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Dr Suzette Leal
Researcher
Cape Town, South Africa
English-speaking PhD Communication Studies graduate with considerable experience doing research in vulnerable, marginalised communities. Seeking opportunity to lend a voice to those who live on the fringes of society.
Send email Contact Dr Suzette Leal
Area of Expertise:
  • Capacity Building, Training, Advocacy, Political
  • Communications, IT, Media, Knowledge Management, Editor
  • Fundraising, Business Development, Grants Writer
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Policy, Research, Analysis
  • Social, Education, Gender, Youth, Child
Professional Experience:
Researcher with a proven track record of thorough and comprehensive work. My dedication and diligence as well as my ability to extract, digest and present information in a way that will appeal to the intended audience have resulted in a very successful and respected academic career.

In this vein, I was selected to represent South Africa at the esteemed Oxford University’s Media Policy Summer Institute which took place in August 2019. The program focused on marginalised communities and research conducted in areas where people often live on the fringes of society.

I was also invited to attend a doctoral spring school at the University of Punjab, Lahore in Pakistan in February 2020. Again, the program concentrated on the role of media in poverty alleviation and social justice.

I further have experience as a field researcher and journalist, and I have worked as a strategic communications consultant for the past six years. In these roles, my responsibilities involve researching themes and topics and then presenting these in a succinct, clear and comprehensive way using a myriad of media platforms.
Education:
I hold a PhD and a Master's degree in Communication Studies. My Master's degree was awarded with distinction (Cum Laude). My research was conducted in informal settlements in Gauteng - South Africa's financial capital.

For my Master's, I explored the news media consumption behaviour of residents in Pango Camp - an informal settlement on the West Rand of Johannesburg. For my doctoral research, I worked in six different informal settlements to research the role and impact of social media in informal settlements. The results were far-reaching and pointed to participants using Facebook for fundraising, emotional connectedness, inspiration and surveillance of the environment.

I also hold Honours degrees in Psychology, Educational Psychology and Industrial Psychology respectively. I have significant research experience in these fields as well, again, predominantly in vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.
Affiliations and Achievements:
I am a Golden Key member - Golden Key membership is by invitation only. The top 15% of university and graduate students are invited to join this society based on their academic achievements.

I was the winner of the University of Johannesburg's Three-Minute Thesis presentation competition. The Three-Minute Thesis Competition or 3MT is an annual competition held in 200 universities around the world. It is open to PhD and Master's students and challenges participants to present their research in just 180 seconds, in a way that is understood by an audience with no background in the research area.

I was a speaker at the Build Peace conference in 2020.

I contributed to a book on Internet Myths commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economy in 2019.

I am an Association of Media and Communications Academic Professionals (AMCAP) journal reviewer (2020 – present).

Available for:
  • Job opportunities
  • Internships / Fellowships
  • Being headhunted – make me an offer

    Years of Experience:
    5-10 years
    Highest Qualification:
    Doctorate
    Languages:
    English, Afrikaans and very basic French
    Nationality:
    South Africa
    LinkedIn Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/dr-suzette-leal-b902011b7/
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