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Get to know your researcher

The Gold Fields Library hosted its quarterly presentation for aspiring researchers under the theme "getting to know your researcher" on 23 May.

This quarter's researcher was 'acclaimed prominent researcher' Emsie Dicks: Vaal University of Technology's (VUT) Associate Professor and Lecturer in Hospitality who shared her journey, experiences and achievements as a researcher with the purpose of motivating those who are pursuing, and those who want to pursue, a career in research.

Her journey began in 1996 when she completed her Honours Degree at the University of Potchefstroom in 1999 she attended her first conference where she had to present; an experience that she said was quite daunting but that, with boldness and with time, can become a very pleasant one. She completed her master's degree in record time while working and looking after two children.

Her long list of highlights in her career include having her third master's students graduate in 2012, being made an associate professor in August 2011, a panel member in the National Research foundation (NRF), having done 15 National Conference presentations, published four accredited articles, being part of the strengthening Doctoral Supervision Programme (2013) and being the Faculty Research Chairperson from April 2012-April 2016. She is currently supervising eight MTech students and two DTech students. She has lectured BTech students in Zimbabwe as well.

"Learning should be an experience and experiences are life-changing," she said. She highlighted the importance of having someone who inspires you in the process as this will keep you motivated, even when you feel like giving up. It is through teamwork (having her husband by her side), sacrifices, dedication and willingness to work that she now reaps her rewards. Throughout her journey she has also had the opportunity to visit countries like Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and Switzerland. In her spare time, she paints, cooks, gardens and is, above all, a wife to her husband Prof Dirk Dicks: VUT Head of Department: Engineering Development and Support Unit and mother to her two children who are also following in their parents' academic footsteps.

"Growing up in an underprivileged environment should not stop you from achieving your goals; you can rise. There is a place for everyone under the sun," she concluded.