Dr Rawlinson was awarded the SAERA Award for the best doctoral dissertation in 2018

Dr Rawlinson was awarded the SAERA Award for the best doctoral dissertation in 2018

Dr Wendy Rawlinson receiving SAERA AWART at SAERA Conference 24 Oct 2019

The School of Education from the Durban University of Technology (DUT) hosted the South Education Research Association (SAERA) 7th Annual Conference at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban from Wednesday 23 to 25 October 2019 which was attended by delegates from over 25 universities.

The theme of the conference was “Beyond boundaries: Exploring possibilities through research and innovation.”

DUT’s, Dr Wendy Rawlinson from English and Communication in the Faculty of Arts, was awarded the SAERA Award for the best doctoral dissertation in 2018.

Dr Rawlinson’s thesis was entitled: “Exploring my Communication Pedagogy in Diverse Undergraduate Classes at a University of Technology: A Self-study of Practice.”

It was judged by the SAERA panel to be the best thesis and met the criteria of making an original contribution to knowledge; showing a high degree of research quality; and having potential impact to bring about educational change.

“I feel honoured to have received this SAERA reward because I respect the work and focus of SAERA, who fosters the interconnectedness of research, teaching and learning. I value their uncompromising stance on the rigour of research, as well as the independent review process that was used to evaluate my thesis,” said an ecstatic Dr Rawlinson.

She further added that she was grateful to her supervisor at UKZN, Prof Daisy Pillay, whose knowledge and insights deepened her work and who encouraged her to produce a thesis of high quality. “I am also appreciative of the input from a self-reflexive group I am part of whose members include scholars and novices from a number of different universities, including DUT. I appreciate the support from my faculty, Arts and Design, who provided opportunities to attend research workshops and conferences, such as this one where I have presented my work in progress. The validation of my work has made my mother, children and grandchildren proud,” she said.


Dr Wendy Rawlinson is passionate about employing new ways of knowing how to transform teaching and learning. Her current engagement with undergraduate students’ entails creating space through self-reflexive writing practices to develop more socially just practices and empower student voices.

Pictured: Dr Mthiyane (from the School of Education) presenting Dr Rawlinson (English and Communication) with the award.

Waheeda Peters

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