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Year in Review | February

Students from Memorial joined thousands across the country in a national day of action Feb. 4.

Memorial University opened a research support facility on the main floor of the Queen Elizabeth II Library that will make the comprehensive research library – one of Canada's largest and best – even more useful and convenient for students and researchers. University and government officials, together with students, faculty and staff held a ceremony today to mark the opening of the facility. In addition to being a place where one can seek out databases, journals, periodicals, books and other information, the library will now also contain a sophisticated networked computing work area – dubbed The Commons – that will help students and other users craft and polish their research projects using word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software. In addition, The Commons provides students help with their writing and with multimedia presentations and access to the Internet. A collaborative effort of three units of the university – Computing and Communications, the Queen Elizabeth II Library, and the Writing Centre – The Commons draws on the technical, research, and writing expertise of these units to offer students improved access to the library's extensive resources.

Memorial’s Centre for Career Development has been transformed thanks to a grant provided by the Counselling Foundation of Canada. The centre has become a place where students can go to define their goals and strive to attain them, and where employers can seek and successfully find quality matches to their desired qualifications. Now about half-way through the five-year grant, the centre has grown from an empty space housing a mere two computers into a high-tech career centre with over 13 computers available to students and employers and a video conferencing suite with technology that no other career centre in the country can currently touch. “This was our vision,” explained Mr. Shea. “At the time we had no idea where the funding was coming from, but here we are.”

A Memorial University research professor has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada, the highest honour for lifetime achievement in this country. Dr. Ronald Rompkey of the Department of English has 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.

A new International Entrance Scholarship Program was approved in principle at January’s Senate meeting. International students entering Memorial University for the first time in September 2004 will be the first international undergraduates eligible to receive an entrance scholarship at Memorial. The scholarship program stems from a decision made in May 2003 by Memorial’s Board of Regents. Upon approving an increase in international undergraduate student tuition fees, it was further decided that a percentage of this tuition differential be set aside to fund International Entrance Scholarships. The value of each scholarship will vary but will not exceed $3,000, the highest value for a scholarship currently awarded to non-Newfoundland and Labrador Canadian entering students.

Memorial University’s role in the province’s burgeoning aquaculture industry was one of the subjects on the agenda of a recent conference organized by the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association. Memorial’s Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) in Logy Bay recently received an Atlantic Foundation for Innovation grant of over $4-million to provide essential research to enhance the establishment of a commercial Atlantic cod aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and to assist in the continued development of the Atlantic halibut aquaculture industry in Atlantic Canada. The total cost of the project is over $12 million.

The Graduate Students' Union and the School of Graduate Studies at Memorial University presented the 2004 Aldrich Interdisciplinary Lecture and Conference. During the course of the conference graduate students will presented 20-minute long papers on their research. A highlight of the event was the Aldrich Lecture, which was be delivered by Dr. Marc Renaud, president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) since 1997. His lecture was titled Human Science: Dreams, Barriers and Opportunities.

John Ottenheimer, the minister responsible for post-secondary education, announced Feb. 11 that there would be a tuition freeze at Memorial University.


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