Always there for the students

19 April 2004

This week's Five-Star Staffer, Sandy Smuts, with head of botany, Assoc Prof Jeremy Midgley.

Nothing is ever too much for Sandy Smuts, an administrative assistant in the botany department.

This is according to head of department, Associate Professor Jeremy Midgley, who nominated Smuts as this week's Five-Star Staffer.

"Sandy is well versed in the academic and financial issues affecting the department and gets on superbly with all academic, technical and cleaning staff as well as with our students. Despite the multitude of queries she deals with on a daily basis, including those from the public, she gets through a phenomenal amount of work.

"She always appears to enjoy her work and maintains a cheerful disposition throughout the day," Midgley added.

For Smuts, who has been with the department for the past 12 years, it is all about being there for the students.

"I go out of my way to know what is happening in the department so that I can assist and advise our students. I see it as a challenge to not turn a student away and to help solve all of their problems. "It is also wonderful to work with people who are passionate about what they do and this is part of the reason I have chosen to stay in the department for so long," Smuts concluded.

(If you would like to nominate a five-star staffer, please e-mail Helen Théron on

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