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Innovus wins DSI-SARIMA award for organisational excellence in innovation managementhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8743Innovus wins DSI-SARIMA award for organisational excellence in innovation managementPetro Mostert<p>​Stellenbosch University's Technology Transfer Office Innovus (TTO) has won the DSI-SARIMA Award for Organisational Excellence in Innovation Management. These awards were initiated in 2014 to celebrate excellence in research and innovation management in Southern Africa, and to encourage growth and achievement in the field. The 2021 award considers excellence and achievements in the previous year, 2020.<br></p><p>Anita Nel, Chief Director Innovation and Business Development, says she is incredibly proud of the team for this exceptional achievement. "Working in this creative space with the best team in the world is a dream come true. I cannot ask for a better team."<br></p><p>The Innovus TTO is managed by Dr Madelein ​Kleyn, Director Technology Transfer.  The team manages the intellectual property (IP) portfolio of SU and is responsible for commercialising innovation emanating from the university through research efforts by licensing and/or creating spin-out companies. Innovus also supports the University's Research Development Office with research agreements containing commercialisation clauses.</p><p>Nel said that despite not having a single person in the office for more than nine months in 2020, Innovus TTO established no less than five new technology spin-out companies and raised funding from various funders for seven companies in their group. The TTO was the initiator and driver behind the University Technology Fund (bigger than R200 million), established on 31 January 2020 and is the first local fund focusing only on investing in any South African university's technology.  Innovus TTO concluded fourteen licenses during 2020, and, as usual, five team members (Anita Nel, Madelein Kleyn, Nolene Singh, Camile de Villiers and Thandi Maretlane) presented papers or posters at SARIMA, sharing their expertise on technology transfer and innovation commercialisation with the broader community.</p><p>"Over the past decade, SU has produced more Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent applications than any other public or private local entity. Innovus TTO has also set up the SU LaunchLab business incubator to provide further support to the SU Group of Companies (29 companies)" says Nel.</p><p>The Innovus TTO team is the only TTO in the African Continent that prides itself with five Internationally recognised registered Technology Transfer Professionals (RTTP): Anita Nel, Madelein Kleyn, Nolene Singh, Joubert de Wet and Doris Peters.</p><p>Nel serves on the RTTP review panel, a sub-committee of the global Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals (ATTP) - an alliance of the major international knowledge and technology transfer associations, including SARIMA.  Nel often presents papers on university start-ups at conferences and webinars.<br></p><p>In 2020 and 2021, Dr Kleyn received a Service Recognition and Leadership Award from the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) for her valuable contribution to the licensing profession.  She is also the chairperson of the LESI Patent and Technology Licensing Committee and Vice-Chair of their Awards Committee.  Furthermore, she was re-elected as IAM Strategy 300 (the world's leading IP strategist), having been elected for this recognition since 2016 and has been appointed Vice-President for LESI for 2022/3.</p><p>​<br></p>
Rector's Award recipient serves to help others excelhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8706Rector's Award recipient serves to help others excelCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>​Grace Mngadi's passion for leadership was recently recognised when she was awarded a Rector's Award for Excellence.<br></p><p>She is one of the 82 recipients of this year's annual <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8661">Rector's Award for Excellent Achievement</a>, which recognises students for their achievements in the respective fields of academics, sports, leadership, social impact, culture and service provision. Mngadi received an award in the leadership category.</p><p>Durban-born and Gauteng-bred Mngadi elaborates that student leadership can be extremely taxing. "Students do not know of all the work that a leadership position entails. Sometimes leaders also feel uncertain about whether they are on the right track or not. An external affirmation like the Rector's Award is great in alleviating that pressure," she says. </p><p>Since 2019, Mngadi held various leadership positions at Stellenbosch University (SU). This included Deputy Speaker Internal of Student Parliament; House Committee member of Minerva; chairperson of the University of Stellenbosch Debating Union (two terms); Secretary General of SU Society of Theatrical Arts; Students' Representative Council (SRC)'s manager of the portfolio of Women and Queer Empowerment; and head of student relations of the BA Student Committee. She is also an active member of the Anti-GBV Movement at SU.</p><p>​"For me, leadership means service – serving the community so that everyone around me can excel. That drives me. Secondly, work ethic. I have never signed up for anything that I was not willing to put 110% into. It took a lot of sacrifices to see these positions through, but it was worth it," she says.<br></p><p>Mngadi paid tribute to the “amazing people and teammates" she has worked with at SU. "I would not have achieved what I did if it was not for my teammates. I am honoured to have served with such amazing people," she says. </p><p><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8661">Click here</a> to read more about the Rector's Awards and recipients. </p><p><em>*A total of 82 top Stellenbosch University (SU) students were recently honoured with Rector's Awards for excellence in academics, leadership, social impact, culture, sport and service provision. During the next few weeks, we will feature some of the winners.</em></p><p><br></p><p> <br></p><p><br></p>
City of Joburg CIO Dr Jairam-Owthar is new IT head at Stellenbosch Universityhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8701City of Joburg CIO Dr Jairam-Owthar is new IT head at Stellenbosch UniversityPetro Mostert<p>​<span style="text-align:justify;">​She is only 39 years old, yet Dr Denisha Jairam-Owthar has achieved more in her career than most can dream of. Her resumé takes you through her academic and professional journey. Throughout there are awards of excellence or outstanding achievements popping up: academic colours in matric, a cum laude MBA-degree and best student in technology management, becoming the youngest person to receive a Doctor of Leadership in Unisa's Graduate School of Business Leadership history, chosen as the most successful and innovative progressor in SARS, director on various boards, mentor to interns and young black woman in the ICT sector, author of </span><span style="text-align:justify;">many researched and academic papers, best CIO in Public sector in 2020, and the list continues.</span></p><p><span style="text-align:justify;">Jairam-Owthar will soon exchange a very hot seat as Chief Information Officer at the City of Johannesburg, for another (hot enough) in the ICT building at Stellenbosch University. And, to add another "first" to her resumé, she will be the first-ever women Chief Director: Information Technology Division in the history of SU.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">For the past few years she was one of the major drivers behind a dramatic IT transformation at the City of Johannesburg.  Under her leadership, IT transformed from a support function to becoming the strategic kingpin of the city. She joined the city at a time when payslips were still being printed for the huge staff component of around 35 000 people.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"I work in a demanding but fantastic space. I believe my current role has moulded me and taught me a lot. It prepared me for what I see as my new role: to enable education through technology at SU. I believe IT is a critical enabler in the transformation of education. I will bring all my learnings along."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">She says we live in times where digital enablement is the only way some organisations can continue. "I feel I am entering SU in a very prime time on its journey. We will have to take this excursion step-by-step, determining our stakeholders' needs carefully along the way because we are now playing in the space for online learning and teaching and have to provide for digital enablement for research-intensiveness. How will IT enable this? How will we connect a PhD student with an expert any place in the world in real-time?"</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Jairam-Owthar says being this young in IT has a lot of advantages. "I have been deliberate about my journey so far and ensured that I keep up to date in the field. I know what is happening in our industry, and I understand how to bring things together for IT. Even more so, to bring that value to the organisation. It needs to be real, it needs to be felt, it needs to be relevant for SU's needs," says Jairam-Owthar, who loves the unpredictable. "I can walk into my office, and the day can turn on its head, and I like that. The unpredictable tests you on every facet that makes you who you are."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">For her, the academic space is not a new field. As a mentor for many Masters and PhD students and writing regular research and academic papers, she kept her passion for the academic world alive. Although the decision to come to SU, was not easy, Jairam-Owthar says her heart has always been in education. "This is real heart work: my purpose. I am excited to think about the power digital can bring to education and, with my skills, to bring those forward."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">She started her journey doing administrative work in New York and London as she needed money to pay for her tertiary education. She completed a BCompt Honours degree in Accounting Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and thereafter, while working, studied further, completing an MBA in Technology Management. After that she completed her DBL studies at Unisa over three years.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Her working career spans from the year 2007 where she started as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the South African Revenue Services. From SARS she moved to Barclays in December 2011 and thereafter joined the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) where she is the ICT Head of Shared Services.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Reading through a 13-page CV leaves you exhausted and in awe, but the moment you start speaking to her, her relaxed, calm, and comfortable conversation style makes you realise that you do not have to understand IT jargon to understand her. She knows what it means and will ensure that the results will speak for themselves.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">One cannot help but wonder how she keeps all the balls in the air with enough time to be a mother to her 4-year-old son, Sanchen. "I have a very, very, very supportive husband and mother," Jairam-Owthar says confidently. Her mum has always encouraged her to realise her 'inner strength' and 'true potential'.  Her husband of nine years and "greatest support", Sudhir Owthar, an electronic engineer, is also in the IT industry at one of South Africa's most innovative banks. "This makes for fascinating conversations around the dinner table," she remarks. "It is great to share our knowledge and learn together because this is such a fast-paced industry where you need to be up to speed with all the latest information the world of technology offers."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dubbed as a true millennial by some journalists, one thing is for sure: Jairam-Owthar is an achiever. Amongst her many accolades, being voted by the "World Women Leadership Congress" earlier this year as "South Africa's Women Leader" is for Jairam-Owthar one of her career highlights. "To be acknowledged like this was fantastic. I was delighted to know that I made such a difference in our country. But it does not stop there; I want SU to be the most digitally up-to-date university in the country, on our continent and in the world. I know I will have the support I need, so it is possible. I want other universities to say: 'Oh my goodness, how did they do that!'."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">And as much as she is looking forward to finding her new home in the Winelands and moving into her office on campus, so too is Prof Stan du Plessis, Chief Operating Officer of SU. "She is a dynamic leader and will be our driving force to take us into a future where words such as SmartCampus and digital learning space will become a reality. I look forward tremendously to working with her and am confident that she will take her team with her on the journey, exposing them to new learnings and mentoring and preparing the young to one day take the lead in the world of IT."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Jairam-Owthar will take her seat at IT from 1 January 2022.</p><p><br></p>
Maties chess master is proud of Rector's Awardhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8691Maties chess master is proud of Rector's AwardCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>​​​​Daniel Barrish began playing chess with his grandfather long before going to primary school. In Grade 1 he competed in his first national junior championship and won. Since then, chess has been an important part of his life.<br></p><p>His excellent performance in the sport was recently recognised at the Stellenbosch University (SU) Rector's Awards for Excellent Achievement. The awards recognise and celebrate students' achievements in academics, sports, leadership, social impact, culture and service provision. He was one of the 82 recipients of this year's Rector's Awards and received the award in the sports category for his achievements in chess, including winning the 2021 Western Cape Open Chess Championship, representing South Africa earlier this year at the African Individual Chess Championship in Malawi and at the 2021 FIDE (International Chess Federation) World Cup 2021 in Russia.</p><p>Receiving the award is a great honour, says Barrish, a final-year BCom (Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science) student at (SU) and member of the Maties Chess Club. </p><p>Competing comes naturally to Barrish, and he enjoys it. "I'm quite a competitive person, for better or worse."</p><p>He currently has his sights set on the Grand Master title, an accolade awarded to chess players of the highest class, especially those who have won an international tournament.</p><p>“My long-term goal is to become a Grand Master, but COVID, unfortunately, put a spanner in the works. To become a Grand Master, one needs to play in overseas tournaments, usually in Europe. This is quite time-consuming, expensive and difficult to arrange with COVID-19," he said. </p><p>Asked about his future plans after graduation in December, Barrish says he is weighing up two options.</p><p>One is to take six to 12 months off, work remotely, and play high-quality tournaments in Europe. The other option is to continue with his postgraduate studies and continue to experience the “great student life" at SU. “The quality of student life here is one of the main reasons I will recommend SU to friends and peers, and it's one of the main reasons I'm so reluctant to leave – so reluctant perhaps, that I'll stay on to do my Master's."</p><p><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8661"><strong>Click here</strong></a> to read more about the Rector's Awards and recipients. </p><p> <em>*A total of 82 top Stellenbosch University (SU) students were recently honoured with Rector's Awards for excellence in academics, leadership, social impact, culture, sport and service provision. During the next few weeks, we will feature some of the winners.</em><br></p><p> </p><p>​ </p><p>​<br></p>
Academic success celebratedhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8692Academic success celebratedDaniel Bugan<p>​​​​Faculty of Arts and Social Science student Zainab Khafif's dogged determination to make a success of her studies was rewarded with a 2021 Rector's Award of Excellent Achievement.<br></p><p>Khafif, one of many recipients of this annual award, was honoured in the academics category during a recent ceremony at Stellenbosch University. The awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of students in the areas of academics, sport, leadership, social impact, culture and service provision. </p><p>Khafif, who enrolled in a BA Language and Culture course in 2018, majoring in Psychology and General Linguistics and minoring in Sign Language Linguistics, said of the award: “Truth be told, I worked very hard and it feels gratifying that the University recognised that I worked so hard. It validates my whole undergraduate experience, perhaps more so than my actual degree certificate." </p><p>She attributes the 100% pass rate she received in her studies to a “terrifying fear of failure". </p><p>However, Khafif, who is currently doing her honours in General Linguistics, admits that her fear of failure has softened a bit and evolved to a pursuit of contentment. </p><p>“Failure now is not doing my best with the time I have. If my best is quantified below 75%, or 65%, or 55%, then so be it. Sometimes, other things in life are more important than studying. I wish I had realised this earlier." </p><p>This newfound relaxed approach to life is also evident in her future career plans which she hopes to pursue after she graduates at the end of this year.</p><p>“I am planning to teach English in South Korea next year. I reckon I'll spend a good few years teaching English in a number of countries. Being able to travel and experience different cultures is something I greatly value. One day, I'd like to open up a coffee shop. Perhaps I'll return to my studies much later on in life. Or maybe I won't. Who knows? The important thing is being content with life." </p><p>The Cape Town born student who now calls the seaside town of Hermanus home after moving there with her family when she was in high school, said growing up in a small-town environment had a huge impact on her growth and her values. </p><p>“My family is hardly well-off, so I started working part-time at a coffee shop in Grade 9 every weekend and holiday. I think being forced to learn about the value of money that you earn from your own hard work was an incredibly important lesson to learn early on in life. It has not only made me a money-conscious person (always a plus for a student), but it has also taught me the true value of hard work and my time. I suppose some of that must have rubbed off on my academics. Moving to Stellenbosch as an almost fully independent adult was also a major turning point in my life. Oftentimes I feel like my circumstances have matured me much quicker than perhaps needed, but I am who I am," she said proudly. </p><p><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8661"><strong>Click here</strong></a> to read more about the Rector's Awards and recipients. </p><p><em>*A total of 82 top Stellenbosch University (SU) students were recently honoured with Rector's Awards for excellence in academics, leadership, social impact, culture, sport and service provision. During the next few weeks, we will feature some of the winners.</em></p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>
Hard work pays off for Rector's award recipienthttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8693Hard work pays off for Rector's award recipientDaniel Bugan<p>​Stellenbosch University (SU) graduate and self-confessed mathematics junkie Mpendulo Cele recently walked away with a 2021 Rector's Award in the top Master's student category.<br></p><p>The annual Rector's Award of Excellent Achievement recognises and celebrates the achievements of students in the areas of academics, sport, leadership,<span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong> </strong></span>social impact, culture and service provision. Cele was one of many top achievers who received their awards on 7 October 2021.</p><p>“I am honoured to receive this award," said Cele, who graduated with a Master's degree in Mathematics. “The hard work that my supervisor, Dr Sophie Marques, and I put in has paid off."</p><p>Cele, who grew up in the care of his grandmother in Izonglweni, a rural area in the southern part of KwaZulu-Natal, has had a long walk with mathematics. His love for the subject started in high school, and he says at the time he was unsure as to what job opportunities he could pursue with a qualification in mathematics. However, Cele said he knew that the subject “would not be useless."</p><p>Following his passion for mathematics, he graduated with a BSc degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2017. He then completed a BScHons degree in Mathematics with a focus on number theory. Cele then decided to further pursue studies in the field of number theory.</p><p>“I contacted Dr Marques and asked if she could supervise me. She agreed and recommended that I register for my Master's at SU. What attracted me to the Stellenbosch Mathematics Division was that there were so many researchers with an interest in number theory whom I could learn from."</p><p>It was also Dr Marques who recommended that he should apply for the ALGANT scholarship − a competitive international programme in Algebra, Geometry and Number Theory − to strengthen his foundational knowledge in number theory.<br></p><p>“I would like to thank Dr Marques, SU's Mathematics Division and ALGANT for all the support and guidance they gave me," said Cele. <br></p><p>He said SU provided an excellent environment for him to study as well as opportunities to attend seminars, which allowed him to network with experts in different fields and share ideas. </p><p>Cele, the first in his family to graduate from university, has the following advice for students and prospective students: “It is critical to pursue a degree that you are passionate about as this makes one eager to learn more, even outside the classroom."</p><p>He is currently working as a software engineer and recently registered for a part-time PhD at SU.</p><p><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8661"><strong>Click here</strong></a> to read more about the Rector's Awards and recipients. </p><p><em>*A total of 82 top Stellenbosch University (SU) students were recently honoured with Rector's Awards for excellence in academics, leadership, social impact, culture, sport and service provision. During the next few weeks, we will feature some of the winners.</em></p>
Your behaviour can influence SU’s green built environmenthttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8668Your behaviour can influence SU’s green built environmentFacilities Management<p>​​Stellenbosch University works hard to change systems and processes on campus to more sustainable energy sources and reduce the impact on the environment. Environmental sustainablity principles guide new buildings, refurbishing and renovation projects, and planning new spaces for research, teaching, and interaction. But the best intentions, regulations and principles in the world will have no impact if we do not change our behaviour, says Nadeem Gafieldien, Director Property Services at Facilities Management.<br></p><p>“Students and staff may not always have the environment as top of mind in their daily engagement on campus. However, we must always be aware that where there are people, they will affect the local ecosystem in one way or another," says Gafieldien.</p><p>The efficient and safe operations of all buildings and spaces depends on the interactions of people in accordance with the design intent of that space Detail sustainability initiatives are incorporated in the design of buildings and spaces, which when operated correctly will facilitate optimisation of the buildings's environmental performance which will during its lifecycle will yield benefits to not only the occupants, but to the community by reducing the strain on the environment.</p><p>As part of FM's Environmental Sustainability team, Christine Groenewald is the driving force behind engaging our student and staff communities in projects that raise awareness around sustainability on campus. Her engagement sessions range from planting trees on identified spaces to involving students and staff in recycling projects.</p><p>Groenewald gave us ten ways to incorporate a bit of green-mindedness into our daily interaction with the built environment at our various campuses. Here is her food for thought:</p><ol><li>Coffee, that morning must-have, how do your drink it? In a disposable cup perhaps? Why not consider buying yourself a reusable cup (the Matie Shop has a few on special from time-to-time!). It might require of you to wash it every time, but soon there will even be a solution for this on campus, so watch this space. And while we on this topic, instead of buying yet another plastic bottle of water, consider buying yourself a nice reusable bottle as well.</li><li>Buy second-hand. The one thing that SU have a lot of is students and every year they come and they go. And every year the first-years buy new desks and the final years sell of throw away old desks. Consider reselling your furniture (there are some second-hand shops around or use Facebook marketplace). Instead of buying a brand-new desk, look around for some good quality second hand ones – it costs less and with a fresh coat of paint, anything can look good again. The same goes for your old books, kettle, toaster, other furniture and even your clothes.</li><li>Consider a minimalist lifestyle. While on the topic of getting rid of things, around the world people are becoming more minimalistic in their way of life. Less is more, is not just a saying. Why crowd your life with books you are never going to read (again) or clothes you never wear? You will be amazed how little you really need and you will feel a lot lighter and brighter too.</li><li>Go digital. If there is one thing we learned from the COVID-19  pandemic, is that we do not need printed books, notebooks and even posters any more. We were almost forced into a world where digital is the new norm. Think before your print a document or your bank statement. Make notes on your mobile or computer and where you are able to submit a project or dissertation digitally, do so. Reduced printing saves a lot of trees, water, energy and harmful ink.</li><li>Walk or cycle to work or class. If you are fortunate to stay close to campus, consider walking or cycling there. You might have to wake up a little bit earlier, but there might be some sustainable worms to catch along the way – less carbon emissions, less fuel, saving money, getting fit and who knows, a healthier and happier you! For people travelling by car prevent single use occupants per car. Be part of a lift club.</li><li>Keep the lights off. Rather open the blinds and let natural light show you the way. Opening the window for fresh air where possible and mechanically allowed, is much better than being stuck in a closed office with air-conditioning. Just let nature in! Heating of warm water is the second biggest consumer of electricity on campus. That is why FM replaced geysers with energy efficient heat pumps. So, showering for less time saves water and electricity.</li><li>Recycle. Like re-using that coffee cup, should you buy a take-out, make sure you recycle. On campus there are three very visible recycling waste bins where you can recycle almost everything – paper, plastic, and nowadays also e-waste. Look out for the big yellow bins on campus where you can recycle all your old chargers, leads, batteries and even mobile phones. These bins are currently at Admin A (IT Hub), Engineering, IT Department, Metanoia and die Neelsie.​</li><li>Do not waste food. Food waste is one of SU's biggest problems and every day lots of food is sent to the rubbish heap. Think before you dish up that extra spoonful of rice. Rather come for a second helping than to leave food on your plate. If you are not a big fruit eater, buy them loose instead of a whole pack of bananas that will go off easily. </li><li>Keep your eyes open. If you detect a water leak at your student house or residence building, please report it immediately to FM's service desk at (021) 808 4666 or <a href="mailto:fmhelpdesk@sun.ac.za">fmhelpdesk@sun.ac.za</a></li><li>Be green. Get involved in SU's sustainability projects. Contact your Green Ambassador in your residence or student community and make a difference for your campus, the town of Stellenbosch and the world.</li></ol><p>"We saw with the drought and the response to COVID that we can overcome all sorts of challenges by collaborating. We noticed that we were able to make decisions to the benefit of all. This is how we should deal with all future challenges because siloed, self-interest decision making is no longer an option. Let us all do our part and support SU's environmental sustainability goals and projects to make our campus greener," says Gafieldien.</p><p>He says the Environmental Sustainable  teamis currently rolling out a series of projects and engagements on campus that form part of SU's overall environmental sustainability strategy towards becoming a sustainable university. In using their division as a living laboratory, SU's Facilities Management has since 2015 been putting systems and processes in place to start paving the way for the University to become a smart campus where data-led decision-making will result in contributing solving problems and providing sustainable solutions for the future.​</p><p><br></p>
Rector's Awards celebrate student excellence through adversityhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8661Rector's Awards celebrate student excellence through adversitySue Segar<p>​​A total of 82 top Stellenbosch University (SU) students were recently honoured with Rector's Awards for excellence in academics, leadership, social impact, culture, sport and service provision.<br></p><p>The awards ceremony, which was hosted online, was aptly themed “Excellence through adversity – moving forward together", reflecting the challenges of the past year as the global pandemic continued to affect all sectors, including higher education. In his opening address, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers paid tribute to SU's students, all academic and non-academic staff as well as student leadership structures for having shown “real resilience in the face of adversity".</p><p>“In 2020, we were scrambling to find our feet in the new virtual and hybrid learning spaces, but, in many ways, 2021 was even more challenging," Prof De Villiers said. “During the third wave of COVID-19 infections, the realisation that this pandemic won't be a thing of the past any time soon had the potential to become physically and mentally draining. You've constantly had to adapt and stay agile, a trait we truly value at SU, and one that will stand you in good stead in the future. In the process, we have also realised that sharing moments of joy is more important than ever before, even if this must happen virtually, because no man is an island."</p><p>Prof Deresh Ramjugernath, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching, too commended students for having consistently maintained a high level of excellence through times of ongoing uncertainty and challenges. “Through unity and collaboration, we have achieved great success as an open, determined, understanding and curious community of learning. At the heart of our excellence is our togetherness in pursuit of knowledge and the discovery of new possibilities."</p><p>A total of 182 applications and nominations were received for the 2021 Rector's Awards, namely 61 for academics, 54 for leadership, 24 for social impact, eight for culture, eight for sport, and 27 for service provision. “We are exceptionally proud of our students' achievements and congratulate all our recipients tonight on their exceptional performance," Prof Ramjugernath said. “It is an indication of our resilience that SU students continued to excel in their endeavours, against the odds."</p><p>In her message, guest speaker Farai Mubaiwa, an SU alumna and former Students' Representative Council member, challenged students to “dare greatly" and to “step into their power". “I am where I am today because I have dared greatly," she said, echoing author and thought leader Brené Brown's book <em>Daring Greatly</em>. Having been named as one of the 100 Mandelas of the Future by Media24 in 2018, Mubaiwa now serves as chief partnership officer at the Youth Employment Service (YES), a business-led non-profit that works with government to incentivise job creation for the youth.</p><p>She said that while the high unemployment rates in South Africa and Africa, exacerbated by COVID-19, could paint a gloomy picture, they also provided an opportunity to achieve excellence through adversity. “What if I told you this is an opportunity to move forward together, an opportunity to dare greatly?" she asked students. “Over the past few years, I've asked myself the following questions: What do I need to do to contribute to a prosperous Africa, and how do I align my skills to achieve this? How do I become a great employer instead of just a great employee? How can I drive change through collaboration with others? And, lastly, how do I step into my power? In asking myself these questions, I've been pushed to dare greatly."</p><p>Recalling how, as an Accounting graduate, she “couldn't wait to work for a top company", she said: “Strangely, nobody ever spoke about wanting to establish their own accounting firms to rival top companies. Entrepreneurship allows you to examine the needs of your community, develop a product or service that can fulfil those needs, create employment and, most importantly, run sustainable businesses. In the African context, though, we don't just need entrepreneurs; we need social entrepreneurs who address socioeconomic challenges sustainably. After all, research shows us that small, medium and micro-sized enterprises are drivers of job creation and economic growth."</p><p>In encouraging students to step into their power, Mubaiwa said: “I'm 26; I'm black; I'm a woman, and I'm the product of a South African mom and a Zimbabwean father. That is not an easy identity to carry. Yet I sit on the executive of one of South Africa's largest youth employment and empowerment organisations, am co-founder of an incredible youth-led African organisation, and have a master's degree from one of the world's best universities. I was able to accomplish all of this because I've stepped into my power.</p><p>“May we dare greatly," she concluded. “May we play our part in bettering our country and our continent. May we achieve excellence through adversity and move forward together."</p><p>The following students received awards:</p><p><strong>Academics</strong> (comprising the Rector's Award for Excellent Achievement and te SU medal for top master's student, by faculty)</p><p><span style="text-decoration-line:underline;">AgriSciences</span></p><ul><li>Kim Teresa Mannix</li><li>Cecile Bester</li><li>Hendrik Stephanus Pretorius</li></ul><p>Top master's student</p><ul><li>Alicia Petrus</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration-line:underline;">Arts and Social Sciences</span></p><ul><li>Zainab Khafif</li><li>Estelle Kemp</li><li>Joy Sparg</li><li>Kirsten Pienaar</li><li>Akira Coetzee</li><li>Tamlyn February</li><li>Josie McClure</li><li>Lara van Heerden</li></ul><p>Top master's student</p><ul><li>Kylie Kuhl</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration-line:underline;">Economic and Management Sciences</span></p><ul><li>Lauren Tsafandakis</li><li>Philip Ferreira</li><li>Brandon Dinwoodie </li><li>Jeanne van den Heever</li><li>Micaela Giltrow</li><li>Ilne du Toit</li><li>Marné Olivier </li><li>Matthys Carstens</li><li>Melissa Oellerman</li><li>Haamidah Mowzer</li><li>Joshua Putterill</li><li>Kilian Boshoff</li></ul><p> Top master's student</p><ul><li>Alexander Charles O'Riordan</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration-line:underline;">Education</span></p><ul><li>Casey Wallace</li><li>Leila Laubscher</li><li>Tyla Jansen</li></ul><p>Top master's student</p><ul><li>Charine de Ridder</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration-line:underline;">Engineering</span></p><ul><li>Matthew Brandon Baas</li><li>Zander Snel</li><li>Alex Gituanja Muthua</li><li>Bianca Jordan van Zyl</li><li>Francois du Plessis</li><li>Kevin Michael Eloff</li></ul><p>Top master's student</p><ul><li>Aletta Susanna Elizabeth Nortje</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration-line:underline;">Law</span></p><ul><li>Carma Botha</li><li>Olivia Bernstein</li></ul><p>Top master's student</p><ul><li>Ernst Heydenrych</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration-line:underline;">Medicine and Health Sciences</span></p><ul><li>Allison Jane Arendse</li><li>Danyca Shadé Breedt</li><li>Wilrie Koorts</li><li>Brittany Smith</li><li>Rochelle van Dyk</li><li>Blessing Ntokozo Ndlovu</li></ul><p>Top master's student</p><ul><li>Danelle Botha</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration-line:underline;">Military Science</span></p><p>Top master's student</p><ul><li>Pelonomi Clementine Letebele</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration-line:underline;">S</span><span style="text-decoration-line:underline;">cience</span></p><ul><li>Eugene Fouche</li><li>Caleb Zeeman</li><li>Kristen Robinson</li><li>Devon Crowther</li><li>Samantha Parle</li></ul><p>Top master's student</p><ul><li>Mpendulo Cele</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration-line:underline;">Theology</span></p><ul><li>Karla Smit</li></ul><p>Top master's student</p><ul><li>Elmarie van Huyssteen</li></ul><p><strong>Sport</strong></p><ul><li>Lwazi Madi</li><li>Cameron Laurenson</li><li>Hannah Calvert</li><li>Daniel Barrish</li><li>Kerwin Noemdo</li><li>Johanna Pretorius </li><li>Dyan Buis </li><li>Charl du Toit</li></ul><p><strong>Culture</strong></p><ul><li>Willem Sterrenberg Horn</li></ul><p><strong>Social impact</strong></p><ul><li>Thembalethu Seyisi​<br><br></li></ul><p><strong>Service provision</strong></p><ul><li>Abdul Mutakabir-Aziz</li><li>Azhar Adam Nadkar</li><li>Francesca Visage</li><li>Viwe Kobokana<br></li></ul><p><strong>Leadership</strong></p><ul><li>Kira Alberts</li><li>Kristin Arends</li><li>Xola Njengele</li><li>Jessica Davies</li><li>Philip Visage</li><li>Rewaldo Carolus</li><li>George van Dyk</li><li>Lance Davids</li><li>Grace Mngadi</li><li>Monwabisi Petersen</li><li>Chelsea Jones</li><li>Jarryd Luyt<br><br></li></ul>
‘Be kind always’ – the motto of SU’s new SRC chairpersonhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8580‘Be kind always’ – the motto of SU’s new SRC chairpersonCorporate Communication and Marketing Division/Afdeling Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>​​​​​​“Be kind always" – this is the motto of Viwe Kobokana, the newly elected chairperson of the Stellenbosch University Students' Representative Council (SRC).<br></p><p>Kobokana was elected earlier this month, following the election of the new SRC. She says that the reality of being elected by her peers to lead the student organisation has not yet sunken in, but that she is excited about the challenge. </p><p>Kobokana is a final year BSc Human Life Sciences student from <span lang="EN-US">Qonce</span><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:11pt;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;"> (King Williams Town).</span> She is no stranger to student leadership, having served as the transformation officer of the 2020/2021 SRC. During this period, she and the SRC's Transformation Committee designed student workshops that focused on topics such as the decolonisation of the higher education sector, gender, sex and sexuality, race relations, anti-gender-based violence (GBV), and mental health. </p><p>These workshops will be presented to the new SRC as part of their induction and extended to the student body once again. One of Kobokana's top priorities is to focus on transformation and to ensure noticeable changes. </p><p>"The University has an amazing framework for transformation and the transformation plan does a great job in outlining that. However, I think the challenge comes in materialising that plan. I know that small changes and results will eventually lead to long-term changes. Those small changes are the results I would like to see," says Kobokana. Furthermore, she wants all SRC members to embed transformation in their SRC portfolios, and hopes that the entire SRC will work transformative. </p><p>She is also looking forward to collaborating with university staff on various student projects.  </p><p>"Many staff members want to work with student leaders and help them to integrate efforts to assist students. This is something I want to promote and will assist my team in finding relevant staff members to institutionalise their projects and work," says Kobokana.</p><p>While focused on leading the SRC, Kobokana says her other priority is completing her degree. She says that being involved in student leadership for the last three years has helped her to learn how to balance her academic life with co-curricular activities. </p><p>"Being organised is the saving grace!" she says.</p><p>The following students have been elected to serve on the SRC:    <br></p><ul><li style="text-align:left;">Philip Visage ( Vice-chairperson)</li><li style="text-align:left;">Alysa-Abby Kekana     (Secretary-general)    </li><li style="text-align:left;">Zander Niemand         </li><li style="text-align:left;">Almé Engelbrecht           </li><li>Ilan Meintjes (Treasurer)</li><li> Takadiwa Chipfumbu</li><li>Chris Briel<br></li><li>Precious Nhamo</li></ul><p></p><p>For more information about the SRC, click <a href="/english/management/src">here</a>.         </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>
New SRC announcedhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8551New SRC announcedCorporate Communication and Marketing Division/Afdeling Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>​​​​The Stellenbosch University (SU) Election Committee has confirmed that the following students will serve in the 2021/22 Students' Representative Council (SRC), having been elected in an independent, free and fair general election:</p><ul><li>Precious Nhamo               </li><li>Alysa-Abby Kekana         </li><li>Unathi Ngumbela            </li><li>Viwe Kobokana </li><li>Almé Engelbrecht            </li><li>Ilan Meintjes      </li><li>Philip Visage      </li><li>Takadiwa Chipfumbu     </li><li>Chris Briel            </li></ul><p>The ex-officio members of the SRC will be as follows:</p><ul><li>Toni Solomon – Prim Committee chair<br></li><li>Christo van der Bank – Prim Committee vice-chair</li><li>George van Dyk – Academic Affairs Council chair</li><li>Neo Mokone – Societies Council chair</li><li>Pule Lebaka – Military Academy student captain </li><li>Eugene Nel – Senior Prim Committee chair</li></ul><p>The process will be concluded with the election of the new SRC chair and vice-chair on Monday 13 September, after which the specific SRC portfolios will be assigned internally, says election convenor Francesca Visagé. </p><p>The new SRC's term will run from the first day of the fourth term to the day before the fourth term of the following year.</p><p>On Thursday (9 September), Dr Choice Makhetha, senior director of Student Affairs, confirmed the election as independent, free and fair, and welcomed the fact that the elected SRC members were representative of SU's diverse student body. “The students elected to serve on the 2021/22 SRC reflect the diversity of Stellenbosch University," Dr Makhetha said. “It is very important to acknowledge that the student leaders represent far more than what their names suggest, as diversity is broad and complex. Students themselves have elected these members to represent them, and I believe they will be able to do that very well."</p><p>Maties had the opportunity to cast their votes between 30 August and midnight on 3 September through an online process. This was SU's second online SRC election in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols. A total of 2 574 voters participated in voting for 11 candidates. </p><p>According to Dr Makhetha, the election convenor and her Election Committee team were strictly guided by the Student Constitution, the Student Code of Conduct, and the Rules of Elections. “The process was thorough and focused on details. Each stage of the election process was handled with the necessary sensitivity and confidentiality, and the entire process was well concluded." </p><p>Congratulating the new SRC members on their election, Dr Makhetha assured them that the University would support and guide them through their term of office. “To serve SU students at this level, the SRC needs to be ready to listen to the students, keep the voices of the students alive, and represent them well," she said. “They need to display the highest level of integrity and be prepared to learn. They should build a strong team right from the start and support one another. Congratulations, and thank you for making yourselves available for this role."</p><p>The SRC is the highest representative student structure at the University. It is subject to the authority of the University Council.</p><p>Prior to the SRC election, SU's Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers, encouraged students to vote, considering these student leaders' vital role at SU. SRC members represent all students in SU's statutory bodies such as the Institutional Forum, faculty boards, Senate and Council.    </p><p>For more information about the 2021/22 SRC election, visit the “Maties Elections" pages on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/MatiesElections/"><strong>Facebook</strong></a> or <a href="https://www.instagram.com/maties_elections/?utm_medium=copy_link"><strong>Instagram</strong></a>.<br> <br></p><p> </p><p> </p><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:100%;">​</td></tr></tbody></table><p><br><br></p><p> </p><p> </p><p>   </p><p>​ </p><p><br></p>