Dedicated DUT lecturer voted Educator of the Year

2009-06-29 00:00

A WOMAN with a heart for teaching is how Durban of Technology University lecturer Anisa Vahed views herself.

When she was recognised by the Dental Technology Association of South Africa (Dentasa) as the Educator of the Year at its annual general meeting held in Johannesburg recently, she could not believe it.

“It is wonderful to be acknowledged by a professional body such as Dentasa. It reassures me that my work is progressing.”

Vahed lectures in dental technology, a profession she has followed for the past decade and still thoroughly enjoys, considering that she discovered teaching by default.

When she graduated from the then Technikon of Natal in 1998, dreams of establishing her own lab were fresh in her mind.

Though she cherished the experience, the “crazy” hours of working in the industry were not her cup of tea and she landed back at the technikon in hot pursuit of a master’s degree.

“I found doing my master’s degree to be time-consuming, stressful and a lot of hard work.

“I started asking myself why in the world I was doing it. That’s when I knew that it was actually driven by the fact that I wanted to pursue an academic career, and here I am 10 years later with no regrets.”

Her passion was justified when she joined the graduate assistant programme and she learned the ropes as a junior lecturer without pay.

Vahed has been instrumental in creating learning games such “Muscle Mania”, something she describes as a niche area in game-based teaching and is aimed at stimulating students’ thinking.

She is presently reading for a Ph.D.

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