Posted on October 18, 2017
Prof Irma Eloff, former Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria (UP), has been appointed as Chairperson of the Council of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. She is only the second woman in the 108 years since the Academy's inception to hold this position.
Prof Eloff is an alumna of UP, and was appointed as a full-time lecturer at the institution in 1998. She went on to become the first female dean of the Faculty of Education in 2008 and served in this capacity for two successive terms before returning to her academic position in educational psychology at the end of 2016. She is a registered psychologist and has received several awards for her research in education and educational psychology. She holds a C1 rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF). She has published more than 55 academic articles and book chapters and 45 master's and doctoral students have completed their studies under her supervision. She co-authored the book Life Skills and Assets and is also co-editor of the books Understanding Educational Psychology and Keys to Educational Psychology. She has been a visiting professor at Yale University, the University of Innsbruck, the University of Wisconsin and Fordham University. She has lectured across the world on themes of positive psychology, early intervention, inclusive education, and HIV and Aids. In 2014 she also won the International Aids Society's Prize for Excellence in AIDS Research for her work in this regard.
In an interview shortly after her appointment Prof Eloff said: 'I am very excited about what the future holds for the Academy, which has been promoting science and the arts in South Africa for more than 100 years. I am very grateful to have been elected to this position and look forward to working with the board to further build and develop science and the arts in South Africa over the next three years.'
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