Simply the Best: School of Applied Human Sciences hosts inaugural Student Excellence Awards


The evening, which was held at Coastlands Hotel in Musgrave, included poetry from Lethu “Glory Child” Ntuli as well as live music entertainment. The Student Excellence Awards are the initiative of the Dean of the School of Applied Human Sciences, Professor Jéan Steyn. “This evening, we are celebrating not only the fruits of academic excellence, but the creative and intellectual process that led up to them. I have spent the last two days, during graduation ceremonies, talking with our students about the ideas that inspired their work, and how they shaped and developed those ideas into bold new forms of thought and expression,” said Professor Steyn.

“As any of our students can tell you, bringing an idea to fruition is a long, complex, sometimes frustrating, yet immensely rewarding process. But it is rarely a solitary process. The kind of effort involved in producing the impressive research and creative expression we’re celebrating today requires a great deal of support, collaboration, and input from fellow scholars, as well as from mentors who have guided them along the way. So, this evening we celebrate that process, we celebrate its outcomes, and we celebrate it impact on the world around us,” he added.

The Programme Director of the evening, Professor Donal McCracken described the venue as historically significant. “If you look over the city, just beside us at the top of the hill there is a church yard. It is the original church that was built in Durban by a man named Reverend Gardner in the 1830s. He did a lot for this town. He gave the town the name Durban. He also named the Berea region where we are. Rev. Gardner, amongst other beneficial things that he did, established the first school that was for the local population. So, it is very appropriate that we are on the site of the first black educational establishment in Durban,” said Professor McCracken.

The event was coordinated by Dr Sarah Gibson, the Academic Leader Teaching and Learning in the School. “This is our chance to socialize and celebrate all that our students and staff have achieved in 2018. Well done and congratulations to everybody in the school of Applied Human Sciences. I really feel that we are a family and we work together well. Your achievements are a demonstration of this. And as my previous professor said to me at my graduation, ‘in the words of Tina Turner you are simply the best.’ Enjoy the evening everybody,” she said to a thunderous applause. Dr Gibson and her team were appreciated with a bouquet of flowers each, for the job well done in organizing this event. The awards were presented by members of the School’s Teaching and Learning Committee: Dr Eliza Govender (CCMS), Dr Ruwayda Petrus (Psychology), Professor Johannes John-Langba (Social Work) and Ms Nomakhosi Sibisi (Criminology and Forensic Studies).

The following graduates received certificates in recognition of their summa cum laudes: Vashnie Sithambaram, Harsha Isseri, Katherine Paige Anderson, Kerry-Leigh Tara Anderson, Shaneece Chanderpaul and Hannah Grace Elsner.

The following graduates received certificates in recognition of their cum laude: Yaksha Jabeer, Fathima Yusuf Moolla, Sanele Mhlongo, Nothando Senamile Lubanyana, Zwelisha Mfishi, Londeka Nozipho Zulu, Shanaaz Peterson, Lungelo Ndlovu, Jean-Luc Andre Hardy, Holly Margaret Wasserfall, Tamanda Chipo Masambuka, Nonjabulo Ntombenhle Ndwandwe, Johannes Jocabus Pretorius, Zime Nothando Ntaka, Shwetha Singaram, Sylvia Kamu, Noor Mezghan Ahmad, Asiphe Okuhle Mashinini, Samantha Clare Dunn, Lorelle Pillay, Nompumelelo Gcaza, Melissa Van Zyl and Gabrielle Natalie Ryan

The following graduates received awards for achieving Dean’s Commendations in both semesters of 2018: Omeshni Pillay, Anathi Mazongolo, Nomkhosi Gumede, Megan Miles, Brie Terry Parker, Atang Yeleni, Shannon Mcgee, Karen Padayachee, Nelisa Valashiya, Lucy Mbali, Rayne Robyn Redinger, Patience Phathokuhle Manyatsi, Sinqobile Sweetness Zuma, Amahle Zwezwe, Tremelda Nagan, Michaela Ray De Gouveia, Karris Shalon Benjiman, Kwena, Rayneth Tlhaku, Tanya Sewparsad, Lindokuhle Mbatha, Jade Jessie Moodley, Alyssa May Selby and Thamarie Moodley

Mr. Nhlanhla Mazibuko from the Student Representative Council was appreciative of the support enjoyed in the School. “I would like to acknowledge the Dean, Dr. Steyn. We appreciate working with you as the SRC. Every time we bring issues to your office, you are at our service. We would also like to appreciate our school manager and other line managers, all the school reps, academics and administrators that are always at our service. I congratulate all the students who are being honoured tonight,” he emphasized.

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