Prof Angelina Maphula is a Senior Lecturer attached to the Faculty of Health Sciences in the Department of Psychology at the University of Venda. She started her journey at Belemu Primary School, moved to Tshiwedza and completed her Grade 12 at Makakavhale Secondary School in Lwamondo. When asked where she studied her tertiary education, she indicated that she went to Vista University where she studied her BA Degree, did her Honours in Psychology at University of Venda in 2005, she then moved to do her Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of North West (Mafikeng Campus). Prof Maphula worked as a Clinical Psychologist from 2006 to 2009 at Makweng-Polokwane Hospital Complex in the Department of Health. She acknowledges that the insight and the experience she gathered over the four years in a clinical setting laid a foundation to provide the clinical strength needed in this training institution. During the four years Prof Maphula was exposed to hosting interns, running groups, facilitated workshops, trained, and supervised various groups of interns Clinical Psychologists and Trauma Counsellors.
Prof Maphula joined the University of Venda in 2010 as a Lecturer and decided to pursue her PhD studies guided and promoted by Professor Bessong from the University of Venda and Professor Scharf from the University of Virginia, USA. Her PhD focus was on Child Development.
When asked how her background has shaped her life and the route she has chosen academically, Prof Maphula indicated that she is passionate about research, she also emphasised that Psychology is one of the most critical profession in the health care arena, she believes that the University of Venda continues to develop staff who are capable to provide solutions to global health challenges and that opportunities are opening for those who are eager to work. Most importantly she highlighted that being an academic also means spending sleepless nights either marking, setting tests, writing an article, or working on reviewer comments of an article that was rejected etc. It is therefore important to balance being a mother, a wife, an employee, and a student which can be daunting at times.
Prof Maphula highlighted that in her academic journey, she got involved in various projects, to name a few (Mal-ed project – a prospective birth cohort, Vhembe Project, Save the Children, GladAfrica Epilepsy Research Project, Study VIII, MHIRT Project that was a collaboration between the University of Venda and the University of Virginia and many more).
She has served in various structures, including where she was nominated to serve as Vice Chairperson in the most prestigious Psychological body known in South Africa – Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) in the Division for Research and Methodology for the term 2021-2023. Prof Maphula is currently doing her Post-Doctoral studies at the University of California Los Angeles (USA) where her focus is on Trauma and Mental Health. She is also making an impact in the community through media platforms because numerous SABC Radio stations frequently invite her to give an expert opinion and presentation on various psychological-related issues. Her final remarks were targeted to those still in their early career days – that hard work never kills, there is so much reward awaiting dedicated individuals who dare not to be average, the only thing needed is the mind to work tirelessly until one achieves a set goal.
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Date: 28 April 2022