When the COVID-pandemic entered our lives in March 2020, Stellenbosch University's staff and students had to weather lots of storms to keep afloat. Where there were holes, they fixed it, oars needed, they've built it and when the mist got too thick, they created new navigation systems that could become the new norm for how learning institutions will steer themselves in the future.
In his celebration of our ten winners, Prof Stan said these colleagues not only did their work, but they exemplified SU's values in their work, namely the values of excellence, compassion, accountability, respect and equity.
Says Prof Stan: “It is what we need to show each other to achieve the ambitious goals of this University. This includes what some have called owed respect: The respect we owe each other as colleagues (and we owe our students) since we are all inherently valuable and we acknowledge the important, though different contribution, we all make to creating this world-class University. That is why SU describes this value as “civility in our mutual and public discourse, due regard for the freedom, equity and dignity of all, and respect for the environment."
“But I also recognise another dimension of respect, namely: earned respect, to colleagues who have done something - or have acted in a way - that we recognise as important for all of us collectively, and that serves as an example to all of us. I emphasise this last point. It is about being an example," says Prof Stan.
Our ten winners for 2021 are:
From Innovus: Ian McClallaghan and Carol Kat; Maties Sport: Candice Williams and Jerry Laka; Information Technology: Wielligh Lambrechts, and Clive Layman; Facilities Management: Jonathan Pasqualli and Christopher Rhode; Finance: Ilse Griffiths and Marinda Kotze.
Ian's work speaks of commitment and passion
Ian was appointed as Residence Service Coordinator in June 2016 and promoted to Maintenance Coordinator in June 2020.
Ian's involvement with the planning and execution of projects and maintenance-related work within the INNOVUS environment, in conjunction with Facilities Management, is remarkable. Colleagues well know his commitment and passion for his work. His project management skills and timeous follow-up/feedback guarantees a positive outcome.
We commend Ian for his dedication and hard work.
Carol never hesitates to put her job at SU first
For more than a decade, Carol – a top achiever – has maintained a very high-performance evaluation standard. During the past year, she made things happen in her environment despite severe COVID-related challenges. An example of her hard work and dedication is the introduction of Digital SU Short Courses Certificates in 2021, which involved a complex tender and negotiation process.
Carol never hesitates to put her job at SU first when a work situation requires her immediate attention, no matter the time of day. She puts in far more hours than is ever expected of her and takes enormous pride in a job well done. Known as a perfectionist, team members often consult her for her opinion. Her friendly, warm personality makes her very accessible in her roles as colleague, mentor, manager, a leader in our office.
Her loyalty to SU stands out, and she is an incredible ambassador for SU and our RC. She is friendly yet firm and always has SU's best interest in mind. Carol never shies away from taking on a new challenge and learning new skills. She can be relied on to make a success of every task or project she is involved. Her “can do" attitude is infectious, and she never takes a shortcut but works methodically and meticulously to achieve a positive result.
Candice is always there to support
Candice joined SU in 2020 and has managed several sports codes, including the role of caretaker. Her performance was outstanding during 2019 when Maties Sport needed to facilitate the re-alignment of swimming and water polo and its name change. The process included strategic and operational re-alignment and human resources, structure, and financial management. These changes were necessary to allow for a change in governance, reduced membership fees, facilities re-allocation and management changes for stakeholder and partner engagements to support our new vision and ultimately ensure a one-club approach aligned to the Maties Sport strategy.
This change management process presented many obstacles, yet Candice stood the test of time, resulting in a culture and camaraderie with our swimming and water polo student-athletes, coaches, and support staff.
As a mentor, Candice is very passionate about the growth of our younger colleagues. She is always ready to lend a helping hand, with a positive attitude and a smile. And always in a hurry, and always walking.
We value Candice's commitment and passion and for always being there when support is needed.
Jerry has a unique commitment and passion to work and life
Jerry joined Maties Sport in November 2015, although it feels much longer. He fulfils a responsibility unique to SU, as none of the other 26 public universities has a director: support services role. His portfolio includes facilities, recreation and active lifestyle oversight, finance, partnerships, management, administration, events, branding, apparel, residence management. Despite a very busy job, Jerry still makes time to mentor colleagues. He is very committed to his own growth and will soon finish his master's degree.
Jerry is currently the Secretary-General of the Confederation of University and Colleges Sports Associations (CUCSA) for Zone IV that provides him with a seat on the University Sport South Africa (USSA) National Executive Committee.
What makes Jerry so unique is his calm approach to work and life. He continues to make strides in forming new partnerships, inspiring the opportunity and need with our Facilities Management team to rethink, upgrade and maintain our facilities, ensuring that we remain a destination of choice, and in this way, contributing to the university's vision of excellence.
We appreciate and value Jerry's commitment and passion.
Wielligh is a true ARTLA enabler for SU
Wielligh has exceptional expertise in audio-visual and unified communication systems. As a core member of the ELS implementation group, he played a leading role in the SU Learning Spaces Workgroup, which established the standards on which the ELS equipment is based.
Wielligh did most of the conceptual design work on the equipment, selecting a smart, innovative, and cost-effective combination of equipment. The design is based on the AVIXA standards and is modular, configurable and provides world-class functionality at a cost far lower than leading universities in Europe are spending to equip their venues.
Wielligh worked tirelessly to have the user-centric design finalised and then with the contracted implementation teams to install the ELS equipment on a very tight schedule.
Clive committed to SU's values
Clive has been part of the End User Support team since March 2018, where he took the lead in guiding a team of five in a bustling and vibrant environment.
Since the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, Clive was one of few who volunteered to continue his duties on campus. He made a monumental contribution to ensure that the receiving and delivery of computer equipment could proceed as usual. Staff who had to work from home, could be helped to work online to service to staff and students. Showing both skill and dedication, he communicated with suppliers, service providers and staff, arranging set delivery and pickup times to comply with COVID-regulations.
He showed his commitment towards the values of SU by taking accountability for university assets delivered in bulk and seeing to it that equipment is safely stored, configured and then distributed to staff promptly.
On many occasions, he has worked overtime to ensure shorter turnaround times, and this made a measurable impact on IT's operating standards.
Jonathan excelled beyond his responsibility area
Jonathan is a Facilities Coordinator based at Sport. His dedication is of such a standard that he can be distinguished as a person who has excelled in his responsibility area.
In 2021, despite the continuation of COVID-19 restrictions, Jonathan continued to maintain his high energy levels. His hard work and dedication stood out during this difficult time. We value and appreciate his efforts.
Jonathan has had to take on additional duties, and he has worked tirelessly to keep the department going. Not only does he complete excellent quality work himself, but we have seen him help his co-workers as well. He has put in many extra hours to get things done. And he does this all with a fantastic attitude and willing disposition.
During this time where sporting activities had slowed down considerably, Jonathan out of his own accord went into maintenance mode and achieved the following:
Clean up of the whole Coetzenburg precinct, including the removal of all old and unused equipment; motivated the replacement of various old boundary fences, perimeter bollards; motivation and cost estimates for the upgrade of two netball courts to facilitate basketballand upgrades to the squash courts.
Jonathan's service and operational performance over the past year exemplify all that we value as an organisation. He has shown that with utter determination and energy maximum results can be achieved.
Christopher is a real stalwart
Christopher Rhode has been working as an assistant artisan in the mechanical division's air conditioning unit for two decades.
Christopher does not wait for work cards to be issued and uses his initiative to visit workplaces and do repairs and to protect machinery or property and extend service delivery of equipment.
His feedback is also always comprehensive, and he asks if there are any ambiguities or if he needs help. No one questions anything after Christopher worked on it.
He is friendly, always helpful, reliable and a wonderful colleague to work with. He acts with respect, has good integrity, is honest and always willing to learn something new. It's great to have such a stalwart as part of the team.
Ilse is a huge asset to Finance
In June 2012, we hit gold when we hired Ilse at the financial services division. She soon proved her worth also where she now works in the planning and budget department as part of the budget team.
Ilse manages the implementation of the IKVK policy and performs an oversight role on the earmarked state grants that SU receives and coordinates.
One of Ilse's biggest contributions is the financial support she provides to the divisions of the Deputy Vice-Chancellors and the Registrar. Ilse also plays a key role in the SUNFin project.
Ilse truly lives up to SU values. She is an excellent accountant and has excellent human relations. She treats colleagues with compassion and respect and is a true team player.
She is a touchy-feely and takes the initiative to solve problems and queries. She takes responsibility for her work and is proud of it. She is always willing to help and support fellow colleagues.
Her work ethic and outputs speak of excellence, and it is, therefore, a great privilege for us to nominate Ilse for this award. Congratulations Ilse, we are very proud of you.
If you want something done well, ask Marinda
Marinda maintains and reflects SU's values continuously. Her work ethic not only serves as motivation and inspiration for her fellow colleagues to strive for excellence but establishes respect and expertise within the role of professional support in finance.
As a director support partner, the outstanding level of professional support she provides is regularly confirmed by the high-praise and ongoing positive feedback from deans and faculty managers.
Her invaluable contribution to the SUNFinproject, based on her overarching institutional knowledge of SU's hierarchical and consolidating structures and the interaction, contributes to the basis of valuable, effective dialogue and direct decision-making within the project.
With her knowledge of the TeraTerm system she is effective in her role to coordinate, find solutions and complete the master data cleaning activities within the SUNFin project.
Marinda's loyalty and respect for her employer and colleagues are remarkable. She often gets complex tasks that contribute to a greater workload, but she always manages to meet the deadlines. What we admire is the selfless and efficient serviceable contribution she makes to help guide SU.
She is pre-eminently a role model and an employee of choice. If you want someone to do it and do it well, give it to Marinda without a doubt.