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USB’s Sonja Cilliers receives top lecturer award

USB’s Sonja Cilliers Senior Lecturer: Management Accounting - receives top lecturer award
  • Dec 12
  • Tags Awards, Top lecturer, EMS, Stellenbosch University, Managerial Accounting

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The top lecturers of the Economic and Management Sciences faculty of Stellenbosch University (SU) were recently honoured at a prestigious event. Sonja Cilliers, senior lecturer in Managerial Accounting, was named the top lecturer at USB.

This year the competition differed slightly from previous competitions as undergraduate and postgraduate students voted separately for their best undergraduate and postgraduate lecturers respectively. The faculty is the only of the SU faculties to hold the competition.

The top departmental undergraduate lecturers are:

  • Prof Edwin Theron (Business Management),
  • Dr Debra Shepherd (Economics),
  • Mr Marius Meyer (Industrial Psychology),
  • Mr Melrick October (Logistics),
  • Ms Lize-Marie Sahd (School of Accountancy),
  • Dr Ruenda Loots (School of Public Leadership), and
  • Mr Luca Steyn (Statistics and Actuarial Science).

The top departmental postgraduate lecturers are:

  • Prof Pierre Erasmus (Business Management),
  • Dr Debra Shepherd  (Economics),
  • Dr Samantha Adams & Mr Marius Meyer (Industrial Psychology),
  • Prof Leila Goedhals-Gerber (Logistics),
  • Mrs Sophia Brink (School of Accountancy)
  • Prof Willie Conradie (Statistics and Actuarial Science), and
  • Mrs Sonja Cilliers (University of Stellenbosch Business School).

Prof Ingrid Woolard, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, said: “From students’ feedback, it is clear that the same ‘old’ values still hold true: lecturers have to be able to teach well and explain difficult concepts in such a way that students will understand them.”

Meet USB’s top lecturer

Sonja Cilliers joined the USB as Senior Lecture in 2017 and teaches Managerial Accounting on both the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management & Administration and the MBA programmes, as well as Accounting for Decision-making on the MBA. Before starting her academic career, Sonja spent time as an Audit Manager with Deloitte in Cape Town, South Africa and New York, USA.

In addition to her interest in accounting and law, she has further developed as Business and Life Coach, focusing on both corporate training and individual coaching for professionals.

  • What does this award mean to you?

“I feel incredibly privileged to work at the USB with so many talented people that pass through our doors. There is never a dull moment – I always say I have the best job in the world. I learn so much from every class and appreciate the richness of the real life stories that students so willingly share.”

  • What do you enjoy most about working at USB?

“It is wonderful to walk through the corridors and be greeted by students that are so avidly engaged with their work. The network extends well beyond these walls and one really feels part of the fabric of building a better South Africa.”

  • Why is Management Accounting such an important subject?

“In Managerial Accounting our focus is to equip students to evaluate financial information from a managerial perspective. It is so much more than just being able to perform calculations. We want to empower students to deal with financial matters from an ethical perspective and to develop leaders that have the necessary knowledge to make responsible financial decisions. I love to see how students’ confidence grows throughout their MBA. Managerial Accounting is one tiny part of this process, but like every other module, it is an important part of the journey.”

Here’s what some of her students have to say:

“I really enjoyed her lectures. They were presented in a very practical manner and were always related to the real-world. This enabled me to easily apply the theory learnt in class to my workplace environment. She encouraged class participation and her answers to student’s questions were always framed in a simple and easy-to-understand response.”

“She is very professional, friendly, helpful and her classes are really contributing to the understanding of the subject matter and preparing students well for exams and assignments. I emailed a query to her late one Sunday afternoon… she responded five minutes later – I almost fell of my chair!”

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