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Dedication and Passion Pays Off for AES Teachers

2017/05/15 08:14:02 AM

Five academics from the AES, have been recognised for their passion and dedication towards educating and inspiring greatness in their students.

(from left): Professor Dean Goldring, Dr Lloyd Baiyegunhi, Dr Farai Chirove, Dr Alan Matthews and Dr Mulemwa Akombelwa.

Five academics from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (AES), have been recognised for their passion and dedication towards educating and inspiring greatness in their students.

The academics, one from each School within the College, walked away winners at the Distinguished Teacher Awards Ceremony held at UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus. The awards recognise excellence in teaching and learning.

Welcoming guests to the ceremony, Acting Dean of Teaching and Learning within the College, Professor Naven Chetty emphasised that teaching was just as important as research in the College.
Dr Lloyd Baiyegunhi from the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences was presented with his award by Professor Oni Mutanga. He commended Baiyegunhi for his intense dedication to student learning and achievement, saying his ‘effect on students tends to be one of galvanisation.’

‘He is helpful, he always has an open door policy and an open mind for conversation. He befriends all of his students and is aware of their passion, concerns and problems. He genuinely cares about students as individuals and serves as a teacher, life mentor, inspiration as well as a friend,’ said Mutanga.

Professor Ross Robinson presented Dr Alan Matthews from the School of Chemistry and Physics with his Distinguished Teacher Award, citing his outstanding and unique contribution to the introduction of isiZulu in the teaching of Physics at University level. Matthews has developed a list of over 500 isiZulu physics terms and is working on a dual English/isiZulu textbook that explains physics concepts to isiZulu mother tongue speakers.

Dr Mulemwa Akombelwa was the Distinguished Teacher Award recipient from the School of Engineering. His award was presented by Professor Graham Smith, who described Akombelwa as ‘an excellent and distinguished lecturer who brings Survey skills and their application to practical problems within reach of our students.’ Akombelwa is a registered Professional Engineering Surveyor in South Africa and the programme co-ordinator for Survey at UKZN.

Professor Dean Goldring from the School of Life Sciences was presented with his award by Professor Ade Olaniran. ‘Dean teaches with unequalled passion, enthusiasm and understanding,’ said Olaniran. ‘He draws on decades of experience and an encyclopaedic knowledge of his subject matter, prepares extensively for each class and continually explores and implements new ideas in order best to transfer knowledge, engage his students and stimulate interest.’ 

Finally, Professor Delia North presented the Distinguished Teacher Award for the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science to Dr Farai Chirove. She mentioned Chirove’s active involvement in curriculum reform and his enthusiasm for using technology in the classroom. ‘He is highly regarded by students and staff as an outstanding educator,’ said North.

Pillay closed the ceremony by congratulating the five awardees and thanking the College for its innovative projects as well as its teaching and learning initiatives. 

Sally Frost


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