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Paying it forward

- Razeen Gutta

Wits Covid-19 Hero Dr Armand Bahini says his actions are inspired by the institution that made him the man he is today.

The postdoctoral researcher in nuclear physics has been hailed by colleagues for exemplerary service and going beynd the call of duty during 2020. As a teaching assistant he contributed to the move from face-to-face to online learning by aleviating the academic admiinistrative burden on time pressured lecturers.

During the unprecedented year (2020), Bahini participated proactively in the second year mainstream physics laboratory course and in the marking of third year tutorials. He attributes his acts to his foundational years at Wits University. 

Dr Armand Bahini, a postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Science  is nominated as a Wits Hero

“Wits University has shaped the man I am today through my PhD studentship. I always try my best to give back to the institution and I wish to keep on helping to achieve its visions and missions in short and long terms,” says Bahini.

Dr Bahini joined Wits University four years ago as a PhD fellow. Whilst studying and conducting research towards his PhD, he established a good reputation as a teaching assistant in the School of Physics and conducted tutorials in the School of Mathematics.

In May 2019 he was elected as the leading head of several teaching assistant groups. These included: postgraduate officer, student’s representative in the transformation forum, and postgraduate association representative. These roles were in the School of Physics and have contriibuted to his ongoing passion to help others. 

“I am very passionate about teaching and learning as well as the mentorship of undergraduate students,” says Bahini.

As an individual, his mission is to “have a positive impact on the people (that) I meet and deal with on daily basis” and this is what motivates him to do good, he says.

While the pandemic has brought a multitude of challenges, Bahini says that there are a few takeaways from this period.

“This pandemic has taught us that there is a need for changes in our ways of doing things — as change is the only constant,” he says.

Another lesson offered is to keep moving forward regardless of the challenges.

“The loneliness and isolation due to lockdown really showed us how much being with others is a key to happiness, despite the use of online platforms to stay in touch.”

Bahini describes himself as hard working in nature and resilient - qualities that serve him welll in his pursuits. As a researcher, he is contributing to the ongoing scientific search for answers.

"I am dealing with nuclei, looking at how they get excited and de-excited (radiating energy). My area also involves isotopes production for medicine, industry, agriculture and food processing, and science, especially cancer treatment by bombarding cancer cells and destroying them using nuclear energy. Knowing how energy is radiated from de-excitation of nuclei is very important as in dealing with nuclear radiation, building nuclear power plant (economic and sustainable energy source) as well as understanding some astrophysical phenomenon."

Like the other Wits Heroes, he hopes that 2022 will be a better year for all. 

About Wits Covid-19 Heroes

The Wits Heroes Series celebrates staff and students who went beyond the call of duty at the onset of Covid-19 in 2020. Wits Heroes were nominated by members of the Wits community. Discover other Heroes.