Wall of Fame

Movers & Shakers:  Women Shaping Higher Education & Society

This page features outstanding women in higher education.  The Movers and Shakers featured on the HERS-SA Wall of Fame below includes both women who have been identified  by our sponsors, and our own HERS-SA alumnae whom we have chosen to feature based on their recent successes.  Either scroll down this page or click on a picture to access the profiles of  each woman featured on the Wall.  We would like to showcase more HERS-SA Alumnae on this page so please let us know if you have been promoted, or achieved any other accolades.  Help us build the HERS-SA Wall of Fame! 

Professor Nonceba Mbambo-Kekana
Puleng Makhoalibe
Professor Denise Zinn
Professor Vivienne Lawack
Associate Professor Beatrice Opeolu
Professor Lulama Makhubela
Assoc Professor Lyn Snodgrass
Professor Romeela Mohee
Professor Mashudu Maselesele
Dr Pamela Dube
Professor Angela Miri
Dr Agnieta Pretorius
Dr Patricia Popoola
Dr Keolebogile Motaung
Professor Jose Frantz
Dr Cecilia Schultz
Dr Mumthaz Banoobhai
Associate Professor Caroline Ncube
Prof Dharini Sivakumar
Prof Maggy Momba
Prof Sandra Combrinck
Venessa Ranjit
Professor Annelie Jordaan
Professor Shireen Motala
Dr Kim Berman
Professor Sarah Gravett
Professor Kinta Burger
Dr Mala Singh
Professor Melanie Walker
Dr Gladys Kigozi
Dr Aliza le Roux
Professor Rose Boswell
Dr Daisy Selematsela
Professor Corli Witthuhn
Dr Noluthando Toni

who's next?

 

Professor Nonceba Mbambo-Kekana

Congratulations to HERS-SA alumna Professor Nonceba Mbambo-Kekana who has been appointed as the Executive Dean of the newly formed Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Limpopo as of May 2015.  In 1989 she joined the University of Western Cape as a junior lecturer and clinical supervisor at Conradie Hospital. In 1993 she was recruited to join MEDUNSA as a lecturer. It was during that time that she registered for a Masters degree in Physiotherapy at University of Pretoria where she specialized in physiotherapy education which later became her passion. In 1995 she became a head of the Physiotherapy Department until 2002 when she left for University of the Witwatersrand to be an HOD in the Department of Physiotherapy. She completed her PhD in 2008 at the same university continuing in the field of education. In 2010 she studied for a Certificate in Management of Higher Education with the Wits Business School which was a great tool for managing as HOD. In the latter part of 2010 she joined the University of Limpopo as the Director of School of Health Sciences.  Nonceba served on the HERS-SA Board from 2012 - 2015.

Puleng Makhoalibe

Congratulations to HERS-SA Alumna  Puleng Makhoalibe, based at UCT’s Faculty of Humanities as its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Manager, for recently receiving an Excellence Award from the South African Creativity Foundation and for being appointed to serve on the new board of trustees for the Creative Education Foundation, based in Massachusetts. The Excellence Award was made in recognition of Puleng's exceptional service to the South African and International Creativity communities. The citation reads: “The South African Creativity Foundation presents the Excellence in Creativity Award 2014 to Puleng Makhoalibe for exceptional service to the South African and International Creativity Communities.” Each year, she voluntarily conducts education and technology workshops at the Educators Creativity Conference and facilitates innovation workshops at the corporate creativity conference, which is attended by local and international delegates. The award was presented to her at the 2014 African Creativity Conference, which took place in Bela Bela, Limpopo Province. In addition to managing a faculty team, this busy ICT specialist also lectures in business and technology at UCT’s Graduate School of Business. Her appointment to the prestigious board of the Creative Education Foundation was announced in October 2014. Founded in 1954, the Creative Education Foundation is a non-profit membership organization of leaders in the field of creativity in theory and practice. Its mission is to engage and develop the next generation of creative thinkers and innovators. Makhoalibe’s appointment to the new board is effective from 1 November 2014.

Professor Denise Zinn

Congratulations to HERS-SA Board Member Professor Denise Zinn on her appointement as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at NMMU.  Prof Denise Zinn was the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education at NMMU 2009-2014, and previously was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education at Fort Hare University. At both Fort Hare and NMMU, as well as in previous work for the Tertiary Education Linkages Project, she has been deeply involved in curriculum review, development and curriculum renewal, as well as participatory initiatives to build a transformative institutional culture in higher education environments.   Her most recent publications and research explore the theory and praxis of a humanising pedagogy, and social justice and diversity issues in education. In terms of academic qualifications, her undergraduate and teaching degrees were obtained at UCT and after teaching in Port Elizabeth high schools for 12 years, she received scholarships to do an M.Ed. (Language and Literacy) and then a Doctoral degree in the area of Teaching, Curriculum and Learning Environments (TCLE) at Harvard University Graduate School of Education (HUGSE). During her time at Harvard, she was a board member and co-chairperson of the Harvard Educational Review, and also taught in several programmes in different US universities while there.   She has throughout her life been involved in community activism, non-racial civic organisations and sports organisations, teacher organisations (TLSA & ECTU) and community cultural, educational fellowship & organisations.

Professor Vivienne Lawack

Congratulations to Professor Vivienne Lawack who will assume the position of Deputy Vice Chancellor : Academic at the University of the Western Cape in April 2015.  Vivienne is  the Executive Dean: Faculty of Law at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University as of July 2008. In this capacity she chaired and participated in 21 committees and is a member of a number of boards, including the President of the South African Law Deans Association (2010-2012, 2012-2014), member of the Small Claims Court Advisory Board (PE Region), chairperson of the School for Legal Practice (PE), member of the national task team on the LLB curriculum, a member of the South African Judicial Education Institute Council and independent chair of the Trentyre Empowerment Trust. 
Vivienne obtained the B. Juris degree cum laude at the then University of Port Elizabeth (UPE), South Africa, in April 1993.  In April 1995 she obtained the LLB degree cum laude at UPE and the LLM degree, entitled Electronic Payment Systems in South African Law in April 1997, also at UPE.  The Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree was awarded to Vivienne by the University of South Africa (UNISA) on 16 May 2001.  Her doctoral thesis is entitled Aspects of Internet Payment Instruments.  Vivienne was admitted as an advocate of the High Court of South Africa on 7 December 1995.  She lectured at Vista University in 1995 and thereafter at the then UPE from 1996-2002.    Vivienne was appointed by UNISA as a Research Associate (from 2002 until 2007). Vivienne is also a member of the editorial panel of the South African Mercantile Law Journal and on the editorial board of The Annual Survey of South African Law.  Vivienne is still an avid researcher and has published 27 articles in accredited law journals and delivered 21 conference papers, both locally and internationally.

Associate Professor Beatrice Opeolu

Congratulations to HERS-SA alumna (2013) Beatrice Opeolu on her promotion to Associate Professor.  Based at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Faculty of Applied Science  Beatrice started her academic career 1997 as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, University of Agriculture (UNAAB), Abeokuta, Nigeria. She was offered a postdoctoral position at CPUT in 2008 and is currently a Coordinator in CPUT’s Faculty of Applied Sciences Extended Curriculum Programmes since June 2011. She has a Bachelor of Environmental Management and Toxicology (BEMT), MSc(Environmental Biology) and PhD(Environmental Toxicology). 

Her teaching approach has always been learner-centered while emphasizing knowledge activities that are relevant in industry. Professor’s Opeolu’s research focuses on assessment of pollutants in environmental matrices and possible remediation of some of these environmental contaminants and water systems using indigenous materials.  Funding agencies that supported her research career include the University of Agriculture, Nigeria, Israel’s MASHAV, French PRIPODE, Netherlands’ NUFFIC, Swedish International Foundation for Science (IFS), CPUT and  the National Research Foundation in South Africa.

Professor Lulama Makhubela

With an imaginary violin in the hand, singing an aria from EinekleineNachtmuzik, Professor  Lulama “Lulu” Makhubela, newly appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Postgraduate Studies, Research and Innovation), exudes full-strength energy and a passion for life and her work.It is this passion that landed her the job. “Education, information, books and people are some of the important things that give meaning to my life. When I completed my first degree in Library and Information Sciences, I made a promise to myself to share as much information possible with as many people possible, hence my resolve to become a researcher of note. Being appointed in this position is the culmination of years of formal and informal research in this field.”  Growing up in an entrepreneurial home as the youngest of five siblings, Prof Makhubela says she always had a strong sense of her responsibility to go out into the world to change the social circumstances of women, especially the younger ones. “I grew up in an era where many parents did not have any formal tertiary education, but they were intensely aware of the importance to further one’s education. Because of this, they went out of their way to motivate us to continue our studies after school.”  Prof Makhubela explains that our entire journey through life is one of research and learning. “What I bring to TUT professionally is to work towards making research and innovation at the University more relevant to the broader societal needs. “As a university of technology we focus not only on applied research but also on innovation, which enables us to be more responsive to the immediate needs and challenges of our environment. This focus also puts us in a prime position to be more pragmatic and orientated to solve real-world problems that can improve the socio-economic conditions of many people on the continent.”  She emphasises that one of her primary responsibilities will be to create a more enabling environment that will stimulate growth in research and innovation. “At the same time we must foster more smart partnerships locally and internationally, to leverage both financial and intellectual resources to benefit our research efforts.”

Assoc Professor Lyn Snodgrass

Congratulations to HERS-SA alumna (2007) Lyn Snodgrass from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) on her promotion to associate professor.   Professor Snodgrass is Head of Department: Political and Conflict Studies in the School of Governmental and Social Sciences and Leader of the postgraduate programme in Conflict Transformation and Management at NMMU.  She has postgraduate degrees in Organisational and Clinical Psychology (cum laude) and Conflict Resolution (cum laude) and a PhD in Conflict Transformation and Management.  She studied non-violent communication with Dr Marshall Rosenberg, the international American conflict practitioner and author. Lyn works at the interstices between Conflict Resolution, Psychology and Politics in order to analyse deep-rooted social conflict and to interrogate the role of human needs, collective emotion and communal memory in intractable, violent conflict. She lectures, supervises masters and doctoral students, presents workshops and publishes nationally and internationally. She specialises in conflict management interventions (mediation, negotiation) and conflict management systems design. She serves on the Research Advisory Committee for the Centre for the Advancement of Nonracialism and Democracy (CANRAD) and is adjunct Professor on the Graduate Program, Conflict Management and Resolution at the University of North Carolina - Wilmington, (UNCW) in the USA.

Professor Romeela Mohee

Professor Romeela Mohee, HERS-SA Alumna 2010 was recently appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius. She holds an engineering degree in Energy and Environment from a Grande Ecole d’Ingenieurs, the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, France, (under a French Scholarship) and a PhD from the University of Mauritius. Romeela has 25 years of academic experience as a Professor and Head of Department in the field of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, as well as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering from 2009 to 2012. She has also held the position of National Research Chair in Solid Waste Management at the Mauritius Research Council.

She has published over 75 international research and conference papers, edited 2 books, 4 book chapters, and has supervised to date more than 50 undergraduate and 30 masters and doctoral students in the field of energy and environmental engineering.  Her expertise has been recognized both at national and regional level. She has been Vice President of the Maurice Ile Durable Steering Committee and has held the position of environmental assessor for the Environment and Land Use tribunal.  She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and has been invited several times as key speaker at international workshops and conferences. She was highly involved in the Rio +20 conference preparatory meeting for Africa.  She has carried out more than 20 major consultancy projects in the field of environmental science and engineering.  Professor Mohee has received a number of awards and recognitions including the winner of the African Union best woman scientist award for Science Technology  and  Innovation in 2009.  Romeela is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and a fellow of the Mauritian Academy of Science and Technology (FMAST).

Professor Mashudu Maselesele

Congratulations to Professor Mashudu Maselesele (HERS-SA Alumnae 2013) on her appointment  in May 2014 as the first Black woman campus Rector at North West University.  Prior to this promotion, she served as the Vice-rector: Teaching and Learning at North-West University’s Mafikeng Campus.  Having joined the university in 2007, Prof Maselesele, a Venda princess born in Balangani Village in Limpopo, has made a phenomenal contribution to the campus both as an academic and as a leader.   Affectionately known to students and staff of the university as “Prof Mashudu”, she was also instrumental in the setting up of the faculty’s first niche area, Food Safety and Security, which was approved recently. Also during her tenure as Dean of the biggest faculty on campus, the research output improved from 5,58 units in 2007 to 16,1 in 2008 and to a further overwhelming increase to 105,84 units in 2011.  As the saying goes, once an academic, always an academic. She has continuously published articles and presented conferences papers both locally and internationally. She also successfully supervised doctoral and masters’ students.  Professor Maselesele truly is a phenomenal woman, having credentials and vast experience which speak for itself. She is indeed a leader in her field.

Dr Pamela Dube

Congratulations to Dr Pamela Dube, (HERS Alumna SI 2005) on her appointment as the Dean of Students: Student Affairs, at the University of the Witwatersrand  in December 2013. She advanced her postgraduate studies in Comparative Literature and Media in Germany, at the University of Siegen where she completed her MA Studies in 1992 and PhD in 1996.  Pamela is a seasoned professional whose vast career includes higher education and research management, media/communication and literature, human resources development, student affairs as well as international relations. She has served as a Special Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Johannesburg where she also took on the leadership of the Human Resources Division and by the time she left in 2013 had been promoted as Deputy Vice-Chancellor designate. She took on a consultation role and offered her services in Nepal as an Advisor to the Vice Chancellor and Principal of Kathmandu University where she also taught as guest lecturer in Media Studies. 
She is passionate about facilitating opportunities to knowledge and is committed to provision of access to educational opportunities, as well as to personal and professional development of a cadre of well rounded knowledgeable leaders of talent and effectiveness across African society and the world at large. She is a Board member of a few local and international education and research organizations, and has published widely in her area of expertise and related inter-disciplinary areas, also in international peer reviewed publications. She has also served and supported processes at various scholarship organizations, including being a leadership mentor for the Mandela Rhodes scholarship programme and providing support in the Uniliver Mandela Scholarship programme, the Fulbright –South Africa programme, the Australian, the Commonwealth, the Chinese government–South Africa programme. She has also served as a Ministerial Appointee to the Council of the University of Pretoria as well as a member of Board of Trustees for the Centre for Education Policy Development (CEPD).

Professor Angela Miri

Professor Angela Miri from the Unversity of Jos in Nigeria is a proud alumna of the 2006 HERS-SA ACADEMY.  From 2007 to 2011 Angela was appointed by her State Govenor as the Honourable Commissioner for Health and then also for Education.  After serving out her full tenure of four productive years in these two sectors, she then resumed responsibilities at her duty post in the University of Jos.  Currently the State Governor has appointed Angela to serve as the Chair of the Governing Council of the Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin Ladi.  She has also been an External Assessor to various Universities/ Institutions across Nigeria.  Angela’s strong endorsement of the HERS-SA ACADEMY and its impact on the career advancement of women in higher education is reflected in her views on this: “I thank members of the team for the wonderful work you are doing.  Many women in Higher Education today, still need that little push or encouragement to soar to greater heights in their different callings. The HERS-SA Academy has adequately filled out this yawning gap for the good of all and sundry, especially the women in Higher Education.  The teeming number of alumnae across the globe is a clear testimony of its glaring contributions to the development of human capacity.  Thank you once more and God bless you all”.

Dr Agnieta Pretorius

Dr Agnieta Pretorius, a Y rated researcher, is a senior lecturer and academic Manager in the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the Tshwane University of Technology, eMalahleni Campus.  She holds a Diploma in Programming, a B Com Degree and BSc (Hons) in Information Systems and a Master’s Degree in Business Leadership, all obtained from the University of South Africa. Her D Tech degree, with the thesis titled “Model of a knowledge management support system for choosing intellectual capital assessment methods”, was obtained in 2008 at TUT.

Dr Pretorius’s career started as a Learner Official (programming) in 1989 at Barlow Rand Computer Services. She worked her way up to becoming an Analyst Programmer until 1995, when she joined Electronic Data Systems (EDS) as a consultant. In the same year, she serviced Middelburg Mining Services as a Consultant. Later, she joined Highveld Steel and Vanadium as an Analyst Programmer and thereafter promoted to Senior Systems Analyst.  In 1999, she left the industry and joined TUT as a Junior Lecturer and has never looked back. Dr Pretorius lectures National Diploma and B Tech students and is currently supervising and co-supervising a number of Master’s students. She is author and co-author of a variety of articles in international and locally accredited journals and conference proceedings. She regularly reviews articles for journals and conferences and recently participated in collaborative research projects with research partners from Germany and Sweden.  She exudes confidence which is reflected both  in her stature as an insightful researcher, and in her sporting activities when she successfully completed the 2013 Comrades Marathon and represented the Mpumalanga Province at the South African Cross Country Championships in Potchefstroom.  In addition to her accolades, Dr Pretorius is the current chairperson of the eMalahleni Campus Research Committee and of the Faculty of ICT’s Research Ethics Committee.

Dr Patricia Popoola

Known to be a multi-talented woman and a perfectionist who exudes passion for research, Dr Patricia Popoola is a senior lecturer at the Department of Chemical, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at the Tshwane University of Technology.  With a combination of qualifications that encompasses all areas of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, she holds a National Diploma in Materials Technology which deals with the study of Metals, Polymers, Ceramics, Glass and Cement Technology. She has a BSC (honours) degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering; Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Metallurgical Engineering; she worked on the Quantitative Analysis of Cementitious Materials using Non-destructive Ultrasonic Testing. She completed her Doctoral degree in Physical Metallurgy/Laser Materials Deposition at TUT, with five Journal Papers (4 ISI Journals) and three peer-reviewed conference papers published.

Her career began in 1988 as an intern at Aluminium Rolling Mills in Otta, Nigeria. She later took office at the Tshwane University of Technology in 2003 as a part-time lecturer in Metallurgy. She is an outstanding study leader and is a supervisor to a large number of M Tech and D Tech students. She has published a total of 89 peer-reviewed journal papers. One of the papers she has written on real life engineering applications of laser has been labelled the most downloaded and read paper of the Journal of Laser Applications for July 2011.   The Laser Institute of America highlighted this paper on their website for laser users and inventors. It brought international recognition for TUT and the CSIR. Dr Popoola’s field of expertise and research specialisation is Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.

Dr Keolebogile Motaung

Having grown up in Meadowlands, Soweto, with an innate interest in science, Dr Keolebogile Shirley Motaung, a doting mother, researcher and teacher, is living her dream and loving it.  She is the only black female in South Africa to hold a Doctorate specialising in tissue engineering of articular cartilage.  “My job energises me, so I’m able to give 100% in what I do,” she says.  She is  a registered Medical Technologist (Chemical Pathology) with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and currently employed as a Medical Research Scientist and Section Head at the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).

Dr Motaung started her career at TUT in March 1998 as a lecturer. In 1999, she was granted a Technikon Pretoria Research Fund Bursary and in 2001 she received DAAD (German Scholarship) to complete a Master’s degree. She then enrolled for a Master’s degree in Biomedical Technology at the former TechnikonPretoria, which she completed in 2003. In the same year she won a Catalyst Innovation Competition for the most commercially viable innovation developed at a South African University or Technikon. In 2003, she received the Vice-Chancellor’s award in recognition for exceptional excellence and achievement at Technikon Pretoria.

In 2006, Dr Motaung became the first female at TUT to receive a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her D Tech at University of California, Davis, USA. She obtained her D Tech in 2010, at TUT, in collaboration with University of California, Davis, where she worked under the supervision of Prof Hari Reddi, a world-renowned scientist in Morphogenetic Proteins and Regenerative Medicine.  Self-assured and systematic,Dr Motaung has been invited as a speaker and visiting researcher at several international conferences and universities including Spain (University of Malaga), China, USA, India and most recently at the California State University, where she gave a Vice-Chancellor special  lecture series  on Regenerative Medicine, hosted by The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in collaboration with Pan African Studies, Women’s Studies and Cooper-Woodson College Enhancement Program.   She serves as a reviewer for Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Medical Technology Journal SA and Journal of Ethno pharmacology.

From 2004 to 2010, she served as a Board Member of Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and Professional Board for Medical Technology. She has also served as chairperson of the Society of Medical Laboratory Technologist of South Africa (SMLTSA), Pretoria Branch from 2002 to 2010. Since 2010 she is an external moderator of Chemical Pathology IV (Board Examination) for Society of Medical Laboratory Technologist of South Africa (SMLTSA).  Her advice to prospective scientists: “Find a field that will inspire you into making a difference to the lives of those around you. Give your best at all times and don’t be distracted by peers who may have started work before you, our circumstances and challenges are never the same. The best time to study is when you’re still young” she concluded.

Professor Jose Frantz

Professor Jose Frantz (BSc. Physiotherapy, MSc. Physiotherapy, PhD) HERS-SA alumnus(2013), was appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences at the University of the Western Cape as from 1 October 2013. She has received several prestigious scholarships and bursaries from National Research Foundation, Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), South African Regional FAIMER Institute (SAFRI) and the University of Western Cape. She has published in several journals nationally and internationally. Professor Frantz is currently the editor of the South African Journal of Physiotherapy and the Journal of Community and Health Sciences. She is also co-editor of the African Journal of Health Professions Education. As a newly appointed Dean she would like to channel her energy into assisting the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences to help address the health and social needs of the population that we serve through research and educating socially responsible health and welfare professionals.

Dr Mumthaz Banoobhai

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” These are the words proudly uttered by Dr Mumthaz Banoobhai, senior lecturer at the Department of Educational Studies, who has, among other things, survived cancer and attained academic excellence, and still continues to serve selflessly.  Mumthaz, who describes herself as “loud, passionate, authentic and driven”, was born into poverty in KwaZulu-Natal.  Today, Mumthaz has completely turned around her life. She is extensively skilled and experienced in various aspects of the General Education and Training Band and the higher education sector in general, and lectures undergraduate and postgraduate students. She is unquestionably knowledgeable in developing, designing and implementing curricula and national legislation pertaining to the registration and accreditation of qualifications. She has participated effectively in local and international educational study projects.  Credited with qualities to serve, engage and inspire students, she holds a Higher Education Diploma from the Transvaal College of Education, a BTech (Post-school Education) of the former Technikon Northern Gauteng, and an MTech in Education from the former Technikon Pretoria. The Tshwane University of Technology conferred a Doctorate in Education on her in 2012.  In addition to her dedication to her work, Mumthaz is an extraordinary motivator and an activist in cancer action campaigns, demanding not just awareness of the disease, but also research into its causes and prevention. “After surviving cancer, I know that life can change in an instant. In a way, the dark times in life seemed to make my family life even brighter. My husband, mother-in-law and beautiful children were my pillars of strength during that time. They gave me the courage to embrace my fears, appreciate love and open my heart,”.  Despite everything she has endured, Dr Mumthaz continues to enthuse young minds, balance work and family, while at the same time sharing her loving personality with everyone who crosses her path.

Dr Cecilia Schultz

The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” This is precisely how Dr Cecilia Schultz, Senior Lecturer and Section Head: Postgraduate Studies and Research at the Department of People Management and Development, lives her life.  She began her professional career as a senior personnel officer/training officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs. After couple of years in government, she looked for greener pastures and in 1994 she joined TUT as a personnel practitioner in the Human Resources Department. It wasn’t long before she was head-hunted for a post as senior lecturer at the Department of People Management and Development and that is when her academic career lifted off.  Her warmth and charisma are what bring her closer to her students, who describe her as a caring lecturer and leader with a magnetic personality.
Cecilia holds a BCom degree in Industrial Psychology from North-West University, a BCom(Hons) in Human Resource Management from the University ofPretoria (UP), an MCom in Industrial Psychology from the University of South Africa (UNISA), and a DTech in Human Resource Management from TUT, obtained in 2009.  To add to her accolades, Cecilia has scooped the Faculty of Management Awards twice: as 2009 Junior Researcher of the Year and as 2010 Woman Researcher of Year. Furthermore, she has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in national and international journals as well as contributions in research- related books.  Cecilia makes available her expertise in community engagement projects across the country. She is registered as a psychometrist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and participates actively in the HR/ER Forum, a TUT initiative in collaboration with other South African universities and other institutional committees.

Associate Professor Caroline Ncube

Associate Professor Caroline Ncube (HERS-SA Alumna 2012) joined the University of Cape Town in 2005 as a lecturer in the department of Commercial Law. She had previously taught at the University of Zimbabwe and the University of Limpopo.   While working full-time as a lecturer, she undertook doctoral studies and obtained her PhD from UCT in 2011. She was promoted to senior lecturer in 2011, and most recently to Associate Professor in 2013. Her research interests are in intellectual property law, company law and electronic law. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters as well as participated in major research projects in Intellectual Property Law. Details of her publications and projects are available here .

Prof Dharini Sivakumar

Professor Dharini  Sivakumar, a C rated researcher from the Department of Crop Sciences at the Tshwane University of Technology has an outstanding research interest, namely post-harvest of fresh produce. This is a research field contributing enormously towards the reduction of food loss and the sustainability of food security.   Currently rated C, her research career started in 1993 as a young research officer at the Ceylon Institute of Scientific Industrial Research (CISIR) at the Postharvest Technology Group, Food Technology Division. During this period she was involved in numerous research projects and was privileged to participate as a resource person representing Sri Lanka at the 25th FAO-IAEA Research, coordination meeting of the Asian Regional cooperative project on food irradiation held in Bangkok.  Professor Sivakumar received her doctoral degree in 2001 from the University of Colombo and since 2001 she worked in the higher education sector. Prior to this she worked in a variety of research-related positions including at the Ceylon Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Industrial Technology Institute in Sri Lanka.   Professor Sivakumar’s field of expertise and research specialisation is postharvest technology with a focus on improving quality of fruit and vegetables and safety.

Prof Maggy Momba

Professor  Maggy  Momba C rated researcher from the Department of Environmental, Water and Earth Sciences at the Tshwane University of Technology was born and bred in Bikoro, Province of Equator in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Growing up in the heart of Africa taught her the privileges of having access to clean running water.  Today, after years of specialising in the field of water research, she is the Research Professor and National Chair in Water Quality and Wastewater Management in the Faculty of Science.   Professor Momba obtained both her MSc and PhD in Microbiology from the University of Pretoria. Today she is recognised as an expert in the field of waste water and potable water management. Her field of expertise and research specialisation is biological sciences with a focus on applied microbiology, biotechnology microbiology and molecular biology.  She started her career at a pharmaceutical laboratory in Kinshasa where after she joined the Zairian Institute for the Conservation of Nature (IZCN). She later accepted an appointment at the Environmental and Forestry Technology Department at the CSIR as a PhD postgraduate researcher while she was registered at the University of Pretoria.  Professor Momba is a member of not less than 15 national and international scientific committees which include membership of the South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Eastern Cape Water and Water Research Commission (WRC) steering committees.

Prof Sandra Combrinck

Prof Sandra Combrinck from the Department of Chemistry at the Tshwane University of Technology is one of only a few women considered to be experts in the field of chemistry. Rated in the C category at the National Research Foundation, her research specialisation is analytical chemistry with a focus on chromatography, plant secondary metabolites and postharvest fungal diseases.   Professor  Combrinck started her career in 1983 as a researcher at the Medical Research Council in Tygerberg, Cape Town. She specialised in the isolation of mycotoxins from fungal cultures and the development of analytical methods for the determination of mycotoxins in food and feeds. She joined TUT in 1994, where she combined her love for research and teaching.   She obtained her D Tech Chemistry degree in 2007. Her preference is to work towards practical applications of plant products, whether they are volatile metabolites or non-volatile polar metabolites. Together with other researchers, she evaluates the application of essential oils as bio-friendly fungicides in several trials in industry. Lately, she has also become interested in contamination of the environment and the use of plants to mitigate pollution.  Professor Combrinck has a collaborative research project with the University of Lublin (Poland) dealing with secondary metabolites of liverworts from southern Africa. She is also a popular study leader and regularly acts as supervisor for master and doctoral students.

Venessa Ranjit

Congratulations to Venessa Ranjit HERS-SA Alumna (2010) as the newly appointed Director of Logistical Services at the Tshwane University of Technology.  Venessa is considered to be one of the top experts in the coordination and management domain of the built environment. She notes that being a woman in the largely male-dominated built environment industry has never held her back in any way: “I think more women should be involved in the built environment. It is happening – perhaps more in the green building field, as that requires a more sensitive side.”  Venessa started her career in the industrial sector in 1989 as a junior quantity surveying technician. Later at the Durban University of Technology, she lectured both undergraduate and postgraduate students in the built environment. In 2006, she was appointed part-time lecturer at the Department of Building Sciences, lecturing undergraduate students at the Tshwane University of Technology. Soon after, in the same year, she joined Thubelisha as National Manager: Contractor Development, where she managed and strategically facilitated all interventions in eight provinces throughout South Africa, developing SME’s within the low cost housing framework. Concurrently, she also served as part-time Programme Manager at Khuthuza, managing and facilitating national training and mentorship programmes in the construction sector for women.  In 2007, Venessa returned to TUT as a permanent lecturer, lecturing undergraduate and postgraduate students until her recent appointment. She served as an advisor and consultant to SMMEs and government departments, and worked with large construction companies.  Venessa holds an MSc in International Construction Management from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, and is currently preparing for her PhD.  She is also a recipient of the 2011 Best Research Paper Award at the 7th CIDB Postgraduate Conference.  Venessa describes herself as a mother, a wife and a career woman. She says her natural instinct as a woman who is caring and nurturing has also assisted her in the cut-throat industry to reach out to people and has defined her leadership style:  “I believe in being a serving leader, giving people space to apply their knowledge, and make their mistakes, and being able to learn from them. I like to create a platform for people to be able to approach me about anything, including feedback on how I do things, as this helps me to become a better person in life”.  She currently serves as a council member of the Chartered Institute of Building -Africa (CIOB) and a CMDC member (part of SACPCMP). She retains her board membership status of the South African Women’s Empowerment Foundation (SAWEF) since 2002. From 2001 to 2005, she shared her expertise as board member of the South African Women in Construction (SAWIC).

Professor Annelie Jordaan

Congratulations to Professor Annelie Jordaan HERS-SA alumna (2005), on her recent appointment as the Chief Executive Officer at the South African Technology & Training Platform.  Annelie has more than 25 years experience in Higher Education - as a lecturer, scientist, researcher, academic manager and institutional manager. She has a BSc, (Hons) BSc and MSc in Computer Science, all of which were awarded Cum Laude. In 2005, she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Technology in Information Technology.  In this, she developed a software system which enhanced logical, structural and critical thinking of IT students studying at HEI’s.   While in higher education she developed a number of artefacts which were patentable.  These included a smartcard access system for the taxi industry; a database software system for estate agencies and a financial software system for a large iron and steel company.   Given her expertise in IT systems, software systems, patentable artefacts, and success in multidisciplinary teaching, research and postgraduate outputs  she came to the attention of her peers who were leading in similar activities in international higher education institutions, such as Berne University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland; the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI); Zurich University of Applied Sciences; Loerrach University of Cooperative Education, Germany; Dusseldorf University of Applied Sciences, Germany; universities in the Australian Technology Network (ATN); and the University of East London, UK.  In her work with and for government agencies and private providers, Annelie has honed her expertise in the development of proposals, development, analysis and implementation of strategic plans; applied research and desk studies; quality audits and analyses; high-level scientific reports, strategic advice and future forecasts. Her recent activities have involved working with government departments, analysing problems, researching solutions and advising on ways to move forward.

Professor Shireen Motala

The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, recently appointed Professor Shireen Motala, Director of the Postgraduate Centre of Research, Innovation and Advancement at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to serve on the Ministerial Committee to investigate the current promotion requirements and other related matters that impact the standard of the National Senior Certificate.  In March 2010, Shireen was appointed as Director of the Postgraduate Research Centre: Research, Innovation and Advancement at UJ. Her responsibilities include leading the university wide strategy for improving enrolment at a postgraduate level, providing research support for postgraduate students and ensuring that throughput improves in the institution. In September 2010 she was appointed Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at UJ.  She has vast experience in all aspects of research including research mentorship, management of research teams, quality assurance and working with peers in the research community.  She has also served on various committees at Wits University including the Faculty Research Committee, the School of Education Executive, the School of Education Research Committee, the Committee on internationalisation in the Faculty and the Honorary Degrees Committee. Prof Motala sits on the Board of a number of policy research organisations including the Centre for Education Policy Development and the South African Institution for Distance Education.

Dr Kim Berman

Dr Kim Berman is an Associate Professor in the Visual Art Department of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Executive Director of Artist Proof Studio, a community printmaking Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg, where she co-founded it with her partner NhlanhlaXaba. The studio provides training and studio facilities to emerging artists.  Kim is not just an academic and activist, she is also a philanthropist in her own right. She is a woman committed to the political and social transformation in South Africa. All this is reflected on her use of printmaking processes inspired by her surroundings.  She started Phumani Paper in 2001, which  is a national poverty relief project funded by the Department of Science and Technology which set up papermaking enterprises across South Africa. She also established a Community Based Research (CBR) as a research focus and specialisation for a Masters qualification in the Visual Art Department at UJ. Dr Berman has lectured and exhibited widely in South Africa, Europe and the United States.She describes some of the challenges that she faces in her industry as not those regarding her gender but of achieving to her own expectations and the expectations of her colleagues. “This is especially difficult if your one of the first people to receive a PhD in your department. It is all about one’s sense of self and how motivated you are as an individual in achieving those expectations,” Dr Berman says.  Being an educator and activist, there are a lot of women that she views as role models in both spheres. One of those people is AlbertinaSisulu; she is inspired by those women who paved the way for us as a country. Female visual artists such as Helen Sebedi, Jane Alexandra and Diane Victor are also some of the women that inspire Dr Berman.

Professor Sarah Gravett

Prof Sarah Gravett is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). She has worked at the Bureau for University Education as a researcher and was also a high school teacher for eleven years.   Under the leadership of Prof Gravett the Faculty has spearheaded a number of research projects mainly focusing on the improvement of education practice, as well as community engagement projects linked to schools in the Johannesburg communities. Most recently, she has spearheaded two major projects, namely the establishment of an Education Leadership Institute at UJ (in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education), and an Institute for Childhood Education which includes a school, the FundaUJabule school.   She is the author and co-author of several books and articles on the design of learning environments and related themes. In recent years her research focus has shifted to teacher education, and from 2009 to 2011 she led a research project on “Learning to become a teacher: Novice teachers entering the teaching profession”, commissioned by the Gauteng Department of Education.   Currently she leads a research project on the establishing of teaching schools in South Africa, commissioned by the Department of Higher Education and Training. The recently opened Siyabuswa Campus, which will eventually form part of a new institution in Mpumalanga, was the first school to be established in 2013.   Her most recent awards include: The South African Association for Research and Development in Higher Education Teaching Fellowship and the medal of honour from the Education Association of South Africa honouring her for outstanding service to Education in South Africa.

Professor Kinta Burger

Prof Kinta Burger and HERS-SA Aluma, has been appointed to take up office as the University of Johannesburg (UJ)’s Registrar from the start of the 2014 academic year. During her time as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science at UJ, she has positioned the Faculty as an important player in the higher education arena, both locally and internationally. The Faculty houses three of the seven NRF research chairs at UJ and has seen an increase of over 200% in research outputs since 2007.   Kinta was appointed Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at the former Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) in 1991 where she obtained a PhD in Mathematics in 1992. Before her appointment as Executive Dean in 2003, she was Chairperson of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at RAU where she initiated many programmes which led to the success of the Faculty. During her leadership the Faculty saw an increase in numbers of qualified academic staff, rated researchers, research outputs, and, and Research Centres of Excellence.  She strongly believes that a disadvantaged teaching background should not be the reason why one is excluded from the world of science, engineering and technology. Her main research interest is in the application of non-monotonic logic which includes topics such as defeasible reasoning, verisimilitude and belief revision.

Dr Mala Singh

Dr Mala Singh was recently appointed Executive Director: Human Resources at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Previously she was Executive Director of Human Resources at the University of South Africa (UNISA).   Mala started her career as an educator in 1977 and, after a stint as a lecturer at the Transvaal College of Education and Assistant Superintendent of Education, she became a school principal in 1993. She joined management at the South African Management Development Institute and the Department of Public Service and Administration.   In November 1999, Dr Singh was appointed Divisional Commissioner of the Career Management Division of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and within three years, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the human resource environment in the SAPS, was appointed Deputy National Commissioner. Commissioner Singh was the first woman to be appointed to this position in the history of the police force in South Africa.  As a President award recipient for outstanding manager in the public service, she played an integral part in transformation, the empowerment of women in the SAPS and establishing the SADC policewomen’s network with the focus on fighting crimes against women and children.

Professor Melanie Walker

Professor Melanie Walker is a leading scholar at the University of the Free State who focuses on the contributions of higher education to transforming society and reducing injustices.   She holds a South African Research Chair in Higher Education and Human Development. Her research at the Centre for Higher Education and Capabilities Research of the UFS focuses on the contributions higher education can make to transforming society and reducing injustices. She draws on interdisciplinary resources from education, sociology, economics, development studies and philosophy to explore how higher education need not necessarily legitimise the interests of the powerful in society, but can instil public values and support democratic outcomes. A key focus of this research programme is capacity building and the development of outstanding young scholars though Masters, PhD and postdoctoral fellowships in the field of human development and higher education, including their high quality scholarly publications, engagements with policy makers and practitioners, and the inclusion of young scholars in dynamic networks of national and international scholars.

Dr Aliza le Roux

Dr Aliza le Roux is a senior lecturer in the  Department of Zoology & Entomology at the University of the Free State.  She is a member of the Vice-Chancellor's Prestige Scholars Programme.   Dr Le Roux is a South African National Research Foundation-rated (NRF) scientist (Y2) and the winner of a 2012 UFS Excellence in Teaching Award. She devoted the past decade to research on the cognitive and communicative skills of wild mammals in South Africa and Ethiopia. She spent four years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan, leading to groundbreaking research on the cognitive and communicative underpinnings of gelada monkey behaviour. Le Roux leads pioneering work on spatial cognition in wild Samango monkeys. This will assess how cognitive abilities in primates are affected by the risk of predation. Her research focus includes carnivore cognition, specifically the consequences of paternal care in bat-eared foxes.
During her tenure in the US she blogged for Nature Magazine on her adventures as field biologist. Her work has since found its way into numerous websites, magazine and newspaper articles and she has been interviewed on radio and BBC World.

Dr Gladys Kigozi

Dr Gladys Kigozi is a researcher at the Centre for Health Systems Research & Development at the University of the Free State.  She is a member of the Vice-Chancellor's Prestige Scholars Programme.  Dr Kigozi works on tuberculosis (TB), the ‘new black death’. The spread of especially drug-resistant tuberculosis is a global concern, but for South Africa, with its high rates of HIV/AIDS, the threat is acute. Her topical research explores the facilitating factors and barriers to TB/HIV service integration at the primary health-care level. At 33, her research on HIV, AIDS and TB in South Africa is widely published, including an article and abstracts in The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. She has managed to collaborate and co-publish with several leading scholars and a number of international institutions, including the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) South Africa, 5 State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, University of British Columbia and the University of Antwerp.  Dr Kigozi holds a doctorate in Psychology and Health Systems Research. In her relatively short research career, she has already acted as facilitator or co-researcher on a number of projects in collaboration with the University of British Columbia. These projects aim to assist in building research capacity in South Africa in order to promote the health and safety of the health-care workforce in TB/HIV prevention and management. She is also contributing to the evaluation of professional and community health-worker training and mentoring models to improve TB patients’ uptake of HIV counselling and testing.

Professor Rose Boswell

We are pleased to announce the promotion of HERS-SA Aluma 2011 Professor Rose Boswell to full Professor of Anthropology at Rhodes University. Rose’s research is based in the southwest Indian Ocean, where she has conducted field research on issues of gender, heritage and identity in Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zanzibar. She is the author of three books on the region and several academic papers published in peer reviewed journals. From 2010 to May 2013 she served as the Deputy Dean of the Humanities Faculty at Rhodes University, spearheading and proposing the faculty Equity Plan. Her most recent work is on social justice and social transformation both in the southwest Indian Ocean and South Africa. From 2010-2011 she served as a research team leader for the Mauritius Truth and Justice Commission (TJC), a body concerned with truth and reconciliation with regard to the legacies of slavery and indenture in Mauritius. In 2011 she received an NRF rating (C2) and was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Prestigious Residency at Bellagio, Italy. She is also a mother to three small children and believes that time can be 'mastered'.  She does not believe in imposing boundaries on her work and believes that self discipline is good for both her body and soul.

Dr Noluthando Toni

Dr Noluthando Toni , a HERS-SA Alumna was appointed to a strategic senior level position at the University of Fort Hare(UFH), where  she joined the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) at the beginning of February 2012. She joins the UFH from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). At NMMU Dr Toni was the Director of School for Initial Teacher Education in the Faculty of Education. Before rising to the then position of Director of School, Dr Toni was the Head of Department for the Foundation Phase Studies Department. Noluthando, as she passionately prefers to be referred to, played an instrumental role as the Head of Department in the re-accreditation of the Bachelor of Education degree (B.Ed) Programme by the Higher Education Quality Council (HEQC) at the NMMU in 2007. Before finishing her three year tenure as the HoD she was then asked to, and assented to act as the Director in 2009. In 2010 she was appointed the substantive Director of the school for a three year period. As fate would have it and true to a trademark leader, Noluthando was identified, courted and whisked once again....albeit, un-timely, vacating her last NMMU position to take up her current strategic position at the UFH. Dr Toni replaces  Professor Christine Woods who resigned in mid -2011.

Professor Corli Witthuhn

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the appointment of Professor Corli Witthuhn as Vice-Rector: Research, during its meeting on 8 March 2013.  The portfolio of Vice-Rector: Research is new and was created as part of the university's academic project in which the institution aims to increase its research activities and outputs.
Professor Witthuhn brings with her years of experience in higher education, both in terms of scientific research and serving in senior management positions in university structures.  She obtained her PhD in Microbiology at the UFS in 1999. She then joined Stellenbosch University (SU) as a lecturer and served as an academic at the US for 12 years. She was appointed as Vice-Dean in the Faculty of AgriSciences at US until she joined the UFS.
Since August 2011, she has been employed at the UFS as Professor and Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. She is one of the co-directors of the university's Vice-Chancellor's Prestige Scholars Programme, aiming to identify and develop the careers of young academic scholars at the UFS.
Professor Witthuhn’s research focus is on food microbiology and she is still actively involved in research. She is a NRF C2-rated scientist who has published more than 60 international articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has supervised numerous doctoral and master’s students and acts as reviewer for leading international journals. During her research career, she has been able to negotiate research funding from national and international funders, as well as from industry.

Dr Daisy Selematsela

On 21 August 2012, Parliament announced the appointment of  HERS alumna Dr Daisy Selematsela to the board of the National Library of South Africa.  Among her duties as a board member will be to assist in the formulation of national Library policies and to play an advisory role to the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Paul Mashatile, on matters relating to the Library and its functions.

Among her duties as a board member will be to assist in the formulation of national Library policies and to play an advisory role to the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Paul Mashatile, on matters relating to the Library and its functions. The National Library functions as a repository of published documents from and relating to South Africa as well as Southern Africa. Through its efforts of collecting, recording, preserving and making available the country’s national documentary heritage, it contributes to its socio-economic, cultural, educational and scientific development.  Dr Selematsela brings a wealth of library and information/knowledge management experience to the National Library of South Africa. From 2008 - 2012 she was the Executive Director: Knowledge Management and Evaluation at the NRF, previously serving as Manager: Information Services and Strategy within the directorate from 2006 to 2008.  Dr Selematsela currently holds the portfolio of Executive Director: Knowledge Management Corporate.