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A total of 49 awards were handed over to staff members and teams at the Nelson Mandela University Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards which, for the first time, combined professional and support staff (PASS) and academic staff at one function.

“While the academic project through our scholarly missions of Learning and Teaching, Research and Engagement are at the heart of what we do in our service to society, it cannot be achieved without the people who enable this to happen – our Professional, Administrative and Support Services (PASS) staff, Vice-Chancellor Prof Muthwa said at the event in the Tramways Building on 10 September.  

Research, teaching, engagement, innovation, creative output and professional and support staff achievement awards were made at the function.

“It takes deliberate leadership and organisational support for employees to blossom in their work.  I, therefore, salute the supervisors of all the nominees for their judicious people management focus, enabling their teams to excel,” Prof Muthwa said.

“As a comprehensive institution, we value and appreciate all aspects of the academy. The National Framework for Enhancing Academics as University Teachers acknowledges that “the work of an academic involves being a teacher and a researcher - these roles should not be in competition. Both are equally important and interdependent and need to be developed, valued, rewarded and incentivised. Teaching must be research-informed,” Prof Muthwa said.

“We continue to develop our early career researchers as holistic academics and to this end, we are excited by the strong collaboration between the Department of Research Development and the Centre for Teaching, Learning & Media. 

“We are currently hosting 63 postdoctoral fellows, compared to 52 in 2017.  They significantly contribute to the University in terms of publication outputs, postgraduate supervision and general research productivity.

“In 2018 our postdoctoral fellows published over 50 peer-reviewed papers, Prof Muthwa said.

In addition, two special awards were made, the first to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation and Internationalisation Prof Andrew Leitch who received a Lifetime Contribution Award for his dedication to the academy, research and the institution over many years. The  second award was to Prof Denise Zinn, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching who was presented with a Career Achievement Award for her contribution to the field of Education, Teaching and Learning.

Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards winners:

Researcher of the Year: Prof Pierre Pistorius

Excellent Teacher of the Year: Lizel Bester

Emerging Excellent Researcher of the Year: Dr Adeniyi Ogunlaja

Emerging Excellent Teacher of the Year: Danai Tembo

Research Excellence Awards: Profs Benita Barton and André Keet

Faculty Excellent Researchers of the Year

Arts: Prof Janina Wozniak

Business and Economic Sciences: Dr Andrew Phiri

Education: Prof Logamurthie Athiemoolam

Engineering, IT and the Built Environment: Prof John Smallwood

Health Sciences: Prof Ilse Truter

Law: Prof Joanna Botha

Science: Prof Pierre Pistorius

Faculty Emerging Researchers of the Year

Arts: Dr Janelle Vermaak

Business and Economic Sciences: Dr Felix Amoah

Education: Dr Heloise Sathorar

Health Sciences: Dr Mark Kramer

Law: Stephen Newman

Science: Dr Adeniyi Ogunlaja

Faculty Excellent Teachers of the Year

Arts: Tarryn Rennie

Business and Economic Sciences: Lizel Bester

Education: Dr Marelize van Heerden

Engineering, IT and the Built Environment: Alan McGillivray and Yiota Moutzouris

Health Sciences: Dr Lia Kritiotis-Germanis

Law: Tina Hokwana

Science: Dr Suresh Juglal

Faculty Emerging Teachers of the Year

Business and Economic Sciences: Danai Tembo

Education: Reinhold Gallant

Health Sciences: Karin Gerber

Science: Anita Noah

Engagement Excellence Award (STEM): Agricultural Technology Transfer Programme – Dr Tim Pittaway

Engagement Excellence Team Award: Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (ICMR) and The School@Home Project Team –Veonna Goliath

Engagement Project Award: Architectural Engagements with Our Human Origins – John Andrews

Innovation Excellence Award: Prof Jean Greyling

Emerging Innovation Excellence Award: Dr Nicole Vorster

Creative Output Award (Violin): David Bester

Creative Output Award (Piano): Dr Erika Bothma

Creative Output Award (Photography): Prof Heidi Saayman-Hattingh

Creative Output Award (Sculpture): Andrieta Wentzel

Professional and Support Staff (PASS) Team Award: Payroll Team, Finance Department

Professional and Support Staff (PASS) Excellence Award in Peromnes level 8- 9: Imtiaz Khan, Karen Snyman, Nomatungwa Mti and Salome van der Riet.

Professional and Support Staff (PASS) Excellence Award in Peromnes level 10- 12: Kendra Roodt

Top award winners at the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards function were (from left) Emerging Excellent Teacher of the Year Danai Tembo, Researcher of the Year Prof Pierre Pistorius, Excellent Teacher of the Year Lizel Bester and Emerging Researcher of the Year Dr Adeniyi Ogunlaja. 


Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160