The need for recognising outstanding student achievement is increasingly realised and practised by universities, faculties, schools or departments worldwide. Besides the motivational value of such events, they serve as a showcase of the work, dedication and talent of enrolled students, and of course also of their lecturers and supervisors.
On the 15th of March 2016, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Department of Science and Technology Education (SciTechEd), staged an event, during which its top student achievers from 2015 at both under- and postgraduate levels were suitably honoured. Hosted at the University’s Council Chambers at the Auckland Park Campus, 14 awards were made to deserving and outstanding students in the domains of Learning Technologies in Education, Mathematics Education and Science Education.
UJ’s Head of the Department of Science and Technology Education (SciTechEd), Prof Piet Ankiewicz, regarded the Top Achievers’ event as a notable success. He also revealed that the event is sure to become an annual feature on the department’s calendar, because in the words of the French writer, Voltaire, ‘Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well’.
A unique feature of the event was brief presentations by the ‘Best dissertation master’s student in Learning Technologies in Education’, Ms Anna Coetzee, a staff member in the Centre for Academic Technologies (CAT) at UJ, as well as by the ‘Best dissertation master’s student in Mathematics Education’, Ms Wendy Baumgartner, who lectures Mathematics in the Higher Certificate in Higher Education Studies at Monash South Africa. Both Miss Coetzee and Baumgartner introduced their respective master’s studies to the appreciative audience, and were rewarded with thunderous ovations.
The event was also attended by senior staff from the Faculty of Education. “The important contribution of the Faculty of Science, who teaches the core modules (specifically in Mathematics and Science) to these students, was also confirmed and acknowledged,” added Prof Ankiewicz. The Science Faculty was represented in person by the Vice-dean: Teaching and Learning, Prof Ina Wagenaar, as well the Head of the Unit for Programme, Enrolment and Quality Management, Dr Melanie Jacobs.
The awardees were accompanied by some of their family members, friends or colleagues, who treasured the opportunity to share in the wonderful achievement of their loved ones.