ICER Biographies

Below are the ICER Biographies of the Conference and Programme Chairs, Key Note Speakers and Mini-Track Chairs.

Conference and Programme Chairs

Margi Boosey is a seasoned education professional with a remarkable career that has spanned diverse roles and responsibilities, culminating in her current position as Academic Manager for Varsity College and IIE MSA brands. With a passion for education and a proven track record of leadership and innovation, Margi's career has been marked by a commitment to excellence and a dedication to empowering students to achieve their full potential. In her current leadership role, she now oversees academic delivery across all 10 campuses while playing a crucial role in shaping the educational landscape and fostering an environment of academic excellence.

Willy Engelbrecht (PhD) is currently the Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies at The Independent Institute of Education (IIE). Willy has 11 years of experience in teaching, research and management at public and private higher education institutions. His research interest is diverse and thus he participates in various transdisciplinary research projects which include higher education management, educational leadership, tourism, marketing and supply chain. Willy also supervises and acts as an examiner for master's and doctoral studies for various higher educational institutions across South Africa. He is the Scientific Chair for the SAPHE Conference and also a member of various academic advisory boards for both public and private higher education institutions and acts as a reviewer for both local and international journals.

Keynote Speakers

Dr AndrĂ© Abrahams is currently the Deputy Dean: Academic Development and Support at the Central Academic Team of The Independent Institute of Education (IIE). He completed his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Political Science, and a PhD in Development Studies with a focus on Education for Sustainable Development and transformative teaching practice and has over 10 years’ experience in the field of higher education. Dr Abrahams’s research interests include Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Transformative Learning and Problem-Based Learning. An advocate for student-centered learning which aims to place students as the focal point of each lecture, giving students the ability to gain critical thinking skills that will transcend the lecture halls into real-life situations; AndrĂ© has also worked with Amnesty International, various municipalities, and NGO’s to promote Education for Sustainable Development and the 21st century skills desperately needed in the Southern African context.  

Mini-Track Chairs

Stavroula Andreopoulos is a Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on enhancing communication, oral and written skills, reflective abilities, critical thinking and the overall learning experience in science education.  In 2017, she was recognized by the Temerty Faculty of Medicine for her multi-year contribution to undergraduate teaching with the Sustained Excellence and Innovation in Life Sciences Education Award.  More recently (2023), she was awarded the provincial Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Teaching Award of Distinction.

Dr Ayanda Deliwe is the Head of Department and Senior Lecturer at Nelson Mandela University Business Management Department. She holds a PhD in Commerce Leadership and is an international award winner where she has won the Women in Leadership award in the London Digital School of Business awards 2023. She has also won the Nelson Mandela University Faculty Emerging Researcher Award in the year 2021. Dr Deliwe has published articles in high-rated journals on education and e-learning and has presented and been a keynote speaker at international conferences. Dr Deliwe is currently working on an e-learning 3-year project where the main focus is on how higher education institutions can prepare for the future of technology.

Ockert R. Pretorius is a lecturer at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His research interests include regional policy and economic resilience, and he has an industry background in development economics.

Prof Gerda Reitsma is an independent Higher Education Consultant providing education and research related services and training to individuals and higher education institutions for the past two years. She has more than 30 years’ experience in teaching, research, and management in the Higher Education sector.  She was previously the Director of the Centre for Health Professions Education at the NWU, and before that SoTL researcher and mentor at CTL NWU. Prof Reitsma has published and co-published more than 30 international and national articles and book chapters during her academic career, where she focussed on the development of lecturers as university teachers, mentoring academics in SoTL and supervising post-graduate students in education-related research studies. 

Dr. Swanzen is the Deputy Dean of Research at the Independent Institute of Education. From 2015-2018 Rika held the position of Adjunct Associate Professor with the Caulfield campus of Monash University and from mid-2016 to mid-2022 she served as ministerial appointee on the South African Council for Social Service Professions. She co-edited the Relational Child and Youth Care Practice journal from 2015 to 2022 and was a member of the scientific committee for the 2021 ASASWEI conference. Dr. Swanzen authored 24 peer reviewed publications and delivered 28 conference presentations from 2007 to 2023. While managing various academic departments since 2010, she developed curriculum, lectured, supervised and externally examined postgraduate students.

Dr Brenda van Wyk (PhD; M.Ed; M.Inf) is currently a research associate and senior academic in the EBIT Faculty at the University of Pretoria.  She serves on the steering committee of ACEIE. She is the Managing Editor of a DHET accredited journal: the Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning (IJTL). She has published several manuscripts and articles in academic journals, chapters in books and conference proceedings

Workshop Facilitators