Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida graduates with honours from Wits
In a first for Wits University, a PhD student has graduated with a joint degree from the institution and Turin University in Italy, while reigning Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida attained an honours degree in international relations.
PhD student Silvia Delsanto graduated in the field of physics at the two institutions.
Musida is known to be outspoken on issues related to mental health and gender-based harm in society, among others.
The two students are among 6,712 students who will graduate this month.
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Of the students graduating, 169 are PhD graduands whose research seeks to find the solutions to real-world problems.
Their research covered topics including:
- Why do women commit neonaticide? (Neonaticide is a mother killing her newborn within its first 24 hours of life);
- Why do HIV-infected adolescents continue to carry the burden of oral health disease in Johannesburg which affects their quality of life?; and
- Why do women’s organisations remain on the margins as donor recipients in Africa?
“On a lighter note, an engineering student also explored the physics behind tattoos and understanding the interaction of tattoo ink with ultrasound. These are just a few of the many studies pushing the frontiers of knowledge for our collective benefit. These students join more than 200,000 Wits graduates making a contribution to society,” the university said.
Wits vice-chancellor and principal Prof Zeblon Vilakazi describes the graduation period as a “moment of hope” for humanity as the country faces the Covid-19 pandemic and recently experienced unrest.
“We live in a historic moment characterised by uncertainty and change. You are graduating amid a global pandemic, for which there is not yet a cure. Our young democracy is under threat, and civil unrest is widespread. Our society is plagued by inequality and poverty. Our economy is flailing, and unemployment is rife,” Vilakazi said.
The graduation ceremony, Vilakazi said, represented a “fortuitous moment of hope and inspiration, an opportunity to chart a new course that can propel us into a new beneficial world order, for good”.