Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s annual graduation ceremonies commenced on a high note with the graduation of 204 students from the George Campus on 8 April 2011. 131 National Diplomas were awarded and 73 degrees, including six Master’s degrees, conferred during this annual highlight in the George Civic Centre.
Overall, eighteen students attained their qualifications with distinction.
This was the first time that a Master’s degree in Science (Magister Scientiae) was conferred at the George Campus graduation. The student, Fiona Koch, completed her MSc in Botany under the supervision of Dr Jaap Steenkamp, of the School of Natural Resource Management at Saasveld, with Prof Elaine Campbell of NMMU’s Science Faculty as co-supervisor. He also supervised the work of MTech Forestry graduate, John Eggers, one of the five Magister Technologiae graduates from George Campus.
Two students – Herman Grobler and Pieter Lombard, received their MTech-degrees in Agriculture, with another two, Andri Cornelius and Carika van Zyl completed their master’s degrees (Magister Technologiae) in Nature Conservation.
The Forestry Programme accounted for about one third of all graduates, with 39 students having qualified for the National Diploma, 20 for the BTech Degree and one for the MTech degree in Forestry. No less than five diploma and one BTech graduate completed the qualification with distinction.
Cum Laude diplomandi, Nonkululeko Ntinga, was also the top third-year Forestry student, and the winner of the prestigious Schlich medal in gold, signifying that she had maintained an average of at least 80% throughout all three years of her studies in Forestry.
This is the second year in a row that a student of NMMU George has scooped this prestigious medal. The previous year’s recipient, Muedanyi Ramantswana, who had continued with his BTech degree in Forestry in 2010, received his degree, with distinction, during the recent graduation ceremony.
Other Forestry students who completed their diplomas with distinction were – Shadrack Mamathuntsha, Lindeni Nkosi, Robert Tumber and Mnqobi Zuma
Nature Conservation Programme
The Nature Conservation diploma programme rendered 23 new diplomandi, with no less than six completing their qualification with distinction – Aleksander Braczkowski, Damien Coulson, Sadé Cowley, Alexander Lyell, Willem Matthee and Francois van Tonder.
Twelve students successfully completed their BTech degrees in Nature Conservation, one – Michelle Whyte – with distinction
Other cum laude diplomandi and graduandi
Wilfred Cawood and former Student Council Member, Natascha Laing, obtained the National Diploma in Marketing with distinction, while Jenette Jurgens completed the BTech Marketing degree with distinction.
Magdaleen Olivier received the National Diploma: Management with distinction.
The BTech: Agricultural Management programme also rendered a cum laude graduate – Stefan Terblanche.
Captivating themes researched by Masters Students
The titles of the dissertations of the six Masters students who graduated from NMMU George bear testimony to the symbiotic relationship which exists between the university and industry.
Magister Scientiae graduate, Fiona Koch, who specialised in Botany, submitted a dissertation entitled: “The contribution of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification expressed in terms of costs and benefits to the conservation value of species diversity in the Southern Cape, South Africa”.
While MTech Nature Conservation graduate, Andri Cornelius’s dissertation is entitled: “ The management of extralimital giraffe (giraffe camelo-pardalis) in the mosaic of the Southern Cape, South Africa, fellow MTech Nature Conservation graduate, Carika van Zyl focused on: “The use of roving creel survey to monitor exploited coastal fish species in Goukamma Marine Protected Area, South Africa”
“Veldram performance testing of dopper rams in Namibia: performance testing, progeny testing and factors influencing sale price of rams” is the title of the deserving dissertation which earned Herman Grobler his Master’s (MTech) degree in Agriculture. Pieter Lombard’s dissertation for this qualification focused on “Yield response of the three canola genotypes (Brassica Napus) in the South African Environment”.
MTech Forestry graduate, John Eggers looked at “Acacia Mearnsii Debarking: Comparing different debarking technologies in the Kwazulu-Natal and Mpumalanga forestry regions of South Africa”.