From an undergraduate student on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus in the 1970s to working in the ICT Division in the 1980s and graduating with an MSc (Computer Science) to recently serving as Principal Technician in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ms Kathy Murrell’s career has been cemented in the University.
Asked to describe her work in lay terms Murrell humbly stated: ‘I help people use computers for teaching and learning!’
She is now retiring but true to form says she has no intention of stopping her beloved labours! Rather she plans to continue working as an eLearning consultant.
Murrell mentions two areas of work she did over the years that she is particularly proud of. The first is the voluntary assistance she offered blind students at Howard College when she supported students using screen reader software in their academic work. Students she worked with at the time are now doing amazingly well in politics, human resources and the legal field. ‘It is fulfilling to know that I made a small contribution to their hard won success.’
The other area was when she was in the Centre for Information Technology in Higher Education (ITEd) under the leadership of Professor Alan Amory. ITEd focused on the theoretical foundations of using Information and Communication Technologies in education. Murrell conducted research in this field, taught digital media courses to postgraduate students and supervised six masters research projects, with two students graduating cum laude.
She also supported staff across the University using the resources developed and provided to the University by ITEd. ‘Under Professor Alan Amory’s leadership, ITEd was a ground breaking venture in its time and set a great benchmark for others to follow,’ said Murrell.
She believes the work she has been doing at the School of Health Sciences is underpinned by the knowledge and experience she gained during her ITEd period. She says she will miss working with dedicated professional staff, academics and students.
Her motto is: ‘Integrity is one thing that no-one can take from you and is impossible to retrieve if you throw it away.’