Dr. Franzél du Plooy-Cilliers is the Executive Dean: Academic at the Da Vinci Institute of Technology: School of Business Leadership. Before she joined the Da Vinci Institute in January 2020, she was The Dean; Research and Postgraduate Studies at The Independent Institute of Education (IIE), the largest provider of private higher education in South Africa. She studied her Bachelor’s Degree at the Rand Afrikaans University (currently the University of Johannesburg) where she graduated as the top student in Communication Studies and received the McCann-Erickson award for the best advertising project. She continued her studies and did an Honours Degree in Advertising, a Master’s Degree in Organisational Communication and a Doctorate in Interpersonal Communication, where she specifically focused on the influence of expectation violations on relationship quality. Franzél started her academic career as a lecturer in the Communication Department at the Rand Afrikaans University, where she received the award for lecturer of the year in 2001. She then joined Monash South Africa where she was the Head of Section of Communication and Media Studies. Whilst at Monash Franzél received an award for the most outstanding female academic, a dean’s commendation for teaching excellence and was invited to present in the Vice-Chancellor’s Showcase for Teaching Excellence in Melbourne Australia on best practice in Higher Education Teaching and Learning. She joined The IIE in 2011 as the Head of Faculty for Humanities and was promoted to Dean in 2017. Franzél published articles in accredited academic journals, presented research papers at national and international conferences, was interviewed on radio and television, and she is the author and editor of several books. She has published in the fields of Organisational and Business Communication, Interpersonal Communication and Research Methodology. She is a referee for accredited journals, an external moderator and examiner for public and private higher education providers, a programme reviewer for the Council on Higher Education (CHE), sits on advisory committees for several academic institutions, is a mentor for the Phakama’s Women’s Academy and she continues to supervise Master’s and Doctoral students.

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