LAW STUDENT CHAPTER MEETINGS

LAW STUDENT CHAPTER MEETINGS

Law students aiming to be prosecutors were informed about the career – and in particular the Trainee Prosecutor Programme - during Law Student Chapter meetings recently held on the Pietermaritzburg and Howard College campuses.

The goal of the two events was to give students an opportunity to engage with legal representatives about skills development, career prospects and other opportunities available to them when they obtain their qualifications and join the work force.

The meetings were co-ordinated by the Alumni Relations office of the Corporate Relations Division (CRD) and were attended by a total of about 280 students, a Convocation Executive member and staff from both the School of Law and CRD.

Guest speakers from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Senior Public Prosecutors Ms Roshiela Benimadho and Ms Xoliswa Ndoyana, briefed students on the Aspirant Prosecutor Programme offered by the NPA. The prestigious programme offers 200 candidates prosecutorial training annually however, Ndoyana warned students of the gruelling selection process.

‘We only accept 10 candidates per centre (20 centres in South Africa) because the tutor has to be able to give each candidate individual attention. We will equip each candidate with basic and practical skills on how to interpret and understand Statutes. I have been with the NPA for 22 years and I can tell you that law is not a stagnant career,’ she said.

The impressive turn out at both events was an indicator that students are keen to find out about opportunities open to them and to discuss their future plans. Apart from inquiring about the entry requirements for the programme, students also asked about safety measures when dealing with dangerous criminals.  Ndoyana assured students that as representatives of the law they would always be well protected.

‘The reality is that we deal with criminals but as a Prosecutor you must remember that you have the power. As the attorney of the people you are just doing your job and the person you will be prosecuting understands
author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

MEDICAL PARASITOLOGY EXPERTS CONTRIBUTE TO DOH NATIONAL STAKEHOLDER MEETING

MEDICAL PARASITOLOGY EXPERTS CONTRIBUTE TO DOH NATIONAL STAKEHOLDER MEETING

Dr Lungi Mkhize-Kwitshana, a Research Co-ordinator from the College of Health Sciences, led a delegation of UKZN Medical Parasitology experts to represent the University at the National Department of Health multi-sectoral stakeholder meeting in Pretoria.

The delegation comprised of Professor Meera Cheegan, Professor Myra Taylor, Professor Jane Kvalsvig, Professor Joyce Tsoka-Gwegweni and Professor Eyrun Kjetland.

Aims of the meeting included the revival of Medical Parasitology Research and intervention activities, implementation of the WHO recommendations of regular deworming and preventive chemotherapy in school children and other vulnerable individuals, and a review of policy documents regarding the prevention and treatment of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthes.

Mkhize-Kwitshana and Kjetland presented evidence of the impact of soil transmitted helminths and schistosomiasis on the transmission and pathogenesis of HIV, while Taylor and Kvalsvig shared their vast experience on previous school deworming programmes with the delegates.

The meeting included the Director, Deputy and Assistant Directors of the Communicable Diseases Control Directorate, Provincial Directors, the Medicines Control Council (MCC) and representatives from the University of the North and the University of Pretoria.

Mkhize-Kwitshana said: ‘The highlight of the meeting was to engage the MCC in facilitating access to treatment (scheduled drugs) among the worse-affected segments of the population.’


author email : francism@ukzn.ac.za

KUBUNGAZWE IZINKONDLO ZIKAPATON

KUBUNGAZWE IZINKONDLO ZIKAPATON

Isifundo sika-Alan Paton kulonyaka sigxile ezingxenyeni zepolitiki ezisezinkondlweni zikaPaton.

 

Isifundo sethulwe uSolwazi wezifundo zesiNgisi uMbongeni Malaba, okwamanje oyi-academic leader kundikimba yezolimi nezezincwadi, ebesibanjelwe ehholo iColin Webb e-UKZN esikhungweni saseMgungundlovu.

 

Isifundo besibizwa ngokuthi: “Could you not write otherwise? The Political Dimension of Alan Paton’s poetry”.

 

Inkondlo ekuthathwe kuyo lenkondlo : Could you not write otherwise?, yabhalwa uPaton kuNcwaba ka1948, kulandela ukuphikisa komuntu othile wesifazane ngemibhalo enepolitiki nangobandlululo eyayitholakala ezinkondlweni zakhe.

 

Umsebenzi wokubhala kukaPaton kwaqala esangumfundi eNatal University College ngeminyaka yo1920 eyashintsha yabizwa ngeUniversity of Natal, ebhala izinhlobonhlobo zezinkondlo ezazishicilelwa kuNatal University College Magazine.

 

Emva kwesasasa leCry, the Beloved Country, ukubhala kwakhe kwagxila kakhulu ezizweni namasiko ahlukene eNingizimu-Afrika, nezinkondlo bezikhuluma ngepolitiki nangezenkolo.

 

“Women in Academia: Is there a recipe for success?” was the title of a much anticipated UKZN-initiated workshop presented by Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, 2005 South African Woman of the Year Awardee and recipient of the NRF President’s Award. 

 

The answer to the presentation poser - according to Chimsamy-Ruran - is: “There is no recipe!”

 

Female academics faced several obstacles on their route to success. ‘Endless family commitments, gender discrimination, socio-cultural attitudes, institutional culture and a lack of role models, mentors and networks are some of the challenges facing aspirant women academics,’ said Chinsamy-Turan.

 

The workshop was organised by the College of Health Science’s Women in Leadership and Leverage Committee (WILL). The aim was to enhance teaching and research excellence in women in order to achieve senior academic positions and increase the leadership capabilities of women in academia by enhancing their professional skills and networks.

 

The workshop outlined that given the socio-cultural norms and stereotypes existing in our society it should come as no surprise that the rules of the game for success in academia are different for men and women. Expertise, commitment, drive and ambition are often not enough to guarantee women achieve in academia.

 

Furthermore, the success of women in academia was dictated by a suite of multi-faceted factors: some often beyond a person’s personal control, others decree hard choices, and many (the majority) demand acrobatic, balancing acts. 

 

In her welcome address, Professor Thirumala Govender, Vice Chair: Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences and leading researcher in Pharmaceutics at UKZN, said she was certain every woman who made it to the workshop was determined to achieve highly in academia.

 

Currently a palaeobiologist based at the Zoology Department of the University of Cape Town where she is also Head of the Department, Chinsamy-Turan is an inspiration to many woman who as
author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN STUDENT VUSI MATHEBULA TELLS OF HIS TIME AT DRAKE UNIVERSITY…

UKZN STUDENT VUSI MATHEBULA TELLS OF HIS TIME AT DRAKE UNIVERSITY…

After an 18-hour flight from O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg I arrived at my destination - Atlanta in the United States.

It was not the final destination, rather just one of my destinations. I would have loved to tour the city but time was against me as I had to catch a connecting flight to Iowa and a city called Des Moines where I was welcomed by snow and freezing temperatures. Des Moines is a fairly small city and with true determination one can bike all the way around it in just a few hours - something I achieved!

My personal belief is that the people make a place what it is and their attitudes are a true reflection of what it has to offer. Individuals in Des Moines are very kind and friendly. The city might be small but there are a lot of attractions one can go to in order to keep boredom at bay.

I remember during the first week of my arrival I went ice skating with a group of other international students from Malaysia and Zimbabwe. It was a first time experience and I did not fall as much as I thought I would (not that I would say if I did). Although I must admit that seeing a six year old ski flawlessly past me while I was trying so hard not to fall by holding onto the walls was quiet embarrassing to say the least.

Drake University is similar to Edgewood in size. It is small and intimate; so are the classes. My first week of class was very interesting because that was when I noticed I was the only male in some of my classes.

Now, depending on your attitude, this could either be good or bad. In my case it was a bit of both. My class schedules were quite workable because I had normal class from Monday to Wednesday then an evening class on Thursdays. Almost everything was technology-oriented and that made the overall learning and understanding easier.

The teaching was simply exceptional. It is similar to that of UKZN due to its active nature, critical thinking objectives and engagement. But the smaller class ratios make it a bit more effective than the latter.

People who consume alcohol have a higher likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behaviour and getting infected with HIV than teetotallers.

 

They are also less likely to adhere to their HIV treatment while binge drinkers are the least likely to take their medicine!

 

These are some of the findings of research conducted by Dr Paul Shuper, an independent scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAHM), and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto, Canada.

 

Shuper presented these findings at a recent presentation in Durban organised by the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) which is co-ordinated by UKZN’s Enhancing Care Initiative (ECI).

 

The presentation focusing on the causal impact of alcohol consumption on HIV acquisition and HIV treatment adherence was the first of a monthly MEPI Lecture series.

 

Shuper is an Affiliate of the Centre for Health, Intervention, and Prevention (CHIP) at the University of Connecticut, whose research focuses on behavioural and psychological factors associated with health outcomes, particularly in the area of HIV and AIDS.

 

Within this context, Shuper established a program of research on alcohol and HIV and AIDS that involved a multi-faceted approach, including controlled experimentation to identify alcohol’s causal role in HIV acquisition and HIV transmission.

 

He is co-Investigator in an ECI KwaZulu-Natal study that involves the development, implementation, and evaluation of theory-based interventions targeted toward people living with HIV and AIDS, with the aim of reducing HIV transmission risk behaviour and increasing adherence to antiretroviral therapy.

UKZN’s Student Surgical Society has held its first surgical skills session at the Department of Surgery’s Skills Laboratory at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine (NRMSM).

 

For some of the students, it was the first time they were exposed to suturing while others were in attendance to master the technique.

 

The session started with an introductory lesson on correct surgical scrub and etiquette in theatre. All were amazed at how quickly three hours had passed.

 

These sessions are open to members of the society and the first session was attended by students ranging from first to final year who wanted to enhance their practical skills.

 

Mr Xolani Ntombela, Chairperson of the Surgical Society, said the session ensured participants left feeling confident about tying reef knots single-handedly, performing an elliptical incision to excise a lipoma (an adipose tumour that is often located in the subcutaneous tissues of the head, neck, shoulders and back), and closing this incision.

 

He said the Society anticipated more and more students would join these sessions. Non-members were encouraged to sign up and attend as well.

 

The Society holds its next session on May 4 at NRMSM.


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

HONING RESEARCH SKILLS IN THE HEALTH SCIENCES

HONING RESEARCH SKILLS IN THE HEALTH SCIENCES

Academics and postgraduate students in the College of Health Sciences benefited from a Database Searching and Endnote training session at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine (NRMSM) recently.

 

Initiated as a staff development activity, the training was a hands-on opportunity for all - even postgraduates - to hone their research skills by learning useful ways to source research articles, journals, books and audio-visual databases using the latest global search engines.  

 

The session was presented by Mrs Nonkuthalo Mchunu, Campus Librarian at the NRMSM, who enlightened participants about the scope of databases available for on and off-campus use.

 

Mchunu advised all those at the session to take advantage of the expensive resources UKZN had made available for research.

 

UKZN’s Libraries encompass five campus libraries and a number of branch libraries. Together, the libraries contain more than 1.4 million volumes of journals, books, theses, reports and other print media. In addition there is an audio-visual collection and access to a growing number of electronic resources.

 

Participants said the session was an eye-opener and they had benefited from the various methods explored to access databases.


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

TWO UKZN RESEARCHERS RECEIVE NRF A-RATING

TWO UKZN RESEARCHERS RECEIVE NRF A-RATING

Professor William Bishai, the Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) and Professor Linda Richter, an Honorary Professor in Psychology and a Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, have been awarded an A-rating by the National Research Foundation (NRF).

This is a special honour indicative of the international recognition by peers of the contribution by these researchers to the body of knowledge.

Bishai is the first permanent Director of K-RITH. Prior to joining K-RITH, he was co-Director of the Centre for Tuberculosis Research at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he worked after completing a postdoctoral fellowship with Nobel Prize winner Hamilton O Smith in 1994.

Bishai’s research has focused on understanding how and why the tuberculosis bacillus has been so successful at infecting humans. Understanding the fundamental interactions that occur between the microbe and human cells is a critical step in developing new drugs or vaccines to treat tuberculosis and the pathophysiology of tuberculosis. He is the author of more than 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and receives grant support from the National Institutes of Health.

Bishai serves on several editorial boards and review panels. He is the co-Chair of the World Health Organization’s Working Group for New TB Drugs, which is part of the Stop TB Partnership.

Richter is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the HSRC. She has conducted extensive basic and policy research in the fields of child, youth and family development as applied to health, education, welfare and social development.

Richter has published more than 250 papers and chapters in the fields of child, adolescent and family development, infant and child assessment, protein-energy malnutrition, street and working children, and the effects of HIV and AIDS on children and families, including HIV prevention among young people. Her papers have appeared in, among others, Science, the Lancet, and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). She is the author of several books and monographs.

‘On behalf of
author email : online@ukzn.ac.za

LAUNCH OF PSYCHOLOGY LAB PAVES THE WAY FOR QUALITY RESEARCH

LAUNCH OF PSYCHOLOGY LAB PAVES THE WAY FOR QUALITY RESEARCH

The recent opening of a new Psychology laboratory on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus by the Dean of Research, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, signals a clear commitment to fostering quality research.

Although described by Psychology’s Dr Michael Quayle as a "very modest facility", comprising of 20 computers, some desks, chairs and recording equipment, the new lab will revolutionise the way research is conducted in the Discipline.

‘At UKZN we are not only interested in research quantity, but in the quality of the data we collect and the theory and critique we generate,’ said Quayle.  ‘This Facility will help staff and students run tightly controlled experiments with excellent internal validity and data integrity in a way that is simply not possible with the paper-and-pencil methods we have used in the past.’

The Facility and its high-tech equipment will enable Psychology to generate the same high quality of research as that produced at any top university in the world. According to Psychology’s Professor Kevin Durrheim: ‘It will allow us to do the kind of research that will put us in high-impact journals.’

At the launch, research interns and postdoctoral students demonstrated some of the state-of-the-art computer equipment and applications in the Lab. 

One of the applications for conducting experimental research is MediaLab, a highly flexible tool for providing participants with multimedia stimuli and tailor-made questionnaires and scales to suit any type of research.  Types of stimuli used on MediaLab include video files, powerpoint shows, sound clips, images, word documents and pages from the internet. 

Another software program, Virtual Interaction Application (VIAPPL) facilitates the study of how processes of social interaction emerge over time. It allows the researcher to investigate how interactions are informed by previous actions and how actions within a social context create network connections between individuals, which are of key importance in the study of social interaction.   

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