As the new director of the MMC programme, Professor Ang Peng Hwa has high hopes for students to excel in their careers after graduation. PHOTO: BRENDAN TAN
In January, Professor Ang Peng Hwa assumed the role as director of the Master of Mass Communication programme at the Wee Kim Wee School Of Communication and Information.
Prof. Ang said he heeded the call to head up the Master’s programme at WKWSCI because he saw the importance of maintaining its quality and reputation.
“A successful master’s programme is a hallmark of all leading communication schools, it is only natural that we should have a thriving master’s program,” said Prof. Ang, who took over the helm after a former faculty member, Associate Professor Augustine Pang, left the school.
For him, his new role offers him a platform to help students upgrade themselves and climb career ladders quickly.
“As the premier communication school in Asia, it is only natural that we should have a thriving Master’s programme.”
Professor Ang Peng Hwa, director of the MMC programme and editor of the Asian Journal of Communication
“I see the program (as an opportunity) to give students a leg up in their careers, especially those entering the media industry; an opportunity I never had because there was no (school of) communication at that time,” said Prof. Ang.
Prof. Ang, who used to teach media law in the MMC programme, fondly recalls the many exemplary students he has taught since the programme began in 1996. One such student is former journalist and Channel NewsAsia presenter Diana Ser, who also runs a communications consulting and media training company.
He said that many students went on to assume important roles in different organisations around the world. For instance, one has gone on to work in the United Nations, while another is currently the marketing manager of retail giant Alibaba.
Prof Ang’s list of accomplishments has seen him attain numerous titles, from the Dean of WKWSCI back in 2003 to 2008, to the first Asian to lead the International Communication Association in 2015. He was also an ex-journalist with the Singapore Monitor until the company closed in July 1984.
Apart from his role as the director of the MMC programme, Prof. Ang also recently took over as the editor of the Asian Journal of Communication, succeeding Dr Hao Xiaoming, who retired on 31 December 2018.
And while he is no stranger to leadership roles, Prof. Ang admitted that assuming the role as an editor was a step out of his comfort zone.
The peer-reviewed online academic journal is an international publication that has earned a reputation in Asia for its informative articles centred on communication research and discussion.
As an editor of the journal, he has to vet numerous articles submitted by scholars.
It is a role he values as he sees the importance in contributing to discussion and research, and the significance of maintaining the journal’s quality in order to benefit its readers.
“My job as a gatekeeper is to ensure that only quality content is being put out there for others to learn from,” he said.