by Tebogo Tabane

Asithandile Nicolene Dyantyi, a B degree in Environmental Health student at the Tshwane University of Technology’s Faculty of Sciences, will receive the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH)’s Roy Emerson Award, which will be presented at their 17th World Congress in Perth, Australia from 20 to 24 May 2024.

She won the award for an essay titled “Environmental Public Health Workforce Modernization: Utilizing Technological Advances Available in the Digital Age, to Help Prepare for Tomorrow’s Challenges, Today.” She will present the essay at the conference.

The award constitutes free registration, travel and accommodation costs and a certificate of achievement to the recipient.

The excited student shared her delight at winning the Roy Emerson Award. “It is an honour to be nominated for this prestigious achievement; it means the world to me and feels like the beginning of important things for my career; opening the doors of my childhood dreams. I am profoundly grateful for this opportunity,” she said.

“South Africa’s IFEH membership and me being a student doing an environmental course offered in South Africa, qualified me to apply for this award. Taking advantage of the IFEH opportunity, enabled me to win. We had to demonstrate how we would contribute to modernising the Environmental Public Health workforce using technological innovation. I researched the latest technologies in our field, their impact, and how future advancements could benefit us. After authoring my essay and applying, I was excited to become a finalist and ultimately a winner. I am grateful to God for this opportunity,” said Asithandile.

Bidding farewell. Asithandile (in red and white) accompanied by staff members of the
Department of Environmental Health and representatives of PPs Professionals
who gave her a parting gift.

My lecturer, Dr Mercy Sepadi, inspires me most to achieve success. “She's an amazing, resolute woman who keeps pushing us to aim high and work hard for what we want - and she is right! If you set your mind to it, there is nothing you cannot achieve,” she added.

“My passion for environmental public health (protecting public health and the environment) also played a crucial role. When this opportunity emerged, I realised I had to grab it with both hands. It was a chance to share my ideas and make a real difference in the modernisation of the Environmental Public Health workforce, especially on how to tackle future environmental health challenges. Never underestimate the impact you can make in your field. Your curiosity, passion and dedication can drive meaningful change,” she continued.

“Currently, I am working on another project related to waste management, promoting waste reduction and management in communities. The project aims to raise awareness and implement practical solutions for a healthier environment. In future, I also plan to continue advocating for environmental health modernisation. I hope to collaborate with organizations and communities to implement innovative strategies and technologies that enhance environmental health outcomes,” she explained.

“My passion for protecting the environment and improving public health has been driving my journey in environmental health. I believe that by embracing technology and innovation, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future for all,” Asithandile concluded.

“Asithandile Nicolene Dyantyi is a champion of student affairs at the Department of Environmental Health, under the leadership of the Head of Department, Dr Thabiso Morodi. Winning the prestigious Roy Emerson Award is a testament to her dedication and innovative thinking in this field and the Department would like to congratulate her,” said Dr Sepadi.

“Her essay reflects a forward-thinking approach crucial for addressing the dynamic challenges of our time. The award is a significant accolade and IFEH’s recognition not only honours Miss Dyantyi’s individual excellence, but also highlights the calibre of TUT’s students and the educational standards of our department. It also underscores the importance of nurturing young professionals equipped to leverage technology for the betterment of public health.,” she added. 

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