In 2007 I embarked on my doctoral journey. I decided to further my studies at the University of the Free State (UFS) and enrolled for a PhD at the Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development. My thesis was titled “An internal communication model for the Central University of Technology, Free State as a multi-campus higher education institution. I couldn’t have done this without two of the most reputable and knowledgeable academics in the South African higher education landscape, Profs. Driekie Hay and Annette Wilkinson, who guided and supervised me along my postgraduate journey.
During this time, I literally burnt the midnight oil, spent hours reading and writing up, and learning so much about life in general. A doctoral journey enables you to push yourself to possibilities and extremes you never knew existed. But it also opens up a world of reflecting, critical thinking and contributing to life with innovative ideas.
At the end of 2008 I completed my doctoral thesis and obtained my PhD in 2009.
To my surprise I was also awarded the Kalie Strydom prize for best research in higher education – a wonderful accolade I never expected.
Obtaining my doctorate has steered my in a new direction career wise. I started lecturing at the Department of Communication Sciences at the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) in 2010. Being a lecturer is, just like being a teacher, a calling in life. Not only do we teach and educate, but we also learn something new every day from our most valued clients … our students.
I had the privilege to supervise two master’s students from Kovsies, both of whom obtained their degrees in the programme Governance and Political Transformation. Simukele Khosa and Motale Sebego … you make me proud!
I have also published papers in various journals and am currently busy with research on academic writing skills; self-efficacy beliefs; and social media. In 2012 I received the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
From 28 to 31 March 2017 I attended the sixth International Conference on Postgraduate Supervision at the beautiful Spier Estate, Stellenbosch. Pictured with me are Profs. Eli Bitzer from the Centre for Higher Adult Education at the University of Stellenbosch, and Hesta Friedrich-Nel, Assistant-Dean of the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at the CUT. Prof. Bitzer was one of the examiners of my PhD and I only met him almost a decade after I’ve completed my doctorate. What an inspiring person and mentor!
With other delegates at the conference …
On 9 and 10 September 2017 my twin sister, Danri, and I attended the 10th International Conference on Educational Research (ICER) at Khon Kaen University, Thailand. What an incredible experience! We both presented papers and published in Conference Proceedings.
From 3 to 5 October 2018 we attended the 45th Annual International Conference of the Southern African Society for Education (SASE). The Conference was hosted by Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and held at the beautiful Lagoon Beach Hotel in Cape Town.