With no less than 13 ceremonies scheduled to accommodate 6000 graduates from the university’s seven faculties, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s graduation season commenced on a high note at the civic centre in George recently where 250 George Campus-students crossed the stage to be capped by NMMU’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Derrick Swartz.
Prof Swartz encouraged graduates to “think out of the box” and to continue on the path of “lifelong learning”. An extract from the university’s inspiring congratulatory message to graduates reads as follows: “It is our wish that you will leave here today as proud NMMU graduates who will continue to champion social justice and equality, and be a change agent in building a better society and world”.
This annual highlight on NMMU’s academic calendar bears testimony to cutting-edge tuition, research and dedicated work by both lecturers and students.
Nearly 10% of George Campus graduates received their degrees or diplomas with distinction. This includes two distinctions at master’s level, achieved by students who graduated within NMMU’s Faculty of Science.
Masters degrees were conferred cum laude on Carina Becker who completed her MSc (Research) in the field of Botany, with her dissertation titled, “THE INFLUENCE OF SELECTED SOIL PROPERTIES ON SURVIVAL AND DISTRIBUTION OF PORTULACARIA AFRA”, commonly known as “Spekboom”; and Muedanyi Ramantswana whose area of specialisation is Forestry. Ramantswana graduated cum laude with the degree MTech: Forestry (Research). The title of his dissertation was: “A COMPARISON OF HARVESTER PRODUCTIVITY AND PLANTED EUCALYPTUS GRANDIS PULPWOOD COMPARTMENTS IN THE KWAZULU-NATAL FORESTRY REGION OF SOUTH AFRICA”.
Another MTech graduate, Michelle Whyte, did her research in the field of Nature Conservation. Her dissertation was titled: “SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS OF STAKEHOLDERS IN THE DUIWENHOKS WATER CATCHMENT”.
Lecturer in the Forestry Programme, Tiaan Pool, also added another qualification to his repertoire by graduating with the degree MTech: Forestry (Research). Pool, who has a special interest in Cilviculture and Fire Management, particularly from a biodiversity point of view, completed his dissertation on: “THE EFFECT OF MODIFIED FUEL LOADS ON FIRE BEHAVIOUR IN PINUS PATULA AND EUCALYPTUS MACARTHURII STANDS IN THE MPUMALANGA HIGHVELD FORESTRY REGION OF SOUTH AFRICA”.
Marketing lecturer, Adele Potgieter, was another NMMU George academic who graduated from NMMU this season. Potgieter received the degree MCom within the Business and Economic Sciences Faculty during an NMMU graduation ceremony in Port Elizabeth. Her dissertation was titled: “MOTIVATIONAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE EMPLOYEE AND ORGANISATIONAL PERFORMANCE”.
Other highlights of NMMU George graduation 2013
Students from the first intake admitted to the BEd (Further Education and Training) degree programme at NMMU George four years ago also graduated within the Faculty of Education this year. Nina Hanekom, the first education student from George Campus selected to participate in an international teaching experience programme abroad, along with seven top performers from the Port Elizabeth Campus last year, received the degree BEd (FET) with distinction.
NMMU’s BCom programmes also continue to deliver graduates of a high calibre who are sought after by industry. Ilanie Barnard, who graduated with the degree BCom (Accounting for Chartered Accountants) with distinction from NMMU George, last year participated in the prestigious Study Abroad programme: “Doing business in Europe” at HAN University in the Netherlands, along with 20 top students from countries such as Canada, Australia, England and America. Eighteen BCom degrees were awarded at the George Campus graduation ceremony, along with a range of National Diplomas within the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, within the fields of Management, Marketing and Tourism Management.
Within the faculty of Science, the BTech: Forestry and Wood Technology degrees and National Diplomas: Forestry and Wood Technology accounted for the largest group of graduates, and a number of distinctions, at the 2013 George Campus graduation. The BTech degrees and National Diplomas in Nature Conservation, Agricultural Management and Game Ranch Management also rendered graduates of a high standard.
National Diplomas in Information Technology were also awarded within the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology at the NMMU graduation session in George.
Masters in their field… Michelle Whyte (left) was awarded the degree MTech: Nature Conservation (Research), while the qualification, MSc (Research), was conferred on Carina Becker cum laude during NMMU’s recent graduation ceremony in George.