Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy and Internationalisation at Stellenbosch University (SU) has been honoured with the Dorothy Ford Buschmann Presidential Award for her exceptional contributions to nursing and global health.
This prestigious award, which is awarded for exceptional achievement in nursing and to leaders in this field, was bestowed on her on Monday night (18 November 2018) in Washington DC in the US at the 45th Biennial Convention of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honour Society of Nursing (Sigma).
Sigma is the second-largest nursing organisation in the world with approximately 135 000 active members across more than 100 countries.
The prize is awarded by the international president of Sigma, in collaboration with the Board of Directors, as recognition of exceptional contributions to nursing and health. In 1997, in celebration of Sigma 75th anniversary, the award was named to recognise the pioneering leadership of the honour society's first president, Dorothy Ford Buschmann from the Indiana University in the US.
Prof Klopper was recognised for her outstanding contributions to nursing and global health. She was a founder member and instrumental in establishing the first Sigma chapter in Africa that involved 19 universities across nine countries with more than 1500 members.
In 2013, Prof Klopper was installed as the first Sigma President from outside of North America and provided exemplary leadership to the Board of Directors and in the establishment of the Global Advisory Panel on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery.
Outside of nursing, she is recognised by Sigma as a global leader, which is evident in her roles as a member of the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health and her appointment as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Strategy and Internationalisation at Stellenbosch University in May 2016. She is an internationally recognised academic and professional leader with extensive networks in global health, policy, nursing and healthcare. She also holds a professorship in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at SU.
Some of Prof Klopper's other achievements after she matriculated from Alberton High School in 1981, were:
In 2016, she received an honorary doctorate from Oxford Brookes University in the UK, honouring her for her contribution to the science of nursing and the training of leaders in health sciences.
From 2012 to 2018, she was an extraordinary professor at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University, as well as at the University of the Western Cape, where she was dean of the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences.
She is the editor-in-chief of IJANS (International Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences).
Prof Klopper was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing and Science in 2013 and is the only South African to be honoured in this way to date (FAAN).
In South Africa, she was also a member of the Academy of Science of SA (ASSAf) .
She completed her Magister Curationis (MCur) in 1993 and her PhD in 1994 at the University of Johannesburg (formerly known as Rand Afrikaans University) followed by an MBA in the UK in 2002.