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SA faces particular structural barriers to behavioural change amidst pandemic​​https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7525SA faces particular structural barriers to behavioural change amidst pandemic​​Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p></p><p style="text-align:justify;">​​As the COVID-19 infection rate accelerates at an alarming pace in South Africa, an article authored by two academics at Stellenbosch University (SU) warns that adherence to lockdown rules in conditions where citizens live without secure and paid work may be difficult without addressing the country's particular structural barriers to behavioural change.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“In South Africa, unlike in the United States where the infection rate is climbing at an exponential rate due to political and ideological reasons, we are facing specific structural barriers that are particular to this country and will hinder individual behavioural change," explains Prof Ashraf Kagee, a psychologist and Distinguished Professor of Psychology at SU, who is one of the co-authors of the research article.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The article was co-authored with Dr Bronwyné Jo'sean Coetzee, also from the Psychology Department at SU.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“While our President has managed the situation well and the implementation of the lockdown has given our health systems time to get ready for the influx of COVID-19 infected patients and the large number of people who now require treatment, lockdowns require people to stay home and only leave their homes to purchase essentials such as groceries and medication," says Kagee.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“As we know, in low- and middle-income countries, many of which have large proportions of the population living in precarity, lockdown forces millions of people to spend prolonged periods of time together in close proximity to one another and with limited resources. In many ways, efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in densely populated communities with limited access to food, water and sanitation may seem counter-intuitive and be quite difficult under conditions of precarity," add Kagee and Coetzee.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">These circumstances, explain Kagee and Coetzee, have again highlighted the fact that while COVID-19 may not discriminate against anyone in terms of vulnerability to infection, it does discriminate based on socio-economic status.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Isolation assumes that everyone has access to personal space and has the ability to continue with paid work from home. In many low- and middle-income countries like South Africa, work is often of a physical nature and cannot be done remotely, as may be the case with many white collar jobs that have been integrated into the digital economy. Thus jobs in the informal sector such as street vending, mini-bus taxi driving, hawking, artisanship, domestic helping, and casual work in small businesses, which are common in South Africa are likely to be lost. To this extent COVID-19 does indeed discriminate by socio-economic status as it exacerbates social and inequality that occurs consequential to lock down."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Like many other experts in various sectors in South Africa, Kagee and Coetzee echo the same sentiment – managing the crisis in this country will require a multi-disciplinary team of experts such as policy makers, economists, psychologists, and medical professionals to work together to find realistic solutions that are specific to South Africa's challenges. They believe that there is also a unique role for psychologist and mental health specialists to play to ensure behavioural change and adherence to regulations.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Coetzee and Kagee are however cognisant of the fact that “behavioural change is difficult and complex" under even the best of circumstances. However, by utilising what is known as the Theoretical Domains Framework, which incorporates a range of theories on behaviour change which was developed by health psychologists and theorists and implementation researchers in the context of other health challenges, they have identified possible solutions to local challenges. The framework uses factors such as knowledge; skills; social/professional role and identity; beliefs about capabilities; optimism; beliefs about consequences; reinforcement; intentions; goals; memory, attention and decision processes; the environmental context and resources; social influences; emotions; and behavioural regulation to measure behaviour change.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Based on this framework, we have made some recommendations that may ameliorate the severity of the lockdown in low- and middle-income countries like South Africa. The first is for governments in these countries to take their populations into their confidence and ensure proper access to information concerning the spread of the pandemic. Access to such information needs to be readily and easily accessible, simple and clear and updated frequently with accuracy and care," Kagee and Coetzee explain.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“It entails placing an emphasis on the responsibilities of citizens to take care of their health and that of their compatriots, rather than on the punitive consequences associated with the violation of lockdown conditions. Relatedly, the rationale for lockdown rules need to be communicated in a transparent way to citizens by governments. This is one of the things that I have been very critical about. We have ministers that come up with suggestions and guidelines that do not make sense to the South African population, however, to ensure adherence government needs to take its citizens in its confidence and share the information on which they base their decisions," adds Kagee.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Kagee and Coetzee also advise that “authoritarian and military approaches to ensuring adherence should be kept to a minimum".</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Other recommendations made by Kagee and Coetzee include:</p><ol style=""><li><strong>That information about COVID-19 and rules and regulations are made available and tailored to children and younger people</strong> and that parents are provided with tools and resources that are age-appropriate and child friendly. The tailoring of messages for the youth is of particular importance as past experiences, such as changing health risk behaviours amongst the youth when it comes practising safe sex, was difficult to implement amongst the youth. This is due to a sense amongst many youth that they may be invincible and have nothing to lose and thus immune to the coronavirus and its consequences.</li><li><strong>That internet access is made widely available by making data as affordable as possible, or even free, to ensure the free flow of information to all citizens:</strong> Free or affordable data will allow more people to access information, including where to seek help for COVID-19-related symptoms, mental health conditions, help for those affected by gender-based violence, and access to learning materials for school and university learners. </li><li><strong>Criminalising fake news and misinformation to minimise panic and incorrect health practices.</strong></li><li><strong>Scaling up access to e-banking</strong> to allow more citizens to receive welfare relief in countries where national budgets permit this. </li><li><strong>NGOs and local charities are roped in</strong><strong> </strong>to provide food relief to impoverished communities as well as providing water tanks and sanitising equipment provided by government.</li><li><strong>Engaging traditional healers</strong> <strong>in countries where they have influence</strong>, to encourage people to adhere to lockdown regulations and safety behaviours.</li></ol><p style="text-align:justify;">Adherence is not only hard for those living in overcrowded areas in South Africa as has been proven through the public sharing of video and photographs of individuals living in better economic conditions breaking the rules. This, says Kagee, is partially due to the fact that individuals have an inherent “need to be with other people and engage".</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“There is a lot of anxiety amongst ordinary people who are worried about whether they will have access to health care when they get sick or what will happen should they end up in hospital and have to be placed on a ventilator, which brings up concerns about death. People with pre-existing mental health conditions are struggling even more, while gender-based violence has also increased."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The reality is that this virus is not going to go away soon and there is no way of predicting when things will stabilise, which means that we need to find solutions to mitigate risk under these circumstances. A couple of decades ago, nobody wore seatbelts and people smoked in cinemas, but that changed over the years with the implementation of regulations which brought about behaviour change. It shows that we can shift social norms and are able to do so once again with this pandemic to at least ameliorate the severity of the lockdown."<br></p><p style="">The full research article can be accessed here: <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2020.1779331">https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2020.1779331</a><br><br></p><p><br><br></p>
SU theatre complex to be named after Adam Smallhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5898SU theatre complex to be named after Adam SmallCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie (Martin Viljoen)<p>​The refurbished theatre complex of Stellenbosch University (SU) will be named after the award-winning poet and playwright, Adam Small.<br></p><p>The Drama Department proposed and motivated the naming after a considered and inclusive process. </p><p>The Executive Committee of the SU Council, which approves the names of buildings in accordance with the applicable SU policy, recently accepted the name at the recommendation of the Rectorate and the SU Committee for the Naming of Buildings, Venues and other Facilities/Premises.</p><p>Small's widow, Dr Rosalie Small, has already given her approval for the naming of the complex after her late husband.</p><p>“Stellenbosch University is grateful and proud to be associated with the rich legacy of Adam Small. We would like to see the vision of human dignity and healing justice to which he as an academic and playwright was committed, realised," says Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor.</p><p>Prof Nico Koopman, Vice-Rector: Transformation, Social Impact and Personnel said that Adam Small used his academic pursuit, and specifically his many works in Afrikaans as instruments of transformation. “During apartheid, he helped us to move away from apartheid towards a democratic society, and now his legacy helps us to put his democratic vision of human dignity into practice." </p><p>“With this name change, SU wants to pay tribute to an icon. Without denying the past, we are saying that in future, we will include, and not the other way round," says Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation. “The name change is part of a process of visual redress and representation to make even more people feel at home on our campuses."</p><p>The Hertzog Prize for Drama of the <em>Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns</em> was awarded to Small in 2012 for his entire oeuvre, and specifically for <em>Kanna, hy k</em><em>ô </em><em>huistoe </em>(1965).</p><p>“The name was tabled in initial discussions about a name change at the end of 2017 already. In 2015 SU awarded Small, who is regarded as a role model, an honorary doctorate. His commitment to Afrikaans and his contribution to specifically<em> Kaaps Afrikaans (</em>Cape Afrikaans) as poet and playwright served as further motivation for the proposal," adds Dr Mareli Pretorius, incoming Chairperson of the Drama Department at SU.</p><p><strong>Refurbishment</strong></p><p>The large auditorium in the theatre complex is currently known as the HB Thom Theatre and although this name will no longer be used, it will be contextualised in the building. Before the refurbishment, the theatre consisted exclusively of a single auditorium, but the creative space now includes a seminar room and a smaller laboratory theatre. The Adam Small Theatre complex thus refers to the multifunctional facility as a whole.</p><p>The newly-expanded large auditorium boasts a mechanised system to lift even heavy décor pieces during shows, modern lighting that is fully LED functional and sound system that all comply with international standards. In the auditorium with its 324 seats, the lay-out is ideally suited to provide the audience with a superb visual experience.  </p><p>This theatre, as well as a second, smaller laboratory theatre and a brand new seminar room can be used commercially for both the performing arts and other functions such as conferences, lecture series and other events. </p><p>The adjacent Drama Department, which will now for the first time functionally join the theatre complex, has two new sound studios, a television recording studio and editor's suite; a computer user area; as well as refurbished and spacious rehearsal rooms and redesigned workplaces, including the theatre workshop, two props rooms and a costume studio and store.</p><p><strong>Inclusive process</strong></p><p>“An extensive and inclusive process was followed to determine the name for the theatre complex. Amongst others, meetings with the various year groups of the Drama Department delivered an overwhelmingly positive response," comments Pretorius. </p><p>She added that the Student Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences was also consulted, while a notice of the proposed name was circulated amongst specific community structures within the broader Stellenbosch area – together with a request for feedback. These include the Stellenbosch Municipality, Stellenbosch 360, e'Bosch and the Stellenbosch Council of Churches. A similar notice about the process, context and motivation for the name change was also sent to festival directors of the various national arts festivals while personal conversations were held with a selected group of alumni.</p><ul><li>Contact Dr Mareli Pretorius at tel 021 808 3089 or by e-mail at <a href="mailto:mareli@sun.ac.za">mareli@sun.ac.za</a> for more information.</li></ul><p> </p><p>END</p><p><em>* The University conferred an honorary doctorate on Small in December 2015 for “shifting the boundaries of </em><em>South African literature, for enriching the Afrikaans language, and for becoming a voice for the voiceless by articulating once forbidden subjects </em><em> </em><em>sensitively though strongly."</em><em>  </em></p><p><em>In awarding the honorary degree, the University described Small as a beloved and highly acclaimed poet and playwright who has </em><em>'written himself into' the very being of the South African nation as our compass and moral conscience poignantly commenting on the destructive apartheid system.</em></p><p><br></p>
John Kani honoured with honorary doctorate from SUhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7017John Kani honoured with honorary doctorate from SUCorporate Communication Division/Sandra Mulder<p style="text-align:justify;">​</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/wSjmGgSyR3w" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p>“The power of changing the country is in the hands of the citizens. We are the government. We voted them in and can vote them out." This was one of the inspiring messages in the acceptance speech of the internationally acclaimed actor and playwright John Kani after having received an honorary doctorate from Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p>Under great applause from graduates, their parents and other guests, the degree Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), <em>honoris causa</em>, was conferred on the 76-year-old Kani by the Presiding Officer, SU's Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers, at this morning's (13 December 2019) ninth and last December 2019 graduation ceremony. SU awarded the honorary degree to Kani to honour and recognise his lifetime dedication to using the performing arts as a tool for upliftment.</p><p>In Kani's gripping and inspiring message of hope to everyone in South Africa, he jokingly said that when he had been informed that the honorary doctorate was to be conferred on him, he thought that he had become “famous in Stellenbosch".  “To be honoured in this incredible way, made me feel so good and that my 76 years of existence and all our efforts were not in vain."</p><p>One of the stories that he told at the ceremony was about the time in 1984 when he and Atholl Fugard had to perform in Stellenbosch. They thought that they could not come to Stellenbosch as it was seen as the “headquarters of the Afrikanerdom".  “I thought what will the comrades think of us and they will think it is a sell-out." But they still came and performed for a week. “I was impressed by the good conversation with professors and lecturers but was most impressed by the young people speaking Afrikaans. I realised that the Afrikaner and I had one problem: We have nowhere else to go. My job will be to tell stories and my stories witness the journeys each individual takes."</p><p>In 1982, Kani was part of a hit list, which he ignored. He was attacked by security police and was taken by his wife to a hospital in Port Elizabeth with 11 stab wounds. “In the hospital, there was a white doctor who hid me in the isolation ward for infectious diseases. The security police found out that I had not died and went back to the hospital to complete the job of killing me. They did not want to enter the ward and I have this young white doctor to thank for my life," he said.</p><p>The last story Kani told the graduates and guests, was about his father always telling him that he needed to pay him back in rands and cents for the money spend on his education when he started working. “I told the same story to my eight children, but my currency was different. I told them that they had to make something of themselves and make a valuable contribution to humanity and society. Then they would have paid me back." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>The motivation​ for Kani's honorary doctorate</strong><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The SU Council and Senate decided to honour him with this degree in recognition and admiration for his unwavering and passionate commitment to the performing arts as actor, director and playwright; for his dedication to ensure access to the performing arts for young people from marginalised communities; for using the arts to educate, to create community and as a tool of expression for the oppressed; and in recognition of his commitment to excellence in his 50-year international career in the performing arts.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Kani was born in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, on 30 August 1943. His connection to drama, which started in school, continued after he matriculated. </p><p>As a young black man growing up in apartheid South Africa, his first desire had always been to be part of the struggle. His need to tell the stories of the oppressed and to see the effect they had on people developed his deeply held belief that theatre was a powerful tool for change and would become the catalyst for all of his work, acting, directing and writing. </p><p>In 1965 he joined the Serpent Players where his association and friendship with Winston Ntshona and Atholl Fugard started. In 1972 Kani, Fugard and Ntshona developed the seminal <em>Sizwe Banzi is Dead</em> and in 1973, they created and produced <em>The Island</em>. They took both plays to local and international stages and in 1974 Kani and Ntshona both won the coveted Tony Award for Best Actor in these two plays. </p><p>In 1977, Kani and Barney Simon established The Market Theatre, which focused equally on theatrical work and social upliftment. In 1990 they also founded The Market Theatre Laboratory, giving young people from marginalised circumstances the opportunity to study the performing arts. </p><p>In 1982, Kani and Sandra Prinsloo shook the very foundations of white South African society when they kissed on stage in Strindberg's <em>Miss Julie</em> at the Baxter Theatre. In 1987, he became the first black South African to play Shakespeare's Othello in our country. </p><p>Kani has written and starred in three plays: <em>Nothing but the Truth</em> (2002), <em>Missing</em> (2014) and <em>Kunene and the King</em> (2018). All three deal with deeply difficult South African themes of forgiveness, exile, isolation, identity and loss. </p><p>His most recent international successes include films such as <em>Black Panther</em> (2018), <em>The Lion King </em>(2019) and <em>Murder Mystery</em> (2019). </p><p>Kani holds four honorary degrees and his long list of awards include the Hiroshima Prize for Peace from the Swedish Academy, the Olive Schreiner Prize and the South African Film and Television Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received the kykNET Fiesta award for his lifetime contribution to the performing arts, as well as the Naledi World Impact Theatre Award. <br></p><p><br></p>
Vosloo couple invests in Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at SUhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6909Vosloo couple invests in Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at SUDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>​​​Ton Vosloo and Anet Pienaar-Vosloo, a couple with close ties to Stellenbosch University (SU), announced that from 2020 they will be sponsoring the Ton and Anet Vosloo Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at SU for five years.<br></p><p>In addition to the Chair, funds are made available for bursaries for deserving students studying Afrikaans at postgraduate level at SU.</p><p>According to the Vosloo couple, the Chair is aimed at further developing Afrikaans as an important instrument in the service of the entire South African community.</p><p>Until 2015, Vosloo was in the industry for 59 years as a journalist, editor, CEO and chairperson of Naspers, and for the past three years, professor of journalism at SU. Pienaar-Vosloo, also a former journalist, is filming the third television series <em>Mooi </em>for the VIA TV channel. She is a Matie who studied fine art, and is well known for her role as co-founder and director of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Aardklop and various other festivals across the country. She is also the first female chair of the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.</p><p>Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU, says the donation not only helps in maintaining Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, but also in promoting Afrikaans as a science and career language in a multilingual community. "As far as we know this is the first and only sponsored Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice at any university," he adds.</p><p>Prof Ilse Feinauer of the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch in SU's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, has been appointed incumbent of this Chair. She has been teaching at the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch since 1982, and since 1996 has been involved in the postgraduate programme in translation, which has been expanded under her guidance from a postgraduate diploma in translation to a PhD in translation. She chaired the Department from 2005 to the end of 2008 and held the position of Vice Dean: Research of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 2015 to 2018. In 2013, Feinauer became the first woman to be promoted to professor of Afrikaans linguistics at SU, and in 2014, the Taiyuan University of Technology in Taiyuan, Shanxi (China), awarded her an honorary professorship in their Faculty of International Language and Culture.</p><p>“It is an incredible honour and privilege for me to be able to hold this Chair in Afrikaans Language Practice. All credit goes to Prof Wim de Villiers for laying the groundwork to make this Chair a reality in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch."</p><p>According to Prof Feinauer, bursaries have already been awarded to four honours students, three master's students, two PhD students and one postdoctoral fellowship in Afrikaans and Dutch for 2020. “This Chair provides the Department with the opportunity to empower postgraduate students in particular to do research in and about Afrikaans in order to pursue a professional career after completing their studies in and through Afrikaans," she added.</p><p>When Ton Vosloo was asked why he and his wife came forward with the support of Afrikaans, he replied: “In my memoirs <em>Across Boundaries: A life in the media in a time of change</em>, published last year, I wrote a chapter entitled, 'Afrikaans in decline'. I made the point in the chapter that I hope gracious individuals would come forward who were concerned with the A to Z of Afrikaans.</p><p>“Anet and I have the grace that we can help. Afrikaans, as Jan Rabie put it, is our oxygen. Now is the time to step in further to develop this incredible source of knowledge for the sake of our nation's future. "</p><p>The Vosloos have been esteemed SU donors for some time.<br></p>
SU honours the late Rachel Kachaje for her visionary leadershiphttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7905SU honours the late Rachel Kachaje for her visionary leadershipCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking [Rozanne Engel]<p>​<br></p><p style="text-align:left;">Stellenbosch University (SU) has honoured the late Ms Rachel Kachaje, who passed away earlier this year, with an honorary doctorate.  The degree Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), <em>posthumous honoris causa</em>, was awarded to her for her creative and visionary leadership in elevating the debate on disability to regional and global platforms.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Her husband Gibson accepted the award on behalf of the family at a small physical graduation ceremony for doctoral graduates from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences held at SU's Endler Hall in the <em>Konservatorium</em> on Monday 14 December 2020.</p><p style="text-align:left;">During the ceremony, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers said that Kachaje's “effectiveness in disability advocacy" did not go unnoticed and that the University “salutes her extraordinary work" in advocating for the full inclusion of people with disabilities at local, regional and international level.<br></p><p style="text-align:left;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/HonDocAbsentia-3.jpg" alt="HonDocAbsentia-3.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:300px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:left;">“Kachaje was a disability activist for over 25 years, advocating for equal opportunities and rights for people with disabilities in Malawi, the African region and internationally. She challenged the prejudiced notions of disability and was known for her ability to inspire young people with disabilities, for her embodiment of the values of compassion, respect, excellence, accountability and equity," said De Villiers.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Kachaje, who became disabled at the age of three due to a polio outbreak, was working for the National Bank of Malawi when she first joined the disability movement in Malawi. She co-founded the Federation of Disability Organisations' (FEDOMA) in the 1990s and represented it in the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD).</p><p style="text-align:left;">In addition, Ms Kachaje was a board member of the Africa Disability Alliance and the EquitAble Project at Trinity College and Stellenbosch University, co-founder of Disabled Women in Development, commissioner of the National AIDS Commission and secretary of the African Disability Forum Board, to name just some of her leadership roles.</p><p style="text-align:left;">She was elected Minister of Disability and Elderly Affairs in Malawi and in 2004 received a Malawi Human Rights Award and a Diversity Leader Award.  She was part of the landmark negotiations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and contributed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) discussions.  </p><p style="text-align:left;">“Kachaje had a proven ability in advancing the agendas of people with disabilities in general and in particular women and girls with disabilities. Her mission was to advocate and promote rights for people with disabilities and to lead a life that would always affect them in a positive manner," said De Villiers.</p><p>To watch the full graduation ceremony, click <a href="https://youtu.be/4y9XqwQFPiE"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">here</strong></a>. ​<br></p><p><em>In the photo above from left, Prof Wim de Villiers​ (SU Rector & Vice-Chancellor), Prof Anthony Leysens ​(Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences), Gibson Kachaje and Justice Edwin Cameron (SU Chancellor)</em><br></p><p><br></p>
Meet the Teaching Excellence Award winner: Dr Alexander Andrasonhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8004Meet the Teaching Excellence Award winner: Dr Alexander AndrasonCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking [Rozanne Engel]<p>​​<br></p><p>As one of Stellenbosch University's 2020 Developing Teacher Award winners, Dr Alexander Andrason, says winning the award has reassured him that he is on the right path in pursuing excellent research and excellent teaching.</p><p>“This is one of the most important awards I have received. It reassures me in the conviction that excellent research (high in quality and quantity) is fully compatible with (in fact necessitates) excellent teaching. The opinion commonly repeated to me that in academia one has to choose to be either a good researcher or a good teacher is a fallacy."</p><p>The Icelandic-Polish native is a researcher and lecturer at Stellenbosch University's (SU) Department of Ancient Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He speaks more than twenty living languages and has an extensive knowledge of various ancient and classical languages. </p><p>Andrason teaches Semitic and Afro-Asiatic languages: Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Middle Egyptian. Additionally, he works as a researcher in the Department of African Languages at SU where he oversees projects related to the Bantu, Khoe, and Nilotic linguistic families.</p><p>“I have always been passionate about languages. I come from a multilingual and multicultural background. I know more than forty languages and have lived, studied and worked in eight different countries. I have never thought about myself as a citizen of a country but rather as a truly global citizen. It is thus not surprising that since my childhood, learning languages has become my addiction. As teenager, I wanted to understand the science behind human language and the various languages I knew and therefore chose linguistics as the main field of my study."</p><p>Andrason started teaching at university level in Iceland, while working on his first PhD in Hebrew and Arabic Languages, which he completed in 2010. This created an opportunity for him to work as a visiting lecturer at many universities in Europe and parts of Africa before he started teaching on a contract basis at SU (as a postdoc) and later as a permanent staff member.</p><p>To date, he has also completed a PhD in African Languages at SU in 2016, submitted his final thesis paper on language contact in 2020 for his third PhD, and recently enrolled for a fourth doctoral degree, a PhD in Latin. </p><p>“I believe that my career highlights are still ahead of me. I have plenty of dreams that I would like to realise. However, what I have enjoyed so far the most is working on my three PhDs. Writing a PhD is one of my favourite pastimes," says Andrason.</p><p>Andrason believes that remaining an active student himself has helped him to better relate to his own students. He says that he never wants to be stuck in a comfort zone where he is not able to learn from others and re-evaluate his previous knowledge from a new perspective.</p><p>“I would like to remain an active student until I retire. The idea of being another brick in the wall still permeates institutions of higher education and I have seen it both as a student and as a teacher. Being an active student will always remind me about what it means to be a student, thus helping me to understand my students at any given point of my career."</p><p><strong>More on the SU Teaching Excellence Awards</strong><br></p><p>Launched in 2017, the SU Teaching Excellence Awards acknowledge lecturers in two categories, 'Distinguished Teacher' and 'Developing Teacher', based on their experience and leadership in the scholarship of teaching and learning.</p><p>Applicants have to submit a portfolio that demonstrate their reflection on and evidence of four main components: context, students, knowledge and professional growth. They also have to indicate the lessons they had learnt on their journey to becoming excellent teachers.</p><p>For more information about the Teaching Excellence Awards, contact Dr Karin Cattell-Holden at <a href="mailto:kcattell@sun.ac.za"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">kcattell@sun.ac.za</strong></a>. </p><p>​ <br></p>
Study shows how people cope with ‘manager from hell’ https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7138Study shows how people cope with ‘manager from hell’ Corporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>Having a manager from hell can turn many people's dream job into a nightmare. To keep their wits about them in such a toxic environment, people develop various strategies to cope with destructive leadership styles. <br></p><p>“People use different coping strategies that vary in degree of effectiveness and range from healthy coping with positive outcomes to unhealthy coping with negative outcomes," says Consulting Psychologist Dr Beatrix Brink, who obtained her doctorate in Psychology at Stellenbosch University recently. Her study explored subordinates' direct experiences with destructive leadership behaviour in South African organisations and how they cope with such behaviour.<br></p><p>Brink interviewed employees, mostly women, in the manufacturing, retail, financial services, community services and public sector. She also asked them to complete the Psychological Capital Questionnaire which focuses on the individual's ability to harness psychological resources such as hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism.</p><p>Brink says her study showed that in order to cope with the manager's destructive leadership, participants tried, among others, to distance themselves from the situation by avoiding being in the presence of the manager while at work, or by resigning or pretending that everything was fine, or by “shutting off" emotionally. <br></p><p>“They also indulged in positive (for example exercising) and negative (for example overeating) ways of caring for themselves; tried to find solace in religion or spirituality; sought social and family support which included confiding in friends and family; resorted to professional services, such as seeing a psychologist and asking assistance from their organisation's Human Resource, mentoring and wellness services; and attempted to re-direct their thinking by looking for anything positive they could take away from the experience.<br></p><p>“With varying degrees of success, they tried to stop the downward spiral of feeling overwhelmed and powerless. They did this by asserting themselves and seeking pathways to circumvent the effects of the manager's destructive behaviour. They also tried to equip themselves with knowledge by seeking information on coping with destructive leader behaviour."<br></p><p>Brink adds that the participants experienced self-doubt and questioned the skills and abilities they previously held in high regard. <br></p><p>“They became fearful and demotivated, experiencing emotions ranging from feeling stupid, tearful to anger. They became pre-occupied with the experience and struggled to concentrate. They stopped doing the things that gave them joy and some even started to mirror the manager's negative behaviour in their personal relationships."<br></p><p>Brink points out that for the participants, destructive leadership constituted, among others, a lack of integrity, self-centredness, emotionality and moodiness (acting out), inconsistency, aggression, anxiety, low self-awareness, the tendency to belittle and break-down participants, blaming and bullying, introducing negative competition into the work unit, being unsupportive of participants and sabotaging the ability of the participant to perform by lack of action-taking.<br></p><p>This type of behaviour also had consequences for fellow employees as well as the managers.<br></p><p>“'Playing team members off against one another' (a type of attempt at a divide and rule strategy), favouritism and the uncertainty of whose turn it might be next, were described as some of the impacts on other team members. Participants acknowledged feeling relief when it was not 'their turn' to be targeted, even though they knew that the relief was only temporarily.<br></p><p>“Participants described how these managers' own careers were derailed by their roles being eroded, being demoted, 'let go' from employment or experiencing psychological and emotional consequences, resulting in time off work, rumoured to be from depression and nervous breakdown. These adverse effects resulted in reputational damage for the destructive leader.<br></p><p>“The manager's perceived disruptive, passive, avoidant and obstructionist behaviour prevented the authorisation of tasks and decision-making, which impeded the swift and effective execution of tasks and the attainment of goals," adds Brink.</p><p>As to what recourse employees can take when confronted with such a manager, she says it is important to proceed with caution and to carefully consider the most prudent channels in seeking a solution to a destructive relationship.<br></p><p>She adds that managers, subordinates and organisations are likely to benefit when organisations create environments where people can, without fear, have candid conversations about destructive leadership and the negative impact thereof.<br></p><p><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Dr Beatrix Brink</p><p>Consulting Psychologist</p><p>Email: <a href="mailto:beatrix@capacityinc.co.za">beatrix@capacityinc.co.za</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>
George Claassen first recipient of SU’s Media Lifetime Achievement Awardhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6985George Claassen first recipient of SU’s Media Lifetime Achievement AwardCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>​<br></p><p>Prof George Claassen, former Head of the Department of Journalism at Stellenbosch University (SU) and deputy editor of <em>Die Burger, </em>is the first recipient of SU's Media Lifetime Achievement Award. </p><ul><li>Read the full "commendatio" <a href="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/George%20Claassen%20commendatio%20-%20skoon.docx">here</a> <br></li></ul><p>Claassen (70) received the award at an event at the Wallenberg Research Centre at STIAS in Stellenbosch on Thursday (5 December 2019). The event saw Excellence Awards made to teaching, research and to those who have excelled at communicating their research and expertise through the media</p><p>Reading a “commendatio" at the event, Mr Martin Viljoen, Manager Media, said that Claassen can rightly be called the father of science communication in Africa. “He had a profound impact on both journalism as a profession and as a field of study."  </p><p>Viljoen added that Claassen excelled in science journalism and the ombud system as important spheres of contemporary journalism. He was the first journalism academic in South Africa to develop a course in science and technology journalism with peers at American universities specialising in science and technology journalism considering his work to be the best in this field.</p><p>“It is safe to say that Claassen shaped the thinking of a whole generation of journalists operating in South Africa and beyond, imparting his knowledge on science communication and implanting in journalists a keen sense of detecting fake news and pseudo-science. He has an ability to see into the media future and has been preparing journalists accordingly, including for the explosion of social media, fake news and propaganda appearing on our screens. In many regards, Claassen led the charge in countering the impact of this onslaught on, in and from the media and it came as no surprise that he was the organiser of the first international conference on quackery and pseudoscience." </p><p>Claassen also dovetailed science journalism with establishing the first comprehensive course in cultural and scientific literacy in SU's journalism programmes, while paying close attention to advancing environmental journalism and reporting on climate change. </p><p>Claassen is synonymous with the media ombud system on the continent, Viljoen said. He established the media ombud system in Media24 and is currently, after his retirement from the company, still ombud for the company's community newspapers and public editor of News24. </p><p>He has served as a board member of the International Organisation of News Ombudsmen and Readers' Editors, he is a columnist on the subject and organiser and speaker of various conferences and symposia on an international scale.</p><p>At age 70, Claassen seems to show no signs of slowing down. Apart from his work as ombud, he is a science correspondent for the SABC and still teaches at SU's Department of Journalism. <br></p><ul><li>​Apart from the Media Lifetime Achievement Award, SU staff were also honoured in the categories Media Thought Leader, Newsmaker and Co-worker<br></li></ul><div>​<br></div>
SU lecturer wins prestigious international literary prize https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7933SU lecturer wins prestigious international literary prize Corporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking [Rozanne Engel]<p>​​​Dr Alfred Schaffer, a lecturer at Stellenbosch University (SU), recently became the youngest recipient of the PC Hooft prize, the most prestigious Dutch literary award, when he was announced the 2021 laureate.​</p><p>Schaffer, who is known as one of the most talented Dutch poets of his generation, received the prize for his poetry oeuvre.​</p><p>“The prize is a huge, huge honour and recognition, as well as something that feels totally unreal. It is the highest accolade one can receive as a writer, poet, or essayist in the Netherlands," says Schaffer.<br></p><p>The prize, which is named after the 17<sup>th</sup> century Dutch poet Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, is awarded alternately each year to a Dutch writer of narrative prose, contemplative prose and poetry. The PC Hooft Prize is worth 60,000 euros, and will be awarded in May 2021.</p><p>Over the years, Schaffer has published numerous poetry and prose collections. These include <em>Zijn opkomst in de voorstad</em> (His Rise in the Suburbs; 2000); <em>Dwaalgasten</em> (Vagrants; 2002), which was nominated for the prestigious VSB poetry prize; <em>Geen hand voor ogen</em> (No Hands Before Your Eyes), <em>Schuim </em>(Foam; 2006); and <em>Kooi</em> (Cage; 2008). ​ Over the years, his work has also been translated into Afrikaans, English, French, German, Macedonian, Turkish, Indonesian and Swedish.​<br></p><p>He has also received the prestigious Jo Peters poetry prize, Hugues C Pernath prize, the Ida Gerhardt poetry prize and the Jan Campert prize for his work. <br></p><p>According to Schaffer, writing poetry means he has “absolute freedom" to express himself and sees it as a way to “creatively understand the world" around him.<br></p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Alfred%20Schaffer.jpg" alt="Alfred Schaffer.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:300px;" /><br></p><p>“I am triggered by language, like every writer, but what inspires me as well, is the fact that there are so many things that I do not understand until I have creatively written about it. To write a poem is so wonderful because I do not know what the result will be. Poetry has no hypothesis, like life," says Schaffer.</p><p>Schaffer grew up in The Hague, Netherlands - the son of an Aruban mother and a Dutch father. ​​He studied Dutch Language and Literature, as well as Film and Theater Sciences in Leiden, Netherlands. In 1996, he moved to Cape Town to continue his postgraduate studies at the University of Cape Town. </p><p>He returned to the Netherlands in 2005 where he worked as an editor in Dutch publishing before moving back to South Africa in 2011. He currently works as a lecturer in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch at SU.</p><p>Apart from producing his own poetry and prose, Schaffer has also made an important contribution to South African literature over the years by bringing local poetry to a broader audience through the translation into Dutch of, amongst other, Antjie Krog, Ronelda Kamfer and Koleka Putuma's work.</p><p>“Translation is everything. So many South African poets tell urgent stories of an intense life, right in the middle of the big issues of our time: migration, neo-colonialism, racism, guilt. I hope that readers see that there are many different stories, experiences and perspectives out there, formulated in wonderful and confronting poetry," says Schaffer.<br></p><p>Apart from his lecturing duties at SU, Schaffer is also currently working together with fellow academics in Belgium and the Netherlands on a book about lyrical activism and he is busy with the Dutch translation of <span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:11pt;line-height:107%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;">Kamfer’s latest volume of poetry<em>, </em></span><em></em><em>Chinatown</em>.<br></p><p>The last time someone with a strong South African connection won the PC Hooft prize was in 1991 when it w​as awarded to Elisabeth Eybers for her oeuvre of Afrikaans poetry. ​<br></p>
Endler Concert Series UNLOCKED ONLINEhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7583Endler Concert Series UNLOCKED ONLINEFiona Grayer<p>​Like many other performance spaces in the world, the Endler Concert Series, as part of the Music Department at Stellenbosch University, had to suspend its weekly concerts due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the measures put in place to contain the virus. Artists and various role-players in the sector are looking to online platforms as an interim measure that could offer artists some financial recourse in the face of months of lost work that evaporated due to the global pandemic, as well as to find a way to maintain contact with audiences in this time of social distancing and little contact.<br></p><p>The Endler Concert Series has taken the initiative to revise the 2020 concert planning and gather resources to be able to present an online concert every two weeks from 23 August until December 2020, featuring students, alumni, lecturers and local artists. “The vision is to keep the Endler concert hall alive, until we return to face-to-face events, so that audiences can safely enjoy professionally produced concerts from their homes," says Fiona Grayer, Artistic Manager. “I am so pleased this online series strongly supports local content and in fact, seven out of the eight concerts feature works by South African composers! In addition to this, we are commissioning two Cape Town composers, Hugo Veldsman and Matthijs van Dijk, to create new works that will live beyond this crisis."<br></p><p> “Concerts will be entirely free, but if people wish to show support, donations will be possible via a SnapScan with these contributions from the audience going towards recuperating the costs of recording and producing the concerts. For the SU Jazz Band concert in September, donations will go directly to a charity – the Stellenbosch Work Centre for Adult Persons with Disabilities, who annually partner with the SU Jazz Band to raise much needed funds for the Centre. The SU Jazz Band concert is generously supported by SAMRO and ConcertsSA."<br></p><p>“We take great pride in our curation of these concerts which present a wide variety of music including rarely performed works by Nadia Boulanger and Rebecca Clarke. It is a new world for the music industry - events can be produced from anywhere and broadcast to a global audience. Our primary concern is the health and safety of our audiences, musicians, and students. It has become very clear that large groups of people will not be able to safely gather for the remainder of the calendar year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, we are exploring options for concerts of our Departmental ensembles in smaller gatherings when possible but for now we hope our audience will join us in the virtual concert hall."​<br></p><p>For more detailed information about where to watch, when to watch, who will be performing, what will be performed please visit <a href="http://www.endler.sun.ac.za/">www.endler.sun.ac.za</a> or follow @sukonservatorium on Instagram or like the Stellenbosch Konservatorium Facebook page.<br><br></p><p><br></p>