“Witty", “energetic" and “dynamic" is how one of the top first-year medical students characterised lectures by Prof Hans Strijdom from the Division of Medical Physiology at Stellenbosch University (SU) when she nominated Strijdom as her most inspiring lecturer in 2016.
This is the eight consecutive year that Strijdom was honoured in this way at the First Year Achievement Awards. Dr Alwyn Louw, from the Centre for Health Professions Education (CHPE), and Dr Pieter Neethling, from the Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, were also nominated by top first-year students of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS).
“These awards not only accord recognition to the top-performing first-year students within each faculty, but also to lecturers who had a positive influence on the academic experience of first-year students," said Ms Jean Lee Farmer, Educational Advisor at the CHPE and the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL).
The three top-performing first-year students in 2016 were Theresa Brummer (MB,ChB), who nominated Strijdom, Lebohang Likole (MB,ChB), who nominated Louw, and Gabby Rautenbach, (BOccupational Therapy), who nominated Neethling.
In his nomination, Likole praised Louw for the care and concern he demonstrated towards his students. “For the entirety of our first year, you frequently came to check if we were still doing fine, attended to our concerns, and organised one-on-one contact sessions to see how we were coping. Thank you for making my transition to university a smooth one," Likole said.
Rautenbach thanked Neethling for his well-structured, interactive lectures. “The lessons I learnt from you not only influenced my first year of studying, but will be remembered throughout my studying career and life," she said.
This event, previously known as the Rector's Dinner for Top First-year Students and later the Prestige Dinner for Top First-year Students, was initiated in 2009 by Prof Susan van Schalkwyk when she was Deputy Director of the CTL. Under her auspices it has become one of the most prestigious nomination events at the university.
Caption: Dr Aalwyn Louw, Ms Theresa Brummer, Prof Hans Strijdom, Mr Lebohang Likole, Ms Farah Fredericks (Deputy Registrar, FMHS), Ms Gabby Rautenbach, Ms Jean Lee Farmer (Education Advisor: CHPE and CTL), Dr Therese Fish (Vice Dean: Clinical Services and Social Impact), and Dr Pieter Neethling.