The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) recently honoured its outstanding staff members at the Faculty’s annual awards ceremony.
The awards ceremony recognised and celebrated staff members who had displayed excellence in teaching and learning, research and media engagements during the 2021 academic year.
Following two years of virtual ceremonies, the 2022 awards ceremony took place in person at Pure Café, where winners and nominees could celebrate with their colleagues in person.
Presenting the Teaching and Learning Awards, EMS Deputy Dean for Teaching and Learning Professor Theuns Steyn said: “These awards recognise lecturers who introduced innovations in their classrooms, maintained high module pass rates and are assessed to be good lecturers based on an objective evaluation of their teaching and classroom practice by at least one UP Education Innovation consultant and corroborated by student feedback.” The winners of these awards were Profs Astrid Schmulian and Stephen Coetzee, as well as Cecile Janse van Rensburg and Bernice Beukes of the departments of Accounting and Auditing.
The team was awarded for their teaching innovation, which enabled students to collaborate with each other during their assessments. This innovation aimed to develop students’ collaborative problem-solving competencies, as well as to allow them to learn from each other.
The Faculty’s Research Awards were awarded in four categories: first journal article publication, best researchers (senior and junior) in a discipline (management sciences, financial sciences and economic sciences), top researcher of the year, and most improved research outputs by a department. These awards recognise excellence in propelling the research vision of the Faculty to be an internationally recognised and locally relevant centre of research excellence in the economic, management and financial sciences.
“The winners of the Research Awards were determined by considering both the quality and quantity of research produced during the year, with the quality carrying the most weight due to the impact of the research. The various rankings of journals in which articles were published are used as the primary benchmark to assess the quality,” said Prof Karin Barac, Deputy Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies as she presented the awards. She also congratulated staff members who received NRF ratings in 2020 and 2021.
The First Journal Article Publication Award was presented to Lanise van der Burgh of the Department of Accounting. The Best Junior Researcher in Management Science was awarded to Dr Adrino Mazenda of the School of Public Management and Administration, while the award for the best senior researcher in this discipline was awarded to Prof Melodi Botha of the Department of Business Management.
In the financial sciences discipline, the recipients of the best junior researcher award were Rolien Kunz and Marina Kirstein, both of the Department of Auditing, and the best senior researcher was claimed by Prof John Hall of the Department of Financial Management. Dr Eleni Yitbarek of the Department of Economics was announced as the winner of the best junior researcher in the economic sciences category, while Prof Roula Inglesi-Lotz, also of the Department of Economics, was named the best senior researcher in that discipline.
The Department of Auditing won the Most Improved Research Outputs by a Department Award for showing an improvement of 107% from 2019 to 2021 in their research outputs.
For the eighth consecutive year, Prof Rangan Gupta of the Department of Economics won the EMS Researcher of the Year Award. In the 2021 academic year, he authored and co-authored a total of 87 articles, including 4 in A*-ranked, 29 in A-ranked, 29 in B-ranked and 2 in C-ranked journals. “These numbers are an indication of the collaborative work that one does with other researchers and also young emerging researchers,” he said, reflecting on his continuous research excellence.
An exciting feature of the 2022 EMS Awards was the inaugural media engagement awards, which recognise and celebrate academic staff members who shared their research, expertise and knowledge with the public through various media platforms in the 2021 academic year. The awards honour excellence in media relations and engagements through earned media.
The awards were presented under three categories: junior newsmaker of the year, senior newsmaker of the year, and the EMS Conversation Award.
Dr Rebaona Letsholo of the Department of Business Management was named Junior Newsmaker of the Year for her media commentary on youth unemployment, while Prof Melanie Wiese was the recipient of the Senior Newsmaker of the Year Award for her media commentary on the 2021 shopping frenzy, Black Friday. Prof Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Dean of the Faculty of EMS, led by example as she scooped the EMS Conversation Award for her contribution and sharing her expertise on The Conversation Africa platform.
She congratulated all the winners and encouraged them to continue striving for excellence and contributing to the research and teaching and learning agenda of the Faculty and of the University.
EMS award winners: Back row, from left: Prof Rangan Gupta, Bernice Beukes, Cecile Janse
van Rensburg, Marina Kirstein, Lanise van der Burgh, Rolien Kunz, Prof Melodi Botha,
Prof Melanie Wiese and Dr Adrino Mazenda
Front row, from left: Prof John Hall, Prof Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, Dr Eleni Yitbarek and
Dr Rebaona Letsholo