NMMU honours George Campus staff for excellence in teaching and learning

NMMU George has been acknowledged in three categories of the prestigious annual NMMU research and teaching awards. 

NMMU George Campus Principal, Prof Christo Fabricius was elected by his peers as campus researcher of the year, while Johan Jordaan, Senior Lecturer, Economics and Business Management in the Agricultural Management Programme was acknowledged as the George campus Emerging Researcher of the Year for 2011. 

The George campus Excellent Teacher 2011 Award was presented to BCom lecturer, Jane Fountain. 

These well-deserved accolades are based on excellent research and teaching outputs for 2010 and follow after a rigorous evaluation process. 

Prof Derrick Swartz, Vice-Chancellor of NMMU presented the awards at the annual NMMU Research and Teaching Awards Dinner in Port Elizabeth. 

Prof Christo Fabricius, who took up the position as NMMU George Campus Principal in January 2008, holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town. 

He is also a researcher of note who specializes in resilience and sustainability science; traditional knowledge; trans-disciplinary research; conservation policy making; and academic project management. 

Fabricius is fascinated by complexity and resilience in social-ecological systems. In 2010 he published or co-published four journal papers, a book chapter, a multi-authored book, got three papers accepted for publication and delivered two keynote addresses at symposia. 

The Sustainability Research Unit, which he leads, works closely with the Garden Route community to influence the future. Prof Fabricius serves on various international editorial boards and scientific committees. 

Johan Jordaan has played a leading role in establishing the Agricultural Management Programme of the George Campus as an integral part of the School of Natural Resource Management. 

His interests are in the areas of Farm Business Management; Strategic Management; Entrepreneurship; Environmental/Resource Economics. 

Jordaan has published and presented both locally and internationally in the discipline of agricultural business management, specifically in the fields of animal production, land reform, knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship. His current research focuses on Financial, Economic and Entrepreneurial issues in agro-based enterprises. 

He holds a B.Sc. Agric (Hons) and MBA degree from the University of Stellenbosch. 

BCom Lecturer in Financial and Management Accounting and co-ordinator of all of the Extended BCom programmes offered at George campus, Jane Fountain’s passion for teaching and capabilities as administrator earned her the George campus Excellent Teacher of the Year award. 

She has played a key role in the setting up and running of the BCom extended programmes while teaching Financial and Management Accounting at the second and third year level. 

She graduated with a BCom degree from the University of Natal and successfully completed a BCompt (Hons), followed by a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (SP and FET Phase). 

She is a teacher of high repute and cares for each student as if they were her own children. She is experienced in running an accounting practice and tax consultancy. 

The NMMU policy in terms of which these prestigious awards are made confirms that excellent teachers and facilitators of learning are more than just “good performers”. They have to demonstrate: 

• a high degree of subject/discipline expertise, and expertise in approaches to teaching and learning facilitation that motivates and inspires students to learn, become independent learners, and enhance their development; 

• leadership that enhances student learning, success and development; 

• involvement in engagement activities related to teaching and learning and enhancing student success and development. 

A good reputation amongst students and peers and peer recognition was another requirement that had to be met. 

Congratulations to all recipients! You have raised the bar in terms of the value of excellence and made us proud!

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