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What’s new at SAEON?


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SAEON’s Chief Research Scientist, Professor William Bond, was the most recent recipient of the prestigious South African Association of Botanist’s Gold Medal. The award was conferred at the South African Association of Botanist’s Annual Meeting at the University of the Free State.

The Gold Medal is the highest award that SAAB makes and is conferred on South African botanists on the basis of outstanding research and significant contributions to the advancement of botany. It is only awarded to exceptional candidates. Prof. Bond is only the 14th recipient in SAAB’s 48-year history.

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Shaun Deyzel of SAEON’s Elwandle Node received the Best Student prize for his sterling performance in the New Managers' Development Programme (NMDP) in 2015. The NMDP is presented by the National Research Foundation (NRF) in collaboration with the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

The aim of the NMDP is to enhance the skills and competencies of upcoming new managers. It centres on the building of leadership and management skills, complemented by some basic functional skills.

According to Shaun the programme's thought-provoking and informative contact sessions, presented by world-class facilitators, were well structured to cover challenging and the most relevant topics ranging from NRF business to global issues.

"It is the direct engagement I enjoyed most, along with lively debates with classmates and facilitators alike," he explains.

"With regard to personal learning, the NMDP not only offered a unique opportunity to develop hard-skills pertinent to business, but also an opportunity for serious introspection necessary to improve one’s leadership and teamwork skills."

Shaun says he found it satisfying to work with such a diverse group of fellow NRF employees, his fellow participants, from whom he has gained a tremendous amount of insight into NRF business.

"I am grateful for the opportunity the NRF has granted me and it has without a doubt impacted positively on my working and private life. Sincere thanks are also due to the University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development (USB-Ed) team for making the NMDP such an unforgettable experience."


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Leazill Peenze, SAEON’s HR practitioner, successfully completed the Managers' Development Programme (MDP) in 2015. This programme focuses on the analytical and strategic application of management and leadership principles. It was presented by the NRF in collaboration with USB-Ed.

The 15 participants from the NRF’s facilities were divided into three groups, each consisting of five people. As part of the programme each participant had to complete four individual assignments as well as one group assignment under the watchful eye of the team sponsor. The title of Leazill’s group task was “Investigating the establishment of a centralised academy within the NRF to optimise the training and development of our people”.

"The course was a catalyst for personal growth and development," Leazill says, "and the knowledge and insights derived can only be described as priceless.

"All in all, the course was a truly enriching and inspiring experience and I would definitely recommend it to my colleagues."

 


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An article co-authored by Dr Albrecht Götz of SAEON’s Elwandle Node, titled “First survey of fishes in the Bettys Bay Marine Protected Area (MPA) along South Africa’s temperate Southwest coast”, appeared in African Journal of Marine Science 37: 543‐556.

 

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