An excited Ms Nonhle Masondo graduated summa cum laude with her Honours in Social Sciences.
Masondo started her academic journey with the College of Humanities as a student of the Humanities Access Programme.
The Programme – offered in the Teaching and Learning Unit – is the first-year of a four-year (Extended Curriculum) Bachelor of Social Science degree (BSS4). The Programme caters for students from disadvantaged educational backgrounds in order to redress inequalities of the past. It aims to develop students in areas of academic and psycho-social skills that are required for success at university. The programme also prepares and supports students to meet challenges of university study.
‘I am extremely proud of myself and all that I have achieved so far. I worked hard and pushed myself to excel. My goal was to succeed academically,’ said Masondo.
Her Honours research explores best treatment practices for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) dissociative subtype. PTSD is a mental health condition that only develops after a person goes through or witnesses a life-threatening event.
Masondo’s research determines and explains the best treatment practices for an event that can lead to PTSD.
‘Stress reactions to such events are normal, and most people feel better after a few weeks or months. However, it is of significance that people have access to the help that they need when going through such a period,’ she explained.
Masondo is hopeful that her research will educate society and destigmatise PTSD. ‘My research can help individuals identify and learn about PTSD symptoms and the varied treatments available to cope with this disorder. By understanding different types of treatment for PTSD dissociative subtypes, it can help individuals gain some semblance of normalcy in their lives,’ she said.
Despite battling financial difficulties, stress and sleepless nights, Masondo is thankful to her family, friends and supervisor for being her support system and keeping her motivated “when she felt like quitting”.
‘Every once in a while, my family would call and ask how I was doing and give me some encouragement, and my friends would sometimes come to visit and even take me for a walk just to clear my head,’ she added.
She advises other students to set manageable goals for their research and work towards it.
Masondo plans to pursue her master’s and eventually, a PhD.