Description: Community Engagement Keywords: University of the Free State, community engagement, service learning, Open Day, awards
Dr Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector: External Relations

Description: Community Engagement Keywords: University of the Free State, community engagement, service learning, Open Day, awards
Rev. Billyboy Ramahlele, Director of Community Engagement

Description: Community Engagement Keywords: University of the Free State, community engagement, service learning, Open Day, awards
The 2013 Vice-Rector’s Award for Community Engagement, in recognition of Outstanding Service, Commitment and Excellence in the field of Community Engagement, has been awarded to the following individuals and organisations:

CATEGORY: External Partner
MOTIVATION: The Heidedal branch of Child Welfare demonstrates exceptional commitment towards their partnership with the Faculty of the Humanities in terms of various community-engaged activities of the Faculty. Their care for and service to more vulnerable community members of Heidedal take many forms, inter alia running a homework centre for children who need various forms of assistance.

Prof Matie (MJH) HOFFMAN
CATEGORIES: Community Service and Research
MOTIVATION: Through Prof Hoffman’s longstanding commitment to the University’s functions at the Boyden Observatory, exceptional opportunities for community service, service learning, research and international cooperation are created on a continuous basis. He is also at the forefront of the new Planetarium that is being erected at Naval Hill, which again confirms the University of the Free State’s role as a community-engaged institution by bringing stars and people together.

Mr Patrick (PV) KAARS
CATEGORY: External Partner
MOTIVATION: Mr Kaars enthusiastically maintains several relationships with the University of the Free State pertaining to the various service learning modules that are implemented in collaboration with REACH Our Community (ROC). He has an exceptional grasp of the theoretical underpinnings of service learning and his engagement with students goes beyond the expectation.

Dr Dawid (DA) KUYLER
CATEGORY: Service Learning
MOTIVATION: The service learning module that Dr Kuyler offers is unique in South Africa and most relevant in our context. It provides students with a theoretical framework for pastoral care of law offenders and victims of crime, as well as practical experience in counselling inmates who committed various kinds of crime.

CATEGORY: Community Engagement (General)
MOTIVATION: In her role as UFS Community Engagement representative of the University of the Free State at the Qwaqwa campus, Ms Matsoso shows extraordinary commitment through organising and supporting the various community engagement projects that are implemented in the region, such as the Dihlabeng Schools Initiative, the “green” Basa Magogo Project, and the Resilience Network Project.

Councillor Tjhetane MOFOKENG
CATEGORY: Leadership in Community Engagement
MOTIVATION: For his excellent leadership as Executive Mayor of the Dihlabeng Local Municipality in creating various opportunities for educational interventions to the benefit of local learners and educators, as well as his leadership in unifying residents through the Social Cohesion Project, in partnership with the University of the Free State.

Dr Luzelle NAUDÉ
CATEGORIES: Service Learning and Research
MOTIVATION: Dr Naudé’s dedication to service learning as pedagogy has already resulted in a considerable number of published articles. Based on her outstanding knowledge she is the “go-to” person in matters pertaining to service learning within the Faculty of the Humanities. She also provides ongoing capacity-building for colleagues, at both institutional and national level.

Mrs Ielse SEALE
CATEGORY: Service Learning
MOTIVATION: Mrs Seale is an ambassador, outstanding leader and a passionate lecturer committed to developing students as co-academics in community engagement and service learning. She inspires colleagues and assists them in the development of service learning modules and research projects. She also provides ongoing support for various partnerships.

Prof Gert (GJ) VAN ZYL
CATEGORY: Leadership in Community Engagement
MOTIVATION:  As Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Van Zyl provides outstanding personal leadership and support to staff members and students of the Faculty in their quest for achieving excellence in the various forms of community engagement related to the health professions.

CATEGORY: Service Learning
MOTIVATION: In the relatively short time that she has been involved in service learning in the School of Nursing, Ms Venter has shown exceptional growth, enthusiasm and passion for community-engaged work. She inspires students, external partners and colleagues as she works her way towards becoming a truly engaged lecturer and scholar.

Prof Pieter (P) VERSTER
CATEGORY: Community-engaged Research
MOTIVATION: Prof Verster has published extensively on a topic critical to South Africa, namely poverty. Most of the research is the product of community engagement activities and service learning programmes implemented together with students, in partnership with non-profit organisations based in informal settlement areas and the central business district of Mangaung.

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