The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) recently hosted its annual EMS Awards to celebrate the excellence of outstanding academic staff.
The awards, which were held at the EMS Research Hub on the Hatfield Campus, honoured the academic excellence of staff in three categories, namely teaching and learning, research, and media engagements during the 2022 academic year.
Opening the awards ceremony, Professor Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Dean of the Faculty of EMS Sciences, highlighted the academic achievements of the Faculty, which have contributed to its international standing. The Faculty has been recognised for its excellence in accounting and finance, as well as economics and econometrics, ranking first in South Africa in the 2023 QS rankings.
She applauded the award recipients for their dedication to advance knowledge and enhance student success, carving a great path for those who wish to embark on the academia journey.
“To the award winners: As we applaud your achievements, let us also remember that the pursuit of knowledge is an ongoing quest. Let us continue to foster an environment where curiosity thrives, where ideas flourish, and where the bonds of mentorship and collaboration remain unbroken. While the path of academia is often challenging, it is also profoundly rewarding,” she said.
Prof Chitiga-Mabugu urged the awardees to embrace mentorship, guiding others towards similar achievements while fostering a culture of excellence. Expressing her gratitude, she acknowledged the winners for their impactful contributions to the Faculty, the University, and the world of academia.
Excellence in teaching and learning
Prof Theuns Steyn, Deputy Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of EMS, presented the Teaching and Learning Excellence Awards. These awards recognise consistent excellence in teaching and learning activities that have significantly enhanced students’ learning experience. The winners of these awards were Dr Dawie Bornman of the Department of Business Management, Elize Kirsten of the Department of Financial Management, and a joint award to Prof Hanneke du Preez and Karel Fouche of the Department of Taxation.
“The focus of the evaluation panel of these awards lies in recognising innovation in pedagogical methods, ground-breaking curriculum designs, and/or the capacity to inspire students on their academic journey,” said Prof Steyn, highlighting the selection process of the winners of these awards.
2022 EMS Award winners.
Propelling the EMS research vision
Prof Karin Barac, Deputy Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies, presented the Research Awards. These awards celebrate contributions aligning with the Faculty's vision, "to be at the cutting edge of economic, financial, and management education, research, and community engagement within the national, African, and global context".
The awards were presented in four categories, namely first journal article publication, best researchers of the year across the three disciplines (senior and junior), top researcher of the year and most improved research outputs by a department.
Dr Corlia Joynt and Dr Mpumi Monageng of the Department of Taxation were jointly awarded the First Journal Award. The Best Junior Researcher Award in Management Sciences was presented to Prof Adrino Mazenda of the School of Public Management and Administration, while the Best Junior Researcher in the Financial Sciences was awarded to Prof Reon Matemane of the Department of Financial Management. Both academics were junior researchers in 2022. Dr Matthew Clance of the Department of Economics was the recipient of the Best Junior Researcher in the Economic Sciences.
In senior research awards category, the Best Senior Researcher in Management Sciences Award was awarded to Prof Elizabeth du Preez of the Department of Marketing Management. Prof John Hall of the Department of Financial Management was the winner of the Best Senior Researcher Award in Financial Sciences, and Prof Steve Koch won the Best Senior Researcher Award in Economic Sciences category. The Department of Accounting won the award for the most improved research outputs by a department, with an improvement of 73% from 2020 to 2022.
For the ninth consecutive year, the Overall Researcher of the Year Award was won by Prof Rangan Gupta of the Department of Economics. In 2022, he authored and co-authored a total of 87 articles..
Prof Barac said the research award winners were determined by considering both the quality and quantity of research produced during the 2022 academic year. “Greater weight is assigned to quality, that is, the impact of the research as opposed to the quantity of articles published. In determining quality, the various rankings of journals in which articles were published are used as a primary benchmark,” she said.
Bridging research expertise and public discourse
Prof Barac also presented the Media Engagement Awards, honouring academic staff members who shared their expertise and research with the public through various media platforms. The media engagement awards were presented under the following categories: EMS Conversation Africa Award, Junior Newsmaker of the Year, and Senior Newsmaker of the Year.
Prof Mazenda scooped two awards, the EMS Conversation Africa Award and Junior Newsmaker of the Year Award, for his media engagements on food insecurity in Gauteng and the food value chain for small-scale farmers in South Africa.
The Senior Newsmaker of the Year Award was presented to Prof Heinrich Bohlman of the Department of Economics for significantly enhancing the research visibility of the Faculty through numerous media engagements on broadcast, digital and print platforms, and contributing to public discourse through his expert knowledge on economics-related topics in the media.