Top Genetics Student Scoops Two Scholarships
Earlier this year, Honours student Ms Amica Corda Muller-Nedebock scooped two Merck Awards for Best Third Year Genetics and Microbiology student. Before that she had received the Dean’s Commendation award for three years in a row and graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude. In the first semester of her Honours degree, Muller-Nedebock has already attained three certificates of merit.
It was therefore not surprising that Muller-Nedebock was awarded the Zac Yacoob Scholarship, named after Judge Zakeria Yacoob, a former Constitutional Court judge of distinction and the last Chancellor of the erstwhile University of Durban-Westville. This prestige award goes to the student deemed to be the single best Honours student in the entire University.
Muller-Nedebock also received the Maryam Babangida Scholarship, awarded to the best female student, in the entire University, proceeding from undergraduate to honours study.
‘The scholarships are my motivation to complete my Honours degree to the best of my ability and prove myself worthy of being presented with such prestigious awards. For me, it is an acknowledgement of all my hard work and time which I have invested in my studies, and I am grateful for this recognition,’ she said.
She is currently in her second semester undertaking two modules and the research project. Her research project focuses on the phylogenetic relationships of Bulinus globosus snails - the intermediate hosts of the parasite Schistosoma haematobium, which causes bilharzia.
Her UKZN journey started in 2014 when she enrolled for a Bachelor of Science degree after matriculating top of her class from Saint Benedict School in Pinetown in 2013.
‘I have always been self-motivated, hardworking and determined to do my best. In addition, having the support of my family, I chose to study a BSc degree in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science,’ said Muller-Nedebock.
Although faced with the countless assignments, tests, tutorials and practicals, Muller-Nedebock was able to refine her time-management, research and scientific writing skills.
Dr Oliver Zishiri, of the School of Life Sciences (Discipline of Genetics) said: ‘I feel very privileged to be the Honours project supervisor as well as a lecturer for such a brilliant student. She has always excelled in her undergraduate studies and I felt quite excited when she approached me to be her supervisor.’
Parents, Mat and Walli Muller-Nedebock, commented on their daughter’s achievements, saying: ‘Amica has always been self-motivated and driven and it is truly wonderful that her hard work and achievements are being recognised, as she is more than deserving of such acknowledgement.’