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Donovan Neale-May
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Rhodes University Alumni Accolades

Guy WhiteClive J. Shiff, PhD
Associate Professor
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr. Clife Shiff has been awarded the 2018 Distinguished Rhodes Alumni Award. Shiff serves as an Associate Professor at John’s Hopkins within the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Department. His main research interests are in the study of tropical parasitic diseases, particularly schisosomiasis and malaria under African conditions.

Shiff serves as an Associate Professor at John’s Hopkins within the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Department. His main research interests are in the study of tropical parasitic diseases, particularly schisosomiasis and malaria under African conditions. In this capacity, he also serves as the PI and lead scientist running the Malaria Institute at Macha, Zambia. This functions as a core facility for the Research community at Johns Hopkins University, with a focus on field research. A South-African native, he has successfully championed an environmental, Africa-specific model for the west’s response to parasitic diseases in the continent of his birth. Due to his expertise, he holds a position within the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Integrated Vector Control, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Committee on DDT and its use against malaria. He received his Master of Science and PhD in Zoology at Rhodes University.

Prof NyokongDr. Gordon M. Cragg

Dr. Gordon M. Cragg obtained his undergraduate training in chemistry at Rhodes University, South Africa, and his D. Phil. (organic chemistry) from Oxford University in 1963. After two years of postdoctoral research at the University of California, Los Angeles, he returned to S. Africa to join the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. In 1966, he joined Chemistry Department at the University of South Africa, and transferred to the University of Cape Town in 1972. In 1979, he returned to the US to join the Cancer Research Institute at Arizona State University working with Professor G. R. Pettit. In 1985, he moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, and was appointed Chief of the NCI Natural Products Branch in 1989. He retired in December, 2004, and is currently serving as an NIH Special Volunteer. Dr. Cragg's major interests lie in the discovery of novel natural product agents for the treatment of cancer and AIDS, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary and international collaboration. He has given over 100 invited talks at conferences in many countries worldwide, and has been awarded NIH Merit Awards for his contributions to the development of the anticancer drug, Taxol® (1991), leadership in establishing international collaborative research in biodiversity and natural products drug discovery (2004), contributions to developing and teaching NIH technology transfer courses (2004), and dedicated service to the NCI in developing and maintaining evidence-based PDQ cancer information summaries for health professionals and the public (2010). In 1998-1999 he was President of the American Society of Pharmacognosy and was elected to Honorary Membership of the Society in 2003; he was named as a Fellow of the Society in 2008. In November, 2006, he was awarded the "William L. Brown Award for Plant Genetic Resources" by Missouri Botanical Garden which also named a recently discovered Madagascar plant in his honor, Ludia craggiana. In April, 2010, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science by his South African alma mater, Rhodes University, and in March, 2012, a special issue of the Journal of Natural Products was published in his honor. Dr. Cragg has established collaborations between the NCI and organizations in many countries promoting drug discovery from their natural resources. He has published over 150 chapters and papers related to these interests.

Prof NyokongLifetime Achievement Award

Prof Nyokong from Rhodes University was presented with a National Research Foundation (NRF) Lifetime Achievement Award at the 28th annual awards ceremony held in Port Elizabeth on 27 August 2013. She is currently the Director of the Nanotechnology Innovation Center and her research focus is on the development of molecules similar to the ones used to dye blue jeans. These can be used as chemical sensors to detect disease-related molecules and organisms, as an alternative to chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer and for environmental clean-up. We salute a phenomenal scientist who has moved the boundaries of scientific research, as well as a woman who serves as a role model for all young girls.
Watch her story...

Stelana KlirisStelana Kliris

Stelana Kliris is a South African Cypriot writer/director with a background in editing and production on international film and commercial productions in Greece and Cyprus. The brands she has worked with include Samsung, T-Mobile, Omega and Infinity Cars. She graduated from Rhodes University in South Africa and spent the next 10 years working in the film industry, starting with commercials and then moving to cinema. She has directed two short documentaries and two short films, one of which received an award at the Drama International Short Film Festival in Greece. She is currently developing two feature films that she wrote and intends to direct. Her first script, The Wedding Plan, has been optioned by an international production/distribution company, and Committed is her second script. Learn more about her work at www.stelanaklirisfilms.com

Kliris has gathered the support of the top production companies in Cyprus who, like her, want to see local films reach an international audience. Their combined experience and facilities have allowed her to keep costs low and guarantee a world-class production.

Paula HeronSteuart Pennington

Deputy Vice-Chancellor : Research and Development  Dr Peter Clayton presents Steuart Pennington (71) with the Distinguished Old Rhodian award in recognition for his work on promoting South Africa. Steuart has authored and edited nine books on South Africa and manages www.sagoodnews.co.za. His  nominator Donovan Neale- May stated "Steuart has worked tirelessly over the past ten years to bring about positive change in this country. His work has in many respects changed the South African narrative and brand perception worlwide. He had delivered a sense of balance and context which has become globally influential amongst the South African Diaspora." In reading the citation Dr. Peter Clayton said "Steuart’s mantra is ‘We don’t describe the future we see, we see the future we describe’ this speaks volumes about his approach to his work."

Paula HeronPaula Heron receives the 2012 NCAS National Student-Athlete Day Giant Steps Award for Civic Leadership

UK Physiology Department’s very own, Paula Heron has just been awarded the NCAS (National Consortium for Academics and Sports) 2012 Steps Award for her work as a civic leader.  In this category, Paula was nominated along with other athletes April Holmes (paralympian athlete with her own foundation); Uta Pipping (world champion marathoner with her own foundation) and Herschel Walker (Heisman trophy winner and motivational speaker). Her tireless efforts with the Tri 4 Freedom organization http://tri4freedom.org/ which raises awareness of human trafficking, and her accomplishments as a triathlete have gained her national recognition.

Paula will receive her award at the 2012 Giant Steps Awards Banquet and Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on Thursday, October 4 in Orlando, Florida.  This banquet will recognize Paula and numerous other athletes and individuals for their academic achievements, their contributions to society and their commitment to effecting positive social change through the power of sport.

Rob MacLeanOld Rhodian Wins Double Gold

Fellow Old Rhodian Rob MacLean (60), who attended Rhodes in the early 70's,  won Two Gold Medals in the Masters Division at the recent World Canoe Marathon Champoinships held in Singapore. Rob won Gold in the K1 kayak event beating a couple of Kiwis along the way as well as Gold in the K2 event with his partner Enslin van Riet.

Rob's strength and balancing skills were no doubt perfected  at Rhodes  when he effortlessly climbed up a 5 meter lampost outside the Drostdy Arch on Rag Day, much to the delight and cheers of his inebriated mates.

Steve Jourdan,another Old Rhodian of the late 60's was the Team Manager of the Group in Singapore.

Congratulations Rob, it shows there is still some strength in those old bones despite all the beer consumed. Some of us cannot even tie our shoe laces at your age!

Prof Judith BishopProf Judith Bishop awarded a "Distinguished Old Rhodian Award"

Judith has been one of the pioneers of academic Computer Science in South Africa.  She graduated with a BSc Hons in 1972 and received her Masters in 1974 from the University of Natal.  She completed her PhD in 1977 at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.  She is a leading female academic in a field that is largely male dominated and thus has provided a valuable role model for other women Computer Scientists.  She received a DTI (Dept of Trade and Industry) Award for Distinguished Women in Science in 2005.

Judith is now the Director of Computer Science at Microsoft Research, based in Redmond USA.  Her role is to create strong links between Microsoft’s research groups and universities globally, through encouraging projects, supporting conferences and engaging directly in research.  Her expertise is in programming languages and distributed systems, with a strong practical bias and an interest in compliers and design patterns.

She has written over 95 publications, including 15 books on programming languages that are available in six languages and read worldwide.  She is currently an Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town. Judith serves frequently on the international editorial, programme and award committees, and had received numerous awards and distinctions, in particular the IFIP Outstanding Service Award in 2009 and the IFIP Silver Core Award in 2006 for service to the worldwide computer science community, the Computer Society Fellowship Award in 2008.  She is a Fellow of the british Computer Society, the Royal Society of South Africa and many other prestigious bodies.

Mike BrutonProfessor Mike Bruton MSc, PhD, FLS, FRSSAfr

From an early age, Mike Bruton took a curious liking to goggas such as ants and bees -- and animal skulls. But it was during a fishing outing on the Nahoon River in East London that his innate interest in the world of natural science took firm root. So, when he enrolled with Rhodes University, he signed on for ichthyology (the study of fishes) as his area of focus. Today he is a revered scientist and expert in this field of study.

Bruton is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa. He was named as a Jaycees' Outstanding Young South African and received, among other awards, the British Association for the Advancement of Science Captain Scott Medal.

Bruton is an imagineering director at MTE Studios, Dubai and Cape Town. His primary task is to conceptualise, research, design and prepare signage for travelling exhibitions at science centres and museums including the MTN Sciencentre in Cape Town. Read More »

Buitendag Awarded Prize for Composers' Competition

Rhodes Music postgraduate student Kingsley Buitendag was awarded second prize of R40 000 in the jazz/popular music category of the SAMRO 2010 Overseas Scholarships competition for composers.

In order to qualify, Buitendag had to submit three pieces, one arranged for a quartet in a traditional South African style, one for an 18-piece big band in a traditional swing style, and one for a solo instrument in a Latin style. Once he was selected as a finalist, Buitendag had the opportunity to direct rehearsals with a professional band playing his own material, culminating in the competition finals on 28 August in Johannesburg.

Buitendag’s work for jazz quartet, Mr Gaulana, is a tribute to East London jazz guitarist and composer Lulama Gaulana and was performed by Roland Moses on piano, Mthunzi Mvubu on saxophone, Prince Bulo on bass guitar and Rob Watson on drums. His other piece, Sombras, for solo jazz piano, was performed by Moses. Read More »

Lisa Macleod appointed managing editor of the Financial Times in London

JUGGLING an annual budget of £54-million (R613- million) and managing a network of hundreds of staff in more than 25 countries is all in a day’s work for former Eastern Cape journalist Lisa Macleod.

Macleod, 37, who was appointed managing editor of the Financial Times in London earlier this year, was in East London last week as the Founder’s Day guest speaker at her alma mater Clarendon High School – where by no coincidence she held the position of the school magazine’s deputy editor.

Macleod went on to graduate from Rhodes University with a BA degree in journalism and anthropology, before honing her skills at Avusa-owned newspapers Daily Dispatch and Business Day in Johannesburg, where she rose to the position of managing editor before moving to England in 2003 to the Financial Times. Read More »

San Rock Engravings
Old Rhodian Neil Rusch and John Parkington Present San Rock Engravings

Neil Rusch is an independent publisher, writer and photographer. After studying journalism at Rhodes University, he entered publishing and later became the editor of SA Yachting magazine. His interest in rock art has remained constant throughout his career, and he acknowledges that the /Xam San have taught him much about rain, weather, wind and water. www.struiktravel.book.co.za.

Douglas Rogers Spotlight on Old Rhodian Douglas Rogers,
Author of New Memoir Set in Zimbabwe

The Last Resort by Douglas Rogers

Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe, (then Umtali, Rhodesia) in 1968, Rogers attended Chancellor Junior School, Mutare Boys High, and Prince Edward. In 1987 and 1988, he played league cricket in England, and provincial cricket in Zimbabwe before going to Rhodes University in 1989, initially to pursue a business degree, but he soon changed this to a journalism major. Rogers started his career as a city reporter on a Johannesburg newspaper, and then as a freelance news desk editor at Radio 702. He reported on South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994 for various newspapers and radio stations.

Rogers moved to London in 1994 and began writing for British newspapers and magazines. He has worked as a freelance feature journalist and travel writer ever since. Rogers is a frequent contributor to Travel & Leisure magazine in the U.S., and the Daily Telegraph and Guardian in the UK. He has been published in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, the Washington Post magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, El Mundo, the Sydney Morning Herald, the London Times, National Geographic Traveler, and elsewhere. He teaches travel writing at the Gotham Writers Workshop in New York, and has appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service, and the PBS show The Connection.

Rogers' first book, The Last Resort: A Memoir of Zimbabwe, will be published by Harmony/Random House in the U.S. in September 2009, and by Jonathan Ball in South Africa in October. A dark, comic, true-life thriller, it tells the story of his parents' struggle to hold onto their game farm and backpacker lodge in eastern Zimbabwe. Rogers lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is married to the journalist Grace Cutler. They have a daughter, Madeline, and a son on the way. You can visit his web site at www.douglasrogers.org.

Old Rhodian Bruce Copley

Dr Bruce Copley has spent the past 37 years totally engrossed in the most important business in the world - EDUCATION! The first 19 years were spent in formal academic education at three universities in South Africa (Pretoria, Rhodes and Witwatersrand) and at two universities abroad - Simon Fraser University in Canada and San Diego State in the United States of America. During this time Bruce was awarded six university degrees, received the prestigious British Association Medal for exceptional scientific research, and was a Professor and Head of Sports Science at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. For the past 19 years Bruce has immersed himself in the art and science of informal education. He has pioneered and developed a revolutionary holistic method of education and training known as COGMOTICS. Bruce creates unforgettable holistic learning experiences for people ranging from pre-schoolers to senior citizens. He is a leading holistic animator whose unique presentations at major international business conferences and seminars throughout the world consistently achieve the highest speaker ratings. Utilizing a remarkable array of activities and skills such as storytelling through a didgeridoo, vocal harmonics, commusication, drama, poetry, comedy, edutainment, holoprinting, etc., Bruce transforms boring conventional messages and topics into vibrant and captivating learning adventures. From these art-making experiences delegates rediscover the "learner within" thereby ensuring that something new is understood and/or something is newly understood.

New book by Cedric G. Tyler and Stephen R. Baker
Business Genetics: Understanding 21st Century Corporations Using xBML

Developed over thirty years and proven in over 500 projects within major organizations, xBML is the world's first scientific method for describing business. In essence, it unlocks the genetic code, and this information can then be called upon repeatedly to describe, plan and improve. Read this book to discover why unlocking your organization's Business Genetics will lead to quantifiable business improvement. Available from Amazon »

Craig Wylie wins BP Portrait Award

He beat 1,726 other entries with his first work, entitled K, a portrait of his partner Katherine Raw. Wylie, who celebrates his 35th birthday today, wins £25,000 and a commission from the National Portrait Gallery worth £4,000. The 2.1m x 1.6m oil on canvas was finished at the third attempt - he began work on the project in 2006 before starting his final version last year. Wylie was born in Zimbabwe and studied fine art at Rhodes University in South Africa before moving to London and setting up a studio in the East End. He said of the painting: “On one level the viewer’s intrusion into the sitter’s emotional state is tacitly accepted. On another it is positively rebuffed.”

Exciting times ahead for game, says cricket CEO

Dubai: Haroon Lorgat will take charge as the new International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Officer during the ongoing annual conference. He will become the third CEO in the ICC's 99 year history. Lorgat spoke about the challenges ahead of him. GULF NEWS: Are you all set to take up one of the most demanding posts in international cricket? Haroon Lorgat: Yes I am very excited and looking forward to it. All my senses are indicating that the organisation is in a fantastic position. It has got its challenges, but there is a lot of goodwill and I am pretty excited.

Environmentalists set off on 2-year voyage

Local environmental trailblazers Mike Markovina and Linda Schonknecht will embark on a two-year, 42-country expedition next month in a quest to create a documentary on international marine conservation efforts. They leave Cape Town on August 25 and return in 2010. The "Marine Resource Expedition," which focuses on the exploitation of marine resources, the effectiveness of marine protected areas and development of aquaculture, plans to drive across Africa, Europe and Asia by 4x4, a 2003 Toyota Land Cruiser with the words "Moving Sushi" aptly splashed along the side. Markovina, the expedition leader and Schonknecht, the expedition media head, will begin their two-year excursion in West Africa and move through Europe via Scotland, Norway and Finland.

Old Rhodian “Spike” Pike Rides the Wave of Publishing Fame

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 November, 2007: Double Storey Books is stoked to announce the release of Surfing South Africa by Steve Pike (known to many as Spike). Surfing South Africa is an indispensable resource for locals and visitors, packed with new information on South African surf spots, lore, history and culture, and illustrated by stunning photos and art from some of South Africa’s most eminent photographers and illustrators. Read More »

Old Rhodian, Khwezi Magwaza, Named New Seventeen Editor

Khwezi Magwaza has been appointed editor of seventeen magazine, effective November 5, 2007, publishers 8 Ink Media, have announced. Previous editor Justine Stafford has been promoted to editorial director of 8 Ink’s Youth Division. Khwezi Magwaza, seventeen celebrates its fourth birthday this year and according to 8 Ink, remains South Africa’s biggest selling youth title. This is largely attributed to the strong leadership of Stafford, whose new portfolio includes seventeen, National Geographic Kids, Phatstuff, DeLUXE and the newly launched Digital department. Magwaza, who has relocated to Cape Town from Johannesburg to take up this position, brings with her a wealth of experience. Born and raised in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, she attended the Wykheham Collegiate School for Girls before studying Journalism at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. She started off in fashion PR, working with clients such as Elle Magazine, before moving to youth radio station YFM, where she worked as events manager. Magwaza then returned to her first love of print journalism as a senior reporter at Heat magazine, as well as on-air host of Global Soul on YFM. In 2007 she was approached to launch SABC’s very first celebrity news and gossip show, “The Real Goboza”. At the end of the show’s first season, Magwaza now moves on to take over as editor of seventeen.

St. Claire Adriaan
Class of:
Postgraduate Diploma in Education
San Diego, CA

Lighthouse Academies is pleased to announce that St. Claire Adriaan will be joining the Villaview Lighthouse Community School as its Principal. Mr. Adriaan has been teaching for 17 years. Most recently, he has served as the Math Department level chair and grade level chair as well as Dean of Students at KIPP (KIPP: Knowledge is Power Program) Adelante Preparatory Academy. He has been not only a teacher, but a leader, mentor and coach. He has received many honors including Walmart North Carolina Teacher of the Year award in 2002, North Carolina Educator of the Year 2002, University of Kentucky Teacher who made a difference 2006 and 2007, Disney Teacher of the Year Honoree 2006 and San Diego's CW5 Dream Classroom Award 2006. Mr. Adriaan received his degree in Elementary Education from Dower College of Education as well as BA (Secondary Education), BA (Honors) - Post Graduate, B. Ed - (fifth year in Education) from University of Port Elizabeth, and a PGDE in School Leadership and Management from Rhodes University, all in South Africa.

Mya Louw (Mya van Harten)
Class of:
Fine Art
Location: Granite Bay, CA

Mya attended Rhodes from 1973 to 1976. In 1980 she married Etienne C. Louw, architect and partner at Lionakis Beaumont Design Group in Sacramento, Calif. She has two children: Nicholas who works and studies in New York, and Andrew attending UC Santa Cruz. Now a professional artist, she works on large landscape commissions for corporations and is represented by local art brokers and galleries. Annually she returns to Cape Town and hopes to set up another base there. "We love California, play golf and travel but South African friends and family are sadly missed." www.myalouw.com



Manager of Alumni Relations at Rhodes University.

How is Rhodes handling and prioritizing the growing number of financial aid requests from students?

  • Sound academic performance
  • Proven financial need
  • Willingness to make a minimal financial commitment to the University to pay fees
  • Mostly South African citizens
  • Signing of the acknowledgement of debt in instances where the family is unable to settle fees in full by the end of the academic year. This is done to ensure that academically sound students are permitted to progress to the next academic level so that the University is able to collect the funds once they have graduated and secured permanent employment.

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