Postgraduates welcomed: Photographed at the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences' first-ever welcome function for new postgraduate students were, from left (back): Prof Ahmed Azad, Director of Research; Prof Lafras Steyn, Head of the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences; and Prof Japie Louw, Chair: Postgraduate Programmes and Education Committee; and (front): Rebecca Felix, Cinda Cupido, Natalya Nikitina, Thandi Mgwebi and Alison September, all PhD students in Human Genetics and Cell Biology.
IN A FIRST for the Health Sciences Faculty, the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences held a welcome function for their more than 100 postgraduate students on February 13.
Communication was the main theme of the gathering, chaired by Professor Pauline Hall, Chair of the Postgraduate Programme's Committee (PPC) for the Department and hosted by Professor Japie Louw, who was deputising for the Dean, Professor Nicky Padayachee.
More than a social get-together, the event followed a structured programme designed to familiarise the postgraduate students with their new environment. There were talks by senior faculty staff, including a closing address by Professor Lafras Steyn, the Head of the Department. In addition, the students were introduced to Professor Ahmed Azad, Director of Research in the Faculty, as well as Heads of Departments and Divisions and administrative staff.
It was also an opportunity for newcomers to meet divisional and student representatives on the PPC, including Maia Matshikiza (MSc), Natalie Coutts (MSc); Alison September (PhD); Richard Kirsch (MMed) and George Rebello (Post-doctoral scientist), who braved the sea of faces to introduce themselves. The new 2002 honour's student representatives who will serve on the PPC this year were also at the function: Louise Bezuidenhout, Mamta Gajjar and Molefe Machaba.
The students also received some useful handouts including a "Who's Who" in the Faculty (both academic and administrative staff), and a PPC membership list, both complete with e-mail addresses, and a schedule for a new Basic Science Course in which many of the presentations will be by postgraduate students.
"We felt it was important to give our new postgraduate students, many of whom come across from the Science Faculty, some valuable, basic information to help them settle in," said Hall. "More importantly, the purpose of the function was to help the postgraduate students get to know one another, especially across the different Divisions in the Department."