Media statement by Nomonde Mbadi, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs
Anisa Vahed Profile
The Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA) in association with the Council on Higher Education (CHE) have nominated a Dental Technology lecturer from the Durban University of Technology (DUT) as the recipient of their celebrated National Excellence in Teaching and Learning award.
Anisa Vahed is one of four recipients, out of a total of 48 candidates from across South Africa, to be awarded the 2009 title. The award will be presented to her at the annual HELTASA conference, which is scheduled to take place from 25-27 November 2009 at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). She will also receive the sum of R15 000, which is attached to the award, to further her research work at DUT.
Vahed was nominated for the National Excellence in Teaching and Learning award by the Dental Sciences HOD, Grant Somers, with the additional support from Health Sciences Executive Dean, Professor Nomthandazo Gwele.
Vahed said: “I am overwhelmed and highly excited to have received this prestigious award, which is an affirmation that my teaching is helping my students. Research in Dental Technology is a rarity and this award has further incentivised, encouraged and empowered me to continue in the field of Dental Technology Education. It will also afford me the opportunity to network and collaborate with other specialist experts, and create long term collaborative relationships and work on projects that I am passionate about”.
Vahed has worked for the Department of Dental Sciences since 1999, when she started her career initially, as a graduate assistant. Since then, she has persevered in attaining excellence in her work – teaching and research in Dental Technology.
In June, Vahed was also presented with the Educator of the Year Award by the Dental Technology Association of Southern Africa (DENTASA). Later in September, she won the second place position at the institutional phase of the National Innovative Competition for her innovation the “Dental Technology Educational Games”, which included the Tooth Morphology board game and the Muscle Mania multi media games. These games are specifically designed for undergraduate Dental Technology students and were used as a tutorial strategy in converting abstract information into interesting learner friendly content. Based on the innovativeness and success of the games, Vahed was invited to compete in the National Innovative Competition. She is also the first South African Dental Technician to have a journal article published in an international Dental Materials Journal, in 2006.
Vahed has a colourful and vibrant personality and has struck the right balance between maintaining a successful career and productive social life. “I am a huge adrenaline junky and outdoors person; I enjoy gym, adrenaline filled activities such as bungee jumping, paragliding and water sports. I am also a big European soccer fan and a Liverpool supporter. I love watching the Discovery channel and gymnastics.”
She is also big on family and spends most of her recreational time engaging in family activities. “My love for the outdoors came from spending time with my large adventurous family and friends; we often go mountain climbing and back backing together. I also enjoy exploring other countries and their cultures.” Her travels to date include visiting the Middle East extensively, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Greece, Spain, Germany, London and Turkey and she hopes to continue extending her travels in the future.
Vahed is deeply fascinated with the roots of her culture and religion. “I take pleasure in reading biographies relating to the Middle East, I am fond of Islamic classical music with traditional undertones, I also possess a love for Islamic influenced art. I am selective when it comes to Bollywood movies but am captivated with the work of fashion designers Tarun Tahliani, Manish Malhotra and Ritu Beri.”
On the subject of her accomplishments Vahed said: “I owe my life’s achievements to the blessings and guidance of my parents Cassim Ebrahim and Hawa Bibi Vahed, my late grandfather, Dawood Ebrahim Goolam Paruk and Allah, my creator, through which all things are made possible.”