College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

College DVC Scholarship recipient, Ms Leigh Anne Trouchik, with Professor Naven Chetty.

Genetics and Molecular Biology Favourite Subjects of Scholarship Winner!

A love for Science began at an early age for College Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship winner Ms Leigh Anne Trouchik.

‘I remember my Grade 5 teacher always going the extra mile to teach us concepts in Science and at Durban Girls’ High, I developed an interest in both Molecular Biology and Genetics. These experiences resulted in a life-long curiosity and passion for the sciences,’ said Trouchik.

Very aware of where her interests lay and having established that UKZN had an excellent science department, Trouchik made the relatively easy decision to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree at the University. Now in her third year, she will major in Genetics and Cellular Biology at the School of Life Sciences.

The College Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship is given to the three top-ranked undergraduates proceeding from second to subsequent years of study.

For Trouchik the scholarship is an honour and an aid. ‘I am so honoured to have been awarded this prestigious scholarship. It has lifted a huge financial burden off of my parents and allowed me to complete my studies. The award recognises my hard work and validates the countless hours of studying I have invested in my degree,’ she said.

Her junior school principal Mr Des Friedrichs of Morningside Primary is not surprised by her stellar performance at university. ‘Leigh Anne was one of the most amazing pupils to have passed through Morningside Primary School. I have had the honour of seeing her receive numerous awards, despite having difficulty speaking English as a child. She has proven that obstacles are merely interesting challenges.’

Her parents are also very proud of her achievements. ‘We were so excited when we found out that Leigh Anne had been awarded the DVC scholarship. She spends every moment studying and working hard, so we are so grateful that her efforts have been acknowledged,’ said Mr Dimitri and Mrs Tatiana Trouchik.

Trouchik is grateful that the scholarship has enabled her to follow her passion. ‘It is so important to love what you are studying and I have enjoyed every aspect of my degree. I wake up each day excited to come to campus and learn,’ she said.

Trouchik’s future plans include pursuing honours and then master’s degrees in Genetics. ‘I want to be a researcher and hope to make a break through that will help future generations,’ she said.

She said her father, a UKZN alumnus, had always told her that education was the best gift she could give herself and she was very happy with her decision to receive this ‘gift’ at UKZN.

‘I can honestly say it was the best decision I have ever made.’

Words: Sashlin Girraj

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal