Dr Mashifana’s star continues to shine ever so brightly and as one the young black female scientist and researcher, her success is certainly having positive ripple effect that will inspire more young girls to follow in her footsteps. She is fondly as an accomplished academic, passionate teacher and researcher of note. Currently, and Dr Mashifana teaches chemical engineering technology at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
She added another feather to her cap when on Tuesday she was announced as one of the recipients of the 2020/2021 National Research Foundation (NRF) prestigious and highly valued awards in the science and research field. She was recognised under the category of ‘Research Excellence Award for Early Career / Emerging Researchers’. The awards celebrate and acknowledge excellence in research and outstanding achievements by scientists and researchers in South Africa and their commitment to build a fully inclusive and sustainable society.
Dr Mashifana’s recent accolade did not come as a complete surprise to her and her peers for she is one of the hard working and an intelligent scholar boasting a string of coveted qualifications. She completed has completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with cum laude. She also holds a doctoral degree in civil engineering, a Master of Business Administration degree, post graduate diploma in higher education and a certificate in artificial intelligence for industry. Dr Mashifana is also widely published, having contributed well over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles journal articles, conference papers, including book chapters. She has presented her work at various national and international academic.
Area of research
The focus of her research is in solids wastes beneficiation with a view to converting waste materials to value-added products. She is passionate about developing sustainable, cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and applicable solutions to convert waste materials to useful and value-added products.
Dr Mashifana always strives for innovation and believes strongly in projects or initiatives that promote transformation. While the Covid-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions including in the education sector, she saw it as crisis that should not be wasted. Instead, Dr Mashifana believes it is an ideal moment for the education community so adapt and explore innovative approaches aimed at improving teaching and learning practices.
Tapping into students’ diversity
As a teacher, she is admired for her ability to connect and interact with her students in a way that stimulates their participation and acknowledges their role and agency. She taps into her students’ diverse backgrounds and use these to enrich their learning experiences.
Dr Mashifana also makes extensive use of the latest range of digital and online platforms and tools to engage with her students particularly at this time when learning and teaching take place remotely. She always attempts to help students relate to the real world challenges and ensures she equips them with industry linked skills and opportunities.