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SAEON’s Graduate Student Network - Meeting of the Great Minds

Zwivhuya Leonard Ndou, GSN Committee Member
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In May 2017, the Graduate Student Network (GSN) steering committee forcibly challenged the art and science of working in silos by setting up a meeting at the SAEON Grasslands-Forests-Wetlands Node in Pietermaritzburg (KwaZulu-Natal).

The steering committee structure met not only to sort out a couple of issues, but also to amend the GSN constitution and plan the upcoming 2017 Indibano student conference.

The meeting proved to be very worthwhile as the members now have greater clarity about the revamped GSN steering committee structure and the diagnosis of problems came down to the ability to pull things together as a team.

To deal with the issues related to the SAEON GSN policy, an effective orientation and induction was given to promote retention of the steering committee structure, and improved quality outcomes which support continuing improvement. Although the meeting motivated steering committee members to tackle their designated functions with energy and enthusiasm, it will require ongoing and sustained efforts to bring the SAEON GSN to its full potential.

This meeting was also essential to forge a relationship between the SAEON GSN Steering committee and the managers and coordinators of the six SAEON nodes. The members are grateful to have the support of SAEON staff members to equip us with the necessary skills to step into the shoes of the next generation of scientists and great leaders.

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The GSN Meeting of the Great Minds. Clockwise from left: Aobakwe Lenkwe, Nasiphi Ntshanga, Mthombeni Sally, Hannah Raven, Athi Mfikili and Leonard Ndou

Beate Hölscher, SAEON’s Research Administrator, tells the committee members more about the establishment, nature and objectives of SAEON’s Graduate Student Network

Upcoming Indibano

The 10th Annual GSN Indibano Student Conference will be held at the South African Astronomical Observatory in Cape Town from 10 to 15 September 2017.

The conference, which is organised by the GSN committee, is aimed at creating a platform for students to interact, collaborate and network among themselves as well as with scientists in their research field.

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The meeting provided a valuable opportunity to meet SAEON staff members such as Sue van Rensburg, coordinator of the Grasslands-Forests-Wetlands Node

Ready to tackle all the challenges ahead. From left: Mthombeni Sally, Athi Mfikili, Beate Hölscher, Nasiphi Ntshanga, Leonard Ndou, Hannah Raven, Sue van Rensburg and Aobakwe Lenkwe

Further details on the Indibano can be found here.

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