Four winners of the national HEQC/HELTASA Teaching Excellence Awards were celebrated at the annual HELTASA Conference, held at the University of Limpopo, 22 – 24 November 2010.
The awards were announced at the conference dinner by Dr Lis Lange, Executive Director of the HEQC, and Dr Brenda Leibowitz, Convenor of the Awards Committee.
About the Award Winners
Professor Vivienne Bozalek has been teaching Social Work since 1989 and was the Head of the Social Work Department at UWC for fouryears, and was thereafter appointed as acting Director:Teaching and Learning at that University. She has contributed to policy making bodies about social work as well as the teaching of social work. Despite moving into this post with substantial responsibilities, she remains a passionate teacher on various Masters modules, a member of research teams investigating transformative teaching and a writer of articles and chapters on teaching and learning. Vivienne has enjoyed the experience of being informed, within a ten day period, of receiving the HELTASA/HEQC teaching excellence award, and the Social Work Educator of the Year Award.
Elisabeth Brenner , a biochemist, has been lecturing at the University of the Witwatersrand since the beginning of 1983. Amongst the most successful pedagogies she has implemented are writing intensive courses that use writing during and out of contact periods to promote critical thinking, and the interactive Interwrite PRS (‘clicker’) technology. Dr Brenner was the recipient of the most distinguished teacher award in the Science Faculty in 2003. Due to her ongoing interest in teaching and research in education, she has since completed an MEd in tertiary education, graduating with distinction in 2009. She currently holds the portfolio of undergraduate coordinator and chairperson of the undergraduate committee in the School of Molecular and Cell Biology.
Associate Professor Melissa Steyn , of the Department of Sociology, started her UCT teaching career back in 1988, running courses to senior undergrads and postgrads in what was then the Professional Communication Unit. Since then, she has co-developed and taught on a score of programmes in the Faculty of Humanities, lecturing on topics such as diversity and power dynamics. These are the same issues she also lectures on these days on the full- and part-time MBA courses at the Graduate School of Business. She is director of Intercultural and Diversity Studies at the University of Cape Town. She has published on many aspects of diversity, including race, gender, culture, and sexuality. Melissa is currently directing several national research projects related to identities and transformation in postapartheid South Africa, funded by SANPAD and the NRF.
Professor Ben van Heerden is currently the chairperson of the MB,ChB Programme Committee and Programme Coordinator for the MB,ChB and MPhil in Health Sciences Education programmes. The MPhil is a forerunner in South Africa, and should contribute substantially to the scholarship of teaching and learning in the health sciences. Prof Van Heerden has also been nominated by the Minister of Health to serve on the South African Medical and Dental Professions Board. Prof Van Heerden developed an intense interest in teaching and learning since his appointment as head of the then School of Medicine in 2001 and has been dedicated to teaching and learning for a number of years. His involvement includes activities on undergraduate and postgraduate level, the Health Professions Council of South Africa as well as activities related to the Foundation for the advancement of Medical Education and Research (FAIMER).