12 Dec 2016
A smartly-suited Phil with his Education Leadership Award.
On 5 August, SIM GE’s Phil Stephenson was honoured with the Education Leadership Award at the seventh CMO Asia Education Excellence Awards ceremony. Awarded by the World Education Congress, it recognises individuals who have made notable contributions to higher education.
Phil began teaching at SIM in 1996 as an Associate Lecturer. He developed several Mathematics courses for UniSIM and currently teaches for both SIM GE and UniSIM.
"I want my students to excel and have the best possible opportunity to do well in the course. I conduct consultations at SIM's Student Learning Centre and I encourage students to email me with questions. I also try to make myself available to students as much as possible. I like to bond with my students and keep in touch with them after they've finished my course or even after they've graduated. I’m still in contact with students I taught over ten years ago," Phil shared.
He further added, "I'm honoured to be receiving this award. I think I'm improving every year as a teacher and I really enjoy teaching. The compliments I receive from my students help drive me on."
Sharing in the joy, Sylvia Yeo, Assistant Director, Higher Education 1, had this to say: "Phil’s heart is for the students and alumni. Even after they graduate, they look him up and connect with him. As a colleague and faculty member, he gets full marks for his commitment to the programme. He updates his course materials and ensures that he is always prepared for class. Still waters run deep - this aptly describes Phil. Beneath his quiet demeanour, he is deriving formulas or coming up with new jokes to entertain students. I've known Phil for over twenty years and he is such a blessing to us."
Here are excerpts from a letter Benson Choo, a former student of his, wrote to Phil.
On his approachability:
“You were my Maths lecturer for two University of London modules…. You were affable, in and out of class. You were one of the few lecturers that my peers and I always looked forward to seeing around campus.”
On accommodating different learning styles:
“You approached problems from multiple angles if you found that we were experiencing difficulty with the concepts. I was impressed by how you were able to simplify seemingly complex maths problems, and how you often demonstrated many methods to solve a problem.”
On going beyond:
“In late March, I was given a welfare pack in anticipation of my upcoming exams. In it, I found an encouragement postcard, handwritten by you. I thought that was an unexpectedly sweet gesture.”
On the impact he made:
“You inspired me to have a new paradigm in life, in challenging myself to simplify complicated issues. This attitude has served me well in other aspects (of my life). The satisfaction from incorporating a simpler pathway to problem resolution is fulfilling.”