Stellenbosch University
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Top SU students acknowledged for excellence
Author: Corporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder
Published: 25/10/2022

​​A group of 73 Stellenbosch University (SU) students were recently honoured with Rector's Awards for Excellent Achievement in recognition of their accomplishments in various spheres of student and campus life.

Themed “Sustainable innovation; pursuing excellence together", the annual awards on Tuesday, 18 October 2022, acknowledge student excellence in academics, leadership, culture, social impact, sport, and service provision.

Innovators for the future

Top management, faculty deans and student leaders joined award recipients at the ceremony hosted at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS). 

SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers congratulated this year's awardees, adding that they were the “innovators we need for the future". The Rector also expressed the hope that this recognition would encourage the recipients to continue doing meaningful work wherever their future journeys might take them. “I congratulate you on your hard work and dedication, not only over the past year, but also the tumultuous two pandemic years. You persevered, and achieved something quite extraordinary," De Villiers said.

Having received 124 applications and nominations this year, the Rector's Awards ceremony is a key event on the SU calendar, said Prof Deresh Ramjugernath, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching. “It's an opportunity to come together to celebrate the hard work and exceptional achievements of our students," he said. “However, at the same time, we must also acknowledge that our students' achievements are facilitated by our dedicated staff, who create a nurturing environment for students to flourish and thrive, and consequently meet their full potential. We are celebrating that full potential tonight."

On the right track

The keynote speaker, SU's former Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies, Prof Eugene Cloete, encouraged students to continue their innovation journey, as they were on the “correct trajectory." He highlighted clarity on goals and expectations as well as recognition of people's achievements as two vital requirements for promoting innovation and unlocking human potential. “If you do not acknowledge other people, you bankrupt them emotionally," Cloete said. He encouraged the award winners to take their potential to the next level by continuing to renew their knowledge, set new goals and raise their expectations.

Cloete concluded his address by underlining the importance of respect in achieving success in life. “I want you to live with respect. Respect is important because it creates the possibility for us to co-inhabit this planet. Respect means acknowledging that we all have different ways and that we need to create a space where we can all live together and to our full potential. May you have a spectacular future."

And the winners are …

The following students received awards:

Academics (comprising the Rector's Award for Excellent Achievement as well as the SU medal for top master's student, by faculty)


  • Mia Olga Schutte       
  • Anika Keuck              
  • Karlene Lambrechts  
  • Carla Dippenaar (top master's student)

Arts and Social Sciences

  • Julia Snyckers            
  • Pieter Conradie          
  • CJ le Grange              
  • Mark Lynch               
  • JZ Donnelly               
  • Tamlyn February                   
  • Sophia Rabie 
  • Lara van Heerden      
  • Anita Faul (top master's student, Psychology)

Economic and Management Sciences

  • Petrone Moolman      
  • Jessie Shannon Leukes                      
  • Julia Fiona Bishop                 
  • Peng-Chen Liang                   
  • Christa Jean Albertyn            
  • Danielle-Verné Louw
  • Shannon Linda Barry             
  • Christa-Mari de Lange                       
  • Mitchell Ashton van Heerden
  • Caryn Jill Bishop       
  • Dané Odendaal          
  • Jaco du Toit
  • Lauren Eileen Morrell (top master's student, Sustainable Development and Management)


  • Charl du Toit 
  • Elijah Cishugi            
  • MC Harraway            
  • T Hettasch                 
  • William Dommisse    
  • Johannes Koekemoer
  • C Oosthuysen  (top master's student, Civil Engineering)


  • Estelle Hailey Hislop 
  • Hugo Uys
  • Mitchell John Brooks (top master's student)
Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Christine Vivier                     
  • Kayleen Esau             
  • Faye Gen Bure                       
  • Tasha Ainsworth
  • Suewellyn Francis Zimmerman                    
  • Lumé Koorts
  • Abigail Kate de Villiers (top master's student, Epidemiology)

Military Science

  • ​​Khodani Sherrif Tshivhi (top master's student, Technology (Maths))
  • Brendan Watling        
  • Jean Durand   
  • Graham Mitchell                    
  • Gerhard Gustav Woithe                     
  • Jessie Midgley
  • Kyle Harper Erwin (top master's student)
  • Lourens Bester (top master's student)


  • Franco Rheeder (boxing)
  • Clayton Saker (hockey)
  • Stephanie Botha (hockey)
  • Anna Thornton-Dibb (RSA water polo)
  • Ross Stone (RSA water polo)
  • Bianca Augustyn (rugby)
Students' Representative Council (SRC) Award for Exceptional Achievement
  • Prof Eugene Cloete    

    Social impact
  • Marcel Lee Adams
  • Adam Venter
  • Abongile Quthu

     Academic resilience
  • Michè Snyders

  • Sebastian Foster
  • Vhudi Ravhutsi
  • Precious Nhamo
  • Estelle Hislop
  • Makabongwe Kaseke
  • Rinae Musekene
  • Susanna Hendrina du Plessis
  • Luigia Nicholas
  • Alysa-Abby Kekana
  • Karabo Mogashoa
  • Christo van der Bank
  • Thimna Sotyato


 Main picture: Khodani Sherrif Tshivhi (top master's student, Technology (Maths)​)

 Photographer: Stefan Els