{President's Report 2003}
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    ...with the local, national and international communities that support and sustain the university. Memorial University's community-oriented research programs respond to the unique needs of Newfoundland and Labrador. Programs and technologies tailored for the province have been refined and are now applied in areas throughout the world which also have rural and remote populations.

    Festival 500 - Sharing the Voices

    Music is among the most valuable gifts that human beings can share. The fourth international choral event Festival 500 - Sharing the Voices was once again held on Memorial's campus in June and July 2003. Singers ranging from world famous vocal ensembles to community choirs arrived from all corners of the globe to share and experience their music. Festival highlights included the participation of inspired singer and conductor, Bobby McFerrin; vocalist and cultural historian, Linda Tillery; internationally acclaimed clinician and lecturer Maria Guinand and Finland's mesmerizing vocal ensemble Rajaton. More than 30 other choirs and 2,000 vocalists attended the event. Together with government and corporate sponsors, Memorial proudly supported this extraordinary biennial event, as well as its companion symposium, The Phenomenon of Singing, which showcased ongoing musical research from countries such as United Kingdom, Uganda, India, New Zealand and South Africa. Memorial University not only provided the venue, but most of the volunteers - faculty and staff from the School of Music, who prided themselves in managing the university's principal sponsorship of the festival. "Memorial's participation helps bring new music to our shores", said Dr. Tom Gordon, director of the School of Music. "It broadcasts Newfoundland and Labrador's passion for music-making around the globe." Festival highlights are available in the audio section of this report.

    Nunavut uses Memorial's expertise

    The fall of 2002 saw the launch of a Memorial-designed distance education program customized for Nunavut's Department of Education. The program was designed to develop and deliver a professional development certificate program for teachers in Nunavut. Fifty students were enrolled in the five-course program which borrowed from existing offerings in the Faculty of Education adapted for the northern context. The program was delivered through the School of Continuing Education over three time zones in Nunavut. The courses, selected by Nunavut teachers, include Introduction to Exceptional Learners, Child Abuse and the School Aged Child, Nature and Characteristics of Learning Disabilities and Contemporary Issues in Special Education. The Nunavut program was developed by Memorial's Drs. David Philpott, Wayne Nesbit and Alice Collins in co-operation with the Nunavut Department of Education.

    Sir Wilfred Grenfell College professor to participate in research on rural Canada

    Memorial has always had an important relationship with the rural areas of the province, where possible, providing the expertise needed to guide these small communities in times of change. Dr. Ivan Emke, a social/cultural studies professor at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, has been part of an interdisciplinary research team focusing on changes in the new rural economy. He was one of 15 university researchers who joined with rural people and policy makers to explore issues facing rural Canada. This past year, a large project he is working on received a $3-million infusion from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

    While Bill Reimer of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University is the lead investigator, the NRE project is truly collaborative in nature, with researchers representing universities from all over the country.

    The project can now enter its second phase, Building Rural Capacity in the New Economy, with another three-and-a-half years of research. The project will pursue four themes relevant to rural society: communications, environment, services and governance. Dr. Emke is primarily involved in the communications and environment themes. For the past five years, NRE (New Rural Economy) researchers have collected and analyzed data on the economic, social, political and cultural changes experienced by people living in 32 rural and remote locations across the country. Dr. Emke has been working with the people who live in the two provincial sites, Winterton and Twillingate, to help them understand the ramifications of living in rural Newfoundland in the 21st century. "Not only are we gaining valuable data and statistics as researchers, but we're also helping these people empower themselves - we're giving them information that will help them understand their place in the new economy," said Dr. Emke.

    Outstanding mathematicians gather to further knowledge

    This past July, Memorial hosted the second Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences (AARMS) summer school, a program designed to provide young researchers with basic training in a broad spectrum of active fields of mathematics. Four faculty members from as far away as Australia and 32 students from Europe, Canada and the U.S. were accepted from over 200 expressions of interest. Each student chose two full graduate courses for credit on cryptography, financial mathematics, partial differential equations or mathematical biology. Olena Plaksa, a graduate student in financial mathematics at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich, Germany, was one of the AARMS participants. She said, "I not only made great connections with other students and teachers from many different cultures, but the school also enabled me to see other students' approaches to the same mathematical problem." The school director, Dr. Edgar Goodaire, hopes that exposing the AARMS summer school students like Olena Plaksa to life in this part of the world may encourage their return for work or further study.

    Scholar documents facet of Labrador history

    Dr. Hans Rollmann, professor of religious studies, is a world authority on the Moravian missionaries who built settlements in Labrador's harsh environment. This past year he was an adviser to the provincial government for Moravian 250, an event that celebrated the Labrador region through a series of exhibitions and events. Dr. Rollmann developed and curated a travelling photographic exhibit called Through Moravian Eyes: 250 Years of Art, Photographs, and Records. The exhibit consisted of 26 panels and copies of more than 1,200 glass-plate negative photographs and historic art from the Moravian Archives in Herrenhut, Germany, that travelled through communities on the north coast of Labrador and the island of Newfoundland, 16 locations in all. The exhibit explored many areas of the Moravian presence in Labrador, such as religion, education, and music as well as traditional culture and subsistence. "People were very excited about rediscovering their own past, to see their families and ancestors in historical context," said Dr. Rollmann. A companion book and CD-ROM on the subject were also produced for all schools in the province. Dr. Rollmann also organized a scholarly international symposium in Makkovik and Hopedale on Labrador's Moravian beginnings from the first exploration in 1752 to the establishment of the town of Nain in 1771. The conference featured the religious, historical, political and anthropological context for the early exploration as well as visits to the remote archaeological site near Makkovik, where the foundations of the first Moravian settlement were unearthed by Memorial archaeologist Henry Cary and students from Labrador. As a result of this work, Memorial's Centre for Newfoundland Studies now has some 250,000 pages of manuscript material on microfilm, a complete collection of all significant archival materials pertaining to the Moravian presence in Labrador. The collection has already attracted scholars nationally and internationally and invites further multi-disciplinary work in the future.