The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology (CTHB) celebrated the end of another successful year of mentoring and outreach at its annual lunch on 29 October. The CTHB hosted the lunch for participants in its mentorship programme as well as members of Mpepu Rural Youth Encouragement (MRYE), a CTHB-funded outreach organisation run by students at the University of Pretoria. 

Undergraduate students who completed the 2018 mentorship programme received certificates in recognition of this achievement. The students were mentored by Drs Vuyiswa Bushula-Njah and Albe van der Merwe as well as postgraduate students Tayo AdegeyeGinna GranadosDarryl HerronAngel MadukeMkhululi MaphosaRachel MkandawireNam PhamMmatshepho PhashaMiranda ProcterEmeldah RikhotsoMohammad SayariSydney Sithole and Ariska van der Nest. Professor Brenda Wingfield commended the students’ enthusiasm for science, which they displayed through the long hours in the lab and hard work they put in. She said also wished them luck for their final exams. 

The mentorship programme has been running since 2015 and a number of mentees who completed the programme have since progressed to postgraduate studies at FABI. MRYE members visited 28 schools in three provinces in 2018, advising high school learners on making the transition to university less daunting.