She studied at Yale and is a faculty member at Duke-NUS so Assistant Professor Mara McAdams was quick to throw her support behind the upcoming Yale-NUS College, Singapore’s first liberal arts college. Duke-NUS is a collaboration between Duke University, US, and the National University of Singapore (NUS). Dr McAdams, who is the Medical and Operations Director of Duke-NUS’ Clinical Performance Centre, has made a gift to support scholarships at Yale-NUS College.
Yale-NUS College will draw on the best elements of the United States liberal arts education but re-imagined for Asia and the 21st century. Yale-NUS’ inaugural President, Pericles Lewis has described the College as a “melding of East and West” that will offer a unique quality of education. The fully residential programme will immerse students in a stimulating environment characterised by small classes and close interaction among students and faculty.
Dr McAdams says, “I think that Liberal Arts is the best overall foundation for undergrads. Students need a strong foundation in writing and thinking broadly to develop into great thinkers and leaders. Whether they will go into Medicine or Law or anything else, we need people who can communicate effectively and Liberal Arts helps students develop those necessary skills.”
Dr McAdams received a scholarship while she was studying medicine. It was not a big gift, but she believes that the impact of the gift was greater than its dollar value. The scholarship gave her a feeling of purpose and connection to Yale and inspired her to give to them when she graduated.
Talking about the need to support students with scholarships and bursaries, she says, “I think that education should be made available to everyone regardless of ability to pay. Giving to study awards helps open the doors of Yale-NUS College to the best students.”
She adds, “Having the best students really impacts the classroom experience. It’s important for classrooms to contain students with different experiences and strengths. The world is more global now and diverse classrooms will prepare our students for that world and push the college into the international scene.”