College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

r Danvir Ramesar receives his award from Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, CAPRISA Associate Scientific Director.

Thirst for Knowledge Drives Archbishop Denis E. Hurley Scholarship Recipient

Mr Danvir Ramesar received the Archbishop Denis E. Hurley Scholarship, which has enabled him to pursue his Honours degree in Microbiology.

The Archbishop Denis E Hurley Scholarship is provided by the Archbishop Denis E. Hurley Educational Trust and is dedicated to academically disadvantaged but excellent candidates to read for Honours degrees. Selected candidates’ study areas, community involvement, leadership qualities and ethical vision must resonate with the life, spirit and accomplishments of the late Archbishop Denis E. Hurley who was a former UKZN Chancellor.

Receiving the scholarship was a motivating force for Ramesar who was ecstatic about being a recipient. Not only will the scholarship ease the financial strain of tuition, it has opened more avenues and depth for his microbiology research by enabling him to conduct the various tests and analyses his research required.

‘I have loved Microbiology since I was a child,’ said Ramesar. ‘What fascinated me was how living organisms, that are so miniscule that one needs powerful microscopes to see them, could impact and influence comparatively giant creatures like us. We know so much about the world based on what we can see, but I find it interesting looking at the smaller side of life that directly impacts our health, medicine, food, the environment and economy,’ he said.

Ramesar is investigating how microorganisms can degrade pollutant compounds that plague the environment. He chose to pursue this interest at UKZN because it is close to home and allowed him to maximise time with his family while studying before he sets off on new adventures.

He has excelled in his studies, receiving a number of certificates of merit for his work and earning a place in the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Ramesar, who is also a keen karateka and a regular in the gym, aims to continue his quest for knowledge by pursuing his Master’s degree in Microbiology.

He thanked his parents, brother and close friends Ashweria, Luvershen and Ryshan, for their unwavering support throughout his academic career.

Words: Christine Cuénod

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal