Ms Michaela Penkler

Programme Coordinator


Michaela holds a postgraduate degree in Psychological Counselling having completed undergraduate studies in Fine Arts and Psychology. Recently appointed at the university, she provides support to the Engagement and Transformation Office in a Programme Coordination capacity, assisting the team with writing, editing, and research.

In other capacities, Michaela acts as a programme developer at REVIVE, designing various socially orientated interventions from empowerment and emotional wellbeing perspectives for vulnerable populations of the Nelson Mandela Bay community. She also volunteers at REVIVE as a lay-counsellor and training facilitator. 


Getting to know me


1. How would you define your role within the Engagement and Transformation team?

As a project coordinator, my role is a flexible one, delving into writing, editing, and research support.


2. What does Engagement and Transformation in Higher Education look like to you?

Engagement is a cyclical process of governing bodies learning from and responding to the community in which they serve. This brings about change and this change brings us back full circle to “re”-engaging with the community. This constant dynamic of change brings about Transformation. 


3. Describe your job in 3 words.

Avant-guard, multifaceted, purposeful. 


4. What is your favourite activity when you are not in the office?

Anything creative that makes me zone out.


5. What is your favourite place on Earth?

Tough choice. It would be between nature or art galleries; I cannot commit to just one.


6.What is your favourite quote?

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” ― Marcus Aurelius


7.If you could change something in the world, what would it be?

Ideally, I would eliminate the human capacity for greed. Realistically, I am working towards helping my immediate community to bring about meaningful change in their own lives. 


8.What would you be able to give a 30-minute presentation about without any advanced preparation?

Emotional wellbeing, the physiological effects of stress and trauma on the child’s brain, or the technical and tactical variations of weapon disciplines in fencing. 


9.What is the best piece of professional advice you have ever received?

Don’t kill yourself over this. 


10.What motivates you?

The prospect of producing or contributing beauty and excellence through my work.