“On behalf of the University, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards. We are excelling beyond our own expectations and we celebrate your accomplishments and the generations that you have given life. So congratulations, let’s go forward with hope, confidence and optimism and become epicenters of excellence,” said the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Prof Ihron Rensburg at the University of Johannesburg’s 2015 Awards evening on Thursday, 17 March 2016.
Among the recipients of the awards were a South African politician and former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist; a social activist and several University academics.
Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards for Teaching and Research
The prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards for Teaching and Research, highly-prized by teaching-focused staff, have become a tradition in the University annual calendar. Seven academics, demonstrating outstanding achievement aligned to the University vision and values, were honoured with the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards.
Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards: Research, 2015
Prof Nic Beukes, from the Department of Geology within the Faculty of Science, and Dr Clinton Aigbavboa, from the Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying within the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, are examples of people who extend the boundaries of discovery and progress.
Prof Beukes, regarded as a global leader in Earth Science and an A-rated Scholar, was presented with the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Outstanding Researcher of the Year.
Dr Aigbavboa, an active researcher with an interest in the field of sustainable and low-cost housing development, was the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for the Most Promising Researcher of the Year.
Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards: Teaching Excellence, 2015
Acknowledged for their teaching excellence were Ms Joyce Sibeko from the Department of Business Management in the Faculty of Management; the Faculty of Humanities’ Prof Ylva Rodny-Gumede from the Department of Journalism, Film and Television; and Mr Philip Baron from the Department of Electric and Electronic Engineering Technology in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment. They all were recognised with the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award.
Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards: Most Promising Young Teacher, 2015
The Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Most Promising Young Teacher was bestowed on Ms Bianca Thomas, from the Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology within the Faculty of Sciences; and on Ms Hemali Joshi, from the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies within the Faculty of Humanities.
UJ Alumni Dignitas Awards, 2015
Recognising achievements of UJ Alumni who have made significant contributions to the University and have excelled in their respective fields, South African songstress Ms Simphiwe Dana and mountaineer and motivational speaker Mr Alex Harris were acknowledged with the Alumni Dignitas Awards.
Ellen Kuzwayo Council Awards, 2015
Ms Ntiti Gertrude Shope, Mr Ahmed Katharada, and Dr Brigilia Bam were honoured with the prestigious Ellen Kuzwayo Council Award. This award recognises outstanding contributions beyond the confines of teaching and research by individuals over an extended period of time, to promote the well-being of the higher education sector, and the well-being of society in respect of matters in which the university has a particular interest.
“I am very pleased to be honoured with the award. Ellen Kuzwayo was my friend and I will always remember her contributions during the challenging times in Soweto, when there were marches and street committees. Ellen did most of the work during those trying times. She has taught us the need to serve the community in which we live,” said Ms Shope at the event.