Stellenbosch University (SU) gave recognition to a cohort of staff members whose careers attest to sustained excellence in research, innovation, learning and teaching, social impact and professional services.
These staff members were awarded the University’s prestigious Chancellor’s Awards. The awards is one of many forms of recognition for excellent performance.
The 14 recipients for the 2020 Chancellors Awards include:
Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel (Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching): Prof Schoonwinkel has made a tremendous impact on SU. During his illustrious career, spanning 35 years, he served the University as an academic, a researcher and a research manager, a departmental head, an associate dean, a dean for two terms and finally, the Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching for two terms. Prof Schoonwinkel also led a number of pioneering initiatives on the terrain of Learning and Teaching Advancement. Foremost among these is the ICT Council project – an investment of R218 million in ICT from 2014–2018.
Prof Jimmy Volmink (Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences): Prof Volmink, a graduate of the Universities of Cape Town, Harvard and Oxford, is professor of Clinical Epidemiology and dean of the FMHS. He is a consummate academic who during his career made sustained contributions to the vision of the faculty, and played important leadership roles both at SU and nationally.
Ms Ellen Tise (Senior Director: SU Library and Information Services): Ms Tise provided stewardship globally and nationally as President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), President of the Library and Information Association of South Africa and Chairperson of the Board of the National Library of South Africa. She champions access to knowledge for all as a basic human right and is a recipient of several national and international awards for outstanding contributions to librarianship.
Ms Lazelle Bonthuys (Deputy Registrar): Ms Bonthuys was appointed at SU in 1986 and was the first woman in the Registrar’s management team. As deputy registrar for governance support, she was instrumental in the drafting of various policies and led the institutional transition to a digital meeting culture.
Ms Carol Kat (Head: Copyright and Short Courses): Ms Kat started her career at SU in 2003 is now SU’s head of Short Courses, Trade Marks and Copyright. She expanded the role of the SU Copyright Office by developing institutional copyright guidelines, managing and administering the protection of SU’s own content created by its staff and students, establishing and implementing reporting processes against the background of the DALRO/SU Blanket Licence Agreement and ensuring compliance thereof.
Mr André van der Merwe (Conductor of the SU Choir): Mr Van der Merwe is honoured for his extraordinary contribution as the musical director of the Stellenbosch University Choir for the past 17 years. Under his leadership, the Choir has won numerous national and international awards and is ranked number 1 on the prestigious Interkultur World Ranking List.
Prof JAC (Andre) Weideman (Professor of Applied Mathematics): Prof Weideman’s research focuses on numerical mathematics. The software that he has developed is well-known and used in diverse areas such as spectroscopy and fluid dynamics. This work has earned him considerable international recognition, such as election as Fellow of SIAM (the international Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics), the first person from Africa to have received this honour.
Prof Nuraan Davids (Professor of Philosophy of Education): Prof Davids is an outstanding philosopher of education who occupies a distinguished position among her peers. Not only the sheer volume of her oeuvre of publications, but also the fact that her contributions evince philosophical substance and conceptual rigour, has won recognition for her work as a profound rupturing of liberal-communitarian notions of philosophy of education.
Mr MJ Brooks (Faculty Director: Economic and Management Sciences): The Chancellor’s Award is made to Mr Brooks to honour his extraordinary contribution as the Faculty Director in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Mr Brooks’ dedication, commitment, creativity, ability to think strategically and successful leadership over the past two decades have ensured that the Faculty is thriving and widely recognised as a national market-leader.
Ms Anel de Beer (Departmental Manager: Industrial Engineering): Ms De Beer’s exemplary contribution in professional services is clearly evident. As departmental manager of a technically complex engineering department, she is responsible for the smooth daily operation of this environment. She does this with dedication, commitment and professionalism.
Mr Rodney Davidse (Civil Engineering): The sustained efforts by Mr Davidse over 46 years of employment with Stellenbosch University have ensured the smooth functioning of teaching initiatives at the Department of Civil Engineering. His contribution reflects the dedication and commitment of one individual– whose own background offered only limited opportunity for primary and tertiary education– to the academic achievements of multiple generations of engineering students.
Prof GPAG (Gideon) van Zijl (Centre for Development of Sustainable Infrastructure): Prof Van Zijl has played a significant leadership role over the last 20 years in the Department of Civil Engineering. He has been responsible for the presentation of several undergraduate and postgraduate modules and participates in the continuous process of programme transformation. His significant contribution to research was rewarded with the Stellenbosch University Research Excellence Award in 2018 and 2019.
Prof Marian Kruger (Executive Head: Department of Paediatrics and Child Health): Prof Kruger, a paediatric oncologist and bio-ethicist, has served SU with distinction since her appointment as Executive Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in 2009. Her visionary, energetic and innovative leadership enabled our institution to strengthen training, clinical services and research, addressing some of the most pressing child health challenges of our time.
*Prof JF Görgens (Director of Centre for Process Engineering) to be awarded in 2021.