First Talent Excellence and Equity Acceleration Scholarship (TEAEAS) Candidate Appointed as Lecturer
Twenty-seven-year-old Dr Nontobeko Mvubu, who holds a PhD in Microbiology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, has become the first Talent Excellence and Equity Acceleration Scholarship (TEAEAS) candidate to be appointed as a lecturer at the University.
Mvubu’s dream to become a lecturer was realised thanks to the University’s drive to appoint academically excellent Black students as lecturers. ‘I wanted to be a lecturer because of the love I have for research as well as for teaching,’ said Mvubu.
Mvubu has consistently shone academically throughout her time at the University, receiving numerous accolades, scholarships and bursaries including a TATA Scholarship, awarded at the 2013 Women in Science awards ceremony, an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
She plans to be a well-recognised and established researcher in Tuberculosis and Bioinformatics. ‘In addition, I want to be integrally involved in student training from undergraduate teaching of different levels offered in my Discipline.’
Mvubu believes initiatives such as the TEAEAS scholarship encourage students to ‘pursue academic careers and contribute to South Africa’s knowledge economy’.
‘With the current challenges in South Africa’s and Africa as a whole, I believe in what Tata Madiba said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.’
Mvubu, who is originally from Mandeni in KwaZulu-Natal is grateful to her family for their ongoing support. ‘I’d like to thank my father in particular, for always encouraging us to reach for our dreams and to focus on our studies. He has always been there, especially during difficult times. In addition, I would like to pass my sincere gratitude to my postgraduate advisors, Professor Manormoney Pillay and Professor Balakrishna Pillay for their training and mentorship.’
She thanked Human Resources and the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science for the opportunity to ‘be part of the University employees while doing what I love and what comes naturally to me.’
Mrs Busisiwe Ramabodu, the Director: Human Resources Development said the Talent Excellence & Equity Acceleration Scholarship; which supports the Graduate Development Programme (GDP) seeks to contribute to the development of the future academic pipeline at the University. There are currently 34 students on the programme, who are on track to becoming future academics; and 10 are currently registered for PhDs.
Mrs Avril Williamson, the Executive Director: HR was very pleased with the progress Ms Mvubu has made. She further highlighted that the programme is in line with the University’s strategy to build the future Professoriate.