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EMS staff receive SU excellence awards
Author: Daniel Bugan
Published: 23/01/2020

Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) staff were honoured as recipients of the Stellenbosch University's Chancellor's Award and its Teaching and Research Excellence Awards at separate award ceremonies in the City of Oaks recently.

Chancellor's award

At the 12 December 2019 EMS graduation ceremony, Prof GA (Andrie) Schoombee, chair of the Department of Economics and Mrs Gretchen Arangies, director of Operations at USB, both received the Chancellor's Award. This prestigious award recognises staff whose careers attest to sustained excellence in research, innovation, learning and teaching, social impact and professional services.

Arangies, who started her career at SU in the Human Resources Department in 1989, received the award for her “operational capabilities, academic insight and natural leadership qualities" displayed in the “professional services" category.

Faculty Dean Prof Ingrid Woolard said the operational success and implementation of an aggressive growth plan at SU can be attributed largely to Arangies' enormous work-ethic.

“I feel very humbled by receiving this award working for such a great institution as Stellenbosch University. It is an honour for me to be recognised in this manner for my contributions to the university at large and USB in particular," said Arangies.

Schoombee was recognised for his sustained excellence in teaching and learning. He was lauded for managing the Department of Economics in a unique and professional manner over the past 20 years, and for transforming the gender and race composition in the department.

“His leadership enabled the department to continue to play a prominent role in research, teaching and community service," said Woolard.

Teaching excellence award

At a 5 December 2019 ceremony at STIAS, SU's top achievers in research, teaching and media communication were celebrated, with four EMS academics receiving certificates in acknowledgment of their outstanding contributions in teaching and research.

Dr Sharon Malan, programme leader of the Extended Degree Programme, was presented with a Teaching Excellence Award in the “developing teacher" category.

The Teaching Excellence Awards requires applicants to submit a teaching portfolio that demonstrates their critical thinking about their teaching context, students, knowledge and professional growth. The portfolio displays their teaching trajectory, including their successes and failures as well as the enablers and barriers they have experienced.

She said submitting her teaching portfolio for the awards was a life-changing experience.

“Writing about myself as a teacher and sharing a glimpse into the lives of the students that I teach, serves as an acknowledgement that our stories matter and can be important to others. It was a refreshing experience that helped me examine my teaching (technique) from the inside out, rather than from the outside in," said Malan.

She views this portfolio as the beginning of a journey “where I identify myself as a narrative constructivist who believes that the best way to understand myself as a teacher is to think of myself as a storyteller enmeshed in the lives of my students".

Research excellence award

Prof Charles Adjasi of the SU Business School, and Professors Josephine Musango and Solosh Pillay, both of the School of Public Leadership, received Research Excellence Awards.

These awards are presented to SU researchers who made the biggest contribution to accredited publications. Two categories were taken into account, namely (i) SU researchers making the biggest contributions in terms of the publication subsidy units of the Department of Higher Education and Training (cut-off this year was 4.15), and (ii) SU researchers who produced the highest number of accredited research publications in collaboration with their national and international research partners and students (cut-off this year was 14). In this round, researchers who delivered three or more PhDs for the period mentioned were also acknowledged.

The awards were presented by Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector (Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies). According to Cloete, research publications and doctoral graduates are among the most important products that are delivered by SU researchers.

“These activities make a critical contribution to expanding SU's international reputation as an excellent research university and make a significant contribution to SU's annual income," Cloete said.

Musango and Adjasi were awarded the Research Excellence Award under the category “number of doctorates delivered", while Pillay received hers for the “number of research output units".

  • Photographs (f.l.t.r.): Mrs Gretchen Arangies and Prof Andrie Schoombee received the Chancellor's Award; Professors Solosh Pillay and Josephine Musango received Research Excellence Awards; and Dr Sharon Malan received a Teaching Excellence Award. Prof Charles Adjasi of USB was also awarded the Research Excellence Award, but was overseas at the time of the award presentation.