To enjoy the full Mail & Guardian online experience: please upgrade your browser
23 Aug 2010 16:51
The South African Women in Science Awards
The South African Women in Science Awards (WISA) have become an integral part of South Africa’s annual celebrations of Women’s Month in August. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has been hosting WISA since 2003 as part of government’s efforts to recognize and create incentives for women scientists and researchers in the country and to profile successful women scientists whose distinguished achievements in research and innovation are an inspiration to the nation, particularly to young women and girls.
The objective is to create enough role models for young women and girls.
Distinguished Woman Scientist in the Life Sciences
Winner: Prof. Jill Farrant
First runner-up: Prof. Susan Nicolson
Second runner-up: Prof. Karen Sliwa-Hahnle
Prof. Karen Sliwa-Hahnle graduated with a PhD in immune activation in heart failure in 2002 at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is currently a Professor of Cardiovascular Research, and Director of the Hatter Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of Cape Town. She is rated a B researcher by the NRF. Prof. Sliwa-Hahnle has made a substantial contribution to the understanding of the causes and treatment of unexplained heart failure of pregnancy (a condition which affects 1 in 1 000 women following childbirth in Africa), and to the delineation of heart diseases that afflict the urban population of Soweto. She initiated community awareness and intervention programmes that seek to improve nutrition in Soweto.These are now expanding nationally. She has over 60 publications in the highest ranking journals in this area, and has supervised or co-supervised 10 PhD students. She also trains registrars in the field of internal medicine, and fellows in cardiology on a regular basis. She serves on five international editorial boards, and she is an Adjunct Professorial Fellow to the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia.
Achiever Award for a Woman Innovator in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (Winner)
Ms Makgoshi Masipa is a lecturer in housing and textiles at the University of Venda. She completed her Masters degree in development at the University of Limpopo (UL) in 2000. Her lifetime commitment has been community development projects largely focused on food security. She has been instrumental in the establishment of the following departments: Department of Nutrition (UL), and the Department of Family Ecology and Consumer Sciences (University of Venda). In addition to her numerous other projects, in 2006 she started a project on indigenous food processing which included the bottling of indigenous fruits such as prickly pear and marula. This initiative has been proposed for the establishment of an Indigenous Knowledge Centre (Food Processing Plant) in the Botlokwa area, with jams and juices processed from the indigenous fruits which are abundant in season. She contributed substantially to the training of agriculture technicians in Limpopo who developed indigenous dishes, published in the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research South African Indigenous Foods recipe book project. In 2008, Ms Masipa was appointed a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Indigenous Knowledge Systems.
Distinguished Woman Scholar in the Social Sciences or Humanities
Joint Winner: Prof. Stella Nkomo
Joint Winner: Prof. Clair Penn
First Runner-Up: Prof. Erika De Wet
Second Runner-Up: Prof. Lind a Richter
Prof. Linda Richter is a distinguished research fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council. She is on contract for half of her time to the Geneva-based Global Fund on a project to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria. She is an elected fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, an honorary Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, and an honorary fellow at the University of Melbourne, in Australia. She completed her PhD in Psychology in 1981 at the University of Natal. She is rated a B researcher by the NRF. The Birth to Twenty (Bt20) study, a birth cohort study of 3 273 children born in Soweto in 1990, who have been followed up, together with their families, for 20 years, has carved a respectable niche in the international literature for developmental research from low and middle income countries. Her work is internationally recognised as evident from her 122 peer-reviewed publications, 4 books, 102 book chapters, and 65 research reports. Her tireless contribution to research, policy and practice aimed at improving the well-being of children, youth and families in South Africa is widely acknowledged. She has devised innovative interventions including programmes to support malnourished children and their caregivers, street children, children in situations of conflict and war, support for vulnerable children provided by youth, promoting men’s care and protection for children, and palliative care for sick children in the context of the HIV/Aids pandemic. Prof. Linda Richter is currently serving on the UNAIDS Task Force on Women, Girls, Gender Equality and HIV, and is a member of the Coalition of Children Affected by AIDS, the Inter-Agency Task Team and the Regional Inter-Agency Task Team on Children and AIDS.
Distinguished Young Woman Scientist in the Life Sciences
Winner: Prof. Alta Schutte
First Runner-Up: Dr Marieka Gryzenhout
Second Runner-Up: Dr Nomakwezi Mzilikazi
Dr Nomakwezi Mzilikazi is a Senior Lecturer at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). She completed her PhD in Zoology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2004. Nomakwezi is Y2-rated by the NRF. She has significantly advanced the understanding of torpor and heterothermy in small mammals. Her work has direct relevance for predicting the impacts of climate change. Dr Mzilikazi has established one of the best-equipped laboratories for small animal energetics in South Africa, at NMMU. She has authored and co-authored 10 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and also served as a reviewer for one international journal, and as a grant and scholarship reviewer for the NRF. Nomakwezi is more than happy to share her enthusiasm with others (students, media and the public) through lectures and interviews. In 2003, she was the recipient of a DST Woman in Science Fellowship.
Distinguished Young Woman Researcher in the Social Sciences or Humanities
Winner: Prof. Michelle Kelly-Louw
First Runner-Up: Dr Floretta Avril Boonzaier
Dr Floretta Avril Boonzaier is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cape Town. She completed her
PhD from the same institution in 2005 with a research topic which focused on the construction of subjectivities in relation to violence in intimate heterosexual relationships, a topic which informed some of her current projects. In one such project with Stellenbosch University, Dr Boonzaier investigates intimate heterosexual relationships in a low income, semi-rural community in the Western Cape—a project funded by the South Africa-Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development. In another flagship project entitled Men, Masculinities and Violence, Dr Boonzaier explores constructions of masculinity in the South African context and particularly in relation to the perpetration of violence against an intimate women partner. This project is aimed at coming up with research-led interventions towards developing effective interventions for domestic violence. Dr Boonzaier has published 7 peer-reviewed articles. She has 5 book chapters and has co-edited the first book on gender and psychology in South Africa. Dr Boonzaier has successfully supervised 6 Masters students. Dr Boonzaier has been a recipient of several awards. In 2009/10 she was a Harvard-Mandela Fellow at Harvard University, and was also a visitor at the WEB du Bois centre. While she was a student, she received Mellon Fellowships at both the MA and PhD levels.
Fellowships for Women Scientists
Nonhlanhla Dlamini obtained a National Diploma in Biotechnology from the then Natal Technikon with distinctions in courses such as Sanitation, Safety and Hygiene, Disease and Immune Response and Food Microbiology. She subsequently completed a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from the Durban University of Technology and a Medical Science Master’s degree in Occupational and Environmental Health from the then University of Natal. Nonhlanhla is a registered full-time PhD student in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is currently a visiting fellow at the University of Florida in the United States. Her research interest is on the pertinent area of African traditional medicine, with the potential for it to be used in the treatment of Karposi’s Sarcoma, a cancer of increasing significance due to its close association with HIV/Aids. In 2009, she was named one of the top 300 South African achievers by the Mail & Guardian. Nonhlanhla has written a manuscript that is being considered for publication in an international journal.
TATA Africa Scholarships
This category is sponsored by Tata Africa. Three scholarships were awarded to young women scientists in areas in which the participation of women is traditionally low.
Create Account | Lost Your Password?