During Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s recent convocation ceremony in November, Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL) alumna, Kavena Sivapragasam (23) graduated with First Class Honours in the Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) programme from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia while receiving the prestigious Royal Education Award. In between that, she is also a recipient of the Psychology Graduate Icon Award and the University Book Prize Recipient.
The Royal Education Award or known as Pingat Jaya Cemerlang is one of the most prestigious awards annually awarded to two of the best undergraduates (one bumiputra and one non bumi-putra) in every public university. The decision of the award is endorsed by the Majlis Raja-Raja Melayu and are based on several criteria such as academic excellence, leadership involvement, contribution to the community and sports, possess exemplary personal traits and values.
Kavena’s degree-long effort and commitment for being actively involved in international and national level events, competitions and projects while maintaining a first class CGPA earned her the prestigious award. She persevered through with the honest intention of wanting to bring the spotlight to the importance of social science for building a better humanity.
Speaking about her aspirations for the field of Psychology in Malaysia, Kavena said, “It is undeniable that there’s still plenty of room for enhancement but every contribution to the country is extremely valuable and necessary. I genuinely hope to see psychology develop as an established body in Malaysia. Besides, as an advocate on Positive Psychology, I hope to be able to contribute into building this field of study in Malaysia. It is time to amplify the need for positive practices in nurturing and tapping the potentials of a thriving community.”
She added, “My research was on understanding how happiness contributes to success and my research showed that positive emotions are key to success. So, always pursue something that makes you happy. The best part of this process is not attaining the goal but it’s the person you transformed into, in order to reach success –that’s the real and more meaningful achievement.”
Kavena’s passion for psychology started at a very young age when she was inspired by her parents who were performance coaches and have transformed the lives of many people by helping them overcome their mental health challenges. After completing her SPM, she then decided to pursue the Cambridge A Level (CAL) programme in MCKL to build a solid foundation to launch into her degree. Speaking about how the CAL programme at MCKL, she said “the programme gave me an opportunity to improve my critical thinking skills and that skill further improved the quality of my assignments in university. This helped me to think creatively and to inquire deeply about a certain topic, and this is a skill that is highly appreciated by my lecturers during my undergraduate study.”
Kavena, is a recipient of the MCKL Full Scholarship 2016 while pursuing her A Level programme at the college. In 2018 she then received the Great Eastern Supremacy Scholarship 2018 to pursue her degree, followed by receiving the Anugerah Biasiswa Kanan Universiti Award in 2019.
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Methodist College Kuala Lumpur