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Postgraduate student continues to excel

Date Released: Thu, 12 May 2011 15:45 +0200

Anisa Vahed, who is reading for her PhD in Higher Education Studies at Rhodes while carrying out her regular role as a Lecturer in Dental Technology at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), recently received the 2010 Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Award from the DUT.

As the first recipient of the award, Vahed told Sunday Tribune Herald journalist Charmel Bowman that the award was a special one as her students and colleagues were celebrating along with her. She also made mention of her family, and particularly her grandfather, who financed her studies and who would, she says, “be very proud of me if he were still alive.”

Vahed began working in the dental technology department of the DUT in 1999, while studying towards her Masters. When the opportunity arose, in 2003, she applied for and was appointed to a teaching role in the department. Prior to this she had taught only on a volunteer basis, but, she says, becoming a teacher, although an unexpected career twist, has been extremely life enriching. Vahed teaches first and second year students, concentrating on morphological and anatomical dental concepts. She is an innovative teacher, making use of educational games and aids in order to get students interested in the subject, and she believes in providing a nurturing learning environment for her students.

The Teaching Excellence Award has stringent requirements attached to it. One has to be nominated; Vahed's Head of Department forwarded her name. She then had to hand in an application which included a portfolio showcasing her teaching and experience. In her case, this was three ring folders thick. Her submission was scrutinised by a committee made up of internal and external members, who then made the decision. She has also received the 2009 Educator of the Year Award, from the Dental Technology Association of South Africa, and the National Excellence Award in Teaching and Learning from the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa.

has travelled extensively in countries as diverse as India, South America and Canada. She is, she says, an adrenalin junkie who loves extreme sports, but she credits her stable and caring family environment, and her strong faith, as contributing to her success.

Sourced from the Sunday Tribune Herald