24 September, 2015
NMMU acknowledges research, teaching and engagement excellence
NMMU has again acknowledged the outstanding achievements of 43 of the university's top researchers and teachers at the prestigious Research, Teaching and Engagement Excellence Awards hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Derrick Swartz at the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth on 14 September.
The annual awards - a highlight on the university calendar - celebrates the achievements of top academics in the fields of research, teaching, the creative and performing arts, innovation and engagement.
NMMU George Campus scooped two excellence awards in the engagement and teacher excellence categories.
Prof Christo Fabricius leader of the Sustainability Research Unit (SRU) located at the NMMU George Campus, received the NMMU Engagement Excellence Award for the outstanding work of the Unit, while Tiaan Pool, Programme co-ordinator: Forestry and Veldfire Management in the School of Natural Resource Management at the NMMU George Campus scooped the Science Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year Award.
Tiaan Pool's expertise, empowering teaching and learning philosophy and practices earned him this well-deserved accolade. Pool's philosophy is based on a well-structured partnership and the realisation of the interdependence between the university, students and industry. With 16 years of lecturing under the belt, he, believes that "along their pathway of life students should learn about ethics in the classroom and workplace, respect for themselves, others, the environment and also have a true understanding of the meaning of loyalty to friends, a cause and an institution".
A rigorous evaluation process precedes the awards, with strict criteria that need to be met and demonstrated - such as a high degree of subject discipline and expertise, proven expertise in approaches to teaching and learning facilitation that will motivate and inspire students to learn, become independent learners, and enhance their development; leadership; reputation amongst students and peers; as well as excellence in engagement activities relating to teaching and learning and enhancing student success and development.
Respected researcher and leader of the NMMU Sustainability Research Unit, Prof Christo Fabricius, who received the Engagement Excellence Award for the SRU believes that community engagement is integral to the Sustainability Research Unit - " It connects us to our stakeholders, keeps us grounded in reality and inspires us to produce good peer reviewed research", he said.
Prof Christo Fabricius, leader of the Sustainability Research Unit, with
the NMMU Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Engagement, Prof Andrew
NMMU Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Prof Denise Zinn
congratulates lecturer, Tiaan Pool, on receiving the Science Faculty
Excellent Teacher of the Year Award.
Proud trio.... Prof Christo Fabricius, SRU leader; Samantha McCulloch,
student co-ordinator in the SRU (and master's student), and lecturer
Tiaan Pool pictured with their awards.
More about the top NMMU award winners and their work
Leading zoologist, Dr Pierre Pistorius' cutting-edge research on the way gannets communicate at sea landed him the university's Researcher of the Year Award. His research ties in with the shift by NMMU in offering solutions around the potential of the blue economy by establishing itself as a future marine and maritime sciences destination of choice.
Professor of Psychology, Mark Watson, one of three joint editors of a ground-breaking book looking at career development patterns among women aged 45 to 65 across the globe was the winner of one of two NMMU Research Excellence Awards. The other Research Excellence Award winner was Prof Zenixole Tshentu, whose pioneering research into the separation of metal ions is extending boundaries in terms of how these important elements can be used, also in the realm of medicine.
NMMU's Centre for Law in Action Director, Prof Hennie van As, was the recipient of the NMMU Engagement Award. He and his team assisted 29 Western Cape municipalities with training and capacity-building initiatives for elected councillors, to enhance good governance and service delivery. In their latest audit, all 29 received a clean bill of health.
The high-tech approach and unique teaching strategy of Applied Languages Studies lecturer Mukhtar Raban saw him win a prestigious NMMU Excellent Teacher of the Year Award.
The warm approach of IT lecturer Cheryl Schroder, both in and out the classroom, makes a huge difference to those she teaches, and led to her winning one of two NMMU Excellent Teacher of the Year awards.
The following academics also received awards:
Faculty of Arts
Faculty Emerging Excellent Teacher of the Year: Ms Claudette Leppan
Faculty Emerging Researcher of the Year: Dr Alethea de Villiers
Faculty Researcher of the Year: Prof Helize van Vuuren
Faculty of Business & Economic Sciences
Faculty Emerging Excellent Teacher of the Year: Ms Bomikazi Zeka
Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Ms Tracey Beck
Faculty Researcher of the Year: Prof Elmarie Venter
Faculty of Education
Faculty Emerging Excellent Teacher of the Year: Mr Deon Swartz
Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Dr Margie Childs & Prof Hugh Glover
Emerging Researcher of the Year: Dr Mathabo Khau
Faculty Researcher of the Year: Prof Naydene de Lange
Faculty of Engineering
Faculty Emerging Excellent Teacher of the Year: Ms Sharon Dent
Emerging Researcher of the Year: Dr Bertram Haskins
Faculty Researcher of the Year: Prof Darelle van Greunen
Faculty of Health Sciences
Faculty Emerging Excellent Teacher of the Year: Mr Ryan Raffan
Emerging Researcher of the Year: Dr Maryna Baard
Faculty Researcher of the Year: Prof Ilse Truter
Faculty of Law
Faculty Emerging Excellent Teacher of the Year: Mr Shuaib Rahim
Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Ms Tanya Wagenaar
Emerging Researcher of the Year: Adv Glynis van der Walt
Faculty Researcher of the Year: Prof Avinash Govindjee
Faculty of Science
Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Dr Pragashni Padayachee & Mr Tiaan Pool (George Campus)
Emerging Researcher of the Year: Dr Brenda Scholtz
Faculty Researcher of the Year: Prof Nadine Strydom
Performing & Creative Arts Awards
Ms Andrieta Wentzel
Dr Magda Minguzzi
Emerging Innovation Excellence Award: Ms Dalray Gradidge
Innovation Excellence Project Award: Mr Etienne Phillips
NMMU Emerging Engagement Award: Dr Timothy Pittaway
NMMU Engagement Excellence Project Award: School of Accounting (Mrs Elize Naudé & Prof Frans Prinsloo)
NMMU Engagement Excellence Project Award: Centre for Research in Information and Cyber Security (Prof Johan van Niekerk)
NMMU Engagement Excellence Team Award: SoMAD Visual Arts Strategic Engagement: Public Art Partnerships (Ms Mary Duker & David Jones)
NMMU Engagement Excellence Award: SRU (Prof Christo Fabricius) (George Campus)
Teaching & Learning Team Awards:
Dr Hermien Johannes and the Blended Learning Team