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People In The News

Dr. Denes Bajzak, Engineering, received the prestigious Tree of Life Award at the 47th Annual General Meeting of the Newfoundland and Labrador Section of The Canadian Institute of Forestry held in St. John’s in October 2003. The national award is for superior, dedicated or particularly effective contributions to sustainable forest resource management, forest renewal or sustained yield integrated management of the forest and its intrinsic resources.

Dr. Gerhard Bassler, professor emeritus in history, was honoured by the Hebrew Congregation of Newfoundland and Labrador for outstanding contributions to Jewish education in the province. In April 2004 he was recognized for developing and teaching Memorial University's first specialized Holocaust course, Holocaust in Historical Perspective

George Beckett, associate university librarian (health sciences), Health Sciences Library, was awarded the Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada Margaret Ridley Charlton Award for Outstanding Achievement. He received the award in recognition of contributions to the association, leadership in the field of health sciences librarianship in Canada and for leadership in the creation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Knowledge Information Network (NLHKIN).

Janet Benger, director of the English as a Second Language Division, received the President’s Award for Exemplary Service in October 2003. Ms. Benger has been employed by Memorial since 1991 and assumed the duties and responsibilities for the English as a Second Language Division in 1994. Her achievements at Memorial include the development of the English Language Summer School from a small program to a fully international English as a Second Language Summer School and the creation of the 12-week Intensive English Programs. She also created and is the coordinator of MUN’s Teaching English as a Second Language Diploma Program.

Jeff Biernaskie, who completed his PhD at Memorial under the supervision of Dr. Dale Corbett, was named in the May 24, 2004, edition of Macleans magazine as one of “The best and brightest” in Canada. At age 28, Dr. Biernaskie has made a mark in stroke research in recent years, focusing on the functional recovery of rats following a stroke. His work was published in the Journal of Neuroscience and earned him a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Brain Star Award in 2002.

Carol Boland, human resources technician with the Department of Human Resources, received the President’s Award for Exemplary Service in October 2003. Ms. Boland began her career with Memorial University in 1967 and joined the Department of Human Resources in 1985. In her current position as Human Resources Technician, she is the face and voice of Memorial for many prospective and new employees.

Dr. Ian Bowmer, past dean of the Faculty of Medicine, was appointed to the new federal Health Council. There are 25 councilors on the new Health Council and an independent chair; Dr. Bowmer is one of 13 non government organization representatives and one of three physicians on the council. Dr. Bowmer also received several prominent awards for his work in medical education. He was elected and inducted to the Royal College of Physicians of London; although he is not a member of the college, he was proposed for election because of his contribution to medicine and medical education. And in the fall of 2003 the Medical Council of Canada awarded him the Dr. Louis Levasseur Award for outstanding contributions towards the vision and mission of the MCC.

Dr. Julie Brittain, Department of Linguistics, was profiled in the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s annual Performance Report for 2002-2003. Dr. Brittain used her SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship to continue examining language change and evolution in the Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi (CMN) language complex and to extend the research to include Plains Cree and Eastern Naskapi dialects.

Jenine Browne was named National Team Player of the Month for November 2003 after recording an average of 22.8 points per game and helping lead the Memorial University Sea-Hawks to a 5-1 record and a top 10 national ranking Canadian Development Women’s National Team athlete. During her impressive stretch of games in November, Ms. Browne was Memorial’s leading scorer in four of six games and was named the Memorial Player of the Game twice. Towards the end of the month, she received another impressive accolade when she was named the Atlantic University Sport. She was also named Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) athlete of the week for the period ending Jan.18, 2004.

Frank Butler, associate director in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, was name honorary chairman for the Atlantic University Sport men’s final 6 basketball championship held in Halifax in March 2004. Over the past 28 years, Mr. Butler has been an active member in the university sport community. His devotion to the development of university sport in Canada and to the growth of Canadian Interuniversity Sport as a governing body has helped interuniversity sport experience significant growth and popularity across the country.

George Colbert , Memorial University Sea-Hawk swimmer, was named the Sea-Hawks, Atlantic University Sport and Canadian Interuniversity Sport Athlete of the Week during the last year. He collected seven medals in as many races and was named Swimmer of the Meet in August 2004 at the Atlantic University Sport Swimming Championship hosted by the University of New Brunswick.

Dr. Patrick Dabinett, Biology, was named Aquaculturist of the Year for 2004 by the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) for involvement and contributions to the aquaculture industry in Newfoundland. NAIA acknowledged his research with scallop culture, some of which was patented through Memorial’s Seabright Corporation, and is currently utilized by commercial shellfish hatcheries in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Bermuda.

Duo Concertante, a chamber music ensemble comprised of Dr. Nancy Dahn and Timothy Steeves, School of Music, received the President’s Award for Outstanding Research for 2003. The duo has attained world-class status in the field of performance and excels in all measures or performance scholarship. Independently, they are a violinist and pianist respectively, however since 1997 the majority of their scholarly activities have been practiced under their collective identity.

Pauline Downer received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in October 2003. Since joining Memorial’s faculty of Business Administration in 1990, Pauline Downer has long been a favorite professor with students. She teaches in the areas of accounting, tax regulation, and small business and entrepreneurship.

Edward Evelly, manager, Medical Education, Laboratory Support Services in the Faculty of Medicine, was elected president of the Association for Multidiscipline Education in the Health Sciences (AMEHS) for 2003/04. AMEHS is an international organization of educational support personnel providing teaching laboratory, medical simulation, standardized patient, core research support and anatomical pathology services to medical, dentistry, nursing, allied health and veterinary schools.

Dr. Bridget Fernandez, Genetics, received the 2004 Founders Award from the Lung Association, Newfoundland and Labrador for her leading-edge genetic research on pulmonary fibrosis. Her team has identified nine Newfoundland families with a strong genetic form of the disease.

Dr. Marc Glassman, Education, was awarded the Canada Post Literacy Educator Award for 2003 at a ceremony in September 2003. Dr. Glassman, a specialist in literacy education, has volunteered thousands of hours to developing and teaching courses for learners ranging from at-risk children to graduate students.

Allyson Hajek, an instructional designer with the Instructional Development Office, received the President’s Award for Exemplary Service in October 2003. Ms. Hajek has been employed with Memorial University since 1983. Her work is complex and challenging and in any one day she interacts with senior administration, department heads, a variety of faculty, graduate students, staff and her colleagues. Her focus in such interactions is always on quality, teamwork, and effectiveness.

Dr. Jeremy Hall, Earth Sciences, was named a University Research Professor in October 2003. This title is the most prestigious award the university gives for research, and goes to faculty who have demonstrated a consistently high level of scholarship and whose research is of a truly international stature. Dr. Hall joined the Earth Sciences department of Memorial University as the NSERC/Petro Canada Industrial Chair in Crustal Seismology in 1987. After his tenure as Petro Canada chair, he served for four years as director of the Centre for Earth Resources Research where he was instrumental in launch of the TERRAMON Project, a diverse working group that monitored environmental changes in Newfoundland.

Dr. John Harnett, Discipline of Medicine, was appointed to the board of the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Rose Hatfield, recreation and sports assistant with the Marine Institute, received the President’s Award for Exemplary Service in October 2003. Ms. Hatfield began working with the Marine Institute in 1988 and has always demonstrated a commitment to the health and wellness of students and her fellow employees. She has demonstrated true leadership in organizing the MI Health and Wellness Survivor Challenge for employees.

Jessica Humber, an honours candidate in the environmental science program at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, was the winner of the 2004 Gros Morne National Park University Environmental Internship. Ms. Humber will be carrying out a study on the potential effects of boat traffic on the density and species diversity of benthic invertebrates in Western Brook Pond. The internship program is jointly sponsored by Gros Morne National Park of Canada and the Gros Morne Cooperating Association.

Dr. Brian Johnston, Memorial’s director of Housing, Food and Conference Service was recognized in August 2004 with the Gord G. Mann Distinguished Service Award, the highest honour bestowed by the Canadian College and University Food Services Association.

Blue Lake was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal (Graduate) at spring convocation. His doctoral thesis looked at the neural patterning of the brain using the amphibian embryo as a model. His doctoral work was supervised by Dr. Ken Kao, Terry Fox Cancer Laboratory. Dr. Lake, who grew up in Bloomfield, Bonavista Bay, also did his undergraduate degree at Memorial.

Dr. Leonard Lye received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in October 2003. Dr. Lye teaches civil engineering and has been with Memorial University since 1988. Besides academic and entrepreneurial interests, Dr. Lye is the founder of the Tetra Society of North America, an innovative charity dedicated to helping people with disabilities by building and designing assistive devices that are not available in the market place. He is also president of Com-Adv Devices Inc., a company he formed with former student Chris Butt.

Chandrika Liyanapathirana, a PhD student in the Department of Biology, was awarded the Young Scholar Award at the third International Conference on Food Factors: Physiologic Functions and Disease Risk Reduction, held in Tokyo in December 2003., Her research is centred on bioactives in wheat and she is supervised by Dr. Fereidoon Shahidi, University Research Professor.

Dr. Arthur May, president emeritus of Memorial University, was presented with an honorary life membership by the Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research at the 57th annual meeting held in St. John's in January 2004, in recognition of his contributions to fishery science in Canada.

Dr. Axel Meisen, president of Memorial, was appointed chair of Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada, a public-private partnership that began operations in the summer of 2002 as a means of building petroleum-related research and development capability throughout the region.

Dr. Patrick Parfrey, University Research Professor and a faculty member in Medicine, was named an officer of the Order of Canada, which is the country's highest lifetime achievement honour. Dr. Parfrey is a leading expert on cardiac disease in kidney patients and is also known for his innovative research on end-stage renal disease. He has also provided outstanding leadership to the sport of rugby, coaching teams at the local, provincial and national levels and serving as president of Rugby Canada.

Dr. Marilyn Porter, Sociology, was named a University Research Professor in October 2003. This title is the most prestigious award the university gives for research, and goes to faculty who have demonstrated a consistently high level of scholarship and whose research is of a truly international stature. Dr. Porter was one of the earliest scholars in the United Kingdom to gain a PhD using a feminist theoretical framework, and has contributed significantly to the development of feminist theory and methodology, notably within the disciplines of sociology and women’s studies. When Dr. Porter came to Memorial in 1980, she immediately began working in the under-researched field of women in Newfoundland. Since the early 1990s, Dr. Porter has focused a substantial part of her research on the field international development as it affects women.

Dr. Daryl Pullman, Medical Ethics, was appointed to the Institute of Genetics of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). He has also begun an initial three-year term appointment on the Standing Committee on Ethics for the CIHR, which provides ethics oversight for all of the institutes.

Professor M. Azizur Rahman is the second Canadian in history to win the international William E. Newell Power Electronics Award for outstanding achievement. Dr. Rahman, a University Research Professor (awarded 1993), has been teaching for more than 42 years, 28 at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial. The William E. Newell Power Electronics Award of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) was presented to Dr. Rahman in Aachen, Germany on June 24, 2004.

Dr. Proton Rahman, associate professor of medicine at Memorial, was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 for 2003. The announcement appeared May 30, 2004, in the Globe and Mail, along with an accompanying feature article in Report on Business magazine. Dr. Rahman also received the President’s Award for Outstanding Research for 2003. As well as his university appointment, Dr. Rahman is a consultant rheumatologist for the Health Care Co-operation of St. John’s, chief scientific officer for Newfound Genomics, and a clinician scientist with a strong research interest in genetics and prognosis of rheumatic disease. His discoveries in the genetics of psoriasis arthritis have subsequently been incorporated in gene mapping strategies by all investigators in psoriatic arthritis.

Dr. Ronald Rompkey, English, was named an officer of the Order of Canada, the highest honour for lifetime achievement in this country. He received the accolade for his work as a scholar of Canadian studies, especially of Newfoundland and Labrador, and as an advocate for the arts and cultural industries.

Dr. Andrea Rose, a professor in the Faculty of Education, was named one of 10 national recipients of the prestigious 3M Teaching Fellowships, awarded in August 2004 at the annual conference of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education held at the University of Ottawa. The 3M Fellow award recognizes excellence in teaching over an extended period of time, principally, but not exclusively, at the undergraduate level and also acknowledges educational leadership in commitment to the improvement of university teaching within the candidate's own institution. This is the fifth time and the third consecutive year that a faculty member from Memorial has been recognized with this award.

Dr. James Tuck, Archaeology, has been nominated for the new Order of Newfoundland and Labrador and was formally recognized at the Sept. 2004 investiture ceremony. Dr. Tuck, who holds the Henrietta Harvey Chair at Memorial, is credited with helping to sustain the communities of today, while delving into the roots of cultures that have inhabited Newfoundland and Labrador over thousands of years. As a driving force of the Archaeology Unit of Memorial University, he has helped shape the careers of many aspiring archaeologists from all over the globe.

Dr. Bernice Schrank, English, and Dr. William Schrank, Economics, were recognized by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) with Dedicated Service Awards.

Dr. Jorge Segovia, Community Health, was awarded (posthumously) the Certificate of Merit, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Public Health Association at their awards luncheon in June 2004.

Dr. Rangaswamy Seshadri, Canada Research Chair in Asset Integrity Management, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, received the Teaching Award from the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador in recognition of his significant contribution to engineering education.

Dr. Graham Shorrocks, English, was elected vice-president of the Société Internationale de Dialectologie et Géolinguistique (SIDG)/International Society for Dialectology and Geolinguistics (ISDG).

Gordon Slade, Marine Institute, was awarded the VIA Rail Canada Volunteer of the Year Award during the 2003 National Awards for Tourism Excellence, announced during the National Conference on Tourism Oct. 27, 2003, in Montréal, Québec.

Ryan Snelgrove, a student at the School of Pharmacy and active student member of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP), was chosen as the national student delegate to CSHP. In this position he will be responsible for representing the views of pharmacy students at the national level.

Dr. Laurence Thompson, University Research Professor in the Department of Chemistry was honoured with the Alcan Lecture Award for 2004 in recognition of his research contributions in last 25 years. He received this prestigious award at the Canadian Society for Chemistry’s annual conference at the University of Western Ontario in June 2004.

David Vardy, interim director of the Public Policy Research Office, had a scholarship established in his name by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.The Vardy Scholarship in Arts and Science is valued at $3,500.

Kerry Walker, who graduated with a B.Sc. (hons) from Memorial in 2002 has been awarded the Rothermere Fellowship for 2004. Ms. Walker is originally from Norris Arm South, Newfoundland. After graduating from Memorial she went to Dalhousie to do a M.Sc. in neuroscience at Dalhousie. She began doctoral studies at Oxford in October 2004.

James Nolan White, systems manager in the Department of Computer Science, received the President’s Award for Exemplary Service in October, 2003. He has been an employee of Memorial University since 1981, serving for the last 20 years as a systems manager. During this time the duties and responsibilities of the position have grown dramatically - from the management of a single computer system to the management of a network of several hundred systems, with many different and incompatible hardware systems and operating systems.

Robyn White, a third-year medical student, won the 2004 Society of Rural Physicians of Canada national rural student essay contest. The essay, which was written as an e-mail to family and friends while on an elective in Labrador City, is titled An Experience That Influenced My Passion for Rural Medicine.

Dr. James Wright, head of the Department of Earth Sciences, received the Award of Merit from the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the geoscience profession and to the local community and province. Dr. Wright’s volunteer activities include: member of the Petroleum Human Resources Joint Council of Canada; director of the Canadian Exploration Geophysicists Society Foundation; member of the Board of Examiners of the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador; and incoming provincial director on the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists.


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