case study publications, peer sharing, and involvement in academic and professional committees.
Adjunct for Japanese Language
School of Social Sciences
Outstanding Adjunct Award: 2019, 2015, 2011, 2007
Ms. Yoko Morikawa teaches the Japanese language. She uses interactive activities such as interviews, games, role-plays, peer learning and class discussions to engage students and build their foundation in the language. As a result of her dedication, patience and thoughtful course design, students are able to better understand the culture and communicate effectively in Japanese despite the course being at the introductory level. Yoko also gives individual attention and feedback, and monitors students’ progress closely. With the assistance of Japanese volunteers providing additional feedback and guidance in class, she creates a conducive immersion environment for students to practice their skills. Yoko also connects students to the Japanese community for additional learning and cultural activities, scholarship and career opportunities.
Associate Professor of Accounting (Education)
School of Accountancy
Associate Professor Seow Poh Sun teaches Financial Accounting and Accounting Information Systems. He uses games, videos, e-learning objects, digital storytelling, newspapers, experiences, case studies and group projects to demonstrate the subjects’ relevance to the real world. He also instils the SMU CIRCLE values in SOA students and raises their awareness on community engagement. Poh Sun contributes actively to teaching and learning through pedagogical publications and conferences, peer sharing, and involvement in many curriculum and professional committees. His “Accounting Challenge” app, co-developed with colleague Senior Lecturer Wong Suay Peng, has won multiple prestigious international teaching awards.
Adjunct for Italian Language
School of Social Sciences
Ms. Francesca Benvenuti teaches the Italian language. She uses grounded linguistic approaches, online resources, and practical activities that effectively build on each other to reinforce learning outcomes. Francesca is known by her students for her passion and enthusiasm. Her lessons are highly interactive, often involving the extensive use of role plays, conversations, quizzes, projects, and music to help students learn the grammar, vocabulary and the Italian culture. With her encouragement and concern, she ensures that no student is left behind.
Senior Lecturer of Statistics
School of Economics
Senior Lecturer Rosie Ching teaches Introductory Statistics and is well-known for using interactive hands-on experiments, games, videos, current affairs and history to demystify the subject. Her innovative teaching methods have enabled her to effectively engage students and deepen their learning. Her dedication has inspired many students, who also appreciate her care and concern as she often goes the extra mile to support their cognitive and affective development. Rosie contributes actively to teaching and learning through developing innovative games, collaborating with peers on research, sharing at faculty development events, and mentoring students on final year projects.