Dental Technology lecturer, Anisa Vahed has scooped the coveted 2010 Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for distinguished teaching at the Durban University of Technology. She received the award at the Health Sciences graduation ceremony at Steve Biko Campus on 18 April.
She said: “I am honoured to be the first recipient of the award in recognition of distinguished teaching within the university. The process began with a call for academic nominees across faculties. Upon accepting the nomination, the qualifying academic then forwarded their application, which had to meet a stringent set of requirements. It was a challenging process but it is indeed humbling to be recognised for my commitment to higher education and to my students.”
Vahed has worked for the Department of Dental Sciences since 1999. Since then she has persevered in attaining excellence in her work. She is currently reading for her PhD in higher education studies at Rhodes University. In June 2009, Vahed was awarded the Educator of the Year Award by the Dental Technology Association of Southern Africa (DENTASA). Later that year she also received the National Excellence Award in Teaching and Learning by the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA) in conjunction with the Council of Higher Education, and received the Award for Success from DUT’s Gender Forum.
Vahed’s other accomplishments include her innovations, the “Dental Technology Educational Games” that placed in second position at the institutional phase of the National Innovative Competition. These games provide alternate teaching and learning class room based practices and were developed to assist undergraduate Dental Technology students learn theoretically rich morphological and anatomical content. Based on the innovativeness and success of the games, Vahed was later invited to compete in the national phase of the National Innovative Competition. In 2006, she was also the first South African Dental Technician to have a research paper published in the international Dental Materials Journal.
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 gyming, adrenaline filled activities such as bungee jumping, paragliding and water sports. I am also a big European soccer fan. I love watching the Discovery channel, swimming competitions 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 packing together. I also enjoy exploring other countries and their cultures.” Her travels include visits to the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Greece, Spain, Germany, London, Turkey and the USA.
] 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: “Apart from the academic support of respected colleagues including Health Sciences Deputy Dean, Greg Bass; Dental Sciences HOD, Grant Somers and Dental Sciences staff, 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 above all, my creator through which all things are made possible.”
For more information, please contact Bhekani Dlamini who will facilitate the interview.