Psychology
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Occupational physicians can’t serve any masters, PhD study findshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7024Occupational physicians can’t serve any masters, PhD study findsCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>When occupational physicians have to make difficult calls related to health and safety in the workplace, they shouldn't be loyal to either workers or employers because it could influence their behaviour or cloud their judgments. <br></p><p>“Because impartiality, integrity, trustworthiness and professional autonomy are required from occupational physicians, they shouldn't show loyalty to either employers or employees," says Sasolburg-based occupational medicine consultant Dr Gerhard Grobler who received his doctorate in Applied Ethics at the ninth ceremony of Stellenbosch University's December graduation on Friday (13 December 2019). </p><p>In his study, the first of its kind in South Africa, Grobler did a moral analysis of the apparent conflict of interest in the profession of occupational physicians. He says dual loyalty, or at least the suspicion that loyalty to either party would colour the occupational physician's judgement, has been a problem in recent times and creates ethical ambiguity. It's especially when workers are injured on the job that the issue of dual loyalty arises.<br></p><p>Grobler, who has 38 years of hands-on experience in occupational medicine, points out that companies or organisations employ occupational physicians to look after the health and safety of workers who are vulnerable to unemployment, regular retrenchments, poor and collapsing public healthcare, non-compliance with health and safety legislation in the huge informal sector and the inefficiency in the office of the Compensation Commissioner.<br></p><p>“Occupational physicians play an important role in ensuring that workers are not denied healthcare, compensation or related benefits for which they are eligible. It often takes staunch personal commitment of the leaders in occupational health to prevent individual cases from falling through the proverbial cracks. <br></p><p>“Their judgements must be based on scientific knowledge and technical competence and they must not do anything that compromises their integrity and impartiality. They can never allow any conflict of interest to influence their advice and verdicts.<br></p><p>“Occupational physicians cannot serve any masters. Their guiding principle is to serve the health and safety of all workers and that of everyone at risk of illness or injury related to the incapacity of workers – whether the latter are airline pilots, rock drill operators or abattoir staff."<br></p><p>Grobler adds that occupational physicians are medical doctors that workers, employers, labour unions, relevant authorities and society need to believe they can trust with stewardship of the health and safety of workers.<br></p><p>He says where professional autonomy, impartiality, fairness, veracity and sound judgment are vital virtues, loyalty could well be an obstacle because it invites stakeholders to attempt to change rulings made by an occupational physician.<br></p><p>“Employers understandably suspect that their occupational physician is dedicated to the interests of patients. Workers, on the other hand, quite comprehensibly expect the occupational physician, employed and paid by the company, to serve the employer's business interests.<br></p><p>“If workers or employers experience or suspect that an occupational physician identifies with one party or allows loyalty to influence his judgement, all of his decisions become questionable."<br></p><p>According to Grobler, there's not enough appreciation for the role and contribution of occupational physicians in South Africa, especially among doctors in private practice.</p><p>“The discipline is often disparaged by some doctors in private practice. The sentiment is 'why would a bright doctor choose to earn a salary by working for a boss in a factory environment?'. And 'why do they seem to side with the employer – who my patients tell me is unsympathetic and unfair?'. " <br></p><p>Having worked closely with many occupational physicians, occupational health nursing professionals and occupational safety professionals, Grobler says he understands their sentiments, as well as the difficulties they face and have to overcome.<br></p><p>“Hopefully, my study might stimulate awareness and reform regarding the ethical challenges in occupational health, especially given the perception that the discipline just protects the interests of big business." <br></p><p>Grobler adds that doctors in occupational medicine, less experienced occupational physicians, non-medical professionals in occupational health and safety, as well as academics who teach ethics in occupational health could benefit from his research. <br></p><ul><li><strong>Photo</strong>: Dr Gerhard Grobler at the graduation ceremony. <strong>Photographer</strong>: Stefan Els</li></ul><p><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Dr Gerhard Grobler</p><p>Occupational Medicine Consultant</p><p>Sasolburg</p><p>Cell: 083 6254085</p><p>Email: <a href="mailto:gerhardgrobler6@gmail.com">gerhardgrobler6@gmail.com</a> </p><p><strong>ISSUED BY</strong></p><p>Martin Viljoen</p><p>Manager: Media</p><p>Corporate Communication</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p>Email: <a href="mailto:viljoenm@sun.ac.za">viljoenm@sun.ac.za</a> <br></p><p><br></p>
Never too old: 2nd doctorate for Prof Leslie Swartzhttps://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>
Dr Khosa conquers PhD 'obstacle course'https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9038Dr Khosa conquers PhD 'obstacle course'Sue Segar<p>Graduating with her PhD in Social Work from Stellenbosch University (SU) yesterday (6 April), Priscalia Khosa was not only celebrating her academic achievement but also her victory over numerous personal challenges and obstacles to reach this point.<br></p><p>This mother of three children aged 7, 8 and 11 completed her doctoral studies whilst juggling being a full-time academic, residence head, and mentor for her students. And as her husband was attending to his businesses in Johannesburg, all household and Covid-induced homeschooling responsibilities were hers too. “It was a case of trying to ensure that I fulfilled all my roles to the best of my ability," she says.</p><p>This was no easy task. As an academic and mentor, she had to be available to advise her students, while navigating the extraordinary circumstances brought about by Covid-19. As residence head of Sonop, which is home to approximately 260 female students, she had both administrative responsibilities and the duty to offer guidance and emotional support to students.  </p><p>Priscalia and her children moved from Johannesburg, where the family lived previously, to Stellenbosch for her PhD, while husband Wisani, an entrepreneur, stayed behind. He joined the family in Stellenbosch earlier this year. “I started my PhD in 2019. So, while I was still trying to find my feet in my new environment, the pandemic hit," Priscalia recounts. “That brought its own challenges. While many students left campus, some stayed in the residence. I had to do daily check-ins with them and make sure they were mentally, physically and academically OK. And I had to build a sense of community to make sure they did not feel alone."</p><p>The pandemic also meant that she had to supervise her children at home when schools closed. “I had three kids in the house all day long during the lockdown. There was limited quiet time for academic work and to focus on my PhD," she says. “When restrictions eased, the children went back to school on alternate days. Homeschooling them while trying to find the time to work on my dissertation was extremely challenging. I tried to catch up on my work in between helping them. I had to completely change my work routine and would sometimes work through the night because that was the only quiet time I could get," she said. But she displayed resilience and steely commitment and stayed the course. “I thrived against all odds!" Priscalia smiles.</p><p>For her PhD, she studied the implementation of the supervision framework for the social work profession in South Africa by a designated child protection organisation. Priscalia has published widely in the field of social work, and also supervises master's students researching gender-based violence as well as social work in school and medical settings. In addition, she was recently selected as one of two seminar exchange fellows under the Ubuntu Dialogues project. This exchange programme between SU and Michigan State University in the United States was set up in 2019 to build bridges between young people in South Africa and the States.</p><p>Originally from rural Limpopo, Priscalia says both her husband and her mother, Emily, were pillars of strength throughout this challenging journey. “From the get-go, my husband was supportive. He understood completely how difficult it was for a woman to pursue what I was doing. And my mother kept telling me I was not getting enough sleep!"</p><p>Asked what personal resources she drew on to get through all her challenges, she says: “I love what I do. Each of my roles gives me so much satisfaction. Yes, it takes physical and mental energy, but it's all worth it. So, I guess what kept me going was my passion for what I do."</p><p><strong>Photographer: </strong>Stefan Els</p><p>​<br></p>
Third PhD awarded to eternal scholar and hyper-multilinguisthttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9112Third PhD awarded to eternal scholar and hyper-multilinguistCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>​​​Stellenbosch University's (SU) Dr Alexander (Alex) Andrason has achieved the exceptional once more: This hyper-multilingual lecturer who speaks ten languages and a global nomad who has already resided in eight European and African countries has recently added a third PhD degree to his academic repertoire.<br></p><p>In March this year, Andrason got tears in his eyes when the University of Iceland awarded him a PhD in General Linguistics - experiencing the same gratitude as when he received a PhD in Semitic Languages from the Complutense University in Madrid (2010) and one in African Languages from SU (2016).</p><p>"The three PhDs are a natural progression and testament to my unconventional scholarly and life profile," said Andrason. He is currently a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences' Department of Ancient Studies, teaching Afro-Asiatic languages, linguistics (Hebrew, Aramaic, Egyptian), and other modules dedicated to multilingualism and academic writing.</p><p>​Prior to joining SU in 2012, his activities included teaching general and cognitive-linguistic courses at various universities in Asia (Turkey), Africa (Morocco, Gambia, and Tanzania), and Europe (Iceland, Spain, Poland, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia).<br></p><p>Elaborating on passing his PhD in Iceland on 4 March, he describes it as one of the most beautiful days of his life. "I argued for my views, appreciated critique and criticism, smiled continuously and even laughed at times. In the end, the university put up the Icelandic flag for me, and I had tears in my eyes," recalled Andrason.</p><p><strong>PhD remains a challenge</strong></p><p>Earning a PhD remains a challenge and is not easily achieved, he emphasised.  "Some people think writing a doctoral thesis comes easy to me. Nothing could be further from the truth. Completing a PhD is always a challenging experience that requires a lot of work, time, and self-discipline and is inevitably marked by moments of positive and negative thoughts and feelings."<br></p><p>He described himself as an eternal scholar and multidisciplinary academic and a teacher who “refuses to stop being a student and welcomes the wisdom of others by pursuing studies at various new universities." </p><p>For this reason, he will never have studied enough. “I will continue studying till the day I die. Currently, I plan to enrol in a PhD in anthrozoology and later in another one in education," said Andrason, explaining that to embark on a new PhD study is exciting because it means entering a relatively new study field'.<br></p><p><strong>Lecturer and researcher</strong></p><p>According to Andrason, his PhD studies have run concurrently with his teaching and other research duties, especially to enhance his teaching and research.</p><p>"Every year, I publish between ten and 15 articles; teach between five and seven courses/modules over 150-180 lecture hours; direct between five and eight international research projects; supervise postgraduate students, and lead at least one community involvement activity. To find time to design and complete another original research program leading to a PhD and write some 400 pages of a monograph is really challenging."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the end, his mission is to offer the best training to students. "As teachers, I wish for students to develop and cultivate the qualities that human beings should have, such as respect for one's own and others' freedom(s), the recognition of universal equality of people and their inalienable agency, a celebration of creativity and, perhaps most importantly, the cultivation of care and compassion," says he.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Therefore, in my classes, I focus on self-government, the use of reason instead of doctrine, non-formality, equality of participation, and freedom of choice. I invite students to co-design the curriculum, participate in knowledge production, and contribute to cooperative learning and teaching. I allow students to pursue their curiosities and interests and replace teacher-student coercive hierarchy with persuasion. I am always open to being challenged. I do not lecture. Instead, I facilitate the learning process, encourage, and provoke," said Andrason.</p><p><strong>Language repertoire</strong></p><p>One of the motivations for him to learn a new language, especially the language of his students, is to allow them to be inclusive in the communication and learning process in class. </p><p>Currently, his language repertoire draws on 40 languages, ten of which he can speak with native or native-like proficiency. “I use most of them regularly because of my international research and teaching activities, like joint research projects, fieldwork, classes taught as a guest lecturer, and teaching classes," said Andrason.<br></p><p>When he travels to a new country, he will learn at least the basics of the people of that country's language. For this reason, he knows to a large extent isiXhosa and Afrikaans. "I also try to learn languages that my SU students (undergraduate or postgraduate) speak. I have also acquired some basic knowledge of Oshiwambo, Sotho, Maasai, Swahili, Lari, Korean, Japanese, and Romanian. Crucially, to me, the languages spoken by students are not empty tokens or superficial anecdotes."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Andrason is currently also learning Oromo (a language from Ethiopia) and Sango (a language from the Central African Republic). Adding to his passion for learning new languages, his favourite pastime is<strong> </strong>working towards doctoral degrees, authoring articles, conducting collaborative research, and reading grammar books. </p><p>When he is not working, he spends time with his family and does “exceptional" work in the kitchen. "I cook a full meal for my family every day, and they absolutely love my cooking!"<br></p><p><strong>Photo:</strong> Sandra Mulder<br></p><p>​<br></p>
SU improves its position on QS subject rankingshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9814SU improves its position on QS subject rankingsCorporate Communication & Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie & Bemarking [Alec Basson]<p>​​Stellenbosch University (SU) can count itself among the leading higher education institutions globally in the broad subject areas of Life Science and Medicine, Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Management, Engineering & Technology, and Natural Sciences. This is according to the <a href="https://www.topuniversities.com/subject-rankings/2023"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>2023 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subjec</strong></span><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>t</strong></span></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </span>released on Wednesday (22 March 2023). </p><p>For the 2023 edition, 1 597 institutions were ranked across 54 subjects in the abovementioned five broad subject areas. More than 16,4 million unique papers published between 2016-2020, producing close to 117,8 million citations in 2016–2021, were analysed.<br></p><p>SU improved its standing in four of these subject areas. It achieved a top 250 spot in Life Science and Medicine and is now ranked in the top 350 in Arts and Humanities, top 450 in Engineering & Technology, top 400 in Social Sciences and Management, and top 500 in Natural Sciences.</p><p><strong>Leading in SA</strong></p><p>As far as specific subject categories are concerned, SU improved its global position in Environmental Sciences and Medicine having moved into the top 250. It is the leading university in South Africa in Agriculture & Forestry (74th in the world) and Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies, and Development Studies (both in the top 100), Chemical Engineering (top 300) and Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering (top 350). For a second year in a row, SU is ranked number one in South Africa in Agriculture & Forestry and Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies, and second in Education (top 350), Pharmacy & Pharmacology (top 300), Business & Management Studies (top 500), Psychology (top 330), Biological Sciences (top 350), and Electrical and Electronic Engineering (top 450)​. SU also moved into second position in English Language & Literature (top 250) after having finished third in 2022. ​In Accounting & Finance, SU is among the top 330 institutions globally.<br></p><p>“In line with our vision to be Africa's leading research-intensive university, we also want to discern ourselves in higher education globally, so we are pleased that our reputation in Agriculture & Forestry and Theology, Divinity & Religious Studies has been ranked number one.  As the only university in South Africa that offers viticulture and oenology due to our unique wine region, we are especially proud that Agriculture received such recognition," says Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs.</p><p><strong>Indicators</strong></p><p>The QS subject tables use academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper, H-index and International Research Network (IRN) as indicators to rank universities. The first two of these are based on global surveys of academics and employers that are used to assess an institution's international reputation in each subject. Research citations per paper measures the average number of citations obtained per publication, and is an estimate of the impact and quality of the scientific work done by universities. The H-index assesses the stability of impact and quality of the work published by an institution's academics. The IRN is a measure of a university's efficiency in establishing stable research collaborations in each of the five broad subject areas.</p><p>Over the last few years, SU has been consistently ranked among the best tertiary institutions globally on the <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9049"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">QS World University Rankings by Subject</strong></a>, the <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8646"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Times Higher Education World University Subject Rankings</strong></a>, and the<a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9329"> <strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects</strong></a>. These rankings all use different methodologies and indicators to determine universities' position on their ranking.<br></p><p>​<br></p>
Swartz receives ASSAf medal for science in service of society https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6812Swartz receives ASSAf medal for science in service of society Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p>​​​​​<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Over the last decade disability studies as an academic discipline in Africa, particularly South Africa, has developed extensively, in no small part due to the commitment of Prof Leslie Swartz, a distinguished Professor of Psychology at Stellenbosch University (SU) with an interest in mental health and disability studies.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On Wednesday night Swartz, who is considered one of the most prolific and influential scholars in the field, was recognised by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) for his dedication to developing disability studies when he received the prestigious Science-for-Society Gold Medal for 2019. According to ASSAf, the medal was awarded to Swartz for “excellence in the application of outstanding scientific thinking in the service of society". </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Swartz is the only academic in South Africa to receive a medal this year. The medal was bestowed on Swartz by Prof Jonathan Jansen, the President of ASSAf at the ASSAf Awards Ceremony held at The Capital Hotel-Menlyn Maine in Pretoria on Wednesday night. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">For Swartz it was always inevitable that disability studies, an interdisciplinary field concerned with how and why disability inequality happens and is maintained in the world, would be one of his research focus areas. The first clue came in the form of his 2010 memoir, <em>Able-Bodied: Scenes from a curious life</em>, which chronicles his relationship with his disabled father, yet explores disability from an academic perspective too. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Swartz has not only concentrated on the development of disability studies, but has published over 250 articles in a range of international journals such as the <em>Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society,</em><em> </em>and <em>PLoS One.</em><em> </em>He has also served as the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the <em>African Journal of Disability</em><em> </em>up to 2018 and is the Associate Editor for the international journals, <em>Transcultural Psychiatry</em><em> </em>and <em>International Journal of Disability, Development and Education</em>. Under his leadership, the <em>African Journal of Disability</em><em> </em>became a PubMed and SCOPUS indexed journal which is now a key player in the disability studies field internationally. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">He is a Core member of the African Network for Evidence-to-Action in Disability (AfriNEAD), which is headed by Prof Gubela Mji, Head of the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. AfriNEAD links disability scholars across the Africa, and also works with those from more economically developed countries like Norway, the United Kingdom and Canada. He is a Global Advisor to the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University.  He is also an International Advisory Board member of the Movement for Global Mental Health, “a virtual network of individuals and organisations that aim to improve services for people living with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities in low and middle income countries across the world". </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Swartz has also won many awards, amongst them the Stellenbosch University Chancellor's Award, and the Stals Prize for contributions to psychology from the SA Academy for Science and Arts. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Over the years, he has supervised more than 40 doctoral candidates, many of them disabled, black, or women candidates. Recently Swartz's ongoing project to mainstream disability issues into civil society in South Africa, which saw him receive funding from the NRF for a series of public engagements around disability and citizenship in South Africa, culminated in the book, the <em>Palgrave Handbook of Disability and Citizenship in the Global South</em>, which he co-edited. Other books he has co-edited include <em>Disability and social change: A South African agenda</em>(2006), <em>Searching for dignity: Conversations on human dignity, theology and disability</em><em> </em>(2013), and <em>Transformation through occupation</em><em> </em>(2004), which is widely credited with helping develop a social justice and public health approach to occupational therapy in South Africa and globally.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Prof Swartz has played a leading role in developing the field of disability studies in South Africa, but has been dedicated in his drive to develop research capacity in people previously excluded from the academy and to making principles of scientific engagement accessible to the broader community. For this reason, he is sought after as an academic mentor and contributes regularly to the training of more junior researchers at a range of South African universities. His work is also regularly prescribed in academic courses in South Africa in psychology and other disciplines." said Dr Therina Theron, Senior Director: Research and Innovation at SU.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She applauded him for the central role he has played in diversifying the academy and as an activist “who takes scientific community engagement and linkages seriously". This has led to Swartz working with the Cape Town Holocaust Centre in 2018 and 2019. He presented a two-seminar series on disability and human rights as part of the travelling exhibition, <em>Deadly Medicine</em>: <em>Creating the Master Race</em>,produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and presented by the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation in South Africa. The exhibition focused on the abuse and murder of disabled people during the Holocaust and the links between these practices, eugenics in South Africa, and contemporary concerns. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Swartz has also given back to communities in need by offering free consultation services to those individuals who require therapy and is currently supervising the first ever prevalence study of mental health issues amongst Deaf children conducted on the African continent. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking at the ceremony, Swartz said: “I am very grateful for this award, and I am deeply honoured. I would not have been granted this award without the help and support of my family, my students and colleagues, and without the many many people who have had the patience and generosity to allow me into their lives as part of my research and scholarly work."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Stellenbosch University is a very supportive environment for me, and I am especially grateful for years of patient help from the Division of Research Development, the University library, and many others."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Swartz added that he was acutely aware of how privileged he has been to have worked with and alongside disabled South Africans and Africans from further afield to inform and expand his research in disability studies.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“They had good reason to mistrust me as a white, non-disabled South African male researcher, yet have given me the benefit of many legitimate doubts, and have allowed me to work with them. If this award is about anything, it is about the opportunities we all have to make a more inclusive world for everyone."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I would like to encourage all researchers, regardless of discipline, to think about how their work can include people with bodies and minds which are not the norm, but which are every bit as valuable as other bodies and minds. We cannot do diversity or decolonise our universities without making all our work accessible to all – and this includes people with disabilities of all kinds.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Added Swartz: “Diversity, which includes disability participation at all levels, and accommodation of difference, will make our world, as the disability studies scholar Rosemarie Garland-Thomson puts it, more habitable for us all."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: Prof Leslie Swartz (middle) received the p</em><em>restigious Science-for-Society Gold Medal for 2019 from ASSAf at an awards ceremony held in Pretoria last night. Here he is with Prof Jonathan Jansen (right), President of ASSAf, and Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies at SU. (Supplied by ASSAf)</em></p>
SU alumnus wows audienceshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3419SU alumnus wows audiencesWayne Muller<p>An alumnus of Stellenbosch University (SU), the actor Marlo Minnaar, will perform in the acclaimed one-man show, <em>Santa Gamka</em>, in the Baxter Theater in Rondebosch, Cape Town, from Monday, 1 February.</p><p>The piece is based on Eben Venter's novel by the same name, and Minnaar reworked it into a theatre play himself. He is also the producer.</p><p><em>Santa Gamka</em> received the Kanna Awards for Best Debut Work, the Herrie Prize for Best Ground-breaking Work and for Best Director (Jaco Bouwer) at the 2015 Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK). </p><p>Marlo Minnaar was also nominated for Best Actor for his performance as Lucky Marais. The production also received three KykNET Fiësta nominations – for Best Solo Performance, Best Newly-created Afrikaans Production, and Best Director. (Winners will be announced in February.)</p><p>In recent years Minnaar was seen in productions such as <em>Blood Brothers</em>, <em>Balbesit</em> and <em>Die Kortstondige Raklewe van Anastasia W.</em> </p><p><em>Santa Gamka</em> tells the story of a young coloured man from the Karoo, who navigates his way through life in a rather unusual way. Driven by his fear not to fall back into poverty, he becomes a rent boy.</p><p>Lucky tells the audience about his seven greatest adventures – better known as his seven customers: a woman who lost her son in a car accident, the mistress of the local hotel owner and olive farmer, his high school English teacher, the municipal manager, the farmer and his father's employer who continues to oppress Lucky's parents, his aunt, as well as a young German man.</p><p>However, his white lies start catching up with him and he finds himself in a furnace of hell. Suddenly the Karoo has become too hot for him. His time is up. He only has seven minutes left to live and he is now faced with the dilemma of having to review his short life.</p><ul><li><em>Santa Gamka</em> is performed in Afrikaans in the Baxter Theatre's Golden Arrow Studio from 1 to 19 February at 20:15 daily.</li></ul>
Social Work Department celebrates World Social Work Dayhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4356Social Work Department celebrates World Social Work DayLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Earlier this year, the Social Work Department celebrated World Social Work Day 2016 (WSWD) along with a number of institutions across the world who also focus on the social work profession. WSWD is celebrated annually on the second Tuesday of March. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">By participating in this event, social workers are able to express international solidarity and bring common messages to governments, regional bodies and to the communities they serve. The theme for this and last year's WSWD was selected from the <a href="http://ifsw.org/get-involved/agenda-for-social-work/">Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development</a>. The Agenda was formulated in 2010 by social worker practitioners, educators and development workers at a meeting in Hong Kong in 2010 and reaffirmed "the need [for persons working within this profession] to organise around  major and relevant social issues that connect within and across" their professions. The Agenda consists of four themes which are focused on promoting social and economic equalities; promoting the dignity and worth of peoples; working towards environmental sustainability; and strengthening recognition of the importance of human relationships. Each theme is focused on for two consecutive years, with 2016 marking the second year that WSWD has centered its activities on Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"As staff members of the Social Work Department we take great pride in being social workers ourselves and even more so being an integral part of training and shaping the minds of our students to become excellent social workers. At our university we are in the privileged position be able to allow our students to make a social work impact on real clients, with real needs in real communities, from the first year of their studies in a manner that promotes the dignity and worth of people," said Ms Tasneemah Cornelissen-Nordien, a lecturer in the Social Work Department. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Department celebrated the day with a number of activities, amongst them a talk for first-year students which was presented by International Master's degree student, Sever Altunay, from Gothenburg University in Sweden and focused on the Impact of the Global Agenda for Social Work. Fourth-year students were also able to participate in an academic discussion with students in a postgraduate social work class from Coventry University in the United Kingdom through a video-conferencing session via Skype and shared their experiences of social work in the two countries. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr Gary Spolander, a guest lecturer from Conventry University, presented a lecture to all social work students and staff based at Stellenbosch University. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This lecture stimulated insightful self-reflection and debates with others and aimed to motivate the social workers to continue to achieve great things within society, to not only make a difference in the lives of the individuals to whom services are rendered, but to work towards making an impact on government policy, to having the voices of social workers heard in parliament, and to striving towards making a difference on the political front in our country. WSWD 2016 yet again reminded the social work profession of its ethical responsibility to make politicians and government aware of the apparent ethical unawareness by which our country is currently being governed. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">On the day, the top achievers for 2015 were also recognised and were presented with certificates for their academic achievement in Social Work. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This day allowed our department to unite for human dignity and reminded us of our courage, strength, passion and will to make a difference in the lives of others," said Mr Zibonele Zimba, a lecturer in the Social Work Department.</p>
Language implementation in the 2nd termhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3730Language implementation in the 2nd termProf Johan Hattingh<p>​​Dear Student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences</p><p>I am thoroughly aware of the uncertainty created by the language interdict of Afriforum, which requires  us to strictly apply  the language specifications of the 2016 Yearbook from 29 March. What happens now to the principle that no student should be excluded on the basis of language? To address this uncertainty I would like to convey the following to you about the language practice that you can expect from 29 March in your classes. </p><p>There are two main points of departure that the Faculty will follow from 29 March, the first of which is demanded by the interdict: </p><ul><li>As of 29 March 2016 we have to strictly adhere  to the language specifications of the 2016 Yearbook (Afriforum court interdict, and the SU Council requirement not to reduce the Afrikaans offering).</li><li><span style="line-height:1.6;">SU wants  to be 100% accessible to st</span><span style="line-height:1.6;">udents that are not academically literate in Afrikaans and therefore all module content covered  in lectures will  also be available in English (SU Council resolution supporting  an increase of the English offering to 100%).</span></li></ul><p><strong>In practice this will entail the following:</strong></p><ul><li><span style="line-height:1.6;">​</span><span style="line-height:1.6;">​</span><span style="line-height:1.6;">Most Departments  will return to the conventional T-modules, with the proviso that this will be implemented with the utmost circumspection to ensure that no student is excluded on the basis of language of tuition. You will be informed at the beginning of the term and at the beginning of lectures about this intention and the two points of departure mentioned above, and also about what exactly will be done in each module in order to implement these points of departure.</span></li><li><span style="line-height:1.6;"></span><span style="line-height:1.6;">In order to ensure that all lectures are at least available in English, and that Afrikaans is available as specified in the 2016 Yearbook (50% or more), some Departments will provide extra lectures in Afrikaans and/or English.</span></li><li><span style="line-height:1.6;"></span><span style="line-height:1.6;">In cases where lecturers are only proficient in English, Departments will provide interpretation in Afrikaans, and/or extra lectures in Afrikaans.</span></li></ul><p></p><p>​​Until such time as the Language Policy and Plan of the University  is  officially changed, we will have to live with these arrangements.  I will depend on your understanding and cooperation to help implement the abovementioned arrangements  with dignity and respect. </p><p>I hope this letter will help allay any uncertainty, but if you have any further questions, please send an e-mail to Tanja Malan (tanja@sun.ac.za), who will convey it to me.<br><br>Kind regards</p><p>Johan Hattingh<br> Dean, 24 March 2016</p>
SICMF presents exquisite musichttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3945SICMF presents exquisite musicWayne Muller<p>The music programmes of the 13<sup>th</sup> Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival's (SICMF) ten evening concerts have been announced. Music lovers will have the opportunity to hear exquisite music – from 18<sup>th</sup>-century works to contemporary pieces.</p><p>The festival – the biggest of its kind in Africa – is presented from 1 to 10 July at the Stellenbosch University Konservatorium. It boasts a unique concert series including music that has never been performed in South Africa. Besides chamber music, the SICMF will also present three symphony concerts.</p><p>About 300 music students will attend the 2016 festival where they will receive master classes, lectures and coaching sessions from the 30 faculty members, which include internationally acclaimed musicians.</p><p>The programme has six South African premieres, as well as the world premiere of local composer Matthijs van Dijk's commissioned work, <em>Moments in a Life</em>. It is based on the life of anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg, who will appear on stage as the narrator.</p><p>In <em>Moments in a Life</em>, Goldberg relates various pivotal moments in his life – from childhood, his time in Umkhonto we Sizwe, the Rivonia Trial, experiences in prison up until the inauguration of former president Nelson Mandela.</p><p>Among the other interesting premiere works is <em>Techno Parade</em> by French composer Guillaume Connesson (born 1970), in which Paolo Barros (flute), Ferdinand Steiner (clarinet) and Pieter Grobler (piano) will perform.                                                                  </p><p>Also on the programme is <em>Distant Light</em>, a concerto for violin and string orchestra, a work by Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks, who was born in 1946. Violinist Daniel Rowland will be the soloist, accompanied by, among others, Suzanne Martens and Farida Bacharova (violins), Tobias Breider (viola) and Alexander Buzlov (cello). </p><p>Other works include the String Sextet in A major, Op.48, by Dvořák; Mendelssohn's String Quartet No.6 in F minor, Op.80; as well as the String Octet, Op.7, by George Enescu.</p><p>On Friday, 8 July American conductor Kazem Abdullah will lead the Festival Symphony Orchestra in a performance of music by Saint-Saëns, Debussy and Bartók. Acclaimed French violinist Nicolas Dautricourt will be the soloist in Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No.3.</p><p>The SICMF's other orchestra, the Festival Concert Orchestra (consisting of 180 young musicians) under the baton of Daniel Boico, will perform on Saturday, 9 July. On the programme is Tchaikovsky's Second Symphony, as well as well-known orchestral works like the "Mars" and "Jupiter" movements from Gustav Holst's <em>The Planets</em>, and the popular "Pomp and Circumstance" by Edward Elgar.</p><p>For the final concert on Sunday, 10 July the Festival Symphony Orchestra will be on stage again, this time accompanying Austrian clarinettist Ferdinand Steiner in Mozart's well-known Clarinet Concerto in A major.</p><ul><li><span style="line-height:1.6;">Tickets are available from Computicket, or call </span><span style="line-height:1.6;">(</span><span style="line-height:1.6;"> 021 808 2358 to purchas</span><span style="line-height:1.6;">e a festival pass. </span><span style="line-height:1.6;">Visit </span><a href="http://www.sicmf.co.za/" style="line-height:1.6;">www.sicmf.co.za</a><span style="line-height:1.6;"> for more information. </span><br></li></ul>