tribute to Dr Marilet Sienaert
Out-going executive director of the Research Office,
Dr Marilet Sienaert recalls the highlights from her time at UCT
At the heart of what working at UCT
has meant to me has been the people:
relations with my dedicated team and
colleagues in cognate departments, as
well as the array of inspiring individuals
across the university that
constitute its community.
I was enthralled by
my exposure to the
width and breadth of
disciplines across all
faculties and the often
‘Looking back
then, the dominant
sentiment for me
is one of gratitude.’
life-changing findings of researchers,
many of whom also took the time to
share with me their challenges and
their triumphs along the way.
Looking back then, the dominant
sentiment for me is one of gratitude
– for the scope and richness of
relationships and the opportunity
to connect with a very wide range
of people in a meaningful way.
But my tenure has also been
a rollercoaster journey, as higher
education, in general, and the
nature of research, in particular,
have undergone a sea change over
the past two decades.
In this context, the only constant
was change, and I thrived on the
bigger picture of the landscape
in all its complexity, sharing in
a venture whereby UCT increasingly
excelled at locally relevant research
that helped resolve global problems
and witnessing its meteoric climb in
impact and productivity.
This vision of an upward trajectory
will continue to carry my team when
I leave, and we feel buoyed by the
university’s emerging ‘Vision 2030’,
as spearheaded by the new executive.
I am truly grateful to have been part
of UCT over the past years and am
confident of its role on, and for, the
continent going forward.


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