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Thursday, 25 April 2024

Graduate vows to uphold the values associated with the VC medal

HONOUR AND RESPONSIBILITY: Joshua Overmeyer, who graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation was also awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s  medal. HONOUR AND RESPONSIBILITY: Joshua Overmeyer, who graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation was also awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s medal.

Being awarded the coveted Vice-Chancellor’s (VC) medal brings a sense of pride and accomplishment, and recognition for hard work and dedication.

Joshua Overmeyer, who graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation during the CPUT Autumn Graduation last night, says being the VC medal recipient brings “me a feeling of honour and responsibility, not only to continue to strive for excellence, but to promote and uphold the values associated with the VC medal”.

Joshua completed the Diploma in 2021, scoring distinctions in all 25 subjects offered, and achieving the qualification Summa Cum Laude. He then enrolled for the Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation and again scored distinctions in all nine subjects offered – graduating Summa Cum Laude again. His average mark across all years of study is 85.3%.

The Capetonian is currently registered for the Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation Science, with a research project supervised by Prof Frans Radloff. Radloff described Joshua as a humble and quiet person who gets the work done without boasting about it in any way. “He cares deeply about others and the environment and is very passionate about conservation. He is obviously gifted, but it is not just a great mind that got him where he is. He also outworks everyone else, and it is the combination of his intellect and work ethic that make him excel.”

The 30-year-old student has a close-knit family who has been incredibly supportive throughout his academic journey. Initially, Joshua studied towards an LLB degree after he finished his Matric, but he shifted his career path to Nature Conservation after rediscovering his passion. Through networking with the experts in the field, Joshua discovered the nature conservation course offered at CPUT. Recognising the University’s reputation for quality education and its practical approach to conservation studies, he decided to pursue his academic journey here.

“At CPUT, I immersed myself in a rich learning environment that combined theoretical knowledge with hands-on experiences. My time at CPUT not only equipped me with the necessary skills and knowledge but also instilled in me a sense of purpose and responsibility toward environmental stewardship.”

It was a transformative period that solidified his commitment to making a meaningful difference in conservation efforts. “My journey leading up to this achievement has been one of growth, perseverance, and self-discovery. It involved exploring different paths, facing challenges, and embracing opportunities to learn and develop. Along the way, I received support from mentors, educators, and family, whose guidance and encouragement fuelled my determination. This journey has not only shaped my skills and knowledge but has also deepened my passion and commitment to making a meaningful impact in my chosen field.”

The support from his lecturers and faculty members has always been “invaluable”. Their guidance, encouragement, and expertise have significantly contributed to his academic growth and success. Joshua attributes a significant part of his achievements to the unwavering support from his family. Their encouragement, belief in his abilities, and sacrifices have been the “bedrock of my journey, providing me with the support needed to pursue my goals”.

Equally important, has been his passion and curiosity for his chosen career path. “This intrinsic motivation has been a driving force, keeping me engaged, enthusiastic, and constantly seeking to deepen my knowledge and skills. It's this passion that has fuelled long hours of hard work, pushing me to consistently strive for excellence.

“I have also been fortunate to have mentors and teachers who have guided and inspired me along the way. Their mentorship, wisdom, and guidance have helped shape my perspectives, refine my goals, and navigate challenges effectively.”

Joshua completed his Work Integrated Working year at Karoo Ridge Conservancy.

Written by Aphiwe Boyce