Ashanti Kunene is a postgraduate student at Stellenbosch University. Her research focuses on the nexus between knowledge, knowledge production, power, and black womxnhood; specifically looking at the systematic erasure of black African womxn from knowledge and knowledge production in academia and society using the 2015/2016 #FeesMustFall protests as a lens.
She was Primaria of Metanoia during the 2015/2016 #FeesMustFall protests and an active member of the fallist collective at Stellenbosch University. During her time as an intern at the Institute for Justice and
Reconciliation in the Sustained Dialogues programme,
Ashanti has published articles with the Huffington Post, The Daily Maverick, and News24. She is an avid reader and writes poetry in her spare time.
Johan is a multi talented inspirational speaker with years of experience in inspiring people and students to see their dreams come true. Johan has facilitated leadership development in various non-profit organizations before a career change into higher education as a Residence Educator at Stellenbosch University. For the past seven years he coached and lead student leaders within the Center for Student Communities to grow and excel in their different spaces.
Johan has a PhD in higher education and currently uses his unique skills combination as educator and futurist to help rethink the opportunities residences offer to enhance student success. He is passionate about creating equal learning opportunities for all.
Amongst others, he relaxes with some sporadic
exercising and watching rugby and cricket. He feels extremely blessed with a beautiful wife, Christine and two children, Stephan (15) and Iera-Michelle (12).
Ryan completed his Bcomm (Actuarial Science) and Bcomm Honours (Actuarial Science) from the university of Stellenbosch. Ryan is also an accredited Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Practitioner accredited by the Siyakhula Trust of South Africa.
He has over 6 years’ experience in non-life actuarial consulting and currently works at Deloitte.
In addition to the above, Ryan is the regional manager of the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) for Deloitte Western Cape and champions CSI for Financial Services in Gauteng which entails initiating, driving and evolving CSI within corporate SA to make a real impact in the communities we work in.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing cricket, playing the drums and taking his wife out for romantic dinners. He is also a dedicated Christian.
Ryan has been internally recognized as a Top Achiever at Deloitte for the 2016 FY and has been a motivational speaker for the last 11 years.
Simon Witbooi aka HemelBesem
HemelBesem aka Simon Witbooi is a TV/Radio personality, actor, author, speaker and performer/artist who's main focus is building bridges in Afrikaans.
He has received the "Kruispunt Prize" from "Kunste Onbeperk" 2016, the "Verbondenheids Trophy" 2017 for his book and general work in Afrikaans. He is the ambassador for Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuurvereniging (ATKV) Crescendo and along with University of Stellenbosch's "Woorde Open Werelde" (WOW) speaks at school across South Africa yearly on this topic.
As from October he is the new ambassador for the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (W.A.T.)
To read more about this dynamic artist, follow this link: http://blmmusic.co.za/hemelbesem/
Stefanie is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Neuropsychiatric Genetics Group, Department of Psychiatry, Stellenbosch University. She is a laboratory-based scientist, with a special interest in the genetics and epigenetics of psychiatric diseases, particularly anxiety and stress-related disorders. She obtained a BSC degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Stellenbosch University in 2006 and followed that with an Honours and MSc degrees in Genetics.
Stefanie has been involved in several psychiatric genetics projects over the past several years, and her PhD (2014) thesis focussed on a rat animal model for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to elucidate the molecular mechanism of a drug, D-cycloserine (DCS) to treat PTSD. For her postdoctoral research, she received a South African National Research Foundation Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Biological Psychiatry Research Development Award to investigate the role of non-coding RNAs (including miRNAs and long non-coding RNAs) in DCS-facilitated fear extinction.
Stefanie’s research interests include transcriptomic and epigenomic investigations as well as telomere length analyses in anxiety and stress-related disorders. A more recent interest is the investigation of the gut microbiome in psychiatric disorders. With her research, she hopes to obtain a better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms of anxiety and stress-related disorders, and hope to make a valuable contribution to the field of mental health research.