Future Problem Solving Program International


John Daughtrey Memorial Award
In Honor of Outstanding Directors, Evaluators, or Staff


John Daughtrey was the director of the North and South Carolina programs for about six years and was a dedicated advocate of FPS. Recipients of this award may be a director, evaluator, or staff person for an FPSPI Affiliate Program.

 2011 Recipient:
  Lalitha Nair, Affiliate Director of FPSP Malaysia


Ms Lalitha Nair, the current Affiliate Director of FPSP Malaysia has made significant contributions, not only to the Malaysian chapter but also to FPSPI, and it is time to formally recognize these.

She was a part of the NAGCM (National Association for Gifted Children Malaysia), and was first exposed to the program through the association, and contact with Suzanne Strangward, the former National Director of Australia. Lalitha first got excited about the program because she felt her own children could benefit from it and so took steps to get trained as a coach. She then got started by involving her children and other kids from her neighbourhood to create the first Malaysian team. With the support of the Australian chapter, Lalitha managed to guide and coach this pioneer Malaysian team to qualify for the Australian finals on their first competitive attempt. The team and their coach proved themselves worth notice here, and as a result were invited to participate as the first Asian finalist team at the international conference (IC) in 2001 in Atlanta. Since then, Malaysian teams have been serial attendants, competitors and qualifiers at various levels of the program.

The journey of the program in Malaysia and its growth has been an uphill climb for her as an individual and it is our view that she has surpassed challenges over these last 10 years during her involvement with the program, to make the Malaysian teams ones to be reckoned with on the international stage. The growth of this program in Malaysia has been single handedly motivated by this one individual. Lalitha has faced immense challenges in securing financial support and funding for the teams here. Besides funding, her greatest uphill battle was coordinating class sessions amongst students from different schools and different locations, further challenged by their own schedules and programs, as the program was not school based as for most FPSP affiliates. In Malaysia it is centre based as an after school activity. However, her determination and drive has allowed her to garner strong support from the parents of the children involved in the program, and this has been the main source of financial and moral support over the years. She has personally financed the many training sessions by FPSP Australia and the overseas trips to competitions, so as to enable her teams to attend and experience these in spite of very limited funding.

As a teacher and coach, Lalitha has an innate ability to excite and motivate her students through the program. She constantly encourages her students to express their thoughts and opinions without restrictions, allowing them to flourish creatively and critically as individuals as well as within a team dynamic. Her incredible insight into young minds has allowed her to be able to identify a student’s strengths to create specific avenues for development. As a result, every one of her students has demonstrated personal growth and is able to further achieve their full potential. Her coaching methods instill skills which former students have found to be invaluable in their adult lives. This is evident in the involvement of former FPSP students as assistant coaches and members of the national committee as they have benefitted from the program and Lalitha’s guidance and seek to contribute in the same way to current students.

Her efforts in attempting to advance the program in Malaysia did not come without its challenges. Besides the aforementioned funding issues, Lalitha faced and overcame many issues with red tape, lack of understanding and recognition by other educators/education bodies as well as skepticism in the effectiveness of the program. Her belief in the benefits of the program translated into positive resolutions to these challenges. In late 2008, Lalitha was diagnosed with cancer. However, this did not impede her spirit or slow her down in guiding yet another team to qualify for the 2009 IC. In 2010, she even managed to travel to Wisconsin with yet another representative team to compete in the IC. Though this was a personally challenging period for her, her perseverance saw her through it without compromising on the student participation in the program. Lalitha has since shown renewed vigour in her commitment to the program and to reaching more young people. This has resulted in stronger teams, increased visibility for FPS in Malaysia and new alliances.

It’s undeniable that she has made significant contributions to her students’ lives and the community at large through her interaction with people. Her effervescent personality has impacted all who have crossed her path and she has gone above and beyond her call as an educator, almost to the point of altruism. Ultimately she is a friend and mentor not only to her students, but also to their parents, her peers and members of her society. She is fully deserving of this award.



Future Problem Solving Program International


YES Award
In Honor of Outstanding Parents, Administrators, or Supervisors


This award was begun by Dr. E. Paul Torrance and was presented to a person who went above and beyond the call of duty for FPS.  Dr. Torrance and his wife, Pansy, liked the idea of recognizing such excellence. Parents, administrators, and supervisors can be a part of an organized FPS program, a school, school district, a state education agency or other support group such as a fraternal organization, who provide outstanding support of an FPSPI Affiliate.


 2012 Recipient:
  Associate Professor Dr. Rosnah Ismail


Dr.Rosnah and family, have been involved in FPS since 2002 and still are till today. Her commitment to the Malaysian teams year in and year out, has all been at her own personal financial expense, as the Malaysian affiliate has never had financial support or funding to date. She has always ensured her children participated at the Australian finals and IC every time the Malaysian teams were invited. In 2007, her whole family travelled to the Australian finals as it coincided with Muslim festival of Hari Raya (Eid), so that 2 of the teams in which 2 of her daughters were in, would not be let down by their absence.

Her initial involvement with the program was with her eldest daughter, Nur Liyana as she felt the program would be of benefit to her daughter. She was convinced the program enriched her daughter. Her belief in the program saw her second daughter, Nur Amalina enrolling as well, and later her youngest, Nur Hidayati too. Spurred on by her confidence in the program, her 3 daughters have participated in the 3 components (team booklet, CmPS, scenario writing). They have been the pillars of most of the Malaysian competitive teams over the years.

As a result of her involvement as a mother, Rosnah has attended and been trained as a coach. She is also a member of the committee in charge of topic resources. She is a great asset to the fundraising committee. An integral part of her commitment to the program is the assurance to her children’s participation at all the international competitions as Malaysian representatives to create visibility and thus adds to the success of the program both here and internationally.

Her conviction, commitment and support over the last eight years to the program have now been given recognition through the YES Award.