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SU Museum hosts a conversation on the role of struggle songshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5671SU Museum hosts a conversation on the role of struggle songsRozanne Engel - Corporate Communications / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>​</p><p>“Nkosi Sikeleli Afrika" (Lord Bless Africa), “Ndodemnyama" (Beware, Verwoerd!) and “Sikakela Izwe Lakithi" (We Protest for Our Land) are but a few iconic struggle songs that have been sung during the fight against apartheid in South Africa. In contemporary South Africa, struggle songs have become the background music to all social justice movements and protests and still play an important role in mobilising, building morale and creating a sense of unity among those who are fighting for a particular cause.</p><p>To celebrate Freedom Day and shed some insight on the role and importance of these songs, the Stellenbosch University (SU) Museum, in partnership with the SU Transformation Office and the Robben Island Museum, hosted a conversation entitled “The role of struggle songs in the attainment of our freedom."</p><p>One of the key speakers at the event was Muntu Nxumalo, ex-political prisoner on Robben Island and musician, who has played an integral part in the creation of some of the country's most iconic struggle songs. During the event, Nxumalo emphasised the importance of understanding the meaning and significance of struggle songs.</p><p>“Struggle songs are a form of music that you shall never forget. This is a special kind of music reminding us where we come from, where we are today and where we are going. A lot of the songs that are still being sung today during protests played an important part in fighting against apartheid and haves a very special meaning when you look at what freedom really means."</p><p>Arrested in 1978 by the then apartheid state, Nxumalo was sentenced to 22 years at Robben Island Prison. He was released from prison in 1991. Nxumalo later became a director in the Correctional Service Department and, until his retirement recently, was the director of the Robben Island Project, a community outreach programme, where he worked for over 15 years.</p><p>Displaying his musical talent, Nxumalo gave those attending the conversation a taste of some of the struggle songs by playing his guitar, singing and even teaching the audience some of the songs, persuading people to join his performance.</p><p>One of the other speakers at the event was Lwazi Pakade, a Political Science student at SU and one of the former leaders of the Open Stellenbosch and #FeesMustFall movements. He reiterated Nxumalo's sentiments, in that the true meaning and significance of struggle songs should never be forgotten. He also expressed the sentiment that those who use struggle songs today should understand the origins and intended use of these songs.</p><p>“Struggle songs touch people differently. The culture of singing and dance has always been an intrinsic part of Africa. Our people sing to express grief, happiness or disagreement with towards the government. Struggle songs have helped us mobilise people, share an identity and articulate a particular message in different contexts," says Pakade.</p><p>While Nxumalo and Pakade expressed the importance of struggle songs, Masego Mafata, a second-year BA International Studies student at SU, shared her gratitude towards Nxumalo for his fight against apartheid and sharing his wisdom on the importance of struggle songs in South Africa.</p><p>“I've been privileged enough to be born into a free South Africa, and it is people like Baba Nxumalo and student leaders like Pakade who have helped give this new generation of students better opportunities at tertiary institutions and reminded us of how far we've come."</p><p>Mafata further says that her generation should never sing struggle songs out of context. She believes that these songs should be sung with sincerity and the cognisance of the meaning and origins behind them. “Struggle songs carry a wealth of emotion, being pain, hope or victory. Music has always been the fruit of life. Music is the fruit that one bears when one can no longer articulate what one is feeling into speech, and the struggle songs we have come to know help people articulate those feelings," says Mafata. <br></p><p>Watch the full conversation here:<br></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/v3Sb5u0fP5U" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p>​</p><p>For cellphone users click <a href="https://youtu.be/v3Sb5u0fP5U">here </a>.<br></p><p>Photo from left: Muntu Nxumalo , Lwazi Pakade , Masego Mafata.  <br><br></p>
Afrikaans Department hosts international conferences focused on translation and interpreting https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5672Afrikaans Department hosts international conferences focused on translation and interpreting Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">​Two international conferences focused on interpreting and translation studies are being hosted by the Afrikaans and Dutch Department<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>by<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>the<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>Non-Professional Interpreting and Translation<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>(NPIT4)<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>organisation from 22 to 24 May 2018 and the<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>Association for Translation Studies in Africa<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>(ATSA) from 25-26 May.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Both conferences are held at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) at Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Prof Harold Lesch, a lecturer in Interpreting and Afrikaans Linguistics and the main organiser of the NPIT4 conference, the NPIT4 “provides an opportunity for researchers and practitioners within the field of interpreting and translation studies to share recent and relevant work within this discipline and related to the activities of non-professional interpreters and translators".<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The conference will build on previous international discussions regarding interpreting and translation offered by non-professional interpreters and translators which were initiated by the organisation in Bologna in 2012, in Mainz in 2015 and in Zurich in 2016. This year the conference will focus on <em>Finding a balance between required skills and available resources in non-professional interpreting and translation.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“As a language intermediary certain skills are required, but in the case of non-professionals these skills can be absent or there could be a lack thereof but nevertheless a service is being provided – dare I say a functional service. The divide between a first and second economy is prevalent in the African context and the practice of non-professional language intermediaries proves to have a role to play. In the same vein people are flocking to affluent countries, also to SA from other African countries and extended communication, extended due to the service of an interpreter – as opposed to a linear communication – is an everyday reality. The language combinations also bring its own challenges," says Lesch.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Some of the topics to be addressed during the three-day conference, include defining and mapping the field of non-professional interpreting and translation; ad hoc interpreting and translation in everyday life; language brokering by family members (oral, written or sign language); non-professional sign language interpreting; and interdisciplinary approaches to research in non-professional interpreting and translation.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Interpreting in itself is an age-old practice. Within the context of the recent past, emphasis was placed on the professional interpreter and translator. However, one is of the opinion that the role of the non-professional language intermediary is also a source for research and empirical studies. The term non-professional brings its own ramifications to the topic, but in essence, it refers to a non-trained, semi-trained or unpaid language practitioner. This is in contradiction to the professionally trained and experienced interpreter. One is of the opinion that there is room for both within our context," adds Lesch.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Keynote speakers will include Prof Cecilia Wadensjö,  Professor of Interpreting and Translation Studies at The Institute for Interpreting and Translation Studies in the Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism at Stockholm University; Prof Leslie Swartz, a clinical psychologist and Distinguished Professor of Psychology at SU; and Prof Maria Tymoczko, Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The ATSA conference, which starts on Friday, 25 May, will be the first official conference of the association and will focus on <em>Translation and context: Perspectives on and from Africa</em>. ATSA was founded in 2016 in Nairobi with SU's Prof Ilse Feinauer as a founding member. The conference in Stellenbosch was planned at the founding meeting to coincide with SU's centenary celebrations as well as Africa Day.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“To consider Africa as a context, one could conceptualise Africa from a number of perspectives. In translation studies, a postcolononial perspective and political-culture perspective, could be used, to name only two. Researchers could also use alternative conceptual perspectives from which to study translation," says Feinauer, who is the Vice Dean: Languages in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and  Professor in Translation Studies and Afrikaans Linguistics in the Department. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Recent work in conceptualising the relationship between translation and development would be one option. It also seems that many options exist for sociological studies as not much has been written about translation in Africa from a sociological perspective. Translation studies scholars have also not yet explored the economy, in particular the informal economy, as a discussion partner for translation studies. Tapping into the oral culture of Africa may open further avenues. Lastly, the teaching of translation and interpreting in Africa in response to the contextual constraints that the context set is an avenue that warrants exploration," adds Feinauer who is also the convenor of the ATSA conference. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Feinauer, delegates from countries all over Africa including Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania as well as persons from countries such asBelgium, Canada, Switzerland, and the UK will attend the conference. Some of the topics to be discussed are theoretical work on context and universalism in translation studies, including the implications of continentalism; conceptualisations of translation as influenced by Africa as context; empirical data on translation and interpreting practices in Africa; and comparing data from Africa with data from other contexts.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The conference will be followed by the 5<sup>th</sup>School for PhD students in Translation Studies in Africa from 28 May until 1 June. The guest professor will be Prof Tymoczko from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I want to specifically thank Stellenbosch University for the Africa Collaboration Grant  that covered most of the costs for both the ATSA conference and the PhD School."<br></p>
"First generation experience" attracts many top learnershttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5668"First generation experience" attracts many top learnersLiesel Koch<p>​Universities can be quite daunting for learners who have no experience of academic or tertiary institutions. On 10 May the Faculty of Engineering welcomed top learners in Grades 11 and 12 whose parents have not had the opportunity to study at a university. During this event, called the <em>First Generation Experience</em>, learners could feel the exciting vibe of campus, hear about the six Engineering Programmes and even meet the Dean. </p><p>This exciting new outreach is the brainchild of August Engelbrecht who is responsible for student recruitment and retention at the Faculty of Engineering. Where does his bright idea come from? Mr Engelbrecht explains: "Participation in higher education in South Africa is still very low compared to more advanced economies. We should promote university education, especially in the coloured and black communities in the Western Cape. Since many parents of top achieving learners did not experience tertiary education, for instance in Engineering, there is a lack of role models for the younger generation. The result is that Engineering is not a preferred career choice amongst the youth of certain communities. Furthermore, Stellenbosch University is not well known in these communities.</p><p>He continues: "Many learners in these areas do well at school despite challenges, such as a lack of proper infrastructure at their schools. They are often unaware of the many doors of opportunity good results in Mathematics and Science can open for them. These communities have a lot of talent and potential but sadly, it is largely underutilised." </p><p>He elaborates: "The marvellous response from schools and learners overwhelmed us! We welcomed 134 keen learners from 25 schools at our pilot event. Although most of the learners hail from quantile 1 to 3 schools, we invited schools from all over the spectrum. Some of the schools that were represented, were: Centre for Science and Technology (COSAT) in Khayelitsha, Claremont High School, DF Malan High School, Kayamandi Secondary School, Kylemore Secondary School, Parel Vallei High School and Paul Roos Gymnasium.</p><p>The Dean, Prof Wikus van Niekerk, welcomed the "First Generation Learners" with this thought-provoking message: "Engineers are among the most valued professionals in the world today." One of Faculty's young lecturers, Prof Cara Schwarz, also addressed the crowd. She is a reputable researcher and a shining example of a first generation student who excelled at university. She encouraged the learners with these words: "I was also a first generation student. My dream became a reality...never stop pursuing your dreams..."</p><p>The Faculty of Engineering invited Dr Gillian Arendse, Deputy Director: Centre for Student Recruitment and Career Advice, as motivation speaker, and collaborated with colleagues from the Faculties of Natural Science and AgriSciences to present the learners with more options in the Science, Engineering and Technology fields of study. This was followed by a guided tour through campus, the Neelsie Student Centre, residences and a visit to AmaMaties HUB. <a href="/afrikaans/faculty/eng/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=%7B13F015B2-8FA0-4AD3-9AD8-4A03A2699A44%7D&file=First%20Generation%20Experience%20Programme.pdf&action=default">(See the full programme here.)</a></p><p>A very satisfied Mr Engelbrecht concludes: "Our next step is to nurture the Grade 12s in this group who apply in time for Engineering studies and who are accepted provisionally for study in 2019. We would like to invite them to experience a class first hand in the September school holidays. In the longer term, we will also keep a close eye on the Grade 11s who show an interest in Engineering as a career. We intend to have a similar function again next year."</p><p>Photograph:</p><p>August Engelbrecht (the adult in the group) and the keen, top achieving learners who attended the First Generation Experience on 2018.05.10 at the Faculty of Engineering.<br></p>
Justine looks toward Tokyo 2020https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5669Justine looks toward Tokyo 2020Varsity Sports<p> <br></p><p>“I'm sad that I won't compete at a Varsity Athletics meet again. I've watched the competition develop over the past few years and it was a good experience. Now it's time for younger athletes to make their mark," she says.</p><p>Justine<span style="color:#333333;font-family:"droid sans";background-color:#ffffff;"> Palframan </span> , who is busy with her BSc honours in Biokinetics, is the reigning SA champion in the 200m and 400m. She represented South Africa at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 and has won two medals at the World Student Games – gold in the 400m in 2015 and silver in the 400m in 2017.</p><p>She has been in scintillating form this year, running a personal best time in the 200m (22.83s) at the recent USSA Athletics Championships. She is also nearing a personal best time in the 400m.</p><p>“I'm enjoying my running at the moment. I'm focusing less on the results and more on getting the race plan right."</p><p>She and her coach, Dr Suzanne Ferreira, are working on making small improvements and changing habits with the long-term goal of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.</p><p>As a Maties High Performance student-athlete, Justine has access to all the knowledge, services and technological support offered by the Maties Sport High Performance Unit. Her training group – which includes Paralympic stars Charl du Toit, Dyan Buis and Anruné Weyers – also provides excellent support and motivation.</p><p>Her athletic and academic career also received a significant boost when she was named one of the first two recipients of the Bettie Harmsen Scholarship. Bettie Harmsen, born Buitendag, was a keen athlete and Stellenbosch University graduate who received her BSc Honours in Medical Biochemistry in 1989. She passed away in 2016 at the age of 50 after a fierce battle with cancer. Days before her death, she and her husband Hans decided to award a scholarship to promising SU track and field athletes. The family has committed to donate $10 000 per year for a minimum of ten years.</p><p>Justine is very aware of the importance of support.</p><p>When she was growing up in KwaZulu-Natal, someone told her parents that no top sportsman or woman will ever come out of a small town like Eshowe because they don't have adequate facilities. Justine is proof that this is not true. She overcame the lack of facilities by training on her school Eshowe High's hockey field with her dad, Steve Palframan, as her coach.</p><p>She believes many people don't reach their full potential because the obstacles they face seem unsurmountable.</p><p>“I would like to say to them: I know you don't have this, but you might have something else. You have to be inventive. It is possible to get to the top using what you have. It is not an excuse."</p><p>For now, Justine's goal is preparing for the Athletics World Cup in London in July. She is in the squad for this event and is awaiting the final team selection. She also wants to compete in one or two other races in Europe.</p><p>She has been an excellent ambassador for Stellenbosch University over the years and represented them, along with three other representatives from Maties Sport, at the 7th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport in Botswana from 17 to 20 May.<br><br></p><p><br></p>
SU’s Akile Khoza competes for Miss SA crown https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5670SU’s Akile Khoza competes for Miss SA crown Asiphe Nombewu/ Corporate Communication<p>​</p><p>Twenty-three-year old Master's student in Neuroscience at Stellenbosch University (SU), Akile Khoza is one of the top 12 finalists in the annual Miss South Africa pageant to be held on Sunday (27 May 2018) The Mpumalanga brainy beauty will be competing against 11 other beauties from different parts of the country.</p><p>In a recent online question and answer session, she revealed her dream of inspiring young girls to chase their dreams. On the official Miss SA website, Akile was quoted as saying: “I want to be a vessel of hope and a symbol of beauty that transcends deeper than physical beauty."</p><p>She also mentioned that she spends most of her time doing research for her Master's degree.<br></p><p> Akile added that her mother, who is also an SU alumna, is her role model.<br></p><p>“She started off as a housewife and raised three amazing kids. In seeing the journey of growth in her own kids, she wanted to be an example of hard-work and demonstrate the importance of pursing higher education, especially coming from a background of where many were denied this opportunity in the past. So she decided to go to school and study to become a teacher. She became more than a teacher that just teaches; she became an encourager, a caregiver and a mother to her students. She pursued her studies further and recently obtained her PHD degree at Stellenbosch University."</p><p>Like any proud Matie, Akile said Matie FM is her favourite radio station.<br></p><p>Speaking to Corporate Communication,  her supervisor Dr Theo Nell from the Department of Physiological Sciences described Akile as a very humble and hardworking student.</p><p> “She has achieved so much over the years I have known her (undergraduate as well as post- graduate – since 2014-2018).  She is very ambitious, focussed and asks a lot of questions because of her curious mind," said Nell.</p><p>He added that she is a beautiful person on the inside and on the outside, kind caring and with a lot of empathy for people around her.<br></p><p>Nell said she made the absolute best choice of studying in Human Life Sciences (Psychology and Biology).<br></p><p>He said that when Akile told him about being in the top 12, he promised her that he would attend the pageant to show his support.<br></p><p>“I am positive she will be our next Queen!  She is such a go-getter!  Nothing will ever stop her from reaching her goals", he added.<br></p><p> </p><p> </p><p><br></p>
Four Maties in Junior Springbok squadhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5667Four Maties in Junior Springbok squadMaties Sport Media<p>The Junior Boks will be in action at the World Rugby U20 Championship in the south of France from 30 May to 17 June.<br></p><p>All four players were in the Maties Young Guns squad that won the Varsity Cup's u20 tournament for the first time in the tournament's history this year. Sandi and Erasmus had limited exposure in the maroon jersey because of injuries, but Jooste scored four tries in the final and Dixon was named Player of the Match. </p><p>Jooste also played for the Junior Boks in 2017.</p><p>“Playing for my country has always been a dream for me, ever since I can remember. To be part of this setup and getting the opportunity is such a blessing. I have to thank my heavenly Father for the immense privilege to play for the Junior Springboks. I am living my dream. I will never take these opportunities and experiences for granted," said Jooste.</p><p>The team will meet Georgia in their opening pool match on Wednesday 30 May, and then take on Ireland on Sunday 3 June and France on Thursday 7 June in the pool stages.<br><br></p>
Jonathan Jansen appointed at Stellenbosch Universityhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5215Jonathan Jansen appointed at Stellenbosch UniversityCorporate Communications / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>​​The public intellectual and former vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State, Prof Jonathan Jansen, has accepted a position at Stellenbosch University (SU).</p><p>Jansen (61), an A-rated scientist with the National Research Foundation, will take up the position of distinguished professor in the Faculty of Education, where he will be teaching and conducting research on school governance, management, leadership and policy. He will also serve as a mentor to postgraduate students. </p><p>Announcing the appointment, Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, said the institution would greatly benefit from Jansen's expertise as foremost author, thought leader and education specialist. “Prof Jansen is arguably one of the leading pedagogues of our time, but also the proverbial voice in the wilderness, addressing not only the state of the nation, but – equally important – the state of education in our beloved country." </p><p>Prof Nico Koopman, Vice-Rector: Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, added: “Prof Jansen is a scholar at heart. We are confident that his research expertise will have a meaningful social impact on all levels of the education system in South Africa."  </p><p>Equally pleased at the prospect of welcoming Prof Jansen to SU's Faculty of Education, Prof Yusef Waghid, acting dean of the Faculty, said: “Prof Jansen's appointment offers tremendous opportunities for colleagues to engage with him in deliberative, responsible and courageous conversations – dialogues relating to what a university is and ought to do. I am optimistic that Prof Jansen's intellectual voice and passion for education will have a positive impact on the scholarly work with which the Faculty is associated. This is another opportunity to enhance our quest for our quest for a meaningful and just schooling system" </p><p>Commented Jansen: “I am very excited about this opportunity to work at one of the best universities on the continent and with some of the leading educational researchers in the field. I do hope to make a small contribution with my colleagues to making research count in the transformation of schools and in preparing the next generation of scholars."</p><p>Jansen, a recipient of three honorary doctorates and a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2016/17, will take up the position at SU as from 1 November.​<br><br></p><p><strong>MORE ABOUT PROF JONATHAN JANSEN</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Jonathan Jansen is a senior professor formerly associated with the University of the Free State, South Africa. Apart from having served as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2016/17, he is also the president of both the South African Institute of Race Relations and the South African Academy of Science.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He started his career as a biology teacher in the Cape after he had completed his science degree at the University of the Western Cape. He went on to obtain an MS degree from Cornell University and a PhD from Stanford. Jansen also holds honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Vermont and Cleveland State University. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2013, he was awarded the Lifetime Achiever Award for Africa at the Education Africa Global Awards in New York, as well as the University of California's Spendlove Award for his contribution to tolerance, democracy and human rights. The next year, he won the Nayef Al Rodhan Prize from the British Academy for the Social Sciences and Humanities<em> </em>for his book <em>Knowledge in the Blood</em> (published by Stanford University Press).  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">More recent publications by Jansen include <em>Leading for Change</em> (Routledge, 2016), <em>As by fire: the end of the South African university</em> (Tafelberg, 2017), <em>Interracial intimacies on campuses</em> (Bookstorm, 2017) and <em>Song for Sarah</em> (Bookstorm, 2017). Products of his pen to appear in 2018 include <em>Inequality in South African schools</em> (with Nic Spaull, published by Springer), <em>Politics of Curriculum</em> (as editor) and <em>Now that I know</em>, a book on South African families who were separated by the racial laws of the 1950s.<br></p><p><br></p>
Experience anatomy like never beforehttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4985Experience anatomy like never beforeWilma Stassen<p>​An exciting new online tool that is set to revolutionise the learning and teaching of anatomy and physiology has recently been acquired by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS).</p><p>“This interactive educational resource will give students and academics access to human anatomy in ways that were not possible before," said FMHS Vice Dean: Learning and Teaching, Prof Julia Blitz.</p><p>This online learning platform, called Primal Pictures, is accessible to all students and staff via the library website or by following the direct link to <a href="http://www.anatomy.tv/"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">www.anatomy.tv</span></a>. The portal can be accessed via computer, smartphone and tablet devices. </p><p>This cutting-edge technology gives users access to thousands of interactive visuals of anatomy structures and systems that can be manipulated to be viewed in 3D. The visuals are accompanied by multimedia tutorials available at the click of a button. </p><p>Customised visuals and text can also be downloaded to PDF, which can be saved and accessed without an internet connection, or printed to a hard copy. </p><p>Other content includes photographs, radiological scans, text, videos, quizzes, colouring-in images and more.</p><p>“The available modules cover not only anatomy, but also physiology. It is a resource that is both a study aid for undergraduate and postgraduate students across all the health professions, and a teaching aid for lecturers," Blitz explained.</p><p>All the Primal Pictures multimedia content can be used by lecturers to aid teaching, and some of the content can also be customised to be used in tests.</p><p>According to Mr Tim Smith, director of Learning Curve, the supplier of Primal Pictures, this educational tool has been rolled out at eight other universities in South Africa, and has already made a considerable difference to students' understanding of anatomy.</p><p> </p><p><em>Caption: Ms Ilana van Niekerk, chair of the Tygerberg Academic Affairs Council, Mr Tim Smit, Business Development Director for Learning Curve, Mr Jaydon Foiret, a postgraduate student at the FMHS, Mr Eben Mouton, Director: Business Management at the FMHS, Mr Daniel Smith from Learning Curve, Prof Jimmy Volmink, Dean: FMHS, and Prof Julia Blitz, Vice Dean: Learning and Teaching at the FMHS.</em></p>
From BSc to clinical research associatehttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4176From BSc to clinical research associateCommunication & Media, Faculty of Science<p>BSc alumnus Eugene Pretorius is in a sought-after position at an international biopharmaceutical services company whose services include performing clinical trials for various pharmaceutical and medical device companies.</p><p>He has recently completed his training and is now a certified clinical research associate (CRA) at Quintiles, a Fortune 500 company with over 36 000 employees in more than 100 countries.</p><p>Although he dreamed of becoming a doctor, he started his successful career by obtaining a BSc degree instead: "I want to advise students not to start a BSc degree without a definite career plan. Do your research about career options and look at the jobs available in that field of study". </p><p>He agreed to answer a few questions about his studies and subsequent career path. </p><p><strong>Where did you grow up? </strong></p><p>I grew up in a small town in the Eastern Cape – Middelburg. We were about 200 learners from Grade 8 to 12 in the school.</p><p><strong>Why did you decide to study BSc at Stellenbosch University?</strong></p><p>My grandfather and uncles all went to Stellenbosch – so it was always a dream to follow in their footsteps. As I excelled academically and was good at numbers, I initially wanted to study chemical engineering or actuarial science. </p><p>In 2007 however, my mother suddenly became ill and passed away. I made a promise that I will spend the rest of my life saving lives. Because of this promise I dropped computer studies and switched to biology in matric. </p><p>I applied for medicine everywhere, but without a Grade 11 biology mark, I couldn't get in. Finally I decided to study BSc, determined to work hard and then get in after my first year. I was so focussed on medicine that a second career option never existed. Although I worked hard and applied every year, the reality was that I never got into medicine – the most disappointing time in my life.</p><p>After my second year, I qualified to take Anatomy as major for BSc Human Life Sciences. </p><p>After graduating from SU, I did my BMedSc Honors in Clinical Anatomy and Cell Morphology at the University of the Free State. It was closer to home and more affordable. That was followed by a MMedSc in Anatomy. </p><p>Soon after starting my master's, the reality of limited funding and study debt hit me.  I got an internship with Quintiles in the data management department whilst lecturing to first-year students on a part-time basis and doing my master's, working 16 to 20 hours a day. </p><p><strong>How did you land up at your current employer? </strong></p><p>While working as an intern in the data management department, I applied for a CRA trainee job as part of the company's global development programme. </p><p>I completed my training and am now an independent and certified Clinical Research Associate. The next step will be to gain enough experience so that I can become a senior CRA and then I want to go into clinical project management. </p><p><strong>What is a typical working day like for you? </strong></p><p>Let's say a new chemotherapy for lung cancer needs to be tested, I will work with oncologists all over South Africa. I make sure the sites recruit subjects (usually patients) to participate in the study and then I "audit" (monitor) the doctor and the subjects on the trial to ensure all is done with subject safety first and according to good clinical practice.</p><p>I also travel a lot. I have just returned from London regarding a new paediatric gastroenteritis study. I work 40 - 50 hours per week and earn a competitive salary.</p><p><strong>What advice would you like to give to students about study and career options? </strong></p><p>I have made the decision not to let the fact that I did not get into medicine affect me for the rest of my life. We all have regrets and reminisce about how different things could have been – but then you get up and do what you have to do.</p><p>Today I am part of a very big machine that ensures new drugs get approved to save someone's life or at the very least increase their quality of life. </p><p>Maybe if my mother didn't pass away I would not be where I am now. </p><p>I want to advise students not to start a BSc-degree without a definite career plan. Do your research about career options and look at the jobs available in that field of study.</p><p>It is an easy trap to fall into: 'I did not get into medicine so I will study BSc and then try again'. Life doesn't work that way. Have a second, a third and even a fourth alternative for when things don't go as planned. </p><p><strong>Your plans for the future?</strong></p><p>I recently got engaged so for now its wedding bells ringing! Next will be an MBA. I want to end up on the business side of this industry, making decisions. </p><p><strong>How did you manage to pay off your study loans? </strong></p><p>I am still paying back and will be for the next four years! But if I had not taken out a loan, in fact more than one, I would never have been able to study in the first place and the career I have now would never have been an option. </p><p><strong>Anything else you would like to mention?</strong></p><p>Prof. Faadiel Essop, then head of the Department of Physiological Sciences at SU. I will never forget sitting in his office, desperate about my future. He inspired me to finish my degree, to work hard for what I want and to never back down after disappointments. To this day he remains a reference on my CV. </p><p>If you need more information about a career as clinical research associate, visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3275991/ </p>
SU appoints two new deanshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4601SU appoints two new deansWayne Muller<p>Stellenbosch University (SU) has appointed two new deans: Prof Nicola Smit will be the Dean of Law, while Prof Wikus van Niekerk will be the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering.</p><p>Prof Smit (44), who succeeds Prof Sonia Human, completed her undergraduate studies in Law at the University of Pretoria, and received a doctorate in Law from the then Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg) in 2002.</p><p>Her field of study is Labour Law, and she has taught in this field at the Universities of Pretoria and Johannesburg, as well as at UNISA.</p><p>From 2010 to 2012, Prof Smit was the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Johannesburg, and in January 2013, she was appointed Executive Dean of the Law Faculty at the North-West University's Potchefstroom campus.</p><p>She will take up her new position at SU on 1 August 2017.</p><p>Prof Van Niekerk (54), who completed his undergraduate studies in Engineering at SU, succeeds Prof Hansie Knoetze. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1994, and is currently studying towards an MBA at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town.</p><p>A registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa, Prof Van Niekerk was appointed professor at SU in January 2000. His research field is renewable energy and its contribution to mitigate climate change.</p><p>Since August 2006, he has been the Director of SU's Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, and is also a founding director and shareholder of three companies who specialise in that field, namely Sound Research Laboratories South Africa, GeoSUN Africa, and Stelenergy (2013 to 2016).</p><p>Prof Van Niekerk takes up his position on 1 July 2017.</p>