Excellence is at the core of the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) legacy, with exemplary contributions from research, teaching and learning. UJ transforms society and individuals through the commitment of its academics and professional support staff. The Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards recognise the individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievements aligned to the University’s vision and values.
On Thursday, 15 November 2018, six staff members were honoured with the 2018 Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Awards for teaching, research, and going beyond the call of duty. In addition, this year also saw a Cornell University Professor of Law being recognised for his contribution towards a successful collaborative study programme abroad with UJ’s Faculty of Law.
|||Ms Monique Keevy who developed innovative and challenging learning opportunities for students, which involve first understanding theoretical ideas and then applying them to real-life situations, was one of two recipients of the Vice-Chancellor’s Most Promising Young Researcher of the Year.|
|||Professor Penny Govender, was the second recipient of the Most Promising Young Researcher of the Year. A computational chemistry specialist and the Head of Department of Applied Chemistry in the Faculty of Science, Prof Govender’s research encompasses geochemical modelling to predict the fate and transport of both organic and inorganic pollutants. She has been part of the development of an Android based app, which alongside the use of a quick test kit and entry of variables such as pH, temperature and conductivity, among others, was able to inform water quality before use. This has the potential to assist developing countries in their efforts to cost effectively control pollutants and reduce the risk of many non-communicable water-borne diseases.|
|||The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for the Outstanding Researcher of the Year went to Professor Marlize Lombard. She leads the inter-disciplinary Palaeo-TrACKS (Tracing Ancient Cognition and Knowledge Systems through the Stone Age/Palaeolithic) Research Programme with several international collaborators from across the globe. Her research focuses on the Middle and Earlier Stone Ages (between roughly 1 000 000 and 30 000 years ago) in sub-Saharan Africa where Homo sapiens evolved biologically, behaviourally and cognitively, and contributes to the debate on cognitive and genetic trends in the evolution of Homo sapiens and indigenous knowledge systems in Southern Africa.|
|||Acknowledged for his teaching excellence was Professor Johnson Carroll. His development of an innovative assessment system moving away from traditional methods and offering students authentic assessment tasks that require understanding and application. The ability to use knowledge in concrete ways and a commitment to effecting social change are the two principles from which he has developed an impressive “engineering epistemology”, which offers his students a solid foundation from which they can build.|
Book of the Year
|||Professor Velislava Mitova was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Book of the Year. Her book, Believable Evidence is now prescribed reading for a postgraduate course at Rhodes University, and is recommended as course reading at Johns Hopkins University in the USA.|
|||The award exceptional service by support staff, going beyond the call of duty, was bestowed on Mr Basil Mugwena.|
Global Excellence and Stature
|Cornell University Professor of Law Muna Ndulo was recognised for his contribution towards a successful collaborative study abroad programme in collaboration with UJ’s Faculty of Law, called Law and Social Change. Through his, work at UJ and internationally, particularly on the African continent, Prof Ndulo consistently foregrounds the values of UJ.|