The University of Pretoria congratulates Professor Sheryl Hendriks on her appointment as Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, which became effective 1 November.
Prof Hendriks, who holds a PhD in Agriculture from the former University of Natal (UKZN), has long excelled in this male-dominated field and its related disciplines. From 2012 to 2014, she was President of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa, and in 2018 received the FR Tomlinson Commemorative Medal for service to the profession.
Her research focuses on food security policy analysis and impact assessment. A respected and highly influential researcher and leader in food security and nutrition policy circles in Africa, her work has been widely published in high-profile international journals and she has a significant local, regional and international network of professionals in food security and policy design. She also actively engages in high-level global food security policy think tanks and panels.
Prof Hendriks’ vision is for the Department to be ranked and recognised as the leading department in terms of the economics and social sciences related to food; agriculture and natural resource economics research; and teaching and public engagement in Africa. Her aim is also for it to be a partner of choice for international associates working in Africa.
More than that, she plans to effect transformation in at least three areas: in the demographic of staff and student bodies; the South African and African agricultural agenda, through research and teaching; and research culture, by transforming it into an engaged endeavour connected to stakeholders and driven by innovation, salience, relevance and social impact.