Ms Thashni Pillay, a 20-year-old from Phoenix, Durban, is UKZN’s first student to graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Medical Science (Anatomy) degree.


This was exciting news for her proud and supportive family and friends who recall that from the time she was a little child, she always saw herself pursuing a career in the medical field.


Driven by the motto: Never give up no matter how hard things may get, Pillay achieved 14 Certificates of Merit and five Dean’s Commendations during the duration of her studies at UKZN. In her final year of study, Pillay was elected the Anatomy Class Representative.


‘I have worked hard in my studies from my first year so when I received the news that I achieved summa cum laude, I was very happy to know that my hard work had paid off.’


Pillay said apart from being close to home, UKZN was her institution of choice as it offered a good variety of career options. ‘I enjoyed all the modules that were incorporated in my degree.  At times it does become challenging but my enthusiasm for my subjects, especially anatomy, had made me eager and excited to learn more.


‘It’s not only about the theory behind the modules, but also the exciting and intriguing practicals that enable students to have a “hands on” experience,’ she remarked. 


Pillay said her fondest memory of UKZN was how friendly both the students and staff were. ‘It is a big step adjusting from a school environment to a campus one, and having this friendly and lively atmosphere makes you feel more comfortable.’


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