University of Johannesburg (UJ) Director of the UJ Soweto Science Centre and Associate Professor in the Physics Department, Prof Azwinndini Muronga has been announced as the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals by the University of Minnesota, in the USA.
Prof Muronga has been invited to the University of Minnesota to present a public lecture and interact with the university and the surrounding community.
The Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals is a University-wide award, at the University of Minnesota, for alumni, former students, and friends of the University who have distinguished themselves in their post-university work as leaders in their professional careers.
These professionals will have attained unusual distinction as professionals in their careers within institutions or in public service and have either demonstrated sustained outstanding achievement and leadership, or demonstrated promise of such on a local, national, or international level.
Prof Muronga obtained his MSc in Theoretical Physics at the University of Cape Town, which he completed effectively in one year and was awarded a distinction. With the success of his MSc he was invited to apply for a PhD programme at the University of Minnesota in the USA, which he completed in 2002.
Since returning to South Africa, he has been involved in: Science Awareness Programmes; Science Faculty community outreach programmes; motivational and science-related career guidance talks across South Africa; participating and organizing events during annual National Science Week; capacity building in theoretical physics and science in general especially from historically disadvantaged communities.
“It is such a great honour to be recognised by one of the top ten research universities in the USA. It is also humbling to know that my work, both scientific and community involvement, is recognised by the international community. This award will uplift the dreams of an African child”, Prof Muronga said.
“It is because UJ allowed me to do my research and teaching while at the same time carrying out community related projects across South Africa, that this award will put the University closer to some of the best universities in the international stage, such as the University of Minnesota”, he added.