Ms Jeanette van Rooyen graduates with her BSc Honours in Chemistry (cum laude) with her family by her side.

A Marie Curie in the Making

Hard work and effort paid off for Ms Jeanette Van Rooyen who graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Honours in Chemistry.

Van Rooyen, who has a love for Chemistry that is driven by research, plans to pursue a career in forensic science.

The road has not always been easy for Van Rooyen, whose home language is Afrikaans, but had to pursue her studies in English. She also experienced  health issues throughout her studies, but she managed to do her best and complete each task to the best of her abilities.

Van Rooyen attributed her success to the support she got from her parents, her best friend Nabeelah and her supervisor, Dr Matthew Akerman.

She believes that the biggest tool one can use for inspiration is found within. ‘As long as you know in your heart who you are and believe that you can achieve something, you have the tools to achieve anything. Believe in yourself and the world will believe in you.’

She encouraged undergraduate students to never give up. ‘I know that this probably sounds cliché, but it really is true. You won’t always have good days. Some days you will feel that your degree is getting the better of you, but if you persevere, you eventually succeed. Do not feel defeated by a failed test or bad grade, accept it as a learning curve to shape a better you and eventually, you’re sure to do better.’

A milestone for Van Rooyen, who is terrified of public speaking, was when she received first prize in the oral presentation category of the SACI Hons/ B Tech Symposium of 2017.

In her spare time Van Rooyen enjoys playing the piano, listening to Disney songs, sketching and baking.

Her mother, Hester, described her as a fun loving and caring person who is dedicated in all she does.  ‘She sees good in all those around her and has, since childhood, strived to be the best at what she does.’

Words: Swastika Maney and Ntokozo Dladla