Stellenbosch University
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First-year Achievement Awards
Author: CTL/SOL
Published: 22/05/2020


First-year Achievement Awards / Eerstejaars Prestasietoekennings / Amabhaso eMpumelelo waBafundi boNyaka wokuQala ​


Top Achieving First-Year Students 2019​​

​​​​Lauren Badenhorst
​Tara Grobbelaar
​Lizè Myburgh
​Karabo Bapela
​Jessica Hillier
​Julia Snyckers
​Rehab Botlholo
​Bradley Jacobs
​Wicus van der Linden
​Jason Brown
​Hans-Christoph Lange
​Suné van Dyk
​Tiaan Cilliers
​Peng-Chen Liang
​Slade van Rooyen
​Pieter Conradie
​Danielle Louw
​Megan van Schalkwyk
​Christa-Marie de Lange
​Zoë McCathie
​Brendan Watling
​Tanitha Deyzel
​Ralph McDougall
​Matthew Wille
​Helette du Plessis
​Nur-Ayn Mohamed
​Jacques Wust
​Jean Durand
​Petronè Moolman
​Suewellyn Zimmermann
​Karli du Toit
​Thando Mtimkulu


Nominated Lecturers 2019

​Alex Andrason
​Sonia Human
​Michael Schmeisser
​Léa Benabdelghaffar
​Doret Jordaan
​Debra Shepherd
Amy Daniels​​Herman Kamper
​Garrett Slattery
Andrew Fransman​​Erna Lampen
​JP Smit
​Jerome Fredericks
​Anieka Malan
​Sybil Smit
​James Gray
Sophie Marques​​Marie-Anne Staebler
​Helena Heath
​Jacques Masuret
​Hans Strijdom
​Debbie Horsten
​Eva Nel
​Modiehi Theletsane
​Karin-Therese Howell
​JC Rademeyer
​Hugo Touchette


The PPT of the evening is available here:FYAA for students and lecturers 20 May 2020.pptx

The First-year Achievement Awards event for top-performing first years from the 2019 academic year was celebrated on Wednesday, 20 May 2020. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the event took place in the virtual space . 

Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, Vice-Rector (Learning and Teaching), once again hosted the event with a warm welcome to the top-achieving first-year students of 2019  and the lecturers they nominated as positively impacting their learning as first years. Prof Schoonwinkel also welcomed Deans, Vice-deans and other staff who joined in the online event. Dr Antoinette van der Merwe, Senior Director of the Division for Learning and Teaching Enhancement, was the master of ceremony and introduced the esteemed Prof Thuli Madonsela as the guest speaker.

Prof Madonsela offered wisdom in these trying times to students, lecturers and everyone else in attendance: “hold faith like a mustard seed". Prof Madonsela is an avid mountaineer who has summitted Mount Kilimanjaro and she compared our current challenging experiences to climbing a mountain. She reminded us that we need to dig deep within ourselves for the strength to overcome adversity and achieve our goals.

This was an opportunity to celebrate achievements. While it would have been good to dress up and have “the normal" dinner event with our peers and colleagues, there is an upside to the virtual event. Family and friends of the nominated students and lecturers could join in the celebration by watching it live on screen. It was an opportunity to learn that we can be innovative with technology even though it may let us down sometimes. However, just as a car can break down on the way to an event or power may fail at the dinner, we overcome these challenges by working together and helping each other. 

Professor Madonsela also said that the COVID-19 pandemic is currently dictating our interactions but she reminded us that we have the inner strength to overcome many things. We were encouraged by her to help uplift society where we can, to do for others and to continue to be intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and socially strong in our endeavours to build a socially just South Africa for all its citizens. We should be guided by the values enshrined in our Constitution.