College of Humanities Celebrates its PhD Staff Graduates
The College of Humanities hosted a celebratory dinner for its staff members who graduated with doctoral degrees.
The dinner at the Maharani Hotel, was facilitated by Dean and Head of the School of Social Sciences (acting), Professor Vivian Ojong, who believes that staff need to be lauded for their academic achievements and excellence.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize said, ‘This is a milestone in the life of an academic. A PhD is an entry into the world of academia. Hearty congratulations to both staff members and supervisors.’ College Dean of Research Professor Pholoho Morojele remarked that knowledge production is the responsibility of all academics and encouraged them to continue to publish widely and extensively. ‘This is a great achievement. Continue championing scholarship in academia.’
Speaking on behalf of the College Deanery, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, Dean of the School of Arts commended the families of the PhD graduates for offering their support. She also advised the staff members to consider supervising research, examining theses and marking PhD papers. ‘Now is the time to be active in ensuring UKZN remains the Premier University of African Scholarship,’ she said.
College Director of Professional Services (acting), Mrs Shantha Maharaj expressed her appreciation to the graduates for overcoming difficulties and finally attaining a PhD. ‘You are now experts in your respective disciplines and can be agents of change in society. You serve as a source of inspiration to us all.’
Social Work lecturer, Dr Boitumelo Seepamore whose research looked at distance parenting and the views of domestic workers and their partners in the eThekwini metro, said, ‘Graduating with a PhD has undoubtedly been my greatest achievement so far, and a dream fulfilled. The PhD has made me realise how privileged I am as I had so much support from the University, my family and other mothers who cared for my children while I was studying.’
Dr Jugathambal Ramdhani said that obtaining a PhD has given her the opportunity to explore existing knowledge as well as engage and create new knowledge in the field of poverty and school textbooks, in particular, Economics textbooks. She believes that initiatives such as the celebratory lunch motivate staff. ‘It demonstrates appreciation and understanding of the hard work invested by staff in obtaining their doctorates,’ she said.
Dr Phephani Gumbi, who wrote his thesis in IsiZulu to promote African languages in academia, offered this advice to staff members wanting to pursue postgraduate degrees: ‘It seems impossible to achieve any dream until it is realised, so keep at it until you do.’
The College of Humanities also recently launched its Doctoral Academy that offers research seminars to equip PhD candidates with scientific writing skills.
Words: Melissa Mungroo
Photographs: Andile Ndlovu