Never Too Old For School

Age is but a number for Dr. Jesudas Menon when it comes to continuing education, since he was the oldest Doctor of Philosophy(PhD) graduate during the year of his convocation. After obtaining his Bachelor's degree, he began his teaching career with the Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore, as an educator in Physics and Chemistry. An avid sportsman with a passion for outdoor pursuits, Dr. Menon also offered to teach physical education (PE). It was at this point that he realized that a strong foundation in fitness is vital for the academic endeavors and sporting pursuits of his students.

This motivated him to take time off his teaching career to pursue a Master's degree in Physical Education at an overseas university. Equipped with new skillsets and pedagogical knowledge, he returned to Singapore and continued as a PE teacher with the MOE for 25 years.

Specializing in the area of nutrition, Dr. Menon's research consisted of two studies to determine how meal frequency, with or without exercise, post exercise energy and macro nutrient replacement affect postprandial TAG

In order to fulfill his desire of doing research and teaching at the same time, he decided to join the Physical Education and Sports Science Academic Group (PESS AG) at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore(NIE NTU, Singapore) as a part time lecturer and a practicum supervisor.

It was not long before he realized that his field of study in exercise physiology had advanced significantly since he graduated. He said, "I saw the need to upgrade and keep myself abreast of current research in order to serve my students and trainee PE teachers more effectively at the tertiary level. My only option then was to go back to schooling while I lecture concurrently." With this determination he enrolled in the PhD programme at NIE NTU, Singapore.

Specializing in the area of nutrition, his thesis was on Postprandial Triacyl glycerol (TAG), a lipid which poses a risk for cardiovascular disease when accumulated in high concentrations in the blood. "My research consisted of two studies to determine how meal frequency, with or without exercise, post exercise energy and macro nutrient replacement affect postprandial TAG. These studies are a useful addition to the existing literature, which could be used by potentially informing clinical practice for individuals who want to use exercise as a method to maximize therapeutic actions on blood lipids," explained Dr. Menon.

Despite being an experienced practitioner, Dr. Menon also felt challenged by the rigor of the programme. He recalled, "One challenging facet was the endeavour of academic writing. While syntax and vocabulary were not an issue, the skill of weaving together an argument, based on the perspectives of a variety of credible and current researchers is truly an art to master which I am still learning."

When asked about his recommendations of the PhD programme at NIE, he replied, "I would recommend this programme to anyone choosing the discovery pathway of research to further their grounding in their areas of expertise. The benefits are twofold: it keeps the mind consistently active through cognitive word processing, while concurrently being mentally upgraded in the field of study, so as to reboot our learning curve regularly."

The PhD programme in NIE can be completed in up to a maximum of five years on both full time and part time basis. Other than Physical Education, students also have the option of pursuing research work in diverse areas of study, such as Arts and Humanities, Education, Mathematics and Sciences.

The National Institute of Education(NIE),Singapore, is an autonomous institute under the Nanyang Technological University(NTU). It has been consistently ranked amongst the top 20 education institutions in the world and top 3 in Asia by Quacquarelli Symonds(QS)ranking. For more information on the range of higher degree programmes offered by NIE, please visit