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Curiosity the Winning Formula

2017/09/09 09:39:06 AM

Ever since she was a child, Ms Stephanie Fraser has had an inquisitive mind. ‘I have always been curious about how things work in our world,’

Ms Stephanie Fraser analysing a sample of “lycopene” that she extracted from tomato products. 

Ever since she was a child, Ms Stephanie Fraser has had an inquisitive mind. ‘I have always been curious about how things work in our world,’ she recalls. It is this curiosity that guided the Malegapuru William Makgoba Scholarship recipient towards a career in Science and she has never looked back. 

During high school, Fraser’s subject choices were diverse because she wanted to keep her career options open. Despite having some trepidation at first, she stands by this decision as it gave her a broad perspective. ‘I would tell my younger self to enjoy all subjects because even though I didn’t understand why I was taking them, I later realised nothing learned is futile,’ she said. 

Years later and Fraser still has a curious mind, something that her father, Mr David Fraser, attests to. ‘She keeps asking why with the vigour of a three-year old, who has just learnt the power of questions to unravel the truth,’ he joked. 

Her curiosity led Fraser to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Chemistry, from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, a programme in which she has proven to be a diligent student. For this she received the Malegapuru W Makgoba Scholarship which is awarded to the College’s top five undergraduates proceeding from first to second year of study. 

Fraser recognises the financial relief the scholarship provides and commends the University for investing in its students. ‘I’m extremely grateful for their generosity and the financial support that this scholarship provides. It’s a wonderful thing to support the growth and education of the next generation.’ 

‘I think that an institution with enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, challenging course material and an uplifting, forward-thinking community, inspires students to strive for greatness. For me, UKZN has certainly fulfilled all of these.’ 

Life balance and integrity hold more significance to Fraser than career success. ‘I pride myself on leading a balanced life, staying true to myself and holding fast to my values. That, to me, is an achievement,’ she explained. She attributes her humility and maturity to the support received from her friends and family. 

Like everyone, Fraser is looking to stamp her mark on the world. ‘I hope that one day I will make discoveries that will change people’s lives or at the very least, my own,’ she said. With her drive, tenacity and ability to question, there’s no doubt that she’ll find the right answers.

We asked Fraser a few questions to learn more about her:

Q. What is your guilty pleasure? 

A. I enjoy a glass of Prosecco more than I’d like to admit.

Q. What was the last thing you Googled? 

A. Why does my cat sleep on my face?

Q. Do you have any hidden talents? 

A. I have been playing the violin and piano since I was five years old and am currently a member of the Durban City Orchestra.

Q. What is the most used App on your phone? 
A. iTunes - I can’t live without my music.

Q. What song is your current “jam”? 

A. “You get what you give” by the New Radicals

Q. What is your fondest childhood memory?

A. Riding horses in the Drakensberg mountains with my sisters (and almost dying in the process). 

Sashlin Girraj


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