During our inauguration ceremony, Yale-NUS was presented with a painting, “Spirit of the Explorer,” which “depicts a monumental landscape with different walking paths, encompassing voyages of external and self-discovery”. I am hard pressed to find a better definition of the opportunities available to students.
Here at Yale-NUS, you enter a transformative experience that takes place within a singular community. As the Dean of Students, I am here to provide support and challenge on this journey. I also look forward to being challenged by you as a student; we learn together in the process.
My office utilises a learner-centered approach to create conditions for discovery and the co-construction of knowledge. I know that learning occurs when students are actively engaged participants in their college community, and that learning is a holistic process, occurring in multiple locations. R. Hersh wrote, “the best education takes place at the nexus of profound intellectual and social/emotional development”. These experiences, in your classroom and throughout campus, provide space for you to be the author of your own experience, to be an intellectually curious, thoughtful and reflective student who can communicate across difference.
These goals can be realised by living in community with others, integrating the morning’s classroom work into the conversation at the buttery that night, building a club around shared interests, serving on Student Government or taking part in hundreds of other opportunities at Yale-NUS. This is a place and a time in your life to move past fears of failure and to engage in appropriate risk.
The Dean of Students office is staffed by a great team who is here to facilitate and support these opportunities. From new professionals like the Dean’s Fellows to seasoned staff, we are all committed to building community together with you. In order to achieve the goals shared above, we all have to feel safe, have a place we call home, and be healthy in body, mind and spirit. My team and I work to support these possibilities for you.
At the inauguration ceremony, Yale-NUS was also presented with a bronze statue of Nathan Hale, “whose steadfast courage and dedication exemplify the spirit in which Yale-NUS College was conceived and founded.” I will ask for that same steadfast courage and dedication from you; the courage to move beyond your comfort zones, to try new things, to support your classmates and yourself, and the dedication to stay in the process.
Yale-NUS is a special place, with a focus on an integrated liberal arts education, in and out of the classroom. Each student builds a different path, and each is fully rewarding if it is meaningfully approached. When the full experience is embraced not only do you develop cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, you develop the ability to put these skills to effective use.
Welcome to Yale-NUS!
Christopher Bridges, PhD
Dean of Students