2008 Fellow Profiles
François de Villiers
I am a paediatrician. I have been Professor of Paediatrics at University of Limpopo, Medunsa Campus for the past 13 years. I qualified from Stellenbosch University, and spent 3 1/2 very happy years in Pietermaritzburg. I worked for five years at a mission hospital in Bophuthatswana, during which time I married Gai, and Gillian was born. Soon after moving to Johannesburg, Tertius was born, and I entered training as a paediatrician at Wits. At Medunsa, I am in charge of the best department at the university IMHO. This is due to the excellence of the colleagues that I’m working with. It is clearly not enormously difficult to run a department when your staff is friendly and co-operative. I have been Deputy Dean for Research for a period of four years, and I have been a member of the Research, Ethics and Publications Committee for eight years. In September 2004, after a somewhat critical report from the HPCSA, I took over as Deputy Dean for Academic Matters, and Chair of the Academic Planning Committee, and of the Curriculum Development Committee. The past several years have been hectic and challenging, due to having to implement the new curriculum, which had already been planned, and quite well, before my involvement and because of the merger between the University of the North and Medunsa. In 2001, Gai died. In 2004 I got remarried to Mariana. We now have five children between the ages of 17 and 27 (Gillian, Tertius, Marchant, Kristile and Christo). We are active church members. Until 1998, my work and my research were my hobbies. Now my hobby is writing classical music. And before anyone asks: No, I do not play the piano (and I’m actually quite weak at my practical music subject, which is percussion). I also do not sing, not even in church.
Wilma de Witt
My name is Wilma de Witt. I am a member of the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Pretoria and Pretoria Academic Hospital. I did both my undergraduate and postgraduate training at the University of Pretoria. My field of interest is neonatology and genetics. I have been involved in student teaching for more than twenty years. I did a diploma course in tertiary education at the University of Pretoria during 1985. I prefer small group teaching in clinical medicine and have tried my hand at the development of multimedia.
My name is Christian Ezeala from the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences of Kampala International University, Uganda. I teach Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology/Toxicology to a variety of health sciences students. My interest in health professions education centers around curriculum development, program evaluation, and quality control.
My name is José (pronounced “jozay”) Frantz. I hold the position of Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Physiotherapy at the University of the Western Cape. Currently, I teach undergraduates in the area of neuromuscular disorders and research methodology and evidence-based practice for postgraduate physiotherapy students. My area of interest for research is prevention of chronic diseases of lifestyle, with an emphasis on young people. Currently I am trying to impact high schools by looking at the life orientation programmes offered and incorporating prevention measures for learners, parents, and educators as it relates to chronic diseases of lifestyle. As it relates to health professions, my motivation is that prevention is better than cure and starting with young people is better than focusing on the elderly.
I feel honored to be part of this family of colleagues, and I am looking forward to the experience that lies ahead. My name is Alwyn Louw, and I am from the Centre of Health Science Education at Stellenbosch University. My specific job title is Coordinator: Extended Degree Programmes. Apart from that, I am also very much involved in the First Year Academy, where I am involved in one of the modules, student support, and also doing research on the foundation phase. My interest lies in the effective teaching and also the effective learning of students. Therefore, student success, especially in their first year of study, interests me.
I am Lastina Lwatula. I work at the Health Services and Systems Program in Lusaka, Zambia, as a Training Advisor. I work very closely with the Ministry of Health, training institutions including the School of Medicine, University of Zambia, and the General Nursing and Medical Councils of Zambia. The main focus of my work is on provision of technical updates to faculty and students on emerging and priority health services, and curriculum development, strengthening, and review. Another area I work in involves development of teaching and learning materials for specific curriculum, including short-term and long-term training courses.
My areas of interest are:
• Learning methods and environment
• Curriculum development/review
• Research methods and techniques in education
• Monitoring and evaluating training programs
My name is Samuel Maling; I am a psychiatrist by training, and I work at the Faculty of Medicine, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda. I am the Associate Dean in charge of undergraduate studies and also head the Department of Psychiatry.
My major interest is in promoting quality in medical/health training through research and innovations in teaching methods and curriculum development/review. I am very much interested in the philosophy of community-based medical training whose products willingly agree to work in rural areas.
It is a privilege to embark on this journey with all of you. I coordinate the Academic Service-Learning module, including community placements, at the Department of Physiotherapy, University of Pretoria. I also teach Professional Development and Leadership. I love to guide student research and am rewarded by others’ development.
My soul mate Lars and I share a weird sense of humour, a love of the ‘veld’ (e.g. birds), movies (Borat to Being John Malcovich) and dancing (an authentic ‘Boere-orkes’ with a mandolin, is a favourite).
Ntombifikile Gloria (Fikile) Mtshali
I am a middle-aged woman with three children, two boys (one adopted) and a girl. My house has two males and two females, which requires the females to be slightly manipulative to get what they need. I am a nurse educator and an operating room nurse. I am involved in developing nursing human resources locally and across Africa with the intention to improve nursing and midwifery in Africa.
I work at the University of Pretoria (UP) in the Faculty of Health Sciences as an education consultant. I came to UP fifteen years ago as a student counsellor, so my background is in psychology. After three or four years, I transferred to a unit that provides educational support to lecturers. The unit has gone through several transitions and is currently called the Department for Education Innovation. There are eight education consultants, and we are seconded to various faculties. The consultants are responsible for running a week long education induction programme for newly appointed lectures at UP and a three-day assessment workshop – these courses are open to all lecturers at UP and are not faculty specific. (Frank Peters, who is also a SAFRI 2008 Fellow, has been one of our ‘victims’ on these courses.) Other than that I work in the Faculty of Health Sciences, which has four schools, assisting departments or individual lecturers with a wide variety of educationally related projects or issues. My primary interest is in assessment.
I like to take to the outdoors and am interested in bird watching. Wouldn’t say I’m much good at it but I give it a try. I also like to travel, and I spent three weeks over Christmas and New Year travelling in Vietnam and Cambodia.
I am Anna. I teach at the Master of Public Health (MPH) programme, University of KwaZulu-Natal. I am particularly interested in Maternal, Reproductive and Adolescent Health, and I have developed, convened and now teach these three modules in the MPH programme. I am drawn to qualitative research methodologies (and teach this module too)… but for my sins I also teach the module on descriptive epidemiology. Life gets a bit hectic!!! I enjoy walking alongside people, helping them learn. My greatest preoccupation at present is how to become an effective supervisor of master level research projects, a battle I am not sure I am winning. Thus the nature of the project I proposed for SAFRI: helping MPH students develop academic literacy (reading and writing) skills, across the curriculum, so that by the time students are writing their dissertations they have mastered the art and science of academic writing.
I live in Hillcrest, and I love my home and garden… they are nurturing to me. My creative energy goes into my garden, sewing projects, and entertaining good friends. I love a good movie … and a walk through the gorge on Saturday afternoons. I do so look forward to SAFRI and anticipate being stretched out of my comfort zone…
My name is Firdouza Waggie. After I graduated as a physiotherapist, I worked for a while at Groote Schuur Hospital and then returned to United World College (UWC) to work in the Physiotherapy Department as Lecturer. I completed postgraduate study in stroke rehabilitation. I was then seconded to coordinate the development and implementation of core interdisciplinary courses for the faculty. So currently, I am the coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Core Courses Unit (ICCU) in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences. The unit’s core function is to provide interdisciplinary/interprofessional educational opportunities for all the health science students in the faculties of Dentistry and Community and Health Sciences. To date we have developed five core courses, two at the first year level and one for every year level thereafter. The evaluation and improvement of these courses are of course ongoing and labour-intensive but also very exciting. My interest is in health professions education, more specifically in interdisciplinary teaching and learning within a service-learning/community-based approach in the area of health promotion. I am married with three kids. I love travelling and have been to quite a few places. I am passionate about Africa, its people, and the challenges that the continent faces. Generally I enjoy meeting people and networking, good conversation and socialising. I’m looking forward to meeting you and welcoming you to my beautiful city, Cape Town.