Women in Science Awards

Posted on August 17, 2010

UP congratulates the following winners: Distinguished Woman Scholar in the Social Sciences or Humanities Prof. Stella Nkomo and First Runner-Up: Prof. Erika De Wet and in the Life Sciences, First runner-up: Prof. Susan Nicolson.

Joint Winner: Prof. Stella Nkomo
Prof. Stella Nkomo is a Professor of Human Resource Management at the University of Pretoria, and has a B-rating from the NRF. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Massachusetts in the United States of America. Prof. Nkomo has held teaching positions at the University of North Carolina, the University of Massachusetts, the University of South Africa and the University of Rhode Island. She has been a visiting professor/scholar at Dartmouth College and Harvard University.        

Her internationally recognised work on race, gender and managing diversity appears in numerous journals. She has been widely acclaimed by her peers for her brave and novel approaches in respect of the risky topics of race, gender, power and inequality. Prof. Nkomo’s work brings cutting-edge insights from a dynamic South African perspective. She is a highly visible thought leader in the field as evidenced by invitations to contribute to encyclopaedias and handbooks.

She is an associate editor for Organization: The Critical Journal of Organization, Theory and Society. She also serves on eight other editorial boards. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Sage Award given by the Gender and Diversity Division of the US Academy of Management, which recognises the contributions made through a scholar’s body of work. This first position, Professor Stella Nkomo shares jointly with Prof. Clair Penn who is Chair of Simmonds Hampton Trust of Speech Pathology and Audiology and Professor at Wits University.

First Runner-Up: Prof. Erika De Wet
Prof. Erika De Wet is a Professor of constitutional law and acting Head of Department at the University of Amsterdam. Since leaving South Africa in 1991 she has worked at various institutes, universities and legal institutions. Her doctoral degree in comparative constitutional law was completed at the University of the Free State in 1995. She is B-rated by the NRF. Prof. De Wet has retained links with South African universities by serving as an Extraordinary Professor of the University of North West from 2004 to 2009, and holding a similar position at the University of Pretoria from 2008 to date.

Since 2004 three students have completed their PhDs under her supervision. The high regard in which she is held internationally is also evident from the membership of the six editorial boards of numerous academic journals of high international standing that she has held over the years. She is currently Editor in Chief of International Law in Domestic Courts. Her status as an academic is based on her illustrious publication record of 2 books, 1 book chapter, and more than 40 peer-reviewed articles. She is an internationally recognised leader in her field, and her book TheChapter 7 Powers of the United Nations Security Council is widely cited in international courts.


Distinguished Woman Scientist in the Life Sciences

First runner-up: Prof. Susan Nicolson
Prof. Susan Nicolson completed her PhD in insect physiology at the University of Cambridge in 1974. She is currently Head of Department and Professor in the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the University of Pretoria. She is rated as a B researcher by the NRF, and has made an immense contribution over the years in two major disciplines of the biological sciences, namely the excretory physiology of insects and nectivorous feeding in sugar birds and sunbirds. Prof. Nicolson has published well over 120 research articles and has written two books.

Twenty Masters and PhD students have graduated under her supervision. She has served the Zoological Society of Southern Africa for many years as both editor of the South African Journal of Zoology (now African Zoology) and also as a committee member of the Zoological Society.


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