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Vosloo couple invests in Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at SUhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6909Vosloo couple invests in Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at SUDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>​​​Ton Vosloo and Anet Pienaar-Vosloo, a couple with close ties to Stellenbosch University (SU), announced that from 2020 they will be sponsoring the Ton and Anet Vosloo Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at SU for five years.<br></p><p>In addition to the Chair, funds are made available for bursaries for deserving students studying Afrikaans at postgraduate level at SU.</p><p>According to the Vosloo couple, the Chair is aimed at further developing Afrikaans as an important instrument in the service of the entire South African community.</p><p>Until 2015, Vosloo was in the industry for 59 years as a journalist, editor, CEO and chairperson of Naspers, and for the past three years, professor of journalism at SU. Pienaar-Vosloo, also a former journalist, is filming the third television series <em>Mooi </em>for the VIA TV channel. She is a Matie who studied fine art, and is well known for her role as co-founder and director of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Aardklop and various other festivals across the country. She is also the first female chair of the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.</p><p>Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU, says the donation not only helps in maintaining Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, but also in promoting Afrikaans as a science and career language in a multilingual community. "As far as we know this is the first and only sponsored Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at any university," he adds.</p><p>Prof Ilse Feinauer of the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch in SU's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, has been appointed incumbent of this Chair. She has been teaching at the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch since 1982, and since 1996 has been involved in the postgraduate programme in translation, which has been expanded under her guidance from a postgraduate diploma in translation to a PhD in translation. She chaired the Department from 2005 to the end of 2008 and held the position of Vice Dean: Research of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 2015 to 2018. In 2013, Feinauer became the first woman to be promoted to professor of Afrikaans linguistics at SU, and in 2014, the Taiyuan University of Technology in Taiyuan, Shanxi (China), awarded her an honorary professorship in their Faculty of International Language and Culture.</p><p>“It is an incredible honour and privilege for me to be able to hold this Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice. All credit goes to Prof Wim de Villiers for laying the groundwork to make this Chair a reality in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch."</p><p>According to Prof Feinauer, bursaries have already been awarded to four honours students, three master's students, two PhD students and one postdoctoral fellowship in Afrikaans and Dutch for 2020. “This Chair provides the Department with the opportunity to empower postgraduate students in particular to do research in and about Afrikaans in order to pursue a professional career after completing their studies in and through Afrikaans," she added.</p><p>When Ton Vosloo was asked why he and his wife came forward with the support of Afrikaans, he replied: “In my memoirs <em>Across Boundaries: A life in the media in a time of change</em>, published last year, I wrote a chapter entitled, 'Afrikaans in decline'. I made the point in the chapter that I hope gracious individuals would come forward who were concerned with the A to Z of Afrikaans.</p><p>“Anet and I have the grace that we can help. Afrikaans, as Jan Rabie put it, is our oxygen. Now is the time to step in further to develop this incredible source of knowledge for the sake of our nation's future. "</p><p>The Vosloos have been esteemed SU donors for some time.<br></p>
Top Psychology student wins coveted Chancellor’s Medalhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6160Top Psychology student wins coveted Chancellor’s MedalSandra Mulder/Corporate Communications Division<p>Dr Xanthe Dawn Hunt (27) from Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, who received the coveted Chancellor's Medal​ at SU's seventh graduation ceremony on Thursday (13 December), is described by academic​​​ staff at Stellenbosch University (SU) as “an academic phenomenon" and the “very finest student we have had in many years." This description corresponds with the admiration from world leaders in the field of disability studies at a recent international disability conference in Europe, who described her as a “genius."<br></p><div><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/XantheHunt-3.jpg" alt="XantheHunt-3.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;width:400px;" /><span></span></div><p>​"I think it is very kind and generous. I have not seen myself as that way. I have seen myself as very hardworking and I always studies extremely hard," said Hunt shortly after the ceremony.<br></p><p>Hunt is the recipient of the coveted Chancellor's Medal that is awarded annually to a final year or postgraduate student who has not only excelled academically, but also contributed to campus life in various ways and worked hard at developing co-curricular attributes.​ At the same ceremony Hunt also received a PhD in Psychology. <br></p><p>She said the secret to her success is the fortunate position that she was in to have a lot of mentors, particularly towards the psychology side of my academic career.  "PhD's are always kind of the moment where you contribute something and first time in your career where you make something original, and it is build on the back of years and years of mentors, teachers and classes," she said.</p><p><br>With very little difficulty, Hunt already has some 30 academic publications to her name. This is more than many academics in Psychology have contributed in their entire careers, says Prof Awie Greeff, Chair of the Department of Psychology.<br></p><p>She is also the first Masters' student in the history of the Department whose degree was upgraded to a PhD.  <br></p><p>Another academic highlight was that during her PhD studies, she enrolled for a course in Biostatistics at Masters' level, despite not having completed Mathematics at matric level. Initially, the course convenor did not wish to admit her to the course for this reason, but later reluctantly agreed to accept her.  She completed the course <em>cum laude</em> and her results were the second best in the class.<br></p><p>"I didn't take maths at high school because it seemed not worth the push at that time. Stats are very visual. You use graphs and there is always a visual way of conceiving the statistic or theory behind it. And that kind of pulled me through if I can see what I was learning and if I could think of it in visual terms," she explained how she manages to pull her math through although she never had it before."​<br></p><p>Since  starting her studies at SU in 2010, Hunt won amongst others the SU Political Science Award for Excellence for Top Achieving First Year Student; the Department of English's Award for Excellence for Top Achieving First Year Student and the Rector's Award for Academic Excellence Top Faculty Achiever (on three occasions). She was also offered the prestigious Babette Taute English Scholarship.</p><p>Amazingly, Hunt passed <em>cum laude</em> in every single subject she took, with the exception of a single service module.  During the first five years of her studies, she achieved an average of 82.08%.</p><p>Her research spans disability studies, public health, monitoring and evaluation of early childhood interventions, and academic communication. She holds a Bachelor's degree in the Humanities, Honours degrees in Journalism and in Psychology, a Master's Degree in Biostatistics, and now a PhD in Psychology.<br></p><p>Hunt has worked with many members of the Department of Psychology over the course of her Honours, Master's and PhD degrees, primarily in the role of project assistant, but gradually formalising her role in the employ of one of the research units.<br></p><p>In her undergraduate years, Xanthe was part of her residence's <em>a cappella</em> choir and worked as a peer tutor both within her residence community and later beyond. She has also worked as a volunteer counsellor in community-based projects in the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek areas.</p><p>In addition to all her academic qualities, Hunt is exceptionally hard-working and a great team player.  Fellow students find her supportive, and she is very popular amongst the staff in her department.  She also regularly gives talks and lectures, and is an excellent communicator.<br></p><p>She has a contract for her PhD to be published as a book with Palgrave next year (2019).  She will present an exhibition from the PhD work at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre early in 2019.  </p><ul><li><strong>​Main photo</strong>: Dr Xanthe Hunt stands with the Rector, prof Wim de Villiers, who was in 1986 the first medical student at SU who received the Chancellor's Medal.<br></li><li><strong>Photo 1</strong>: Dr Xanthe Hunt receives the Chancellor's Medal<br></li><li><strong>Photographe</strong>r: Stefan Els​</li></ul>
Kayamandi learners tackle pollution in the Krom Riverhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6288Kayamandi learners tackle pollution in the Krom RiverWiida Fourie-Basson<p>​​More than 100 learners and their teachers from four schools in Kayamandi will participate in a clean-up initiative of the Krom River in Stellenbosch ahead of National Water Week, as well as adopting and beautifying a spot next to the river for children to play.<br></p><p>This is one of the first public initiatives of the <a href="/si/en-za/Pages/initiative.aspx?iid=1045">Kayamandi River Partnership</a> – a collaboration between the <a href="/english/entities/SUWI/Pages/default.aspx">Stellenbosch University Water Institute</a> and external stakeholders such as the <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6182">Stellenbosch River Collaborative</a>, the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation, the Stellenbosch Municipality's Department of Community Development and Security, and Kayamandi Schools. Other partners include SU's departments of Microbiology and Curriculum Studies. </p><p>Dr Leanne Seeliger, project leader based at SUWI, says previous attempts to address the pollution problems in the Krom and Plankenbrug rivers have been hampered by issues of sustainability and co-ordination among role players: “With this partnership, the aim is to develop a fund resourced by key stakeholders in water management in the area, to ensure continued water monitoring and water education."</p><p>The Plankenbrug river in Enkanini remains one of the most polluted rivers in Stellenbosch: “Initially we will focus on the Krom river as the initial site for awareness surveys and river clean ups, as the Plankenbrug river currently too polluted for learners to use," Seeliger explains.</p><p>With this initiative, the Kayamandi River Partnership hopes to build trust, restore community and rebuild civic responsibility through a shared understanding of ethics between the community and the municipality: “One of the greatest challenges facing most townships is water management. Many residents were previously excluded from crucial decision-making processes. If both the municipality and the community interrogate the principles at hand in water management in this area, then best practice, rather than minimal compliance could be achieved," she concludes.</p><p>Learners will also be monitoring the quality of the water, thereby contributing to their natural science's curriculum. Prof Chris Reddy from the Department of Curriculum Studies in the Faculty of Education will be showing the learners how to test the PH, nitrates and turbidity of the water using a toolkit from the <a href="https://www.iwrm.co.za/resource%20doc/od_diverse_docs/october_2008_updates/water_education_programme_2020_resource_booklet/2020_vfw_resources1.pdf">School Water Action Programme</a> (SWAP). Prof Wesaal Khan  from SU's Department of Microbiology will discuss the dangers of pollution.</p><p>The high point of the week is on Friday 15 March 2019, when learners will “adopt" and beautify a spot next to the Krom River.</p><p>The initiative has received generous sponsorship of refreshments for participating learners from local businesses, including Ten of Cups, Timberlea Farming Trust and Chill Beverages.</p><p>The initiative takes place ahead of <a href="http://www.un.org/en/events/waterday/">World Water Day</a> on 20 March, and South Africa's <a href="http://www.dwa.gov.za/default.aspx">National Water Week</a> from 18 to 24 March 2019.</p><p> <strong>Media enquiries</strong></p><p>Dr Leanne Seeliger</p><p>E-mail: <a href="mailto:seeliger@sun.ac.za">seeliger@sun.ac.za</a></p><p>Cell: 072 203 2113<br></p><p><em>On the photos above, Learners from Kayamandi Primary School are taking samples to test the water quality of the Krom River in Stellenbosch, under guidance of the Stellenbosch Water Institute and Prof Chris Reddy from SU's Faculty of Education. Photos: Leanne Seeliger</em><br></p>
SU’s Extended Degree Programme provides comprehensive student supporthttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6911SU’s Extended Degree Programme provides comprehensive student supportAsiphe Nombewu /Corporate Communication<p>​​​​​​​​​Thanks to the Extended Degree Programme (EDP), the future is full of possibilities for students such as Axola Dlepu, a BA Social Dynamics student who gained access to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University (SU) through the programme.</p><p>This innovative programme was instituted at SU in 2008 to deal with systemic obstacles to equity and student success and to assist students with additional academic support.</p><p>Coordinator of the programme, Dr Anita Jonker, says the EDP's role is to redress past inequalities and transform higher education by responding to new realities and opportunities.</p><p>According to Jonker, the programme is open to students who are interested in studying towards a Bachelor's degree with an average of 60–64,9% in their National Senior Certificate (NSC). She added that the National Benchmark Test (NBT) results, students' socio-economic status, as well as availability of places, are taken into consideration in EDP admissions.</p><p>EDP and mainstream students obtain the same degrees after completion of their undergraduate studies. The only difference is that EDP students do their first year over two years. Over and above their mainstream subjects, EDP students take modules that prepare them better for their graduate studies, such as Texts in the Humanities, Information Skills and Introduction to the Humanities.</p><p>In the first-year Texts in the Humanities, the focus is on academic reading and writing, plagiarism and referencing, , rhetorical structure, , text-linguistic characteristics, critical thinking and argumentation. The lectures are presented in separate Afrikaans and English classes to provide optimal academic support in students' preferred medium of instruction.</p><p>In Introduction to the Humanities EDP students are introduced to four different subject-fields, with a specific focus on multilingual technical concepts that provide a foundation for other subject fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences. All the terminology and lecture notes are available in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa and interpreters give students the opportunity to participate in lectures in their mother-tongues.</p><p>Students who speak Afrikaans, Kaaps and other related language varieties have a tutor, Jocelyn Solomons, who facilitates the tutorial discussions in these language varieties, and those who speak English and, inter alia, isiXhosa, have a tutor, Busiswa Sobahle, who facilitates the tut discussions in English and isiXhosa.</p><p>Extensive extra-curricular support is integrated into the academic offering to enhance student success. This includes the EDP mentor programme, which has received co-curriculum recognition and which is coordinated by Ms Shona Lombard. Here senior EDP students mentor first-year students with similar BA programmes and help them to adjust to the new challenges of university life.</p><p>Expressing his gratitude for being chosen to be part of the programme, Dlepu said, “The EDP programme has helped me a lot with academic support alongside being mentored. It made my life a lot easier than that of a mainstream first-year student."</p><p>The 20-year-old from Saldanah Bay encouraged other students in the EDP to use the programme to shine.</p><p>He said the EDP modules gave students a broader worldview and taught them how to engage with multilingual students from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.</p><p>Bavani Naicker, a 20-year-old BA Social Dynamics student from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) described the EDP as a comprehensive support system. She said they were given foundational knowledge to assist them in their studies.</p><p>“My highlight of the course was when we visited Parliament and interacted with representatives of the different political parties," she said.</p><p>Chloe Krieger, a BA International Studies student from Cape Town, said if it were not for EDP, she would have dropped out in her first year. “The EDP taught us crucial literacy and life skills that the basic education system failed to teach the majority of students."</p><p>Krieger said that the EDP helped her to develop an awareness about critical issues that she would not otherwise have been aware of. “I was also inspired to be an activist and to be an agent for change. I am currently serving on the 2019/2020 SRC and I am learning so much about issues that marginalised groups on campus face that many people overlook," she said.</p><p>Students who have provisionally been admitted to the EDP and their parents/guardians are invited to the first meeting with EDP lecturers and mentors on Friday, 24 January 2020 from 09:30 to 12:00 in Room 3001 of the Wilcocks Building at 52 Ryneveld Street.</p><p>Prospective students who want to read more about the EDP, can consult the EDP website at <a href="/english/faculty/arts/edp/home">http://www.sun.ac.za/english/faculty/arts/edp/home</a><br><br></p>
Students design concept packaging for Politics of Nature™ board gamehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7193Students design concept packaging for Politics of Nature™ board gameMedia & Communication, Faculty of Science<p>A Danish PhD student's project to encapsulate the ideas of the French philosopher Bruno Latour  in a board game, have kept the third-year Visual Communication and Design students at Stellenbosch University up until the wee hours of the night recently.<br></p><p>They had to come up with concept packaging ideas for the <a href="http://www.politicsofnature.org/">Politics of Nature (PoN) board game</a> – a serious table top game that is being used to explore new ways of democracy whilst at the same time addressing urgent societal and environmental challenges. </p><p>The board game was originally conceived by Jakob Raffn and his collaborator, Frederik Lassen. Jakob is currently a PhD student in agricultural systems and sustainability at Aarhus University, Denmark. The aim of PoN is to explore how Latour's political philosophy, <a href="https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674013476&content=reviews">the Politics of Nature</a>, could work in practice.</p><p>According to Jakob, it was Cape Town's water crises in 2018 that led him to collaborate with Dr Charon Büchner-Marais at the Stellenbosch University Water Institute (SUWI), and co-founder of the Stellenbosch River Collaborative.</p><p>“I hoped that the crises would give me an opportunity to experiment with this new take on governance," Jacob explains.</p><p>This led to another collaboration with Corbin Raymond, a lecturer in the Visual Arts Department. In March 2019, under the auspices of SUWI and supervised by Corbin, visual arts student Nadia Stroh designed a local version of the Politics of Nature game to be played by stakeholders in the Eerste River catchment.</p><p>This year, Corbin and Jakob again worked with the third year students to design concept packaging for the game. This included briefing sessions, physically playing the game themselves, and individual discussion and feedback sessions.</p><p>Jakob says these interactions are part of his project of “making science matter": “There are people who cannot imagine a different world. In this game, we are combining a myriad of disciplines to provide people with the tools to start imagining and building a new common world. We cannot do it with the current governance tools at our disposal."</p><p>According to Corbin, the design project has given students a valuable opportunity to interact directly with Jacob, and to work with him to come up with design ideas for a real-world product.<br></p><p><br></p>
Never too old: 2nd doctorate for Prof Leslie Swartzhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7930Never too old: 2nd doctorate for Prof Leslie SwartzCorporate Communication & Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie & Bemarking [Alec Basson]<p>Obtaining a doctoral degree is a remarkable achievement. But to be awarded a second one is quite something special. This is exactly what Prof Leslie Swartz, a distinguished Professor of Psychology at Stellenbosch University (SU), accomplished when he received another PhD, this time in English Studies, on Monday 14 December 2020 during SU's December graduation week, exactly thirty years after obtaining his first PhD. <br></p><p>At the same ceremony, one of Swartz's students, Maura Lappeman, also obtained a doctorate. A second doctoral student, Hildah Oburu, who missed her graduation in April due to COVID-19, was also present to accept her certificate. They are among the more than 40 doctoral candidates that he has supervised over the years.<br></p><p>Swartz has already scooped numerous prestigious awards for his outstanding contributions to the fields of mental health and disability studies. He says that his second PhD shows that nobody is too old or too well qualified to learn more and to grow academically, and that through life, everybody can benefit from the help and care from others (in this case, his supervisors).<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/how-i-lost-my-mother_05b%20(002).jpg" alt="how-i-lost-my-mother_05b (002).jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:246px;height:369px;" /><br></p><p>Much of Swartz's work in mental health and disability studies focusses on issues of care. His doctorate comprises a memoir, <em>How I Lost My Mother</em>, which discusses care issues in an accessible and entertaining way, and a reflective essay on the memoir and process of writing. “Care is central to how society is organised and especially relevant to an ageing society and one affected by a pandemic," says Swartz. “Despite this, care is often made invisible or not spoken about, hence the need for a book like this," he adds.<br></p><p>The memoir is a story of an emotionally complex relationship between mother and son, and of the struggles we all face in negotiating our way between closeness and distance, tenderness, anger and retribution. The book uses humour and story-telling to discuss issues which may otherwise not be palatable to a wide range of readers.<br></p><p>“Many privileged people throughout the world live their lives, and go through the process of dying, supported by vulnerable and poorly-paid people (usually women of colour), and the book discusses the politics of this reality," says Swartz. “There is no other text I know of which deals as directly with the intertwining of emotional intimacy and exploitation of care workers in the context of debility and dying."<br></p><p>According to his supervisors from SU's English Department, Prof Shaun Viljoen and Prof Louise Green, the memoir emphasises how personal narratives can help us communicate complex social concerns. <br></p><p>Swartz says he hopes that by engaging in an emotional journey through personal and social history, readers will make up their own minds about how they feel about the issues he raises.<br></p><p><em>How I Lost My Mother</em> is his second memoir, after <em>Able-Bodied: Scenes from a Curious Life</em> (2010) that chronicles his relationship with his disabled father, and introduces readers to key concepts in disability studies. <em>How I Lost My Mother</em> is due to be published by Wits University Press in March 2021.​<br></p><p><br></p>
SU lecturer wins prestigious international literary prize http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7933SU lecturer wins prestigious international literary prize Corporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking [Rozanne Engel]<p>​​​Dr Alfred Schaffer, a lecturer at Stellenbosch University (SU), recently became the youngest recipient of the PC Hooft prize, the most prestigious Dutch literary award, when he was announced the 2021 laureate.​</p><p>Schaffer, who is known as one of the most talented Dutch poets of his generation, received the prize for his poetry oeuvre.​</p><p>“The prize is a huge, huge honour and recognition, as well as something that feels totally unreal. It is the highest accolade one can receive as a writer, poet, or essayist in the Netherlands," says Schaffer.<br></p><p>The prize, which is named after the 17<sup>th</sup> century Dutch poet Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, is awarded alternately each year to a Dutch writer of narrative prose, contemplative prose and poetry. The PC Hooft Prize is worth 60,000 euros, and will be awarded in May 2021.</p><p>Over the years, Schaffer has published numerous poetry and prose collections. These include <em>Zijn opkomst in de voorstad</em> (His Rise in the Suburbs; 2000); <em>Dwaalgasten</em> (Vagrants; 2002), which was nominated for the prestigious VSB poetry prize; <em>Geen hand voor ogen</em> (No Hands Before Your Eyes), <em>Schuim </em>(Foam; 2006); and <em>Kooi</em> (Cage; 2008). ​ Over the years, his work has also been translated into Afrikaans, English, French, German, Macedonian, Turkish, Indonesian and Swedish.​<br></p><p>He has also received the prestigious Jo Peters poetry prize, Hugues C Pernath prize, the Ida Gerhardt poetry prize and the Jan Campert prize for his work. <br></p><p>According to Schaffer, writing poetry means he has “absolute freedom" to express himself and sees it as a way to “creatively understand the world" around him.<br></p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Alfred%20Schaffer.jpg" alt="Alfred Schaffer.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:300px;" /><br></p><p>“I am triggered by language, like every writer, but what inspires me as well, is the fact that there are so many things that I do not understand until I have creatively written about it. To write a poem is so wonderful because I do not know what the result will be. Poetry has no hypothesis, like life," says Schaffer.</p><p>Schaffer grew up in The Hague, Netherlands - the son of an Aruban mother and a Dutch father. ​​He studied Dutch Language and Literature, as well as Film and Theater Sciences in Leiden, Netherlands. In 1996, he moved to Cape Town to continue his postgraduate studies at the University of Cape Town. </p><p>He returned to the Netherlands in 2005 where he worked as an editor in Dutch publishing before moving back to South Africa in 2011. He currently works as a lecturer in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch at SU.</p><p>Apart from producing his own poetry and prose, Schaffer has also made an important contribution to South African literature over the years by bringing local poetry to a broader audience through the translation into Dutch of, amongst other, Antjie Krog, Ronelda Kamfer and Koleka Putuma's work.</p><p>“Translation is everything. So many South African poets tell urgent stories of an intense life, right in the middle of the big issues of our time: migration, neo-colonialism, racism, guilt. I hope that readers see that there are many different stories, experiences and perspectives out there, formulated in wonderful and confronting poetry," says Schaffer.<br></p><p>Apart from his lecturing duties at SU, Schaffer is also currently working together with fellow academics in Belgium and the Netherlands on a book about lyrical activism and he is busy with the Dutch translation of <span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11pt;line-height:107%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;">Kamfer’s latest volume of poetry<em>, </em></span><em></em><em>Chinatown</em>.<br></p><p>The last time someone with a strong South African connection won the PC Hooft prize was in 1991 when it w​as awarded to Elisabeth Eybers for her oeuvre of Afrikaans poetry. ​<br></p>
Arts alumnus’ illustrations gives South African take on traditional Bible storieshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3461Arts alumnus’ illustrations gives South African take on traditional Bible storiesLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p>​<em style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;">​Marie Prinsloo (photo), an alumnus of the Visual Arts Department, recently illustrated her first children's book, a children's Bible named </em><span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;">Bible Stories for Children,</span><em style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;"> which was narrated by Wendy Maartens and published by Random House/Struik. Lynne Rippenaar-Moses spoke to her about how she got involved in this project and the road she walked from Stellenbosch University graduate to full-time artist, exhibiting in various galleries across the Western Cape.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>Question: You've just illustrated your first children's book, a children's Bible by Wendy Maartens that was published by Random House/Struik. How did you access this great opportunity and how does it feel like to have your first illustrated book on shop shelves?</em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Answer:</strong> Wendy Maartens and I had a great conversation during her interview with me for <em>Lig </em>magazine – I think it was two years ago. We just clicked and kept in touch. They were looking for a new flavour for the illustrations for her children's Bible, and she recommended me. Apparently, the powers that be liked the way I use colour and texture. Of course it was super exciting to get the project.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">What made the experience even better was that Wendy was closely involved with the illustrations. For instance, she gave me a list of flowers, plants and animals she wanted to have in the illustrations. She had lovely morning glories in front of her window, for example, and another time she was surrounded by red poppies. Another week, pelicans caught her eye, then sugarbirds and cosmos. This helped to make the book a very personal project.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>Q: What did you study at Stellenbosch University and why did you decide to follow that specific degree programme above all other programmes offered here?</em></strong></p><p>I chose the painting side of the degree because I love painting and drawing. I'm not very fond of computers, so that cancelled out graphic design, and I am also not meticulous enough for jewellery design. So, painting was the only one left.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>Q: Did this degree in anyway prepare you for your current career and if it did, could you tell us how? </em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The course did not fully prepare me for what I do today. For instance, we were not taught at all how to market our art and that sort of thing. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">What I can say, is that Paul Emsley is a brilliant lecturer and artist, and I learned a lot during the three years of attending his drawing classes. He gave practical advice and his work is outstanding.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">There was also a lithography lecturer, Lyne, who was also a children's book illustrator. One day she brought the pre-sketches for a book to class and showed us the layout. It made a big impression on me.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>Q: Tell us more about the book itself – for example, what makes it different from other children's Bibles on bookstore shelves? </em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This Bible is different from other children's Bibles, as there is a lot of humour and freedom in the text. It has a light approach and is more contemporary. In the story of the Samaritan, for example, a gang of hooligans jump on him from behind a bush and the Samaritan then takes him to a guesthouse.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">We also purposefully used authentic South African symbols in the illustrations. Proteas, heather, meerkats, pincushions and sugarbirds, that kind of thing. Also, in Noah's story, I showed the ark drifting with Table Mountain under the water.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>Q. Many students at times become disillusioned after completing a BA degree as the public perception is often that any qualified artist will end up struggling to make ends meet anyway. What has your own experience been like and what kind of advice would you give to students studying towards a BA Visual Arts degree today? </em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Yes, you definitely need a day job if you want to survive as an artist. A day job relieves the pressure and gives you the freedom to express yourself, without continuously making things you hope would sell. Then you paint from the heart, with passion, and that is wonderful. I paint full-time and exhibit my work at various galleries. I also present art classes and in-between I do illustrations for books and websites.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Your marketing should be done the right way from the start. I was not aware of these things, such as marketing yourself, and I did all sorts of other things along the way. All of this has an influence on one's art, but in the past students were not really prepared for surviving with their degree. I'm sure it is different now.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">It is also wise to do a marketing course with your art qualification. It totally goes against one's nature as an artist, but you cannot simply sit back and paint and hope people will fall over their feet to buy your art. It entails hard work and tough marketing, and growing a thick skin and doing admin. A lot of admin! You should see it as a business and get your art to the right market. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Bible is available at most large bookshops and sells at R155. It is published by Penguin Random House. Locally it can be bought online through Exclusive Books (<a href="http://www.exclusives.co.za/">www.exclusives.co.za</a>) and internationally through Takealot.</p><p>To read more about Marie, visit <a href="http://www.marieprinsloo.co.za/">www.marieprinsloo.co.za</a>. </p><p><strong>CONTACT US</strong></p><p>Alumni from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences make a huge impact in various sph eres of South African society and the world. We  enjoy celebrating your achievements and hearing about the paths you have taken since leaving our institution.</p><p>So, if you know of any alumni or if you are an alumnus who has recently excelled, please send a short para graph explaining the alumnus/your achievement as well as the contact details of that alumnus/yourself to our Communications and PR Officer, <a href="mailto:lynnr@sun.ac.za">Ms Lynne Rippenaar-Moses</a>. <span style="line-height:1.6;">We will feature a short Q and A with one of our alumni each month.</span></p>
SU academics visits Malawi to host writing workshophttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4480SU academics visits Malawi to host writing workshopCorporate Marketing/Korporatiewe Bemarking<p>​There is a commonly-cited adage in academia, "publish or perish". Although an exaggeration, the phrase encapsulates a reality of contemporary research: publishing one's research – particularly in journals – is a cornerstone of a successful career. Further, as money, time, and effort go into conducting research, it is the responsibility of the academic to ensure that as many people as possible find out about what this work reveals.</p><p>Being published, however, is easier said than done: writers' block, submission deadlines, and challenging peer-reviews are but a few of the hurdles which lead papers-in-the-making to falter and fade away. In countries only recently beginning to contribute to the international academy, the ill-effects of these barriers are amplified. To ensure that global Southern views and news can enter the global academic space, there is an urgent need to cultivate understanding around publishing on the continent. </p><p>This October, Professor Leslie Swartz of the Psychology Department, and Masters student Xanthe Hunt, visited Zomba, Malawi, to address just such a need.  The visit was funded partly by the Doctoral Capacity Development Programme at the African Doctoral Academy (ADA) at Stellenbosch University International, and was conducted under the auspices of the partnership agreement between Stellenbosch University and University of Malawi</p><p>A two-and-a-half day writing workshop was convened by Swartz, in collaboration with Professor Blessings Chinsinga of the Centre for Social Research at University of Malawi, and Professor Alister Munthali, and was attended by 14 academics from various departments at the University of Malawi. The group consisted of early career researchers, as well as seasoned academics, and had representatives from numerous fields, including political science, theology, library and information sciences, and anthropology.  Prof Chiwoza Bandawe, outgoing editor of the Malawi Medical Journal, and former Head of the Department of Mental Health at University of Malawi was also in attendance on the final day.</p><p>The first day saw Swartz, who is on the editorial board of a number of prominent academic publications and is the editor in chief of the African Journal of Disability, introduce the group to the principles and purpose of academic publishing. This was followed by an interactive afternoon session, during which Swartz and Hunt worked with the attendees on their own.</p><p>Swartz, who has been conducting such trainings in South Africa and other African countries for some years highlighted the importance of working with attendees on their own manuscripts during such trainings.  </p><p>"The best learning in this context comes from engagement with the actual experience of writing and especially in dealing with reviewer comments, which are often phrased in dismissive and unflattering terms.  Sharing struggles around writing, using actual examples, helps to minimize anxiety and avoidance of the process," explained Swartz.  </p><p>Swartz also noted that emphasizing interaction – and asking attendees to determine their own priorities for writing workshops – ensures that the sessions are relevant, and make the most of the time available. </p><p>In line with this, the second day involved a presentation by Hunt on the mechanics of writing a manuscript, which was followed by a feedback session from the group. They requested that the remaining time be allocated to a "crash course" on thematic analysis (TA). TA is widely employed in the social sciences as a qualitative research methodology, and involves analysing textual data (words from research subjects, in the form of interview transcripts, for instance). The course then concluded on the third day with a research methods session by Hunt, who is currently employing TA within her thesis. </p><p>Research methods are the building blocks from which good research is built; good writing puts polish on the finished product, and helps to ensure its dissemination. </p><p>"In the future, it will be important for workshops such as this one to incorporate day-long sessions on every step of the research process, <em>as well as</em> the presentation process," said Hunt, adding that short workshops are important in order to stimulate discussion around priority areas for future workshops. </p><p>The Malawian contingent have expressed their interest in a second, more detailed workshop, and Swartz says that he is optimistic about the prospect of piloting such an expanded agenda in Malawi.</p><p>"The quality of the research being conducted here is high," he concluded, "and I look forward to a continued collaboration with this engaged and engaging group."</p>
Interventions in adolescence can boost gains from early childhoodhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5916Interventions in adolescence can boost gains from early childhoodProf Mark Tomlinson<p>​​Top-up interventions during adolescence can enhance the long-term benefits of interventions delivered in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, writes Prof Mark Tomlinso​n from the Department of Psychology in an article published recently by <a href="https://apolitical.co/solution_article/gains-from-early-childhood-intervention-can-be-lost-could-teen-top-ups-help/"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>Apolitical</strong></span></a>.<br></p><ul><li><p>Read the complete article below<br></p></li></ul><p>Children living in conditions of adversity are <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2816%2931389-7/abstract"><strong>at considerable risk</strong></a> of poor physical and emotional health, violence, educational failure, and more broadly of not meeting their developmental potential.</p><p>The past half-century has seen an exponential <a href="https://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319448435"><strong>increase in our understanding</strong></a> of how experiences in the very early years of life are foundational for brain development. The concept of the “first 1000 days" (from conception to the end of the second year) describes the time of life <a href="https://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319448435"><strong>when the brain develops most rapidl</strong>y</a>, and where caregiver stimulation and affection “sculpt" the brain, forming experience-dependant neuronal connections.</p><p>The first 1,000 days narrative has been an advocacy godsend, instrumental in shaping and garnering support for many global initiatives in early child development.<br></p><p>We now know a lot about how to deliver interventions that <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/338/bmj.b974"><strong>improve moth</strong></a><a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/338/bmj.b974"><strong>e</strong></a><a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/338/bmj.b974"><strong>r-infant interaction</strong></a> and infant attachment, <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2814%2960455-4/abstract?code=lancet-site"><strong>enhance child cognitive development</strong></a> and contribute to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15374416.2016.1169537?journalCode=hcap20"><strong>improved peer relationships</strong></a> — in ways that are highly <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24675955"><strong>cost effective</strong></a>. There is also some compelling evidence of the long-term benefits of interventions delivered in the first 1,000 days, such as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24876490"><strong>improved wage earnings</strong></a> in adulthood.</p><p>However, these findings, coupled with the success of the first 1,000 days narrative, risk leading to assumptions that early intervention is not just necessary, but also sufficient to ensure lifetime benefits.</p><p><strong>No silver bullet</strong></p><p>The evidence, however, is not as unequivocal as <a href="https://heckmanequation.org/resource/no-fadeout-lasting-effects/"><strong>some have argued</strong></a>. Much of it comes from studies with small sample sizes. Studies conducted in the US may not apply to contexts characterised by extreme poverty and persistent adversity over the life-course.</p><p>And<strong> </strong><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22178817"><strong>recent research</strong></a> has shown how brain development continues into adolescence and even early adulthood. In contexts of chronic adversity, early gains may subsequently <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5779101/"><strong>fade out</strong></a> — a phenomenon there is growing <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366%2815%2900109-1/abstract"><strong>evidence</strong></a> for. In these contexts, it is unlikely early interventions will be sufficient to significantly improve developmental trajectories across an entire life. Top-up interventions during adolescence may be key.</p><p>What we don't know currently is how to ensure that early gains can be built upon and reinforced to ensure they do not fade out over time. We also know little about how early gains might be able to be bolstered by later interventions, providing additive benefits that a single intervention (whether early or late) might not be able to achieve.<br></p><p>When intervening with children living in multi-risk environments, top-up interventions at critical points in life may be necessary to maintain or enhance initial gains and to resurrect lost benefits. An example might be a school-based group problem-solving intervention to prevent adolescent mental disorders; it could build on an intervention in the first thousand days aimed at improving early mother-child attachment.</p><p><strong>Teen top-up</strong></p><p>Our team from the Institute for Child and Adolescent Health Research at Stellenbosch University in South Africa are currently evaluating, using a randomised control trial, the effect of one such second-wave intervention, targeting a cohort of adolescents who had participated as infants, along with their mothers, in a home-based early intervention delivered by community health workers.</p><p>In the initial first 1000 days intervention, community health workers were trained to visit pregnant women and then the mother and her child across the first six months of the infant's life. The intervention aimed to improve mother-infant interaction, focusing on key aspects like sensitivity, non-intrusiveness, engagement and turn-taking.</p><p>In the additive adolescent intervention, we are focussing on building problem-solving skills and peer relationships to reduce interpersonal violence and promote adolescent mental health.</p><p>Beyond these desired outcomes, we are also examining a range of questions around what is needed to optimise child and adolescent development across the life-course.</p><ol style="list-style-type:decimal;"><li>For those mothers and adolescents whose early benefits have faded out, does receiving the adolescent intervention resurrect the early benefits?</li><li>Where benefits have persisted, does receiving the adolescent intervention provide a further boost?</li><li>Could only receiving the adolescent intervention (for teens who did not receive an intervention as infants) provide unique benefits?</li></ol><p>This study could answer <a href="http://cdn.americasedge.org/clips/MCSmith-Policy-Review-Early-Ed-Fall-2009.pdf"><strong>important questions</strong></a> about how waves of interventions at critical developmental phases may be of greater benefit than single one-off interventions.</p><p>Policy makers and governments caught in the “early intervention is sufficient" narrative may be inadvertently missing later opportunities to build on early gains, resurrect early benefits that may have faded out and, even more importantly, to potentially enhance the benefits of early stand-alone single interventions. —<em>Mark Tomlinson</em></p><p> </p><p><br> </p>