Dr Brenda Mac’Oduol (Department of Statistics) received the best first year lecturer award. At the same time, Dr Jandeli Niemand (Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology) and Dr Rimbilana Shingange (Department of Animal Science) shared the award for the best lecturer for senior courses.
Students were vocal with their compliments for Dr Mac’Oduol. Comments included: “She is funny, explains concepts very well and makes it easy to understand the work. Another student remarked: “Dr Mac’Oduol has a great passion for teaching and is very concerned for her students ‘success. She ensured that each lecture we left understanding everything, and she went above and beyond to ensure that we had the best outcomes possible.”
The students equally lauded Dr Niemand and Dr Shingange for their commitment to the students. “She motivates and inspires students to do better. Dr Niemand is on time for lectures, approachable, wellprepared and organised for lectures. She goes the extra mile to ensure that every topic covered is understood completely.”
Dr Shingange also received many commendations from the students: “She always has clear communication, we know exactly when is what due as well as if there are any changes we need to be aware of. Dr Shingange’s passion for the subject sparks curiosity inside all of us; she makes the subject very interesting with a clear flow of the chapters.”
“Firstly, to have been nominated for, and, secondly, to have won the award for Best Senior Lecturer, has been a complete honour, surprise and pleasure: This teaching and learning award is the first of my career, and to have it be Faculty-wide is incredible! I lecture some of the best and brightest students at the University, and being a part of their learning journey has been an absolute honour. I thank my students for taking the time to nominate and vote for me,” Dr Shingage said on receiving the award.
Dr Brenda Mac’Oduol is equally elated about the award. “This award is a constant reminder that what we do goes a long way, with incomprehensible reach. The nomination and subsequent win came when the inevitable academic burnout was encroaching. All I could look forward to at the time was a much-desired break on an isolated beach, feet up while sipping a crisp beverage. Little did I know I would receive the most incredible honour thus far of my young academic career. I am profoundly humbled but challenged to strive to put my best foot forward even when the storms arise. Teaching first-year students have been my passion since the beginning. This award encourages me to know that the students see and acknowledge the effort put in and the dedication to my craft that is continually being sharpened. My greatest desire is to continue making a difference in the lives of those I encounter, whether in a lecture hall or on the tiled walkways of our sprawling campus. A luta continua, vitória é certa!”
Dr Carel Oosthuizen, NATHouse Guardian had the last word. “The NATHouse best lecturer awards are one of the year’s highlights for students and lecturing staff in NAS. These awards allow students to show appreciation towards the lecturers for all their time and effort throughout a module. The lecturers nominated and reached the finals should all be proud of this achievement. Complying with the requirements takes time, patience and energy throughout the semester. I want to congratulate all the finalists and then specifically the winners of these awards. Well done, and thank you for all your effort in preparing our students for their futures!”
Extracted from the Squared UP Newsletter, December 2022