Growing together: CHED and the success story of Dr Lovemore Kunorozva

20 Dec 2016 - 23:30
Dr Lovemore Kunorozva (image by Michael Hammond)

Dr Lovemore Kunorozva has completed an epic study journey of nine (9) years at UCT and has been consistently acknowledged for excellence and commitment as a recipient of two scholarships for his postgraduate work. 

In December 2016, he was awarded a Doctorate degree in Philosophy of Science (PhD). Dr Kunorozva’s thesis is titled “Period 3 variable number tandem repeat genotype association with Performance, illness, injury, and re-entrainment”.

For over four and half  (4.5) years, Dr Kunorozva refined his thesis at UCT’s Department of Molecular and Cell Biology in collaboration with the Exercise Science and Sports Medicine unit in the department of Human Biology. 

Starting in 2006 with his undergraduate studies for a BSc degree in Geology, Dr Kunorozva soon discovered his love and connection with Microbiology and Biochemistry in second year. For his MSc and PhD studies, he focused deeper into the cutting-edge world of research in circadian rhythms, PERIOD3 genotypes and sports performance. His PhD work was based on Performance, Illness and Injury in South African SuperRugby athletes, who travelled across multiple time zones for matches in Australia and New Zealand

From his first year of studies, Lovemore was eager to learn about employment opportunities and possible professional lifestyles that relate to the various fields of his academic interests. It was through talking to second and third year Geology students and Biology practical demonstrators that he discovered that he preferred the world of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology. 

He was able to change his focus to the field that matched his greatest interest and, since the change was early enough, it supported his career development rather than impeded it.

Dr Kunorozva sought out a voluntary internship (without pay) to learn about the processes of pharmaceutical development, as he was passionate about assisting people to have a better life with correct medical treatment and wanted to know the full spectrum of the work involved. This was to place himself as a useful scientist citizen within the communities he wished to serve.

His history in “earn as you learn” dates back as early as Grade 7 - where he assisted at local retailers as trolley helper or shelf-packer during the holidays right up to his final year of school, when he was working the tills to get pocket money.

Lovemore continued this tradition of learning and working while at UCT and worked in several CHED (Centre for Higher Education) units, including UCT Careers from 2012, Writing and Numeracy Centre from 2016 to supplement his Equity Development Departmental and the International Students Scholarships.

Commenting on the life skills learned at UCT Careers, Dr Kunorozva says, “Students have difficulties marketing themselves”, he continues “I applied for the job at UCT Careers to learn these skills about how to market myself so that when I am done with my studies I will have this qualification and be able to market myself for companies to see the value of what I have to offer.”

On the job at the Careers Service, he learned skills to support students with CV development and to prepare the students for the sessions with the Career Advisors, in addition to developing his own interviewing and job preparation skills.

UCT Careers provided practical skills development and facilitated his engagements with potential employers in a comfortable space. UCT Careers also offered a broad knowledge base that pertains to the world of professional employment and offered flexibility to accommodate his research studies.

Dr Kunorozva’s advise to fellow students who are considering a PhD study is that “if you have the willpower and you’re keen, try to do it now”. For younger scholars, he recommends attending life orientation workshops as early as possible to discover options with subject choices.

We congratulate Dr Kunorovza on this significant milestone in his life and commend his contribution to CHED, the UCT Careers Service as Peer Careers Support and at the Writing and Numeracy Centers as a consultant and tutor, respectively.

Dean of CHED, Associate Professor Suellen Shay says “Lovemore is an example of a student who has sought out and taken every opportunity that has come his way – UCT can be exceptionally proud of him.”

Dr Lovemore Kunorovza’s thesis will be available from January 2017 on OpenUct.