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 Post-Doctoral Research Fellows


Dr Onoriode Collins Potokri is a Post-Doctoral Research, read more..

Dr Onoriode Collins Potokri is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Education Leadership and Management. He obtained his doctoral degree (Education Policy Studies) from the University of Pretoria. His Bachelor of Science and Education (Honours) in Economics and Master’s (M.Ed.) degree in Educational Management were both obtained from the Lagos State University, Nigeria. In addition, he is a qualified Chartered Administrator (MCIA). He has presented papers and served as invited guest speaker at different conferences/seminars. He has supervised to completion thesis of masters and doctoral students. His research interests include education policy/management; women in education and development; economics of education; and research methodology. He is author and co-author of several articles, books, chapters in books and conference proceedings. He was the managing editor of the International Journal of Educational Development in Africa (IJEDA), a UNISA based Journal and till date reviewer for different journals (national and international).  


Dr Beatrice Akala is a Post- doctoral fellow, read more..

Dr. Beatrice Akala is a Post- doctoral fellow, University of Johannesburg. Until recently, Beatrice was based at the University of Witwatersrand, school of education as a PhD student, researcher, academic tutor and examiner (education psychology, philosophy and sociology) and teaching experience (TE) supervisor. Beatrice is a researcher; her research interests are in the area of human rights and democracy in education. Her current research interests and outputs are in the following areas; gender, equity and equality policies; higher education transformation policies and social justice. Beatrice is also a research assistant, working with a team that is looking at rurality in South African higher education (South African Rurality in Higher Education -SARiHE). She is also qualified as a Kiswahili educator, which she has taught in various institutions in Kenya and South Africa.  


Dr Sylvestre Nzahabwanayo is a PhD holder in Philosophy of Education, read more..

Dr. Sylvestre Nzahabwanayo is a PhD holder in Philosophy of Education obtained from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) in 2016. His doctoral dissertation reads: “Citizenship and values education in post-genocide Rwanda: An analysis of the Itorero training scheme for high school leavers”. His research area is Political Philosophy applied to Education including issues, such as citizenship, values, peace, democracy, and human rights education. Dr. Nzahabwanayo is also a Lecturer at the University of Rwanda, College of Education (UR-CE). In terms of academic membership, he is the co-founder of The Rwandan Philosophical Association (ARPHI), a forum geared towards making the Rwandan philosophy an engine for peace, unity, reconciliation, and development.  


Dr Sarah Coetsee holds a PhD degree from the University of Johannesburg, read more..

Sarah Coetsee holds a PhD degree from the University of Johannesburg with focus on teaching approaches of mathematics in the nexus of learning styles and teaching styles. She is passionate about how the construct of ‘style’ transfer into real mathematics classrooms. Sarah conducts postdoctoral research on mathematical thinking styles and its implication for pedagogical development.  


Dr Lucia Munongi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, read more..

Dr Lucia Munongi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Education. She obtained her PhD in 2016. She has vast experience in teaching, both in public and private high schools. She also has lecturing experience in teachers’ training colleges. Her research interest is in children’s rights.  


Dr Zvisinei Moyo was born in Zimbabwe. She attained a Diploma in Education, read more..

Zvisinei Moyo was born in Zimbabwe. She attained a Diploma in Education at the University of Zimbabwe in 1997. In 1998 she began working for the Ministry of Education as a teacher. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education in 2005 and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration, Planning and Policy Studies in 2008 from the Zimbabwe Open University. When she moved to Johannesburg- South Africa in 2009, she began working as a teacher for the Gauteng Department of Education. In 2016, she attained her Doctor of Education Management degree from the University of South Africa. In 2015- 16, she worked for the Gauteng Department of Education as an Inclusion and ICT Facilitator. Currently she is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of educational leadership and management at the University of Johannesburg.  


Dr Florence Taiwo Ogunyemi, fondly called Taiwo, is a teacher, researcher read more..

Dr Florence Taiwo Ogunyemi, fondly called Taiwo, is a teacher, researcher, and an advocate of child’s rights and early childhood education. She is a Senior Lecturer at Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria, and currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Department of Childhood Education, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She had all her university education at Nigeria's premier university – University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Her doctoral thesis is titled "Epistemological Relevance of Constructivism in Early Childhood Education in Nigeria". Dr Ogunyemi has a number of publications on children's education issues in national and international outlets. She belongs to many national and international associations including OMEP International and International Society on Early Intervention. Taiwo is married with children. 


Dr Loïse Jeannin is passionate about adult education and teacher read more..

Dr Loïse Jeannin is passionate about adult education and teacher professional development in multicultural environments. Her Ed.D dissertation with Walden University (United States) was on Professional development needs of faculty members in an international university in Thailand. She is an economics and management teacher (BSc & MSc., Paris School of Economics) and has taught in various international universities in France (Paris) and Thailand (Bangkok). As a teacher, Loïse enjoys empowering adult learners to develop their potential and grow professionally. She succeeded at the national competitive examination to teach economics and management in France (Agrégation, 2008) and was ranked first at the national level. Loïse conducts postdoctoral research on inclusive/multicultural education and teacher professional development in international universities. She will continue participating in international conferences and looks forward to pursuing research on her topics of interest.   


Dr Felix Omal holds a PhD degree from the University of the Witwatersrand read more..

Dr Felix Omal holds a PhD degree from the University of the Witwatersrand with focus on the role of university councils in South Africa. He specializes in politics of higher education at the Ali Mazrui Centre for Higher Education Studies. His academic work focuses on developing critical African perspectives to university governance in a globalizing world.   


Dr Nevensha Sing holds a PhD in Higher Education more..

Nevensha Sing holds a PhD in Higher Education and a MEd in Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand. She has worked as a lecturer, tutor, writing centre coordinator, mentor, and an independent contractor. Her research interests include Student Experience, Vulnerability, Support, and Retention. She is also interested in internationalisation, globalisation, partnerships and the marketisation of higher education. Nevensha attributes her communication ability to her extensive experience in basic education having served as both a primary and high school educator, school based support team manager, head of department and guidance counsellor. She brings with her a strong and valued background in working with learners, students, parents, staff, management and stakeholders at all levels in the education field.   


Dr Nic Spaull is currently a postdoctoral fellow within the SARCHi read more..

Dr Nic Spaull is currently a postdoctoral fellow within the SARCHi Chair for Integrated Studies for Learning Language, Mathematics and Science in the Primary School. Nic was recently awarded the Thomas J Alexander Fellowship by the OECD, and before that was a Visiting Scholar in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University in the United States. Nic has a PhD in economics and has published numerous journal articles on education focusing on assessment, accountability, literacy and education policy in South Africa. The research he has conducted in the current postdoc focuses on language in the primary school, and specifically on second-language learners. One area was on oral reading fluency and comprehension, co-authored with Prof Elizabeth Pretorius, and was published earlier this year in the prestigious international journal "Reading & Writing" (Springer - DOI 10.1007/s11145-016-9645-9). He will also be publishing his other UJ research on assessment titled "Disentangling the Language Effect in South African Schools" which will appear in the South African Journal of Childhood Education (SAJCE) later this year. Nic is also a research fellow at Stellenbosch University and sits on the Joint Advisory Committee of the South African Human Rights Commission. He has recently been awarded an ESRC/DFID grant to research exceptional township and rural schools in South Africa in 2016/17/18. Nic has been involved in a number of research projects for local and international organisations, including the South African Presidency, the Department of Basic Education, UNICEF, the EU, UNESCO and SACMEQ. The most recent of which was the "Binding Constraints in Education" project for the South African Presidency and the EU. He advises numerous NGO's , policy-makers and grant-making bodies, and also regularly updates his website ( with new research and articles he finds interesting. 


Dr Mani Rajbhandari Research interests; Educational Leadership, read more..

Mani Rajbhandari, Research interests; Educational Leadership, Leadership Readiness, Leadership Maintenance, Leadership Behaviour, Leadership on Climate and Culture in Educational Settings.   


Dr Genevieve Richards life’s work has been on the improvement of read more..

Since her first year as an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) the focus of Dr.Genevieve Richards life’s work has been on the improvement of socioeconomic and academic opportunities for students in marginalized communities all over the world. Over the last 15 years her search for the solutions to the educational and social issues affecting student learning and performance has taken a number of forms. However, at the heart of every endeavor is the motivation to find solutions that will academically and socially engage students and the community of people who serve them.   


Dr Asamenew Demessie Bireda, completed his BA degree in English language read more..

Asamenew Demessie Bireda, completed his BA degree in English language & literature and MA degree in Educational psychology (Measurement & Evaluations) both from Addis Ababa University and PhD degree in psychology (developmental Psychology) from University of South Africa. He has worked as a teacher, journalist, and lecturer. Since 2007 he has been working at University of South Africa as a student counselor and Academic reading & writing facilitator. He has presented papers in different conferences and published articles in an internationally accredited peer reviewed journals. In 2015 the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) awarded Dr. Bireda a Prize for innovation and Best Practice in Open, Distance, Flexible, Online Education and E-learning at the 26th ICDE World Conference, Sun City, South Africa. He is currently, a post-doctoral research fellow within the faculty of Education at University of Johannesburg and his research revolves around resilience among orphans and vulnerable children. His research interest areas fall under developmental psychology (child & adolescent development); counseling (career development); social psychology (identity development and interpersonal relationships) and Higher Education (Open Distance Learning, student support, and research supervision).   


Dr David Balwanz has fifteen years of research and evaluation, program design read more..

David Balwanz has fifteen years of research and evaluation, program design and program management experience in the field of comparative and international education. His experience is focused in the sub-Saharan Africa region and includes extensive work in Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia working with a variety of organizations, including the Department for International Development, the Global Partnership for Education, the World Bank, USAID and Ministries of Education in several countries. David is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg. His recent research has focused on secondary education and youth development in middle-income countries. For his postdoctoral fellowship, David is conducting research on community-run programs operating in townships in Gauteng which support the ‘holistic development’ of secondary school aged youth. David has published research on the secondary education, post-school education and youth development in South Africa and holds a PhD in International Education Policy/Political Economy from the University of Maryland-College Park. 


Dr Nicky Roberts research interests include: School improvement, read more..

Nicky Roberts research interests include: School improvement and cost-effective systemic change in education, Early mathematics learning (ECD and Foundation Phase) with a focus on the integration of mathematical thinking and big ideas in mathematics into rich language learning (using story telling), The use of technologies (particularly m-learning to reach and support carers and teachers of young children), and Special educational needs in mathematics. Most of Nicky's current research is in mathematics education and technology enhanced learning. She is able to move between the academic realms and the commercial consulting research environment. Nicky brings extensive commercial research experience undertaken for a wide range of research clients including private sector companies (Telkom, MTN, Nokia, Microsoft, Ernst & Young, KPMG), international donor agencies (GIZ, DFID, UNESCO, UNICEF), government agencies (National, Provincial and local governments as well as various Sector Education and Training Authorities). She has managed both small and large scale research projects. The large scale projects have spanned several countries and many have been multi-year assignments. She has been responsible for the project scope, budgets and related financial and human resource management of the research.  


Dr Sarah Godsell completed her Honours degree on the history read more..

Dr Sarah Godsell completed her Honours degree on the history of the small town Rooiberg in 2008, with a focus on the dynamics of the town after the life-force of the town, the tin mine, closed down. Both her MA and her PhD (Blurred Border's of Belonging:Hammanskraal Histories 1942-2002, 2015) were on the area north of Johannesburg, Hammanskraal. Focal points of the thesis included an engagement with spatial theory, looking how Hammanskraal has different histories and was different things to different people at different times. This engagement is pushed further into South African historiography, calling for investigations into multiple, simultaneous histories, and examining how space is seen in South African history. Her current work is interested in how history is learnt by education students, and what this means for how these future teachers understand the concept of history, and so how they will work with it in our primary school classrooms. 


Dr Emily Sitienei (PhD) is a Kenyan citizen has a Bachelor of Education degree, read more..

Emily Sitienei (PhD) is a Kenyan citizen. She obtained her Bachelor of Education degree (Mathematics and Geography), Master of Philosophy in Guidance and Counseling and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Psychology from Moi University. She is accredited counselor and a member of Kenya Counseling and Psychological Association. She has worked as a teacher and student counselor in several secondary schools in Kenya and with a Community Based Organization as a counselor for Orphans and vulnerable children and persons living with HIV/AIDS. In 2011, she got employed in Moi University as Lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology under School of Education. In 2014 she was promoted as Senior Lecturer and was appointed a Coordinator for Kericho Satellite Campus of Moi University. She has published articles in peer reviewed journals and attended conferences. Currently she is a Post Doctorate Research Fellow in the Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus. Her main research interests are on psychological and social challenges facing members of the society, psychosocial interventions for HIV/AIDS persons and for orphans and vulnerable children, impact of psychological counseling on psychological and social wellbeing of members of the society. Her main hobbies are listening to music, interacting with people and traveling to new places.