Rosen College Dean’s Star Award – Mathilda van Niekirk, Ph.D.

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Rosen College Dean’s Star Award – Mathilda van Niekirk, Ph.D.

On March 1, 2019, Dean Youcheng Wang presented the second Rosen College Dean’s Star Award to Dr. Mathilda van Niekirk, an associate professor in the Tourism Events and Attractions Department who was the spark for the We Care campaign.  The Dean’s Star Award is presented each month to a faculty or staff member who exemplifies the Rosen College’s vision and mission to become a global center of excellence.

Here are the qualities that led the dean to choose Mathilda for the Star Award:

We would like to recognize Mathilda van Niekirk because of her passionate and effective teaching style, which enables our students to excel above and beyond expectations, her service to the industry which provides a bridge between academia and professionals, and more importantly the We Care campaign she initiated at the Rosen College. Because of her, the Rosen College colleagues are able to share more flowers, birthday cards, and love and care with each other as a family! Anything she works on, she does it with a style, smile and perfection. She is Our lioness from South Africa with the highest courage, determination, positive energy and professionalism. Thank you for showcasing your personality which has enlightened the Rosen College family! 

Congratulations Mathilda!

Dr. van Niekerk has extensive experience in leadership positions and managing organizational budgets, festivals and events. Before joining Rosen College, she held senior management positions at different institutions in both higher education and local government. She was head of the Tourism Section at the Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa for five years. She then joined the Mbombela Local Municipality as senior manager, responsible for local economic development, tourism and trade. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, she served as the cluster leader in Nelspruit, one of the host cities responsible for marketing, communications, events and tourism. Recognizing her leadership and contribution to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Nelspruit, South Africa, she received the Premier Protea Hotel Nelspruit/Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism – Tourism Personality of the year award. Her commitment and competence as an event organizer, visionary and leader are also evident in her success as an owner and director of a business enterprise in the private sector, for which she was named a national finalist for South Africa’s ABSA Business Woman of the Year award.