Dr Makondelele Makatu is a member of the SAYAS EXCO. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Venda (UNIVEN). She obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Pretoria (UP). Prior to that, she had received her education at University of Venda (UNIVEN), University of South Africa (UNISA) and University of Maastricht, the Netherlands. In her quest for new and innovative ideas to deploy in her academic work, Dr Makatu applied for and received a EUROSA scholarship which enabled her to spend a month at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. She completed the Teaching Advancement at Universities (TAU) fellowship programme, offered by the University of Johannesburg. Dr Makatu is one of the 2016 Africa Science Leadership (ASLP) fellows and a full member of the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD). Over the years, she participated in many academic and community development initiatives, capacity building and mentoring activities. She particularly notes her involvement in the household vulnerability to food and water insecurity project from 2013-2014, which the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) and Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) funded and was implemented in Thulamela Municipality of Limpopo Province by the Institute for Rural Development at UNIVEN. As the frontline field coordinator of the project, it opened many doors for her to learn directly about household vulnerability, common coping strategies and understanding the causes through the lenses of children, youth, adults and community leaders. Apart from this work, her other research projects have focused on widows’ bereavement and related rituals, siblings of mentally retarded children, coping with special health care needs, parental support towards adolescents’ pregnancy and adolescents and financial stress in the family. Currently she is coordinating a project focusing on developing responsible citizens amongst in-school youth for the benefit of the society. Dr Makatu has successfully supervised and co-supervised eight Masters and three PhD students. Furthermore, she serves as an external examiner for Psychology Masters dissertations of students registered at various universities in South Africa. An author and co-author of peer-reviewed and accredited journal articles. Dr Makatu believes her star in the academic arena will continue to rise.