(Senior Coordinator for Research Systems at the University of Cape Town)

Mrs Melissa Abrahams is a Senior Coordinator for Research Systems at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Melissa has always been passionate about IT and the power of IT to transform the workplace. Starting out as a receptionist for the International Office at UCT, Melissa’s love for working with people and interest in innovation through technology was a catalyst for what would later evolve into her taking up a position at the Research Office. Supporting and training end users on a newly implemented research administration solution, Melissa emphasizes the importance of user adoption, continued support, and a proactive approach to ensure buy-in and success of any new technological implementation. Through this, Melissa developed an interest in business process mapping and reengineering. 

When not behind a computer screen, Melissa enjoys downtime with her fur kids. Managing an Instagram social media account for them, she uses the platform to spread awareness of rescue and adoption, runs pet food drives, does fund raising initiatives for rescue organisations and because of her love for shopping, promotes and encourages the support of small businesses.

(Director: Social Impact, Stellenbosch University)

Ernestine Meyer-Adams is currently the Director for Social Impact at the Stellenbosch University.  She holds a M. Phil in Human Resource Development from the University of Johannesburg and B. Ed. Honors in Education Training and Development from Rand Afrikaans University.  She is trained educator and has over 13 years of teaching and community development experience.  She previously served as the Head of Community.  Engagement at the University of Johannesburg for 10 years.  Currently, she still serves as a board member of the South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHECEF) and has served terms as a Treasurer and Head of Secretariat to June 2021. 

Working with people is her passion and she is committed to continue uplifting and developing societies.  She is actively engaged with community university partnerships.  Through the support of Social Impact initiatives, she continues to strive addressing societal challenges and finding solutions together.  Ernestine is currently serving as Co-chair for Stellenbosch University at International Symposium on Service Learning (ISSL) 2021 and is Chair of the Stellenbosch University Service-Learning Community of Practice.

(Senior Lecturer, Environmental Microbiology and Bioremediation Division, Microbiology,Faculty of  Science University  of Port Harcourt)

(University of Cape Town)

(Professor: Central for Global Surgery, Stellenbosch University)


Prof. Chu is a Professor of Global Surgery and the inaugural director of the Centre of Global Surgery at Stellenbosch University.  She is a general and colorectal surgeon and received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University. She completed her medical degree and general surgery residency at the University of California- San Francisco. She was a Fulbright scholar at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where she received a Master’s degree in Public Health and Developing Countries.

She is an adjunct professor at University of Botswana (Department of surgery), a Board member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, a board member of One to One Africa, and the immediate past-Vice President of Doctors without Borders-Southern Africa.

(Head of Department, School of Education; Senior Lecturer: Foundation Phase Teaching, Sol Plaatje University)

Dr Daries is a Senior Lecturer: Foundation Phase Teaching. Glynnis obtained a PhD in Early Childhood Education from the University of Free State. She has extensive experiences in Foundation Phase pre-service teacher training at Higher Education level. She taught for 8 years at a primary school. Glynnis is an active member of the South African Association for Early Childhood Education. Also, she is the Coordinator of the Family Maths (Grade 3) project which is funded by SANRAL. This is an inter-university research collaboration and Free State University is the lead university. She has teaching experience at Basic Education- and Higher Education level over the past twenty years.

Dr Daries has published several peer reviewed articles in accredited journals and is the co-author of three book chapters on Early Childhood Development. She presented her work at several local-and international conferences. She is the Head of Department in the School of Education at Sol Plaatje University. work at several local-and international conferences. She is the Head of Department in the School of Education at Sol Plaatje University.

(Senior Lecturer: Private Law, Nelson Mandela University (Family Law); Admitted Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, Accredited Mediator)

Dr Razaana Denson is a senior lecturer in the Private Law department at Nelson Mandela University and specialises in Family Law. Dr Denson is an admitted Advocate of the High Court of South Africa and is also an accredited mediator for court-annexed mediations at the Magistrate’s Court in Port Elizabeth.

Dr Denson completed a BA Law degree (undergraduate) at Rhodes University and then proceeded to complete her LLB degree (postgraduate) at Vista University. To enhance her lecturing, she completed postgraduate diploma in Higher Education (HDE) at Vista University. Dr Denson holds a Masters’ degree (LLM) from the University of Port Elizabeth and the title of her thesis is “The Effect of the Constitution on Family Law in South Africa”. Her LLM thesis investigated how the enactment of the Constitution affected the law relating to Muslim marriages, same-sex partnerships, domestic partnerships and child law. 

She holds a LLD from Nelson Mandela University. The title of her LLD thesis is “A Comparative Exposition of Islamic Law Relating to the Law of Husband and Wife”. Her LLD research focused on the recognition and regulation of Muslim marriages in South Africa. Further, she has presented papers on various topics at conferences on a national and international level. She was also the keynote speaker at the 11th PiCCWED conference in Malaysia in August 2020. Dr Denson also publishes in accredited journals relating to her areas of research. With regard to her approach to lecturing, she adopts a student-centred approach where she fosters and facilitates the learning process so as to, firstly, inculcate a culture of learning in the students and secondly, to instil a love and passion for the law. Dr Denson is married to Yusuf Carloo and they are the proud parents of six children.

(Coordinator Work Integrated Learning in the Business & Information Management Qualification Midlands Campus; Lecturer Durban University of Technology)

Dr Khethiwe Dongwe is an academic at the Durban University of Technology (DUT). Her academic career spans over 20 years.

Dr Dongwe’s main research interests are on Higher Education policies and practices related to teaching and learning towards improving quality and student success. She has published and presented in conferences on these research focus areas. Her current research includes teaching evaluation instruments, undergraduate research and decolonising teaching. She is a recipient of the 2021 DUT

Post-Doctoral grant and the DUT Supporting Undergraduate Research Excellence grant.

She has co-supervised two Masters students to completion. She is currently the main supervisor for six postgraduate students and co-supervise two.

Further, Dr Dongwe is the former acting Head of Department and currently co-ordinates Work Integrated Learning in the Business and Information Management qualification at DUT Midlands Campus. She has been part of various recruitment and selection teams in the faculty.

She is responsible for lecturing Organisational Behaviour, Transformation and Change Management as well as Research Practices and Principles.

Dr Dongwe holds a PhD in Higher Education Studies and a Masters in Higher Education Studies, both from the University of KwaZulu Natal. Her PhD focused on policy and practice, with particular reference to academics and their teaching roles

(Manager: Research & Innovation, University of the Western Cape)

(HR Manager, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal)

(Childhood Education & Dev, Senior Lecturer; PQM Manager, UNISA)

Dr Donna Hannaway is a senior lecturer and currently the PQM Manager in the College of Education at the University of South Africa. She grounded herself in early childhood from undergraduate studies and is currently a teacher educator and manages programme development and accreditation. Dr Hannaway is an emerging researcher and has published journal articles and book chapters in her research interest which is technology-based teaching and learning, as well as teacher education in the early years. She has also disseminated her research in presented papers, posters at different conferences, both nationally and internationally.

Further, Dr Hannaway is also engaged in inter-institutional research for capacity building through access and a support programme specifically for the Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education NQF.

(Associate Professor and Director of the DSI/NWU Preclinical Drug Development Platform, North-West University)

Prof. Rose Hayeshi (PhD) is an Associate Professor and Director of the DSI/NWU Preclinical Drug Development Platform, North-West University, South Africa. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry and is a fellow of the Africa Science Leadership Programme and alumnus of the DAAD Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies Programme. She has co-authored 24 publications and two book


Her research interests are in preclinical testing for drug development. She works in interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaborative teams involved in different aspects of drug development.

She has a vision towards enhancing preclinical drug development capability in Africa by providing more translational preclinical models and by training and mentoring young people.

(Nelson Mandela University)

(Gardens and Grounds: Manager Higher Education CPUT)

Lynn January has 23 years of Horticultural Management and Contract Management experience. She started at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens moving to the Hospitality and Resorts Management industry until she joined the City of Cape Town Municipality in 2002. Here she established herself and moved from Senior Horticulturist to Area Head to District Manager in 2014.

Her local government experience ranges from Horticultural/Arboricultural, Public Open Space Management, Facilities Management and Cemetery Management serving in diverse communities. She has a passion for the Green industry, Community Development and People Management.

She holds a National Diploma in Horticulture, a B-Tech Degree in Horticulture and a 1-year Coaching Certificate from the University of Stellenbosch Business School. She has vast experience in Change Management. Lynn has joined CPUT and Higher Education since February 2021 as the Manager: Gardens and Grounds.

(Director: Talent Acquisition at the University of the Free State)

‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.’ This quote by American author and lecturer Marianne Williamson is what motivates Evalancia to stay on top of her game.

Evalancia Jones transitioned after fifteen years from the public service in the Western Cape to higher education, by joining the North-West University in Potchefstroom in 2012. She initially started working at the NWU as the human resources director for client services. In July 2016, the NWU went through a restructuring process and the Human Resources divisions for client services and operations were combined. She was then appointed as the Director: Human Resources Operations and Client Services. On 1 August 2018 she started a new position as the Director: Talent Acquisition at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, responsible for attracting and retaining top talent for the UFS, as well as for employment equity matters.

She obtained a BA degree, a Higher Education Diploma and a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of the Western Cape. She further obtained a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Stellenbosch University. She is currently working towards her Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) through the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.

(Director: Talent Acquisition at the University of the Free State)

(Senior Lecturer, Department of Human Movement Science, Health Science, Nelson Mandela University Port Elizabeth)

Dr Aayesha Kholvadia is a PhD holder and senior lecturer at the Department of Human Movement Science (Faculty of Health Science) at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, with over 7yrs of teaching experience, outstanding communication, classroom management, presentation skills and administrative competencies. 

Dr Kholvadia is a qualified biokineticist and has worn both hats of that of a clinician and an academic.  Dr Kholvadia has shown proven excellence in the development of a strong rapport with students, colleagues and administrators.  She exhibits particular expertise in creation, implementation and coordination of research and teaching and learning outcomes with a key interest in inter-professional teaching and research for improved health outcomes.  Additionally, she has shown a key drive towards leadership and often acts as a mentor and sounding board for colleagues in the department.  Aayesha is a mid-career academic with meaningful activities to propel learning and individual growth. 

(Lecturer and Coordinator, University of Venda)

Nkhangweleni has been a lecturer at the University of Venda in the Department of Business Management and she has been a Coordinator in this department since 2019.  She received a Bcom, BcomHons, UED from the University of Venda and a Master of Business Administration from Regent Business School.  She has facilitated in some of the following subjects in the Department of Business Management, entrepreneurship, marketing management, purchasing management, introduction to business management, strategic management and operation management.  She has also supervised several Honors, and co-supervised Masters students. Safety and Transport Management.  She is an active member of the Employee Assistance Professional Association, Western Cape chapter.

(Head: Employee Wellness, Human Resources, Stellenbosch University)

Mamoshibudi (Shibu) Mamabolo is an experienced programme manager in the field of employee health and wellness. Currently, she is the Head of the Employee Health and Wellness office at Stellenbosch University.  Her areas of interest covers management and personnel support on issues related to employee wellness, the design of staff wellness, insights on operationalization (clinical and non-clinical services).  She is also experienced in the implementation, coordination and management of service partners in designing proactive and preventative workshops and training

Based on EAP trends.  She networks with appropriate stakeholders nationally, that provide employee wellness services.  She is also experienced in policy and guideline documentation related to wellness programs and the monitoring and evaluation programs.  Shibu completed her B.A. Social Work degree from University of Limpopo (Turfloop Campus)

in 2005 and an advanced EAP short course with the University of Pretoria in 2012.

After working as a generic social worker for Department of Social Development and Department of Education as an employee health and wellness practitioner, she took up a position as an Assistant Director (Employee Assistance Practitioner) in the Department of Community. in 2005 and an advanced EAP short course with the University of Pretoria in 2012.

After working as a generic social worker for Department of Social Development and Department of Education as an employee health and wellness practitioner, she took up a position as an Assistant Director (Employee Assistance Practitioner) in the Department of Community.

(Acting Head of Department and co-founder of the Department of Applied Legal Studies, CPUT)


Noleen Leach is the Acting Head of Department and co-founder of the Department of Applied Legal Studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).  She holds an honours degree in education and a doctorate in law from the University of the Western Cape.  She is the project leader for paralegal curriculum development at CPUT and designer of the first degree in paralegal studies in South Africa. Her research interests span law, language and education, with the focus on access to justice, the transformation of the legal profession and multi-lingualism in higher education.

Her doctoral thesis, The Paralegal and the Right of Access to Justice in South Africa, conceptualises the values, regulatory framework, infrastructure and resources that embody access to justice in the country and focuses on the paralegal as the first aid to the legal needs of South African citizens. She is an advocate for the recognition of paralegals and the expansion of primary legal services.

(Human Resource: Manager, UNISA)


(Walter Sisulu University)

(Health Studies, Chairperson of the Department, UNISA)

(Acting School Manager, University of Kwazulu Natal)

(Acting HOD Civil Engineering Department, Butterworth, Walter Sisulu University)

Dr. Mbugua holds Doctorate degree in Civil Engineering from Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa in May 2017. She holds a M.Sc. in Civil Engineering with specialisation in structures from Odessa Academy of Sciences. Currently, she is Acting HOD Civil Engineering Department – Butterworth at Walter Sisulu University. She previously worked at Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University in Kenya. She has keen interest in using green technologies and green construction materials to minimize carbon footprint, e.g. admixtures in concrete, recycling of concrete materials and sustainable green concrete from recycled natural materials. She has published in six DHET approved journals, five book chapters and attended about twelve international conferences and workshops.

She has been awarded a Research guest visit to Germany for four months in 2019. She has mentored and possesses a strong desire to help change the lives of young women in the Engineering field by assisting them achieve high qualifications. She would like to see more women taking leadership positions in the Engineering field in the near future.

(CFO, Vaal University of Technology)

(Professor: Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Stellenbosch University)

Prof. Miller received her MS and PhD in Immunology, and DVM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Masters’ in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Florida-Gainesville.  She is also a diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine.  She did her post-doctoral training at San Diego Zoo, then went onto work at several zoos in the U.S. (Los Angeles Zoo, Busch Gardens, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Palm Beach Zoo), including being a Veterinary Manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  She moved to South Africa in 2013 and is currently the NRF South African Research

Chair in Animal TB at Stellenbosch University, although she is based full-time in Kruger National Park.

Michele is actively involved in wildlife research, particularly focusing on TB, immobilization physiology and immunology.  She is past president of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, current veterinary advisor for hippopotamus and rhinoceros for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in the U.S., and the Chair of the Wildlife TB Study Group in South Africa.  She works with veterinarians at zoos and private facilities around the world.

(Health Studies, Chairperson of Department, UNISA)

Prof Matlakala is the Chairperson of the Department (COD) of Health Studies, and Director of the WHOCC at Unisa. Prof Matlakala joined academia in 2000.  She is a Fellow of the South African Teaching Advancement at Universities (TAU). She was awarded with the Teaching and Learning Excellence Award for Assessment at Unisa in 2018.

As the COD, she is responsible for leadership and governance in the academic department, with specific focus on designing and implementing the operational plan of the department. She is further responsible for all the operational activities that support the operational plans of the school and college; as well as the Strategic Plan and the Academic Plan of the University.

She is committed to the development of nursing education and healthcare services workforce; as well as advancement of teaching and learning in higher education. Since 2004 she has served in various local committees looking at nursing practice and nursing education transformation. As a scholar, she has written and edited papers, chapters and books on General Nursing Science, Healthcare Services Management and aspect of teaching and learning in higher education. Currently, she is involved in the scholarship of teaching and learning with special focus on pedagogical practices in distance education.

(Tshwane University of Technology)

(Senior Instructional Designer, Higher Education Development and Support, Curriculum Development and Support: eLearning Section, Tshwane University of Technology,)

Dr Simelane-Mnisi is a Senior Instructional Designer at the Tshwane University of Technology, Higher Education Development and Support, Curriculum Development and Support: eLearning Section. She is a 21st-century teacher, instructional designer, curriculum developer, risk-taker, collaborator, researcher, an author, online facilitator, life-long learner, community builder and a leader. She is an empathetic and driven woman. She is inquisitive and always keen to learn new things about her surroundings. As an instructional designer, she designs and develops online courses using various learning management systems and other technologies including e-Assessments using various assessment tools. She constantly integrates various emerging technologies driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution in education. She ensures that technology is incorporated in the curriculum development and quality is not compromised. As technology advances at a rapid speed, she stays abreast. She is passionate about research as she supervises postgraduate candidates in the field of Educational Technology, Technology Vocational Education, Mathematics, Science and Technology, General Education and Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). She is a critical reader and technical analyst. She is the co-author of the book: ‘Teaching with ICT’ published in 2018. She has authored and co-authored research articles, chapters in books published in South African and international peer-reviewed journals. Her objective is to distribute knowledge with large audiences and reach out through community-engagement projects.

She is the founder and chairperson of the Sibongile Mnisi Foundation that focuses on the empowerment of youth and adults in rural, urban, townships and informal settlements in the use of emerging technologies and social. 

(College of Human Sciences, Director of School, UNISA)

(Student Affairs & Regional Services, E. Cape. Head Facilitation of Learning, UNISA)

Cate Molotja is currently working as the Head Facilitation of Learning for the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her duties include managing digital literacy trainings for students and student support programmes to assist

students in their academic studies in an ODeL context. Cate has also worked as a lecturer before assuming her current role. She gets fulfilment when she has assisted others (students or colleagues) and made a difference in others’ lives. She gets excited when a student’s query is successfully addressed, and the student is satisfied.

She enjoys challenging work assignments as they make her to get out of her comfort zone and learn new things. She obtained her doctoral degree in 2019. In 2020, she co-authored an article that was published in the Journal of Consumer Sciences and was chosen as an ‘article of high standard with potential impact addressing a current and pertinent SA issue’. She is passionate about research and would like to expand her research areas to student support in an ODeL contex.

(Junior Lecturer Engineering Surveying, Tshwane University of Technology)

(SBL, Executive Dean & CEO, UNISA)

(Durban University of Technology)

(Lecturer and a Honours Programme Coordinator, University of Mpumalanga)

Devashree is a lecturer and a honours programme coordinator at the University of Mpumalanga in Mbombela, South Africa. Prior to this, she had lectured at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in the School of Social Studies. She has obtained a Master of Social Science qualifications from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and is currently completing a PHD qualification at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. As an academic, Devashree has taught both; undergraduate and postgraduate courses in sociology.  Her research reflects interests in social development programmes with specific focus on addressing poverty alleviation. She has completed research on the implications of

transport cost for working class within the retail sector (a social class based analysis), the use of the livelihoods approach, as a tool to understand how poverty alleviation is addressed within the Zibambele transport development programme and is currently investigating inclusive development in S’hambe Sonke rural transport programme in South Africa.

Devashree has also offered her sociological insights as guest speaker at the National Prosecuting Authority’s Anti-Corruption Event held in Durban, December 2011, KZN Department of Transport’s Vukuzakhe Annual General Meeting held in Durban, November 2012 and at the Ummemo Cultural Ceremony held in the Emjindini Royal Kraal, October 2017. She also attended and participated in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York where she presented aspects of PHD study at a CSW parallel event (CSW-62) session that was sponsored by Graduate Women’s International (GWI), March 2018.

(Senior Coordinator, Student Affairs, Student Housing and Residence Life University of Cape Town)

Neerasha Naidu is a Senior Coordinator in the Department of Student Affairs, Student Housing and Residence Life at the University of Cape Town. In January 2020, Neerasha enrolled to do a BCom Honours in Human Resource Management at MANCOSA. Her studies coincided with the start of the COVID-19

pandemic. Shifting from face-to-face to online classes was an adjustment which she quickly adapted to.

Neerasha believes that education plays a very important role in the lives of women. In the workplace education has allowed women to move up the ranks in an organisation. This, however, is not sufficient as women need more opportunities to take up senior roles within an organisation’s hierarchy.  South Africa has a very progressive Constitution which enshrines gender equality. Transformation and talent management are key drivers to achieving this. Female global icons have played an inspirational role in moulding her ambitions. During Neerasha’ s high school days, she was inspired by Princess Diana for her work in HIV/ AIDS awareness and the banning of the use of landmines thereafter, Graca Machel for international advocacy for women’s’ and children’s’ rights. Professor Thuli Madonsela for her grace, eloquence, and her role as Public Prosecutor in promoting integrity, ethical governance, anticorruption, and social justice.

When Neerasha is not in front of her computer or dabbling on social media, she enjoys pottering around in the garden, spending time with her two daughters, reading and solving puzzles.

(Candidate Doctorate Student at the Tshwane University of Technology)

Khumbuzile Nedohe a candidate doctorate student at the Tshwane University of Technology, where she is perusing her research  in using virtual reality to improve ergonomics productivity and quality in manufacturing production facility layout within the rail sector.

She has published internationally, and some papers still under review.  Khumbu has 9 years working experience in the industrial engineering, both in the service and manufacturing environments and currently, working as a lecturer.

She is inspired by a Japanese proverb that says “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” By that she believes that while studying is a crucial aspect of getting an education, examining and internalizing information and data will only get you so far.

Students long for those rare moments when they can actually connect with their lecturer and learn something that no textbook or website could ever teach them. These are priceless life lessons from someone who has lived through the situations, made the mistakes, and grown as a result of them. Henceforth, Khumbu champions the TUT Food Support Project as she’s avidly motivated to serving students.

(University of the Western Cape)

(Associate Professor & HOD, UNISA)

Prof Ngubane, Open Distance Learning Research Unit, College of Education, UNISA.  Prof Ngubane is a Full Professor specialising on Information and Communication Technology Access and Disability research in higher education. She is also the Head of Department for the Open and Distance Learning Research Unit at Unisa, she is the former Deputy Director at the Advocacy and Resource Centre for Students with Disabilities, Curriculum Transformation Specialist in the Curriculum Transformation Unit, and Deputy Chairperson of Unisa Women’s Forum. She has published academic papers, book chapters, presented at international and national conferences and supervised masters and doctoral students to completion. In addition, Prof Ngubane leads Cross-border collaborative research and community engagement projects which aim at creating inclusive approaches to the development of vulnerable communities which include people with disabilities, women with and without disabilities, children and the elderly. She is leading a community project called ‘MarginsToTheCentre’ which provides support for people in the margins with an aim of creating sustainable and safe communities.

pandemic. Shifting from face-to-face to online classes was an adjustment which she quickly adapted to.

Neerasha believes that education plays a very important role in the lives of women. In the workplace education has allowed women to move up the ranks in an organisation. This, however, is not sufficient as women need more opportunities to take up senior roles within an organisation’s hierarchy.  South Africa has a very progressive Constitution which enshrines gender equality. Transformation and talent management are key drivers to achieving this. Female global icons have played an inspirational role in moulding her ambitions. During Neerasha’ s high school days, she was inspired by Princess Diana for her work in HIV/ AIDS awareness and the banning of the use of landmines thereafter, Graca Machel for international advocacy for women’s’ and children’s’ rights. Professor Thuli Madonsela for her grace, eloquence, and her role as Public Prosecutor in promoting integrity, ethical governance, anticorruption, and social justice.

When Neerasha is not in front of her computer or dabbling on social media, she enjoys pottering around in the garden, spending time with her two daughters, reading and solving puzzles.

(Acting Head of Department Student Learning Unit of Fundnai Centre for Higher Education, Academic Literacy Lecturer, CPUT)

Puleng Sefalane-Nkohla was born in Burgersdorp along the Drakensburg mountains and the Stomberg river in the Eastern Cape. She is the fourth child out of six children. Mother of two kids. Puleng is working at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in South Africa for 22 years, as an Academic Literacy Lecturer with vast experience in leading and coordinating the Writing Centre at CPUT.

  She is currently working as an acting Head of Department (HoD) at the Student Learning Unit of Fundnai Centre for Higher Education and Development. Her interests are in student writing in higher education, second language writing, academic development of students and leadership in higher education. Puleng holds two Masters, one from the University of Free State (MA in Language Technology) and (MPhil in Higher Education) from Stellenbosch University.

She is currently in her first year of her PhD journey in English for Educational Development registered with the University of the Western Cape. She acquired the following qualifications from the University of the Western BA, HED (Post Graduate) B-Ed and well as the Certificate in Supplemental Instruction from Nelson Mandela University.

(Fort Harport, Nigeria)

(Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI); Associate Professor Acting Head of Academic Programmes, UNISA)

Prof. Phaswana is currently the Head of Academic Programmes at the Thabo Mbeki African School of Public and International Affairs at Unisa. She also served as Head of the former Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute between 2018 and 2020.

  Further, she is the current President of the South African Development Studies Association. In 2008, she completed her PhD in Development Studies in the UK and joined the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Humanities where she received an award for Distinguished Teaching Excellence in the Humanities. Edith has taught in several prestigious programmes including the US Presidential Leadership Programme known as Young African Leader’s Initiative and the Youth Leadership Programme at the Mandela Institute for Development Studies.

She has mentored and supervised over 56 postgraduate students at various levels. Edith has published scholarly works in the form of journal articles & book chapters including the 2020 award winning edited volume Black Academics voices: A South African Perspective by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Apart from her academic commitments, Edith provides research & advisory services as well as policy reviews for the government of South Africa at national and provincial level.

Her commitment to education and social justice saw her being recognised as the 2019 Mail & Guardian Top 100 women changing South Africa and as the 2006 Leadership for Social Justice Award by the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowship Programme. She is one of the founding members of the Africa Decoloniality Research Network. Prof Phaswana continues to serve as trustee, member of Executive Committees and board of directors at various organisations.

(Lecturer, Sociology and Social Anthropology, Stellenbosch University)

Dr. Efua Tembisa Prah works at Stellenbosch University in the department of Sociology and Anthropology. She has previously worked as a health systems management consultant and health policy advisor to government institutions. She has also taught Leadership Studies at Ashesi Liberal Arts College in Ghana and has lectured in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Her scholarly research includes anthropological theorisations in intercontinental African migration politics, refugee studies, adolescent and childhood studies, and feminist trajectories of the embodiment of sexuality, pregnancy, and birthing.

(Manager Accounts Payable Department, CPUT & Board Member HERS-SA)

Ursula Riddles has more than 14 years’ experience in Finance, with specific specialised skills in Financial Management and Commerce. She holds a Bachelor of Honours Degree in Commerce (UWC, 2015) and is currently registered for the Masters in Business Information Systems (CPUT, 2016 – current). She is a member of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) and Chartered Institute of Government Finance, Audit and Risk Officers (CIGFARO). She joined the CPUT’s Finance Department in 2018 where she works as Manager to the Accounts Payable department.

(Head Employee Wellness Services Stellenbosch University)

(North West University)

(Libraries: Executive Director, University of Cape Town)


(Associate Professor, College of Human Sciences Tuition and Student Support, Acting Manager, UNISA

Nampombe Saurombe is an Associate Professor of Information Science at the University of South Africa. She currently serves in the College/Faculty of Human Sciences as a Tuition, Student Support, and Community Engagement portfolio manager. Besides managing this busy portfolio, she is also an NRF rated researcher in archival science, a niche area of Information Science. In addition to her work and research responsibilities, she is the project leader for a community project in Gauteng that focuses on decolonising archives. Recently she was appointed as the deputy editor for the ESARBICA Journal. She is an adaptable and enthusiastic individual who takes great pride in her work and relish challenges. Other than working, she loves getting lost in a good book and enjoying nature.

(Deputy Director: Operations at the DSI-NRF, Centre of Excellence in Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA), Stellenbosch University) 

Lynnemore Scheepers is currently the Deputy Director: Operations at the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA) based at Stellenbosch University. She has over 20 years’ experience in Research Management and Administration within the Higher Education sector. She started her career in Research Management and Administration in 1996 at the University of Cape Town where she spent nearly 8 years in various roles within the university’s Research Office. Thereafter she worked at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, where she managed the research grants portfolio and worked closely with the Dean of Research in developing research administration processes for the institution, before joining SACEMA in 2008 as Research Manager. In her current role she oversees and manages all the operational aspects of SACEMA, and also supports the Director in developing and implementing strategy.

(Psychometrist; Recruitment and Assessment advisor, University of Cape Town)

Tasquia Shaik is a Psychometrist and her current role is Recruitment and Assessment advisor at the University of Cape Town. She has more than 7 years’ experience within the Talent Acquisition/ Human Resources and Psychometric Assessments space.

(Deputy Director in Support Services, University of Mpumalanga)

S’phesihle Shelembe is a dedicated individual who is passionate about what she does. She became a graduate at 20, holding a National Diploma in Office Management and Technology. While pursuing her career path with gumption, she simultaneously completed her Bachelor of Technology Degree in 2005. Her first encounter with the university as a staff member was in Students Services, where she offered her services in the world of Student Financial Aid and Student Housing. She filled up gaps that she identified at a receiving end as a student and also loved giving back to students’ potential growth. She spent her time in student engagement on different levels from 2004-2006.
As life would have it, she stumbled within the Institutional Support Services in 2007, where she found passion in Health and Safety. She loved the endless versatile scope of the Health and Safety field and decided to add Project Management in 2014 to manage her projects better. In 2016 she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Disaster and Safety Management and became a registered Health and Safety Practioner. She has enjoyed the higher education sector for 16 years.
During this time, she has also completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Disaster Management.   Her journey has led her to be a Deputy Director in Support Services within the University of Mpumalanga. Her scope continues to be in line with the Health and Safety and other ventures.

(Associate Professor of Plant Breeding, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES University of Kwazulu Natal)

Julia Sibiya is an Associate Professor of Plant Breeding in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES), University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (SA) and Cluster Academic Leader for Production Sciences (Agricultural Plant Sciences, Plant Pathology and Animal Science). She a founding member of the African Plant Breeders Association (APBA) where she currently serves as the Vice President. Julia has more than 25 years’ experience in academia, graduated more than 60 graduate students (PhD&MSc) and co-authored more than 100 research articles in international peer-reviewed journals. She has been the manager of the Improved MSc in Cultivar Development for Africa (IMCDA), funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), focusing on training industry-ready, middle level graduates from Africa with Iowa State University (USA), Makerere University (Uganda) and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana). Julia also coordinates the EU-funded Mobility for Breeders in Africa (Mobreed) under the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme in partnership with 4 other African Universities and Montpellier SupAgro in France; focusing on enhancing training and research mobility for underutilized crops breeding in Africa. She is an alumnus of the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI), SA, and the UC Davis African Plant Breeding Academy.
Julia was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors for DivSeek International Network Inc. for a 3-year term. She holds a BSc. Honours degree in Crop Science, University of Zimbabwe; M.S (Plant Pathology-Virology major), The Ohio State University and PhD (Plant Breeding), University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

(Finance and Administration, Manager UNISA)

Patience Louisa Skosana, commonly known as Patience was born and bred in Atteridgeville which is in Pretoria. She is married with three (3) children. After matriculation she studied and completed BA degree in Social Sciences with Vista University. Then joint University of South Africa (Unisa) in 2002 as Admin officer doing finance administration for DSAA department. She was later promoted to a manager position in 2010 after acting on the position for 4 years. In 2013 she pursued her studies and completed Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. Then in 2015 she registered MBL with Unisa SBL which she graduated in 2018. She intends to study further with the aim of moving to academia as a lecturer. She is passionate about empowerment of young girls especially those who are from impoverished communities as they are not exposed to good role models and better resources.
She recently developed a passion on family ministry due to her experience on how Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on many families in terms of the growing number of gender-based violence cases and violence against children. She beliefs that without good family’s structures and wellbeing of family members, it will be difficult to minimize most of the social ills that are found in communities because families are the foundation of communities.

(Senior Technical Officer, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences (FANS), University of Mpumalanga)

Thandi Sonqishe is a Senior Technical Officer in the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Sciences (FANS) at the University of Mpumalanga. She joined the university in April 2016 as one of the three technicians responsible for practicals in the entire faculty. She has previously worked at the University of Venda in the School of Environmental Sciences as a Technician for almost ten years. She gained a lot of experience at the University of Venda as she worked closely with the Head of Department carrying administrative duties and also responsible for laboratory and field-based practicals. She has worked in various higher education institutions which makes her versatile and adaptable.
Her education qualifications include a Masters of Chemistry degree from the University of Western Cape, a BTech Chemistry degree as well as a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry degree from Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She also holds a Post Graduate Teaching Diploma in Teaching and Learning from the University of Stellenbosch.

(Director of Special Projects and Research in the Centre for Teaching and Learning,North West University)

Dr Esmarie Strydom is a Director of Special Projects and Research in the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the North West University. She is experienced in the field of curriculum development, learning programme design and development in higher education and professional development of lecturers. She has more than 20 years of experience in higher education lecturing, student supervision, supervised 3 PhD students and 8 Masters students. She was programme manager for the PGCE programme for more than 10 years. She shifted her focus in higher education from lecturer in the Faculty of Education to the field of academic development in higher education. In 2011 she was appointed as director of the then Academic Development and Support Unit.
She has delivered various conference papers and has four article publications, (E served as executive member of EASA (Education Association of South Africa) for two terms and executive member of HELTASA for two terms.
She is currently the coordinator for the University Capacity Development Grant (UCDG) at NWU, manage various teaching learning and innovation projects within the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Designs and conduct workshops and retreats and oversees teaching awards programmes at NWU. Her current research focus is on virtual mobility as a professional development strategy and assessment in higher education.

(Librarian, UCT Libraries, Research and Innovation University of Cape Town)

Tamzyn Suliaman is librarian at UCT Libraries, she oversees the Research and innovation department at UCT Libraries’. She was a health sciences librarian for six years prior to her current position. She has BA in film and media and a PGDipLIS both from UCT. She is currently completing a LLB through the UNISA. She has been involved in research librarianship for almost ten years, in that time co-authoring three publications. She is also passionate about mentorship through sharing knowledge, skills and experiences.

(College of Graduate Studies, Acting Deputy Director, UNISA)


(Student Admin Services & Funding, UNISA Midlands Region Rustenburg, Manager, UNISA)

Kedibone Thantsha was born and raised from a rural village called Raadslid in Limpopo. She schooled in her home village from primary until secondary. Further went to higher education of learning (UNISA) and obtained a BSc in Mathematics and Chemistry, followed by BSc Honors in Mathematics,
Master of Business Leadership, Postgraduate Diploma in Risk Management and other short learning programmes with an intention to enhance skills to perform better in her area of operation. Currently, Kedibone is putting together, a research proposal for 2022 PhD intake in the context of African feminism. She is currently employed at the University of South Africa as Manager: Student Administration Service and Funding responsible for the application and registration activities in the Mid-lands Region. She is a member in good standing of Unisa Women Forum. The forum exists for the purpose of advocating women’s interests.
She gets very fascinated when women come together for pursuing their interest be it socially, economically or politically. She also becomes emotionally excited when women are writers or authors and collects their books. In her growing up, she realized that women lose their identity socially, equal rights politically, legally and economically when giving in their hand in marriage up. She is a long-distance road runner and started running in 2017 with an intention to remain fit after losing weight. She ran her first Comrades marathon in 2019 and managed to reach 60km. Her ultimate goal is to run 15 races in her lifetime.

(Tshwane University of Technology)


(College of Graduate Studies, Acting Manager, UNISA)

(Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering of North-West University)

Liezl is one of a few Industrial Engineers in South Africa who are both registered as professional engineer with the internationally accredited Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and rated as an established researcher by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). Her extensive work experience includes technical/professional engineering work, academic teaching, research and new programme development, and senior management. She serves her professional and academic communities on several committees, panels and advisory boards and was awarded an honorary fellowship from the South African Institute of Industrial Engineering in 2020.
She took up her current position as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering of North-West University (South Africa) in September 2017, steering the Faculty through the next and final phases of a University-wide restructuring process and then through one of the most challenging times in recent history for – amongst others – the Higher Education Industry.
She believes relentlessly in the power of positive role models and is in a fortunate position as a prominent female engineer to inspire and encourage girls to consider STEM careers. She have been actively involved in our Faculty’s  Femmegineering programme since its inception in 2015. With a personality that lies in the ENTJ category of the MBTI, she is goal-driven with a long term focus whilst executing each step of the process. In addition, she has an exceptional ability to recognize and leverage the strengths and talents of others, resulting in optimizing their potential whilst pursuing the end goal.

(University of Cape Town)

(Deputy Dean: Clinical and Community Engagement, Director of the Interprofessional Education Unit (IPEU), Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape)

Professor Waggie is the Deputy Dean: Clinical and Community Engagement and Director of the Interprofessional Education Unit (IPEU) in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Her field of expertise and research areas are interprofessional education and collaborative practice, community engagement and service learning, public and school health. She is an advocate for collaborative practice and community engagement in higher education and in the health and social services. She provides leadership, manages and contribute towards the interprofessional education and collaborative practice niche at UWC through facilitating the development of interprofessional curricula and programmes, capacity building, initiating and conducting collaborative research and networking and forging collaborative partnerships with national and international stakeholders.
She has contributed to building a regional interprofessional education network to share best practices, challenges and opportunities through the Africa Interprofessional Education Network (AfrIPEN) of which she is a founder member and interim vice-chairperson.
She also serves on the executive committee of the South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHECEF) and is a board member of the UKWANDA Centre for Rural Health. These organizations aim to foster equitable community-oriented health services and education, research, and policy. She aims to build personal and leadership capacity needed for sustainability and success in higher education. Her post graduate supervision and research record reflects several national and international publications and conference presentations.


(Walter Sisulu University)

(Acting Director: Professional Services, Doctor of Business Administration (DBA/PHD),Graduate School of Business and Leadership Westville Campus, UKZN)

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA/PHD) at UKZN Graduate School of Business and Leadership Westville Campus. Thesis’ topic: “Enhancing the provision of quality higher education by institutions in Durban metropolitan area”. (MBA) Degree obtained at the Management College of Southern Africa, (B Com Degree) at Management College of Southern Africa, (Bed Hons) at the University of Kwa Zulu Natal, (HDE) at University of Port Elizabeth, (PTD) at University of Port Elizabeth and Grade 12 Certificate obtained at Busana High School. She is a member of IOFOR: International Academic Research Organisation, SAERA: South African Education Research Association, BWASA: Business Women’s Association of South Africa, HELM: Higher Education Leadership & Management, National Youth President: Presbyterian Church of Africa: Umanyano. She has worked as an Educator, HOD, School Deputy Principal and Principal at Nonopha SS School, Mancosa as an CIBM Manager and a Lecturer, UKZN GSBL as an Operations Manager, Presidency (Under JG Zuma Foundation) as Chief Operations Manager, UKZN SoBEDS Operations Manager. Currently, Acting Director: Professional Services at UKZN,

(Tshwane University of Technology)

(University of Kwazulu Natal)