Selfless student leaders honoured

22 October 2010 | Story by Newsroom

Allison Powell, DVC Prof Crain Soudien, and Shannon BernhardThe Deputy Vice Chancellor Student Affairs' Student Leader Award was awarded to Allison Powell and Shannon Bernhard pictured here with DVC Prof Crain Soudien.

Because of his abundant achievements, almost everyone foretold that the 2009/2010 Students' Representative Council president, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, would walk away with this year's coveted Vice-Chancellor's Student Leader Award.

And when the announcement was made at UCT's annual Student Leadership Awards on 21 October, Mpofu-Walsh, who also scooped the Kerry Capstick-Dale Student Leader Award along with Dylan van Vuuren of Rainbow UCT, received a deserved standing ovation.

Described as an "inclusive, principled, team-oriented and inspirational leader", Mpofu-Walsh is a member of UCT Council, the Senate, the South African Union of Students' Extended Executive Committee, the Board of the South African Peace Alliance, and of the One Young World Africa Initiative. He also brainstormed and helped organise the successful inaugural African Student Leaders Summit, which was hosted by UCT in September.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Student Affairs Student Leader Award went to Allison Powell and Shannon Bernhardt; and the Executive Director: Department of Student Affairs Student Leader Award was shared by Sumaya Hndricks and Erik de Ridder.

The following awards were also presented on the night:

  • Most Outstanding Student Leader in an Undergraduate Student Faculty Council Award: Lungelo Gumede
  • Most Outstanding Student Leader in a Postgraduate Student Faculty Council Award: Faith Chirinda
  • Most Outstanding Student Leader in Sport: Xhanti Lomzi Nesi
  • Most Outstanding Student Leader in Community Service Award: Simon Mendelsohn
  • Most Outstanding Student Leader in a Residence Award: Kumbirai Gundani
  • Most Outstanding Student Leader in Media Award: Remy Ngamije
  • Most Outstanding Student Leader in a Society or Student Organisation Award: Richard Parker
  • The Ackerman Foundation Student Leader Award: Amanda Ngwenya and Tapiwa Tevera
  • UCT Student Team of the Year: Ubunye

Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Crain Soudien noted that he was moved by the total sense of giving the UCT students are demonstrating, many of whom were not among the award winners. As a public university, Soudien added, it is important for UCT to have confidence that it is sending quality individuals into the world.

"We like to think that we produce students with a healthy sense of proportion, a healthy sense of self-regard," he said.

Turning to the winners, Soudien said they represent "selflessness" in which self-gratitude counts as the least important.

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