Start main page content

Celebrating excellent teachers

Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Awards

The Teaching Awards stimulate teaching and teaching-related scholarly and/or creative activities by recognising staff who demonstrate excellence in teaching and the promotion of learning. line-divider

Individual Award 2023

Professor Abdul Hamid Carrim, School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, has a vision to help students see the beauty of mathematics and overcome the ‘mathematical trauma’ to which many of them were inflicted throughout their schooling. His students concur; as he is also the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Teacher’s Individual Award in the Faculty of Science. In addition to teaching first-year students pure maths, his classes include science, commerce and engineering students with varying levels of enthusiasm towards maths. This is when the magic of undoing maths trauma begins. Carrim embraces teaching large classes of students, as he can lay the foundation for coming years.

Supervision Award

As a research intensive institution, the University acknowledges that high-quality supervision is foundational to its goal of leading innovation and pioneering knowledge in the Global South. The University thus recognises such supervision at the highest level, through this award. Professor Cathi Albertyn has a sustained record in postgraduate supervision and has been supervising at this level since the late 1990s, with numbers increasing as more students turn to postgraduate studies. She teaches postgraduate courses on constitutional law and human rights, and is engaged in research on equality, gender, human rights and constitutional law. A holder of the South African Research Chair in Equality, Law and Social Justice since 2018, this position has allowed her to expand her footprint in postgraduate supervision significantly.

Individual Award 2022

Dr Argentina Ingratta, a lecturer in the Department of Internal Medicine at Wits and a physician at Helen Joseph Hospital, won the individual teaching award. Ingratta took a leadership role in transforming teaching and learning in Internal Medicine, through the use of blended-learning technologies, which support student learning support, and spearheaded the adaptation of material and development of curricula suitable to a South African context.

Team Awards 2022

Lanelle Wilmot and Michele Aucock in the School of Accountancy were joint teaching team award winners for putting forward an excellent example of scholarly teaching in accounting. Wilmot spearheaded the introduction of a Writing Across the Curriculum intervention for fourth-year Financial Accounting students in 2021, while Aucock collaborated on the intervention, contributing to rubric design, implementation, and ensuring alignment to current teaching and learning pedagogy and practice. Within a single year, the initiative has expanded to become a whole-school teaching and learning endeavour.

Professor Sanjay Lala, Professor Ziyaad Dangor, Dr Shannon Leahy, Dr Ann George, Dr Gerrit Wissing, Mr Shogan Ganas, and Ms Dominique Wooldridge are the Paediatric Graduate Entry Medical Programme team, which won the joint team award for constructing a course to develop Paediatric Physical Examinations Skills in an online mode. This online course brought together a multidisciplinary team with expertise from pediatricians, education specialists, and instructional designers. The team developed a world-class and relevant online course that addresses critical pedagogical problems in clinical settings, and which has been made available to other institutions, notably in Africa.

Emeritus Professor Pundy Pillay, the most senior economist in the School of Governance, stands out particularly for his successes in postgraduate supervision, for which he received the Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Award for Supervision - the first time this award has been made. Pillay has twice been given an accolade as Best Supervisor in the Faculty.

Individual Award 2021

Rodney Genga, an Associate Professor and Director of the Faculty Academic Development Unit (ADU) in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment won the Individual VC’s Teaching Award. Genga leads the development of interventions to improve the Faculty’s pass rates and manages the first-yearprogramme attended by all first years regardless of intended specialisation. As Director, Genga transformed the ADU so that it provides data-informed support to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as academic support for staff in the Faculty. These interventions range from concept tutorials, school camps, student financial support programmes, and in-house psychological support services. 

As co-founder of the African Inclusive Microscopy network (AfInMic) at Wits, Genga has also facilitated the training of more than 1600 postgraduate students, researchers and applied scientists from over 18 African countries in the last three years. The award comes with R80 000.

Team Award 2021

small team comprising Danie De Klerk, Dr Greig Krull, Fiona Macalister and Tshepiso Maleswena in the Teaching and Learning Centre in the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management was credited with helping the Faculty during the transition to Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning (ERTL) in 2020. It helped that, prior to 2020, the team was already working on a strategy for the Faculty’s online offerings and were thus able to provide the intellectual leadership and support necessary to successfully transition to ERTL. The team earned themselves R100 000.