Stellenbosch University
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SU Teaching Fellows receive recognition
Author: Dr Karin Cattell-Holden
Published: 24/01/2019

​Five Stellenbosch University academics and outstanding scholars of teaching were recently honoured for the completion of their Teaching Fellowships. Professors Elmarie Costandius 

(Department of Visual Arts, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), Ian Nell (Department of Practical Theology and Missiology, Faculty of Theology), Dana Niehaus (Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences), Nicola Plastow (Division of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) and Geo Quinot (Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law) who completed their fellowships between 2011 and 2017, received certificates at the annual Teaching Excellence Awards and Research Excellence Awards ceremony held in December last year at STIAS.

The SU Teaching Fellowship scheme provides the opportunity for excellent teachers and scholars of teaching and learning to spend more consistent periods of time, with various forms of support, to focus on aspects of renewal, exploration and dissemination of good practice in departments and faculties.

Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, Vice-Rector (Learning and Teaching), who presented the certificates, emphasised the opportunities for SU lecturers to research their teaching as part of the professionalization of their teaching role. Examples of such opportunities are the annual Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) conference and the Fund for Innovation and Research into Learning and Teaching (FIRLT) grants. Prof Schoonwinkel described academics' professional teaching journey as a “progressive route" which could lead to an SU Teaching Fellowship and, ultimately, a national Teaching Advancement at University (TAU) Fellowship. He also emphasised the complementary relationship between teaching and learning and research. He referred to teaching as an integral part of SU as a research-led university, commenting that “research on how to teach well is as important as research on what you teach."

Current holders of teaching fellowships are:

  • Prof Ingrid Rewitzky (Vice-Dean: Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Science)
  • Dr Elize Archer (Centre for Health Professions Education, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences)
  • Dr Berna Gerber (Division of Speech-Language and Hearing Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences)
  • Ms Marianne McKay (Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Faculty of AgriSciences)
  • Dr Michael Schmeisser (Department of Horticultural Science, Faculty of AgriSciences)
  • Dr Marianne Unger (Division of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences)

Any questions about the Teaching Fellowships can be directed to Dr Karin Cattell-Holden, or X 3074. More information about the SoTL conference and the FIRTL grants is available on the Centre of Teaching & Learning (CTL) website at  


Picture caption: Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel with ( from the left) Prof Dana Niehaus, Prof Nicola Plastow
Prof Elmarie Costandius en Prof Ian Nell.  Right under: Prof Geo Quinot (who could not attend the ceremony)