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26 February 2019 | Story Eugene Seegers | Photo Eugene Seegers
Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Daniella Coetzee, South Campus Principal, Tshegofatso Setilo, Director Access, Prof Prakash Naidoo, Vice-Rector Operations
Prof Francis Petersen, Prof Daniella Coetzee (Principal: South Campus), Tshegofatso Setilo (Head: Access Programmes), and Prof Prakash Naidoo (Vice-Rector: Operations) on the South Campus for the welcoming of first-years.


“Welcome to the South Campus of the University of the Free State!” Addressing a packed Madiba Arena, Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, said he was happy to see not only first-year students, but also parents and guardians, student leadership, and support staff from both the Bloemfontein and South Campuses.

 “I would like to congratulate each of our first-year students for making the decision to come to Kovsies to further your studies here. But I would also like to thank you for making this choice,” he continued.

Prof Petersen further emphasised that the students’ experience and success as individuals are important to the UFS as an institution; therefore, academic and support staff are on hand to guide them through their journey to becoming well-rounded individuals. “We will surely take care of you,” said Prof Petersen. He also reassured parents and guardians that their loved ones would be well looked after.

The Rector also focused attention on the role of student-leadership structures, such as the newly-formed Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) and South Campus SRC, members of which were present in the audience. He thanked them for playing a key role in the student constituency, highlighting their support and guidance to help first-years cultivate a sense of belonging at the UFS.

Turning back to first-year students, Prof Petersen stated that they have the unique opportunity to study on a campus specifically focused on developing their full potential, a campus where they can realise their dreams. “Your arrival on the campus marks a new chapter in your life. This chapter is slightly different, as you are the author thereof. The previous chapters in your life were largely written by others—your parents, guardians, families, teachers, and others. You will now be the main author in the next chapter of your unique story.”

“At Kovsies, we believe in developing students in their totality as human beings, not just the academic side. May your time with us equip you to make a success of your life after university!”

Prof Petersen’s Message to First-year Students
  1. Take responsibility for your academic programme.
    • Keep your focus. Study and study hard. You will reap the rewards and see the advantages of making success in your studies a top priority.
    • Make sure that you have enough time for your studies; balance your social life and your time set aside to study.
  2. Realise and remember that you are not alone.
    • If you find things difficult, seek help.
    • Our Department of Student Counselling and Development has trained staff and tailor-made programmes that can assist you.
    • Look after your mental health—and look after each other’s mental health.
  3. Make the most of your time at Kovsies.
    • Join one or more of the student organisations; why not try something new?
  4. Embrace difference and diversity.
    • Get to know students who are different from you.
    • You will lose valuable opportunities to grow if you only associate with your own all the time. It is important to get to know students who are different from you. It could be someone from a different part of the country, or from another country, a different ethnicity, a different religion, someone who has different views from yours, or who has different interests and perspectives.

News Archive

Mineral named after UFS professor
2017-09-29

Description: Mineral tredoux Tags: International Mineralogical Association, tredouxite, Prof Marian Tredoux, Department of Geology, Barberton 

Tredouxite (white) intergrown with bottinoite (light grey),
a complex hydrous alteration product. The large host
minerals are nickel-rich silicate (grey), maybe willemseite,
and the spinel trevorite (dark grey).


More than five thousand minerals have been certified by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). One of these minerals, tredouxite, was recently named after an academic at the University of the Free State (UFS). 

Tredouxite was named after Prof Marian Tredoux, an associate professor in the Department of Geology, to acknowledge her close to 30 years’ commitment to figuring out the geological history of the rock in which this mineral occurs. The name was chosen by the team which identified the new mineral, consisting of Dr Federica Zaccarini and Prof. Giorgio Garuti from the University of Leoben, Austria, Prof. Luca Bindi from the University of Florence, Italy, and Prof. Duncan Miller from the UFS. 

They found the mineral in the abovementioned rock from the Barberton region in Mpumalanga, in May 2017.

In the past, a mineral was also named after Marie Curie
With the exception of a few historical (pre-1800) names, a mineral is typically named either after the area where it was first found, or after its chemical composition or physical properties, or after a person. If named after a person, it has to be someone who had nothing to do with finding the mineral.

Prof Tredoux said: “As of 19 September 2017, 5292 minerals had been certified by IMA. Of these, 81 were named after women, either singly or with a near relation. Marie Curie is named twice: sklodowskite (herself) and curite (plus husband). Most of the named women are Russian geoscientists.”

Another way to assess the rarity of such a naming is to consider that fewer than 700 minerals have been named after people. Given that there are by now seven billion people on the planet, it means that a person who is granted a mineral name becomes one in 10 million of the people alive today to be honoured in such a way. To date, over a dozen minerals had been named after South Africans, three of them after women (including tredouxite).

It contains nickel, antimony and oxygen
The chemical composition of tredouxite is NiSb2O6 (nickel antimony oxide). This makes it the nickel equivalent of the magnesium mineral bystromite (MgSb2O6), described in the 1950s from the La Fortuna antimony mine in Mexico.  

“This announcement is of great academic importance: the discovery by the Italian team of a phase with that specific chemical composition will undoubtedly help me and my co-workers to better understand the origin of the rock itself,” she said. She also expressed the hope that it may raise interest in the Department of Geology and the UFS as a whole, by highlighting that world-class research is being done at the department. 

The announcement of this new mineral was published on the International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification website, the Mineralogical Magazine and the European Journal of Mineralogy.

 

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