Memorial University is not just a physical place - it is a vibrant community connected to other communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond. This past year faculty and staff went further than the campus borders to build connections with other countries, organizations and groups. Memorial continued to have an impact and make itself known in places like Labrador, Ireland and Bhutan. Building upon its past success, Memorial is connecting with aboriginal groups and other communities, supporting and helping people whose lives are enriched by the university's efforts to reach out.
Memorial will offer a new diploma program in police studies starting in the fall of 2004. This new program - co-ordinated by the Faculty of Arts - responds to the provincial government's need to train 75 new officers for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC), all of whom will now be trained in Newfoundland and Labrador for the very first time. The required courses are designed to equip recruits for law enforcement in an ever-more complex world and include exposure to sociology, psychology, political science and social work. This new program will allow cadets to be enrolled in regular university classes, enabling them to interact with university students on a frequent basis. The close proximity to the RNC's training division will also allow for increased contact with senior officers. Admission to the diploma program will be limited to candidates who have been accepted by the RNC as recruit cadets and who meet Memorial's admission criteria.
The Opera Road Show, an ensemble of music students from Memorial's School of Music, has been on the road bringing their music to schools in and around St. John's as part of an educational outreach component of their program for the past two years. In 2004 The Opera Road Show expanded its audience by making opera available to students all across the island. The five-week tour covered more than 6,500 km, staging performances from St. Anthony in the northwest to Burin on the province's southeastern shore. This past year's performance was titled The Three Little Pigs, an educational piece that tackles the problems posed when people rely too much on stereotypes. The innovative outreach program offers a valuable learning experience for Memorial's undergraduates and provides them with a paid summer job.
Memorial University's Centre of Regional Development Studies (CORDS) is facilitating the university's educational and research activities in the area of rural and regional development. The centre is concentrating specifically on economic development in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. As such, CORDS works closely with the Public Policy Research Centre (PPRC) and hosted in October 2004, a symposium titled Growing the Economy of Newfoundland and Labrador. This symposium brings expertise from the university, government, labour and the private sector together to provide recommendations for economic development in the province.
Physical education reform leads to Bhutan - Sponsored by the Royal Government of Bhutan, Dr. Colin Higgs traveled to Bhutan in Southern Asia to provide input on physical education development. Working with the country's National Sports Council and Ministry of Education, Dr. Higgs, director of the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at Memorial, examined the issues of physical education curriculum, teaching reform, and coach education to see what could be done to increase the use of sports and physical education as a learning tool. "Closed to the outside world for many years, Bhutan is slowly allowing western developments to enter, and is acutely aware that western influence, while beneficial, can also have socially undesirable consequences," Dr. Higgs noted. "The government is determined to be pro-active in using sport and physical education as a development tool that will enhance physical well-being and preserve the country's unique culture among the youth."
The influence of Ireland upon Newfoundland was investigated once more in a new literary anthology entitled However Blow the Winds: An Anthology of Poetry and Song from Newfoundland & Labrador and Ireland. Sir Wilfred Grenfell College English professor, Dr. Randall Maggs, participated as an editor of the anthology. This book is a follow-up to The Backyards of Heaven, a 2002 publication of Irish and Newfoundland and Labrador poets. Both anthologies were produced by Scop Productions Inc., a western Newfoundland publishing house owned by Grenfell professor Dr. Stephanie McKenzie, and the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland.
Taking advantage of Ireland and Newfoundland's long shared history of fishing, the Marine Institute tested fishing gear and broadcast the results by videoconference to fisheries training centres in Ireland. Two scale models of Irish fishing trawls were tested in the Marine Institute's flume tank, the largest of its kind in the world. To facilitate this world-first trial, the Marine Institute positioned cameras both inside and outside the flume tank so that the fishing gear could be viewed from the side and top. The results will be used to improve fisheries conservation technologies on both sides of the North Atlantic. This project is a follow-up to a highly successful trans-Atlantic partnership that led to the joint development of a unique distance learning navigation and stability training course specially designed with inshore fishermen of Newfoundland and Ireland in mind.