Top Humanities students lauded

High praise for top Humanities students

15 May 2014 - 13:00

Best of the bunch: top students congratulated by staff and the Dean at the 2014 Student Excellence Awards

200 top performing Humanities students received merit certificates at this year’s Student Excellence Awards. This annual event is hosted by the Dean of the Faculty in recognition of consistent academic excellence and, provides an ideal opportunity to promote postgraduate studies amongst a talented pool of undergraduate students. 

The Student Excellence Award guest list is derived from the annual Faculty scholarship and Dean’s Merit List recipients. Nominations for both the Deans Merit List and Faculty Scholarship awards are based on above average academic performance and take into consideration individual programme load as well as the total duration of the degree. On the night, special awards were made to individuals who had achieved the highest Grade Point Averages (GPA) as well as to top performing students in the Performing and Creative Arts.

Pictured L-R: Rehana Odendaal with the Dean of Humanities, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu

Speaking at this year’s event, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu (Dean of the Faculty of Humanities) congratulated the students on their outstanding academic achievements and encouraged them to pursue postgraduate study within the Faculty. The Dean underscored the need for a new breed of social science researchers to address societal needs in Africa and beyond. He challenged Humanities students to build on the knowledge and skills obtained during their undergraduate years and to make use of every oportunity available to them. 

Guest speaker Barbara Schmid (UCT Knowledge Co-op) spoke of the many resources available to postgraduate students through her office including opportunities for involvement in meaningful research projects designed to benefit local communities.  Second guest speaker, Rehana Odendaal, shared her experiences on academic exchange in the USA, and spoke of the importance of nurturing excellence and of seizing oportunities. She also highlighted some of the life lessons she acquired during her tenure as as chair of the Humanities Student Council in 2013 (the Humanities Student Council was named the best student council at UCT in 2013). Rehana is pursuing an Honours degree in Historical Studies at UCT.

Pictured L: Barbara Schmid (UCT Knowledge Co-op) encouraged students to engage in community research projects.

“All of these experiences have to an extent culminated in my choosing to pursue postgraduate studies with the History Department this year. They have taught me the importance of identifying what your passion is, and finding a way to make those interests valuable to the broader communities that we all belong to. The most exciting thing about postgrad is being confronted every day with things that you don't just automatically know how to solve. It's about starting to find yourself in the work that you do” said Rehana. 

*Additional images available on the Humanities Flickr page.