Things have been quiet for members of the New Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP) cohort since the University of Cape Town (UCT) – and the country – responded to the first cases of COVID-19 infection. Since then, UCT steadily put measures in place to enforce social distancing, reduce risk and eventually followed the president’s decree into lockdown.
Meetings of the nGAP cohort have ceased, although communication has not. Email and other technologies have ensured that the cohort remains united. Dr Linda Price is offering a space for members to meet virtually via Zoom to have coaching conversations. These are designed to share experiences of academic life within the context of the current uncertain and challenging work and social contexts.
“Familiar boundaries between work and personal life are far less delineated than in the past, and we tend to fulfil various life roles within one space,” said Price. “It can therefore be helpful to identify the many relationships that comprise our lives and put structures in place to meet their different requirements.”
The cohort was fortunate to have the first writing retreat of the year scheduled in the first week of March, before the COVID-19 restrictions were put in place. Zevenwacht Wine Estate played host again and the 13 people who attended all confirmed, again, that it was a very productive and congenial time.
We were fortunate to have on the retreat Professor Ojelanki Ngwenyama (Department of Information Systems, UCT) and Professor Hanne Westh Nicolajsen (IT University of Copenhagen). Professor Ngweynama supervises the doctoral studies of Ayanda Pekane, an nGAP member.
Further posts awarded in Phase 6
A few months ago, UCT received the news that it had been awarded a further five posts in Phase 6 of nGAP. These are in the following departments: civil engineering; environmental health; information systems; mathematics and applied mathematics; and theatre, dance and performance studies. This is the third time that UCT has been awarded a full house (the maximum of five posts permitted by the application process).
In this newsletter we introduce three newly appointed Phase 5 lecturers. Colin du Sart (mechanical engineering), Dylan Valley (film and television studies) and Bianca Arendse (organisational psychology). We also introduce Dr Maxwell Chirewha, a new nGAP associate from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology.
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