(Published - 2 May 2019)
The University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Faculty of Community and Health Sciences (CHS) hosted its annual research symposium on Thursday 25 April 2019 to showcase some of the work the faculty has been doing as well as to honour outstanding scholars. This year, the symposium included five platform presentations and an exhibition of abstract samples from publications and conference presentations as well as posters.
Topics presented included “Building a research team” by Professors Anthea Rhoda and Firdousa Waggie, “Lessons for establishing a research presence through dissemination” by Professor Michael Rowe as well as “Networking and collaboration” by Professor Lisa Wegner. Keynote speaker Professor Andrew Boulle, from the University of Cape Town, spoke about his groundbreaking work, “Using personal-level health data for improving health outcomes in the Western Cape”.
Event co-ordinator Professor Mario Smith explained that the symposium, now in its sixth year, was initiated by Professor Josè Frantz (current Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation) as the then-Dean of CHS. The symposium has grown into a fully fledged platform to further the research agenda on community and health sciences, and exhibit work that has been published and presented at conferences in the previous academic year.
“This has been a very useful platform that has helped people identify co-supervisors, collaborators and examiners,” said Prof Smith. “It has been a very good platform for synergising and moving the research agenda forward.”
Prof Smith indicated that CHS graduated approximately 200 masters and 26 PhD students in the 2018 academic year. “Some of our colleagues have been engaged and cited by other external researchers [and] we sometimes don’t know about it. Their work gets lost in the reports and an event like this helps showcase and celebrate them. We want to create a buzz around research conducted in the faculty, inspire emerging researchers and challenge staff to think forward,” he said.
At the event, students and academics, as well as support staff members, who have excelled in the past year were recognised with awards and certificates in the following categories:
- Outstanding conference presentation: Mr Babatopi Ayed, PhD student, School of Public Health
- Outstanding publication: Dr Smart Mabwezeara, PhD graduate, Department of Sport, Recreation and Exercise Science (SRES)
- Outstanding poster presentation: Ms Teneil Bell, Department of Occupational Therapy
- Outstanding conference presentation: Dr Verona Matthews, School of Public Health
- Outstanding publication: Ms Ronel Davids, Department of Social Work
- Outstanding poster presentation: Dr Liezel Ennion, Department of Physiotherapy
- Outstanding conference presentation: Prof Felicity Daniels and Prof Jennifer Chipps, School of Nursing
- Outstanding publication: Dr Tania Steyl, Department of Physiotherapy
Academic support staff
- Outstanding administration in support of postgraduate research: Mr Denver Ernest, Examinations and Graduations Office
- Outstanding administration at faculty level in support of postgraduate research: Ms Noxolo Memani, Faculty Officer: Undergraduate Studies, Faculty of Community & Health Sciences