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Heather Dixon

South Africa & Rhodes University, 2018

Degree of study:
Honours in Political Studies & History

Heather Dixon completed her Honours Degree in History, and Political and International Studies (with distinction) in 2018. Before that, she completed a triple major (also with distinction) in History, Political and International Studies, and Psychology. Heather also graduated as the top History and top Psychology student.

Broadly speaking, Heather is passionate about equity and social justice, particularly for marginalised peoples and communities. Her honours thesis explored the theme of a South African identity, in light of xenophobic sentiment and violence, questioning the construction of community. Heather presented this work in 2018 at the Historical Association of South Africa’s biennial conference as one of two Honours students at the conference.

During her time at Rhodes, Heather sought to continually improve the lives of those around her.  Some of the ways in which she sought to do this was through; mentoring first year students living off campus, working as a wellness leader, working as a subwarden and serving on the Independent Electoral Board. Heather also spent three years mentoring matric students from local high schools, leading a mentoring team for two of these years. This service towards the community saw her awarded the Registrar’s Long Service Award for Community Engagement, as well as a Gold Award in Recognition of being one of the Top 10 volunteers at Rhodes University. For all her contributions to the university, Heather was recognised twice by Investec Rhodes Top 100; once in the category for General Excellence, and again in the category of Student Leadership.

Currently, Heather is channeling her passion for equal access to quality education by working in the field of education planning and management. She works directly with government, to collaborate, support and capacitate projects and initiatives to improve educational quality and outcomes in South Africa. Heather is involved in the National Reading Coalition, which seeks to address problems of illiteracy in South Africa, as well as cultivate a culture of reading for all South Africans. Heather’s favourite genres include African and Feminist literature. When Heather isn’t trying to get the nation to read, she can be found boxing, grappling on the mat – working on her jiu jitsu – or off the coast, scuba diving.

Explore the Class of 2018