Johnathan Dillon, Associate Professor/ Division Head at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, 34

They say teaching is a calling and this must be true of Johnathan Dillon, who sees his academic role as a natural extension of who he is. More than teaching students, Johnathan’s goal is to develop critical thinkers and individuals who add value to whatever they do once they graduate.

A man who loves a challenge and is a born problem solver, Johnathan also believes wholeheartedly in the importance of balance. As such, he is dedicated to his family, whilst also making time for his spiritual life, as well as his career. He’s a hard worker, believing that success comes solely through putting in the hours – there are simply no shortcuts. He lives his life according to the values of integrity and excellence and sees these two virtues as non-negotiable in all he does.

One of his first major achievements was being a Top 10 achiever in SAICA’s Qualifying Exam (Part 1) in 2005. Although he was not able to serve as an academic trainee due to the merger of higher education institutions, he was seconded to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) for a month during each of his three years of articles. It was during these times that his interest in following an academic path blossomed.

In fact, as soon as he completed his articles, Johnathan took his first academic position at NMMU lecturing Management Accounting and Finance at CTA level. Later, he was promoted to senior lecturer, also receiving the Emerging Teacher of the Year award in the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences in 2010.

By 2014 he graduated as Top Masters Student, with an MCom in Finance with distinction from the University of Cape Town (UCT). He has also co-authored “Financial Management”, published by Juta, which is a leading finance text book used in South Africa.

Academia has continued to serve Johnathan well. He presented a paper at the 2015 Southern African Accounting Association (SAAA) International Conference, for which he won two awards, including the award for best paper, out of 69 papers presented.

Most recently he has implemented a mentorship programme which he oversees for the Thuthuka CTA students at NMMU. At the beginning of 2016, he was promoted to associate professor and is currently working on the development of an MCom programme which specialises in Strategic Management Accounting and Finance.

He’s a keen runner too, and has run the Comrades and Two Oceans Ultra Marathons, not to mention a number of other ultra and standard marathons. His first Comrades was dedicated to the memory of his late father, who sadly passed away due to Motor Neuron Disease.

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