Prof Ronél Ferreira is the former Head of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Pretoria. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Pretoria. She was recently appointed as Full Professor in the Faculty of Education.
She has also been the Research Theme Leader for Facilitating behaviour change for improved health and well-being in the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Well-being at the University. Her research focus areas are psychosocial support within the context of vulnerability, asset-based psychosocial coping, and the use of research in combination with intervention-based studies that could improve community-based coping and facilitate community development and well-being.
Prof Ferreira is involved in various research projects, some of which involve international affiliations. Her research accomplishments are signified, amongst others, by being a rated researcher at the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and the recipient of the Samuel Henry Prince Dissertation Award of the International Sociological Association (2009), as well as the University of Pretoria Young researcher award (2009) and the Education Association of South Africa (EASA) Young researcher award (2007).
She continuously strives to incorporate academic service-learning (community engagement) with both her research, and teaching and learning activities. She actively aims to involve postgraduate students in broad research projects and joint publications. She has successfully supervised/co-supervised 39 master’s students and 13 PhD students to completion of their studies. She has published 41 articles in peer reviewed journals and 17 chapters in scholarly books. She has edited/co-authored two scholarly books.