Awardees, from left to right: Mr Kah William Chu, Mr Lesibana Jairus Lamola, Miss Bianca Lee Davids, Miss Tafadzwa Mabate,
Mr Lebohang Ngwenya, Mr Metse Mamabolo, Miss Khanyisile Ngema and Mr Bennet Dintsi.
The Department of Chemistry at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), hosted its annual Top Achievers Award Ceremony at the Kingsway Campus on Thursday, 20 April 2017.
The awards were presented to 8 students who obtained the highest marks, with distinctions, in Chemistry, ranging from first year to Honours, with the staff from the Department, parents and representatives from sponsoring companies in attendance.
Professor Reinout Meijboom, the Head of the Department of Chemistry presided over the occasion and welcomed all the guests. He thanked all the sponsors for their unwavering support over the years without which these awards would not be possible.
The Faculty of Science's Vice Dean for Research and Postgraduate Studies, Professor Andre Strijdom, delivered a short keynote speech and thanked the awardees for their commitment to excellence and told them that the Faculty is honoured to have them as students because they are among those who make a contribution to the University's global stature and that he is confident that wherever they end up in life, they will keep on raising the University of Johannesburg's flag high. With a personal anecdote from his own undergraduate years, he got everyone in stitches by revealing that as a mathematician at heart, he gave up Chemistry in third year because of Organic Chemistry. "I could comprehend every aspect and solve every mathematical equation in Physics and other branches of Chemistry but Organic Chemistry was something else. My Organic Chemistry lecturer, trying to allay my fears, said: it is easy, you only need to count up to four since carbon can only make a maximum of four bonds. However, the massive structures of intriguing molecular architectures presented in the course made it all more confusing. I therefore quietly salute the students each time I walk past the Chemistry laboratories and see them cooking stuff because I know that if NASA was to look for students to go and do further chemistry research at zero gravity, they sure would choose some of the awardees we are honouring today."
The prizes were awarded to:
Best 1st Year Student in the 4 Year Physical Science Degree Programme (Sponsored by the Department of Chemistry)
Mr Bennet Dintsi and Miss Khanyisile Ngema
Best 1st Year Student in Life and Environmental Sciences (Sponsored by Bruno Steiner Lab Consultancy)
Mr Metse Mamabolo
Best 1st Year Student in Physical Sciences (Sponsored by Perkin Elmer)
Mr Lebohang Ngwenya
Best 2nd Year Student in Chemistry (Sponsored by Shimadzu)
Miss Tafadzwa Mabate
Best 3rd Year Student in Chemistry (Sponsored by Merck SA)
Mr Kah William Chu
Best Honours Student in Chemistry (Sponsored by AECI)
Miss Bianca Lee Davids
Student Completing BSc Honours in Chemistry Cum Laude (Sponsored by the Department of Chemistry)
Mr Lesibana Jairus Lamola