UKZN Academic Completes PhD in Memory of her Mom

DBA graduate Dr Vanessa Gregory
A family celebration for DBA graduate Dr Vanessa Gregory and her husband Gareth pictured with their daughters Hazel Rose and Ruth Grace.

Senior lecturer in Financial Accounting at UKZN, Dr Vanessa Gregory described her journey to obtain a Doctorate in Business Administration as challenging yet inspiring.

Her research, entitled: An Evaluation of Corporate Sustainability and Financial Performance for JSE Listed Companies in the Food and Drug Retail Sector, analysed companies’ annual integrated reports. The study found that ‘there is much room for growth in sustainability reporting’.

Gregory faced many hurdles in completing her qualification, her family members being admitted to hospital due to COVID-19, and she also lost her mother due to health complications. ‘My thesis was completed in loving memory of her,’ she said. Gregory further expressed her heartfelt gratitude to her family, supervisor, colleagues and church family for their unwavering support throughout her journey.

As a senior lecturer, she aims to be a role model who motivates her students to strive for the best in all they do. She also hopes to set an example to her two young children, Hazel Rose and Ruth Grace whom she was blessed with during her journey of completing her qualification.

Gregory has published in accredited open-access journals and is planning to produce further articles from her PhD study.

She thanked her supervisor Professor Micky Chasomeris who was also her lecturer in Economics when she completed her MBA: ‘What I valued the most within the journey was the inspiration of Micky’s own walk in faith that motivated me through the challenges.’

The Dean and Head of the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance Professor Mabutho Sibanda congratulated Gregory on her achievement and said he looks forward to an improvement in the School’s research output.

Words: Ayanda Radebe

Photograph: Sethu Dlamini

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