Long Service Award for Sharon Turner

4 Oct 2015 - 21:45

Sharon Turner, a longstanding member at the International Programmes Office was honoured for more than 15 years of service to the University of Cape Town. The awards dinner was truly a special moment for her. She describes her experience of the Long Service Awards Dinner as heart-warming.

“The effort and attention to detail at the awards dinner was amazing. It was a wonderful tribute to all the recipients on the evening”. 

Sharon Turner joined the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) 16 years ago on Thursday the 1st of April 1999. She started at IAPO as a Study Semester Abroad (SSA) Administrator. Her first day at IAPO was a pleasant one, she says she was surprised by how friendly and “easy to talk to” the staff were. Her expectations were surprisingly low, mainly because the office was fairly new, having only been established a few years before. The way in which business was conducted at IAPO changed remarkably over the past 16 years.  Technology was highly influential in this regard and this was illustrated by how she used to find a student to resolve a query. Fifteen years ago the SSA programme was relatively small, and thus it was easier to track students i.e. she could easily find them just by visiting a lecture they might be attending. This process requires much less leg work today!

Her proudest moment was in 2010 when the study SSA enrolled more than 1000 students for the first time in UCT’s history. This was a major milestone in her career and she considers this to be one of IAPO’s greatest achievements.  

For Sharon Turner, her time at IAPO was defined by the vibrancy of the unique context. “Every semester, we welcome a fresh group of students. It is always exciting and refreshing to see someone experience Cape Town and the university for the first time. It is an experience which always breathes fresh air into our experience and the work that we do at IAPO”.