Jeppe old boys shine at Wits

Devon Jarvis

Jeppe recently received a report from The University of the Witwatersrand detailing the top academic achievements of our old boys who were studying there in 2019. In all, 237 courses were written, 196 of them were passed and there were 110 First Class (75% and above) passes. 56% of the students achieved First Class passes.

We managed to track down two of the winners: Devon Jarvis, who made the Dean’s list in his BSc Honours Computer Science year, and Hank Smith, who was on the Dean’s List for his second year in the Faculty of Science.

Making the Dean’s list, Devon explained, means that your overall achievement was in the top 5% of all the students in your year in the faculty. Devon was also awarded the Samuel Goldman Memorial Medal which is for the top post-graduate student in the Science Faculty.

In addition to making the Dean’s list, Hank was the top student in Actuarial Science II and achieved seven first class passes in his BSc subjects.

Both of them put their success down to the same thing – self-discipline and consistent hard work throughout the year. “You have to set your own deadlines and much of your motivation is intrinsic,” Devon said. “That’s even more important this year with the Covid-19 lockdown preventing us from going to campus and almost all of the work happening online.”

Devon is doing an MSc degree this year and hopes to progress to a Phd afterwards. He is looking at a career in the academia, teaching at the university, but points out that it doesn’t mean getting totally bogged down in theoretical work. “We are encouraged to find ways of applying our knowledge in the real world and I am already involved in advocacy groups and I am currently looking at ways of applying my area of expertise, which is machine learning, to wildlife conservation, a field that I am passionate about,” he said.

Hank remembers his first few months at varsity as a very difficult time. “I had always done well at school, but I got rude awakening. There’s no-one to hold your hand here. You have to be self-disciplined, and it was only when I accepted that you need to put in full days of hard work to succeed that things got better,” he said.

When asked what advice he had for the boys still at school, Hank said they should look to make friends who are smarter than they are. “Get close to the guys who are at the top of the top 10 academics in your year and push yourself to compete with them,” he said.

The full list of prize winners is:

Abdullah Bemath – Dean’s list, 1st year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

Reece Bloemstein – Certificate of First Class, Psychology II.

Claudio de Mata – Certificates of First Class, Basic computer Organisation I, Introduction to Algorithms and Programming I, Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms I.

Michael Gomes – Dean’s list, year of study II.

Devon Jarvis – Dean’s list, Honours year, The Samuel Goldman Memorial Medal.

Thabiso Mamba – Certificate of First Class, Abstract Mathematics II, Linear Algebra II.

Xolani Masondo – Certificates of First Class, Number Theory III.

Matthew Moon – Dean’s list, Bachelor of Laws.Dhavaan Naaidoo – Certificate of First Class, Introduction to Algorithms and Programming I.

Tailon Naaidoo – Dean’s list, Year of Study 1.

Pfano Nenjele – Certificates of First Class, Education IV, Engineering Graphics and Design III, Geography IV, Senior Primary Methodology Technology II.

Joao Pita – Certificate of First Class, Spatial Ecology and Conservation III.

Joshua Sarkis – Certificate of First Class, Abnormal Psychology III.

Tiago Serodio – Wing Commander FA Harte Prize in Aeronautics.Hank Smith – Dean’s list, Year of Study II.

Arshad Suliman – Certificate of First Class, Symbolic Logic III.

Matthew van Niekerk – Certificates of First Class, English III, Secondary Methodology: English III, Secondary Methodology: Social Sciences II, Social Sciences II.

Dr Roland Worth – Shimandzu Top Achiever Award.

Mlungisi Zwane – Dean’s list, Bachelor of Accounting Science.

We are very proud of all of them and thank them for keeping the Jeppe flag flying.