Sunday, October 25, 2020
Public Relations

SA academic makes history with philosophy doctorate

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University of Pretoria (UP) lecturer and trailblazer Dr Mpho Tshivhase has been awarded the CEO’s Award by the Institute of People Management (IPM) after making history as the first black woman to receive a doctorate in philosophy in South Africa in April 2018.

The award, first introduced by the IPM board in 2017, is given to an individual who has made significant contribution in a field, profession or in society that makes difference and shatters perceptions.

Reacting to her award, Dr Tshivhase said she is grateful for the recognition of her hard work and the organisation’s support for black women in academia.

“I am extremely grateful to IPM CEO Dr Jerry Gule and his team for bestowing upon me this Excellence Award. It is such an honour to have a reputable organisation such as the Institute of People Management recognise, affirm, and endorse my achievement. Apart from being flattering, this award is a symbol of recognition and appreciation of my work as an emerging black female scholar. I appreciate the Institute of

People Management’s open demonstration of its support for black women in academia,” she said. Dr Gule said the organisation is pleased to honour Dr Tshivhase, who is a lecturer in UP’s Department of Philosophy, as her achievement is part of furthering the agenda of transformation in academia.

“Dr Tshivhase was selected for the IPM CEO’s Award for her achievement as the first black woman to receive a PhD in Philosophy in April 2018. IPM recognised this as a key development which adds to the richness of knowledge and scholars, thus adding to the transformation of researchers and knowledge architects,” he said.

The IPM is a professional membership body representing the human resource and people management fraternity. It is a not-for-profit independent body with official professional recognition from the South African Qualifications Authority. The organisation dedicates its efforts to providing knowledge and tools for strategic and operational people management and development that contribute to growth, profitability and sustainability of businesses.

Since its inception in 1945, the IPM has been enhancing people management skills and the competence of HR professionals. IPM has and continues to play a key role in professionalising and credentialing HR within South Africa and on the wider continent.

The award has been issued on two other occasions: during the 2018 IPM Annual Convention and Exhibition held in Polokwane and at the IPM’s 2019 Annual Convention and Exhibition held in Sun City. In 2018 Dr Musawenkosi Donia Saurombe was awarded for being the youngest black female recipient of a PhD in Industrial Psychology, which she obtained from North West University. In 2019 Mteto Nyati, Group CEO of Altron, was honoured for his trailblazing work as a leader in the ITC (information technology and communications) sector and being a role model to many. His book, Betting on a Darkie, has received rave reviews.

Dr Gule said the IPM, through its Pretoria branch, has had a long association with UP.
“The branch, through erstwhile and late Chairperson Mr Marius Pheiffer (who died in 2017), has been sponsoring two awards to the best performing student in the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences since 1990. These awards are Best Achievement for the degree BCom Honours in Human Resources Management and Best Research Project for the degree BCom Honours in Human Resources Management.

Associate Professor Eileen Koekemoer has for the past several years worked with IPM to make sure this relationship is maintained and runs smoothly,” he said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation has had to cancel the prestigious award ceremony where Dr Tshivhase would have received her award.

Dr Gule indicated that the organisation was looking forward to growing its relationship with UP from strength to strength including by giving an opportunity to students to interact with industry specialists through the IPM.

“IPM is determined to continue the partnership with the University of Pretoria and to have an active student chapter on campus for networking with business and HR leaders from across different sectors of the
economy.

We have also invited Dr Tshivhase, and she has agreed to serve on the Professional Designations Committee of IPM, which confers designations to HR practitioners who apply. She will be participating in her first meeting this year, time permitting,” he said.
UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe said the University is proud to have in its community people of Dr Tshivhase’s calibre.

“I wish to congratulate Dr Tshivhase on her recognition by the IPM. Her achievement of being the first black woman in South Africa to receive a doctorate in philosophy is not to be taken lightly. Through hard work and determination, Dr Tshivhase not only enriched the knowledge bank of our country through her PhD research, but she also made an important contribution in the fight for meaningful transformation in academia. As an institution and a community, we will continue to do the work of creating an enabling and supportive environment for her and other researchers to reach their full potential and, ultimately, make our country and
continent better for those who call them home,” Prof Kupe said.

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