Dr Melanie Jacobs
Dr Melanie Jacobs is the CEO of Akad Plus Learning Centre and an independent specialist and educational consultant. She has been appointed as a researcher in the Department of Optometry at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa as well as researcher for Curro Holdings. She holds a PhD in Higher Education, from the University of the Free State. She has worked within the university environment for the past 26 years with a focus on Science and Engineering student development and support. She holds a Master’s degree in Optometry and has published in national and international academic journals (25 research-related publications) on various topics. She has presented more than 40 research papers in national and international conferences performed research in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Science Education, First Year Experience, Higher Education, Quality in Higher Education and Sport Coaches Development. Melanie Jacobs has also been involved in various quality assurance panels reviewing journal publications and reviews of academic activities. She has been focussing her research on student success and transition of students from school to university. She has been lecturing Optometry, Biomechanics, Chemistry and Physics (for teachers) at undergraduate level and are supervising Masters and Doctorate students.
She has been pivotal in establishing the UJ Soweto Science Centre and has been actively teaching Physical Science at school level for more than 35 years.
Her colleagues described her as:
I would like to thank you for the guidance, motivation, mentorship, and the positive energy you instilled on me. I came here with very little knowledge on how to deal with various students in the same class particularly in their first year, and through the interventions you took to assist in First Year Seminars, I have since grown to a point of even having postgraduate students (PhD & Med and MPhil). I know you will continue building a great personalities for the future of our country wherever you are.
I believe that you made a huge contribution to us and always enjoyed the way that you said it like it is in meetings – it was so refreshing.
Your commitment to the development of students and staff has been exemplary. I really valued your input in our work and I especially appreciated your straightforward no nonsense approach. I have learnt much in the process!!
I would like to say your contribution to Teaching and Learning, tutors and first year orientation was immense. You have left a footprint in this institution and in our lives.
Remember, with your skills and expertise, greater success can be achieved in the bigger world out there.
I greatly valued your sharp and incisive way of getting to the heart of a problem and not evading issues that were sometimes difficult.
When I think of the one staff member that I admire the most and her inherent ability to always do the best for students I think of you. The initiatives and projects that you created and worked on were always an overwhelming success due to your passion and hard work. I admire you so much as you are a role model to all who meet you.