MaryAnn Francis is an expert in the field of communications with an ardent passion in new technologies. Currently employed as the College’s Public Relations manager, she leads a team of two Public Relations Officers and a web administrator. They are responsible for the complete public relations portfolio in the College ranging from strategic marketing, events management, international relations, conceptualisation and production of publications as well as translating scientific research into a community context.
Being passionate about new technologies, the College of Health Sciences is the only one at UKZN to have its own active Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as an online chat feature.
She began her career in the Department of Education as a Locum School psychologist in a School for Mentally Challenged learners. She then obtained permanent employment in the Department of Labour as a Senior Vocational Counsellor providing career guidance to members of the public and high schools in disadvantaged areas as well as assessments of mentally challenged unemployed people for either the open labour market or sheltered employment. She was responsible for the coordination of the selection and continuous mentorship of South Africa’s first Learnership project as funded by DANIDA in the late 1990’s and led the teams up skilling programme for companies engaged in retrenching of staff.
She hold a Bachelor’s degree with majors in Psychology and Criminology, an Honours Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Development Studies. Her dissertation focused on Understanding how the socialization of women in society impacted on their Engineering studies. She is currently enrolled for the UKZN Leadership Development Programme.