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Ntombi Fikile excels in her academic career

Ntombi Fikile, a 2008 SAFRI fellow and 2010 faculty started working for the South African Nursing Council on 1 June 2010 in her new position as the senior Provider Affairs. In this position she will be responsible for accreditation of nursing education programmes in the country. She will be appointed as a honorary member of staff at the University of KwaZulu Natal to enable her to continue with her post graduation supervision.

4th Annual Stellenbosch University Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

On May 11 and 12, 2010, Stellenbosch University held its fourth annual Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, hosted by the university’s Centre for Teaching and Learning. The goal of the conference was to explore all facets of teaching and learning at Stellenbosch University in an “open, supportive, and intellectually stimulating atmosphere,” as well as to highlight the work of recipients of awards from the Fund for Innovation and Research into Learning and Teaching. Conference participants were encouraged to share best practices, research findings, and new ideas about teaching and learning; to engage in debate about teaching and learning methods, trends, and goals; and to celebrate teaching and learning at Stellenbosch.

Among the keynote speakers at the conference was Vanessa Burch (PHIL 2001), South African-FAIMER Regional Institute Co-director and Chair of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cape Town. Dr. Burch’s well-received address was entitled “The Scholarship of Teaching: My Own Experience.”

SAFRI 2009 Fellow Johan Dempers was awarded the prize for best presentation at the conference for his provocative work entitled “Hey Tarantino, Show Me Your Pituitary!” Juanita Bezuidenhout (PHIL 2005) was one of the co-authors. She was also a member of a plenary panel discussion on “New Frontiers: Taking Teaching Forward,” held at the end of the conference, and she gave an analysis of scholarship at the conference.

Other FAIMER and SAFRI fellows participating in the conference were Francois Cilliers (PHIL 2004), Alwyn Louw (SAFRI 2008), and Ben van Heerden (PHIL 2006).

Elizabeth Wasserman Delivers Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Picture from left: Proff M de Villiers, W van der Merwe, E Wasserman, J Smith, B Mash, Dr T Fish and Prof J Volmink.

Elizabeth Wasserman, a 2002 FAIMER fellow, and SAFRI faculty member recently delivered her Professorial Inaugural address. Elizabeth has been promoted to Professor in Medical Microbiology at the Faculty of Health Sciences of Stellenbosch University. The title of her address was: “Battles with bacteria: The History and Future of Staphylococcus Aureus infection.

Elizabeth Wasserman qualified as a medical doctor from the University of the Free State in 1988. Although her initial interests were rural medicine and surgery, she decided on a career path in infectious diseases after some years in clinical practice. She obtained her MMed (Microbiol. Path) in 1996 (cum laude). Her early years as a consultant coincided with major national and international curriculum changes and she consequently developed an interest in medical education. In 2001 Elizabeth received the Rector’s Award for Excellence in Education, and was one of the first South Africans to be selected as a fellow of the Federation for the Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), which is a subsidiary of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) in Philadelphia, USA. Through this organisation she started research and further study in the field of Health Sciences Education, and also obtained a DPhil (Social Sciences Methods) from Stellenbosch University in 2004. Early in 2005, she became an associate professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology. She was appointed as professor and head of the Division of Medical Microbiology in November 2008. Elizabeth is a founding member of the interdisciplinary Centre for Infectious Diseases in the Faculty of Health Sciences, as well as SAFRI, the African Regional Institute of the FAIMER organisation. She is actively involved in the management of both of these organisations. She is a fellow of the College of Pathologists by peer review, and a member of several national and international research groups. Her interests include the quality assurance of higher education, the laboratory diagnosis of tuberculosis, and the study of the epidemiology and risk factors of complicated staphylococcal infection.