UKZN staff member, Mrs Ronica Bagwandin, is thrilled to be graduating with her Honours degree in Criminology and Forensic Studies.
Achieving four certificates of merit and two As during her postgraduate degree culminated to a total of 12 certificates of merit and 13 As in her academic journey. ‘I am ecstatic to be graduating this year because my undergraduate degree was a virtual ceremony. This year is special because we get to physically graduate which has always seemed like farfetched goal of mine.’
She added: ‘My degrees serve as a motivation for my younger son, Revaan, who is in matric this year. When I chose to study, it was to inspire both my sons to be the best they can be. It certainly proved fruitful.’
Her research was a group project centred on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) which predominantly focused on the “marginalised” lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community in KwaMashu. ‘With the recent spate of hate crimes committed against LGBTQ individuals, as a group, we collectively decided to focus our study on violence based on gender differences,’ she said.
Bagwandin believes a good support structure at home and work helped her achieve her degree. ‘It was difficult at most times but the reward of all the sacrifices and late nights have made it all worthwhile.’
She thanked her family, friends and work colleagues for encouraging her during her studies. ‘My husband, Naresh, has been my pillar through it all, and my manager, Mdukhy Mabaso, together with my colleagues at the Department of Student Residence Affairs (DSRA) in Pietermaritzburg have been amazing.’
Offering advice to other students, she said: ‘You have opportunities to succeed through education in the palms of your hands now. If you tilt your palm, you run the risk of losing it all, causing regret later in life.’
With outstanding achievements and a passion for research, Bagwandin is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Sciences focussing on Criminology and Forensic Science.