Editorial Team

Rhodes University Community Engagement (RUCE) Division’s Editorial Team

Dr Savathrie Margie Maistry is a Research Associate at Rhodes University and editor-in-chief of AJHECE. She holds a PhD in Community Development Education, Masters in Women and Gender Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She was formerly the Director of Community Engagement at Rhodes University; taught social work and community development at universities in South Africa and New Zealand; served as the Africa Region Programme Manager of Volunteer Services Abroad, Wellington, New Zealand and was Research Associate at the Durban University of Technology. She is a member of the national Department of Social Development task team for the professionalization of community development. Margie has researched and published in the areas of community development, social work, higher education, community engagement, integral education, early childhood development, community based participatory research and women’s studies.

Dr Rene Oosthuizen, Senior Lecturer RUCE Division is an Engaged Research academic and Rhodes University coordinator of the Engaged Research Programme. She is a assistant editor of AJHECE. Rene holds a DPhil in Public Administration from Nelson Mandela University (NMU). Her research and work experiences focus extensively on disaster risk management, social and economic development planning, community engagement and policy analysis and monitoring as effective tools for sustainable development. She is a certified UNESCO Knowledge for Change Mentor. Rene was previously employed as Academic Dean of the School of Disaster Management at Stenden South Africa, an international campus site of NHLStenden of Netherlands. Previously, she lectured in the Department of Politics and Governmental studies at NMU and in the Department of Public Management at Tshwane University of Technology. She also worked as a researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Governance at NMU and the SABC.

Ms Monica Canca is a community partner of RUCE and assistant editor of AJHECE. Monica is a community engaged facilitator with two decades of experience in the development sector, contributing towards the creation of local ecosystems to address complex social challenges. As a K4C mentor (under the UNESCO Chair) Monica participates in collaborative knowledge co-creation processes driven by a firm belief in lifelong learning and the value of all forms of learning and being for transformative action and sustainable change. She currently works as a Programme Officer at the Learning Trust, supporting the growth of the After School sector towards improved education outcomes for learners in underserved areas of the Eastern Cape. Monica holds a Bachelors degree with majors in Education and Psychology and is currently reading for her Master’s degree in Education.

Ms. Claire McCann is passionate about breaking down the historical and spatial boundaries between higher education institutions and the communities surrounding these establishments. She is a Talloires Network Next Generation Leader and hopes to orientate her research and practice towards the construction of a more just education system in South Africa 

Claire is currently reading for a DPhil in Education at the University of Oxford, funded by the Rhodes Scholarship. She holds a MSt in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and MPhil in Economics. She previously worked at the Rhodes University Community Engagement Division, where she was responsible for facilitating an engaged research group and a short community engagement course for high schools. Her research interests include community/public engagement, African higher education, feminist and engaged research methods, and community histories.

 AJHECE Editorial Advisory Board Members

Ms Di Hornby

Diana Hornby is currently the Director of Community Engagement at Rhodes University and founder of AJHECE with 25 years of experience in the Early Childhood and Community Development fields.  As the previous director of the Centre for Social Development at Rhodes University, she developed a best practice ECD model that received national recognition.   She won South Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Award for her work from 2007 at the Angus Gillis Foundation (Ubunye), a rural development NPO, strongly focusing on pro-poor development models. In 2021, her team was awarded first place for the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship for the 9/10th  Matric Mentoring Programme. She has a B Ed Honours, Masters in Education and is reading for her PhD at Rhodes University. Diana has published in community engagement and community development.

Dr Martina Jordaan

Martina Jordaan is Head of Community engagement and postgraduate students at the University of Pretoria, Mamelodi campus. Previously she was a senior lecturer responsible for the compulsory undergraduate module, the Community-based Project Module (JCP) of the Faculty Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology, University of Pretoria. She holds a doctorate in History and a Master’s degree in Development Studies. Her research interests are in community engagement and service learning.

Prof Angela James

Currently works as the Academic Leader: Community Engagement and  is Associate Professor of Science Education in the School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal. She graduated with a PhD in Curriculum and Instructional Design and Development from the University of Pretoria and has over 30 years teaching and community engagement experience and over 20 years research in the schooling, tertiary and Adult Education sectors.  Her work focuses on Research and Service-Learning for undergraduate students, Inquiry-based teaching and learning in the Foundation Phase and other phases, Science curriculum related areas (theory and practice), Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Professional development of teachers - construction and use of Phronesis, Environmental Education, and Science - race and ethnicity.  She has taught, engaged in research and community engagement initiatives, published articles and edited journals and participated in many conferences, seminars and workshops.

Dr Mwemezi Rwiza

Dr Mwemezi Rwiza is a senior lecturer in the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Science and Engineering (WESE), at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Tanzania (NM-AIST). Dr Rwiza combines his expertise in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences to bring on board the community voices in higher learning education in Tanzania – and the Global South. Currently, Dr Rwiza and his colleagues in the Nyerere Hub in Arusha, Tanzania, are working with the Maasai communities to integrate traditional knowledge systems of water management with the higher learning education systems. Dr Rwiza has interest in how indigenous knowledge can be integrated/ bridged with other knowledge systems through cocreation and research dissemination.

Prof Vhonani Netshandama

Professor Vhonani Olive Netshandama has over 10 years’ experience as Director Community Engagement at the University of Venda. She holds a PhD in Nursing Education from the University of Johannesburg. She is the awardee of 2016 Distinguished Women in Science category, awarded by the Department of Science and Innovation. She is a decolonial community based participatory researcher with an interest in engaged scholarship, Indigenous Knowledge Systems as well as Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation learning and development. She is a transdisciplinary participatory design research supervisor who has to date supervised a number of Doctoral and Masters students and also mentored international graduate candidates to completion.

Dr Bruce Damons

Dr Damons is the Director of the Engagement Office at the Nelson Mandela University. His directorate oversees the annual operation and implementation of the Engagement Office's various entities: Strategic Projects, Cooperative Education and Service-Learning, Continuing Education, Graduate Placement, Community Development, The Hubs of Convergence, and the Food Systems Programme. He supervises Masters and Doctoral students at the University and has several academic publications.

Prof George Ladaah Openjuru

Professor Openjuru, George Ladaah is the current Vice-Chancellor of Gulu University in Northern Uganda, He is   Professor of Education and a promoter of Community university engagement and adult literacy education. He is a member and Vice Chair of Tallories Network of Engaged Universities. Chairperson of the Uganda Vice Chancellor Forum, Chairperson of the Governing Council of Uganda National Curriculum Development Centre  and a member of the UNESCO Chair for Community Engagement and University Social Research based at University of Victoria, Canada and PRIA (Participatory Research in Asia), India

Prof Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton is an Emeritus Professor of Rhodes University, and past Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research & Innovation. He was formerly a Professor of Computer Science at the University, and worked in the software industry before taking up an academic career.

Dr María Nieves Tapia

Nieves Tapia is the founder and Director for CLAYSS, Latin American Center for Solidarity Service-learning, an NGO based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She organized and directed Argentina’s Ministry of Education's first National service-learning programs from 1999 to 2010. She has contributed to spreading service-learning policies and practices in Latin American and around the world. Nieves published Solidarity as pedagogy in 2000 and more than 110 books and articles in several languages. Her publications and lectures have inspired many current service-learning leaders around the world. She co-founded the Iberian-American Service-learning Network, was founding Board member of IARSLCE, part of the Talloires Network Steering Committee from 2014-2019 and currently is a member of the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship (ACES). She has been honored  with a number of national and international awards. She was Adjunct Professor of Ancient History at the Catholic University in Buenos Aires, and taught at Buenos Aires University and FLACSO, among others. She has offered hundreds of lectures, courses and technical assistance in Latin America and around the world and currently directs the Diploma in Service-learning offered by CLAYSS, OEI and UNSO.

Prof Budd Hall

Dr. Budd Hall is a Professor Emeritus, Universities of Toronto and Victoria, Canada.  He is Co-Chair, UNESCO Chair in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility In Higher Education. He has 45+ years’ experience in community-based research, is world-renowned for his advocacy and activism in advancing equality and equity in higher education for marginalized students and has spent his career working with vulnerable populations in Canada and around the world. Dr. Hall is actively engaged in decolonializing open source and open access scholarship and knowledge democracy mobilization. Budd is an Officer in the Order of Canada and is also a poet.

Prof Tim Stanton

Prof Stanton is Senior Engaged Scholar with Ravensong Associates, through which he consults on the design and development of engaged scholarship in the US, Africa and Asia. Over 30 years at Stanford University he established and directed the Bing Overseas Studies Cape Town Program; co-founded and directed the Community Health concentration at Stanford Medical School; served as associate director and director of the Haas Center for Public Service. Tim is currently affiliated to Ravensong Associates, Senior Engaged Scholar, Stanford University, Senior Lecturer and Director (retired).

Prof Vishanti Sewpaul

Professor Vishanthie Sewpaul (PhD) is an awardee of three honorary doctoral degrees. She held leadership positions at institutional, national, regional and global levels, and visiting professorship positions at a number of international universities. She received a Distinguished Women in Science Award from the Ministry of Science and Technology for her “outstanding contribution to building South Africa’s scientific and research knowledge base.” She was Senior Professor at University of KwaZulu Natal where she remains Emeritus Professor. She has numerous publications, including her memoir titled, The Arc of Our Paths: Growing into Wholeness.

Dr Rajesh Tandon

Dr Rajesh Tandon is an internationally acclaimed leader and practitioner of participatory research and development and is Founder-President of Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), a global centre for participatory research and training. He is also Co-Chair of the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, since 2012. As a pioneer of participatory research, Dr Tandon has given new meaning to academic research by redefining the relationship between the researcher and the researched. He has been contributing to the emergence of several local, national and international initiatives to promote authentic and participatory development of societies. He is the first Indian to be inducted to the International Adult and Continuing Education (IACE) Hall of Fame (class of 2011). He is also the first Indian scholar to be inducted in Academy of Engagement Scholarship in 2019. His current institutional affiliation is: Founder-President, Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), New Delhi.

Prof Darren Lortan

Darren Lortan is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the Durban University of Technology, with keen interests in early childhood development, youth development and educational support, post-school education and training, and social entrepreneurship. He is Chair of the Board of the South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHECEF), and Vice-Chair of the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE).

Dr  Mercy Nkatha

Nkatha is presently pursuing a PhD at West Virginia University, USA.  Previously, she worked on development projects and programs across community and international scales in the NGO industry. Her research interests span policy analysis at the intersection of the national state, local society dynamics, and the impact of global development and how these relate to capabilities and well-being

Dr Duane Booysen

Dr Duane D. Booysen (PhD) is a licensed clinical psychologist and senior lecturer in the department of psychology at Rhodes University. Dr Booysen’s research interest explores the effectiveness, feasibility, and acceptability of prolonged exposure therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder in low resourced settings. Dr Booysen is a Y-2 Rated researcher and a visiting scholar at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Dr Mammusa Lekoa

Dr Lekoa holds a PhD in Development Studies (UNIZULU); MA in Population Studies (UKZN) and Post Grad Diploma in Higher Education (UKZN). She is currently the Manager of Community Engagement at the University of Zululand. Dr. Lekoa’s primary research interest is in critical social inquiry and in African spirituality, Public Health (with a special focus on population studies, and Environmental and Occupational health), Policy Development, higher education, and demography.

Ms Claire McCann

Claire McCann is currently reading for a PhD in Education at the University of Oxford, funded by the Rhodes Scholarship. Her research focuses on the role that community engagement may play in the decolonisation of South African higher education students. Previously, Claire was an Economics Masters candidate at Rhodes University, and a staff member at the Rhodes University Community Engagement Division where she facilitated a research group and contributed to the design of a community engagement short course for schools.  She is interested in feminist and participatory research methods, and hopes to orient her research and practice towards the construction of a just education system and economy in South Africa. 

Ms Nqobile Msomi

Nqobile Msomi is counselling psychologist and espouses a situated psychology, guided by the values and principles of community and African-centred psychologies. Having previously co-ordinated Rhodes University’s Psychology Clinic, a community-based training institution for counselling and clinical psychologists, she is now positioned at Cambridge University’s St Edmund’s College as the Director of Welfare and Wellbeing. She is a PhD candidate and has partnered with a local education focused non-governmental organisation for her case study research.

Dr Leslie Van Rooi

Leslie van Rooi is the Stellenbosch University (SU) Senior Director for Social Impact and Transformation. He holds a PhD in Church Law and Church History (SU) and has published numerous academic articles and book chapters. These publications focus on Church Polity, Church History, Social Impact, Transformation and Visual Redress in the Higher Education context. He also regularly writes opinion pieces for newspapers that focus on similar themes.