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Emotional safety during examinations

Mid-year exams have begun and with crunch time comes emotional upheaval. However, it is manageable and should not deter you from the end-goal of succeeding in your studies while maintaining high mental health standards.

“The exam period is a time when stress and anxiety levels are higher than usual. Stress can be positive and help you stay motivated and focused. However, too much stress can be unhelpful and can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy,” says Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director of Student Counselling and Development at the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health, “Mental and emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. People who are mentally healthy are able to cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. But mental and emotional health requires knowledge, understanding, and effort to maintain. If your mental health isn’t as solid as you’d like it to be, here’s the good news: there are many things you can do to boost your mood, build resilience, and get more enjoyment out of life.”

For further details on topics including: Building Better Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence Toolkit, Benefits of Mindfulness, Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Cultivating Happiness, visit the Help Guide. 

Dr Barnaschone has a few tips on how Kovsies can better approach academic anxiety during the examination period. Here is what she has to say:

News Archive

First postgraduate degree in Forensic Genetics in Africa
2010-03-19

 
At the launch were, from the left, front: Ms Christa Swanepoel (Applied Biosystems), Ms Karen Ehlers (Department of Genetics, UFS), Dr Carolyn Hancock and Ms Vanessa Lynch (both from DNA Project). Middle row: Dr. Sphie Mukwana (Director: Biotech Forensics, Kenya), Mr Pierre Joubert (Director: SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory) and Prof. Johan Spies (Chairperson: Department of Genetics, UFS). Back row: Mr Izak van Niekerk (Southern Cross Biotechnologies) and Mr Loen Ehlers (National Prosecution Authority).
Photo: Stephen Collett


The Department of Genetics at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently launched the first postgraduate degree offered by a tertiary institution in Forensic Genetics in Africa.

“We are at the beginning of something special. The UFS has developed the programme with the aim of providing graduates with the skills and knowledge they would require to work in the field of forensic biology. These graduates will be the first group of professionals that have undergone tertiary training in order to assist in the resolution of crime through forensic science in South Africa. It has also put the UFS in the forefront of training of this nature,” said Prof. Johan Spies, the departmental chairperson.

According to Mr Pierre Joubert, Director at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Pretoria, students trained in this programme would easily be employed by the FSL since they would have the appropriate applied and technical training in forensic science.

Currently the FSL has no personnel with degrees in forensic science in its employ. It employs B.Sc. graduates in the fields of microbiology, genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry as forensic analysts. These employees then go through an extensive supplementary training programme for about six months.

Dr Sophie Mukwana, Director of Biotech Forensics in Kenya, said the launch of this programme in South Africa would benefit African countries like Kenya which relied on the USA for this kind of training. She said they hoped to partner with the UFS in this venture.

Applied Biosystems and Southern Cross Biotechnology have donated the necessary equipment to the UFS for this training.

“It is not only important that students should see the equipment but they should also know how to operate it,” said Ms Vanessa Lynch, from the DNA Project.

The DNA Project, in conjunction with the FSL and the UFS, has developed the learning materials which will be presented at the UFS from 2011.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  

19 March 2010
 

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