The University of Pretoria’s Department of Human Resource Management (HRM) has been named the Academic Industrial and Organisational Psychology (IOP) Department of the Year by the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology South Africa (SIOPSA).
The honour was bestowed by Dr Marissa Brouwers, the 2019/20 SIOPSA President, during the SIOPSA Conference hosted virtually between 1 and 3 December 2020. “This is an academic IOP department that publishes in prestigious journals, has a world-class academic curriculum, gives a lot of practical exposure and is involved with the community. A lot of students speak highly of the staff,” she said, adding that UP was a clear winner after reviewing the numerous nominations received.
The prestigious SIOPSA Presidential Merit Awards are one of the highlights of the annual SIOPSA conference, which recognise and celebrate excellence in the field of IOP under various categories. The Academic IOP Department of the Year Award is typically awarded to an academic institution recognised for its innovative research, institutional transformation, and exemplary publications. Accepting the award on behalf of the University was Prof Alewyn Nel, Head of the Department of HRM. “This year was very challenging for all the universities and as a university community we supported each other. I am very proud of my colleagues in the Department who walked the extra mile, as well as the students in our programmes,” he stated.
Somona Kabemba, a MCom (Industrial and Organisational Psychology) student in the Department, earned the Emerging Psychologist of the Year Award, which is presented annually to a student or intern that is recognised for their academic excellence and has displayed extraordinary achievement as an emerging industrial and organisational psychologist in the recent year. “I am extremely proud of this award. It symbolises that you do not need to be the smartest person in the room to be excellent – you only need to work hard, consistently do your best, and give back to your community.”
SIOPSA is a member-based, non-profit organisation established to promote the IOP profession in South Africa. The organisation strives to promote the benefits of IOP as a profession and supports the development of fair and humane working environments. The annual SIOPSA conference aims to bring members of its society and other relevant stakeholders together for continuous development and discussions concerning relevant and important topics related to the world of work. This year, however, the conference was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The three-day virtual conference, which was entitled ‘Leading through innovation: Navigating the new world of work’, hosted 350 delegates and over 50 prestigious speakers, and involved more than 100 companies from across the globe.
Master’s student Somona Kabemba with Prof Alewyn Nel, Head of the Department of Human Resource Management