Julanie Stapelberg is passionate about nature and science and wishes to incorporate the two for designing easy sustainable living in society. She graduated from the University of Pretoria, in BSc Genetics and Plant Sciences, BSc Honours Biotechnology and MSc Plant Science Biotechnology, receiving Cum Laude completion for each degree. She was the best Plant Science student in her undergraduate degree and top Biotechnology honours student. Her Masters project was in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research on, “Recombinant Protein Production in South African Microalgae” where she presented her results at several conferences, including the International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts held in America last year. In October she will start her PhD in Synthetic Biology and Microalgal Biotechnology at the University College in London with hopes to return home and contribute to the development of South Africa’s bioeconomy.
"Research has always been my passion. I have always had a desire to know how the natural world works and spent a large portion of my childhood collecting insects and plants so that I could observe their life cycles. While other children played video games I concocted nectar mixtures to feed several species of butterfly that I had raised from caterpillars or cleaned out silkworm enclosures. When I turned 14, I became severely ill with what was suspected to be a psychiatric episode. I experienced firsthand the stigma that mentally ill individuals face both from the health professionals that are meant to care for them and from society. This made me determined to channel my love for
research into a medical career which I am pursuing today as a medical student; to make a difference in the lives of those afflicted by mental illness. I am actively involved in the TUKS Undergraduate Research Forum which promotes undergraduate research and has exposed me to many research opportunities."
Law student and Public speaker
Ngwalemorwa hails from Limpopo Province. Her public speaking talents have transformed her into a dynamic compassionate leader, debater, public speaker and an international ambassador. Her ambassadorial role has helped her develop into visionary, speaking with clarity and truth . Her courageous spirit coupled with massive
passion has guided and stirred her into her current field of study as a second year LLB student at the University of Pretoria. As Rotary Junior International Ambassador, public speaker, debater and currently a second year LLB student one of her most notable principles is that ‘pressure is a privilege’. Appreciating pressure has accelerated her
growth as a leader, creative thinker, prospective lawyer and a young vibrant lady on the pursuit of mastering the paralysing skill and art of words. Ngwale continues to carve herself holistically in the direction of living a life of divine curiosity of what the future holds balanced with the eternal spirit of carpe diem.
Sports and Recreation Management scholar
Palesa's character and talents have helped her transform into a top performing athlete in her sport of waterpolo. She achieved her provincial colours in high school while also making her first international debut for South Africa in water polo. She currently studies
at the University of Pretoria, continuously excelling in her postgraduate studies. Within the realm of sport, Palesa has been awarded her Protea blazer and University honorary colours for water polo. She has captained her university team as well as a South African Ladies tour. Palesa’s career interest lies in the development of sport and athletes in
South Africa. She has volunteered as a physical education teacher at a disadvantaged school, as well as with her university sport marketing team. She has also managed a provincial water polo team and coached a high school basketball team and water polo team. Her latest success was coaching a provincial water polo team.
Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Pretoria
Richard Hay is a research assistant in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria. His passions lie in creating an equitable and ecologically sustainable food system, as well as advancing the public’s awareness of the importance of plant and soil sciences. His work looks at how small-scale and emerging commercial
farmers use social media to find and share information, as well as how agricultural scientists and extension specialists can use social media to connect farmers with scientifically sound information. As part of this work, Richard runs the “Ingesta: Farming for the Future” Facebook page. This page gives the works of undergraduate agriculture and ecology students a public platform and shares scientifically sound information to small-scale and emerging commercial farmers. Richard also runs his own platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter called Hays Harvest, which unpack various concepts relating to agriculture and sustainability.
Poet, writer + IT scholar
As a second-year Bachelor of Information Technology student at the University of Pretoria, Thato’s academic achievements of being a top achiever and part of the Golden Key International Honour Society should not divert you from his true talent. He is the national winner of the 2017 Poetry in McGregor competition; the only South African poets to be selected for publication in Vol 8 of the Sol Plaatje European Union Anthology. Thato has international features in the Better than Starbucks literary magazine and the 2016 and 2017 Best New African Poets anthology. His work has been selected for publication in Douglas-Reid Skinner’s September 2018 special edition Stanzas Magazine, 2017 Avbob poetry competition and is the second South African writer to be featured in Ghana Writes’ guest writer of the week project. His first book, Fly in a beehive; is collected in African Books Collective and John Hopkin’s University Project Muse to name but a few.