15 April 2014 Volume :2 Issue :22

UKZN Humanities Staff Honoured at Graduation Ceremony

UKZN Humanities Staff Honoured at Graduation Ceremony
Take a bow - Professor Sarojini Nadar, Professor Jonathan Draper and Professor Christine Stilwell.

Three UKZN staff members from the College of Humanities - Professor Sarojini Nadar, Professor Jonathan Draper and Professor Christine Stilwell – have received special honours during a Graduation ceremony.

Nadar, who received a Distinguished Teachers’ Award (DTA), said: ‘I am absolutely delighted! It has been a year of many professional challenges.’

Having faced criticism over the years from academics both within the Humanities and the Sciences about the “soft” nature of the subjects she teaches as well as handling their questions about the place of these subjects in a university, Nadar said the award confirmed the importance of both these disciplines as teaching subjects within a university, particularly a university which aimed to be a “Premier University of African Scholarship”.

Stilwell, who was made a Fellow of UKZN, said: ‘I am honoured and feel very humble to be included in these ranks. Recognition from one’s own Institution can be hard to come by and I am grateful to my colleagues who supported me and to UKZN for this recognition.’

Asked what in her opinion had won her the commendation, she said: ‘I have a very good record as a supervisor of both PhD and Master’s students and as a published researcher. I have mentored and taught generations of students and have also worked with my profession to develop younger colleagues.’

Stilwell is currently in the process of writing a book for a United Kingdom publisher.

Draper, also recognised as a Fellow, said ‘I am honoured and gratified that my research contribution to the University has been recognised in this way. I would like to acknowledge my debt to colleagues in the School, past and present, because they have provided a vibrant and dynamic research environment which holds itself accountable to the community as well as to the academy. This has been my inspiration.’

Talking about his future plans, Draper said: ‘I have a commitment to complete a book for Oxford University Press on the didache, which will tie up about 30 years of work on that early Christian writing. I am also engaged in a new project to produce a book on John’s gospel and its relation to the Jewish mystical tradition.’

*Professor Sarojini Nadar is considered one of UKZN’s Top-Published Researchers and has a C2 rating from the National Research Foundation.  In 2010 she received the Top Published Woman Researcher at UKZN award, and also achieved the position of Top Published Researcher in the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences and secured the second position among all UKZN researchers. The book African Women, Religion and Health, which she co-edited with Isabel Phiri in 2006, won both the UKZN’s Annual Book Prize Award for Best Edited Book, as well as a New York Catholic Press Award in the category of Gender. In 2012, she received the Distinguished Young Women in Science Award (Human and Social Sciences) from the Department of Science and Technology.

* Professor Jonathan Draper has lectured at academic institutions around the world, has been a regular recipient of National Research Foundation grants, and has been a B-Rated researcher in three rating cycles - 2003 – 2007; 2008 – 2012; and 2013 – 2018.  He has edited and published 10 books through highly respected publishers as well as presenting more than 60 conference papers internationally and 30 papers nationally.

Draper’s research leadership has been recognised by the University - on at least three occasions he was among the Top 30 Researchers. He has graduated 17 PhDs and continues with the supervision of six PhDs. Currently, he is Senior Professor with extension beyond retirement.

* Professor Christine Stilwell has been attached to the University for the past 35 years during which time she has enjoyed a distinguished career in library and information studies.  She has served with distinction in numerous capacities including Head of Department, Deputy Head of the School of Human and Social Studies, a member of Senate and as a member of numerous University committees.

She is a recipient of UKZN’s Distinguished Teachers’ Award and has continued to teach at four levels. She is active in doctoral supervision and has graduated 25 PhDs.  She is well-known throughout the African continent, and because of her stature continues to attract both masters and doctoral students from various countries. 

-           Melissa Mungroo


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