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Campus Highlights

Butting out: high marks for smoke-free policy

Memorial University's proactive smoke-free policies gained the attention of one group of national physicians this past year. In a study of Canadian universities conducted for Physicians for a Smoke Free Canada, Memorial ranked first, tied with two other universities, for its tobacco policies. Memorial was praised for its smoke-free policy and called one of the more progressive institutions in the country. Out of 35 post-secondary institutions Memorial received a ranking of 3.5 on a five-point scale for establishing benchmarks for tobacco policy. Memorial, along with UPEI and St. Mary's was also noted for written policies prohibiting tobacco sponsored events and for prohibiting tobacco advertisements in campus newspapers.

Bridging the Gap

Units that serve Memorial's international role came together with the common goal of creating an international culture within Memorial University in early September. They presented a pilot seminar titled Bridging the Gap: Enhancing Learning Outcomes for International Students, to the Faculty of Business Administration. The seminar involved representatives from the Office of Student Recruitment, Centre for International Business Studies (CIBS), International Advising Office and the English as a Second Language Program.

More students choose Memorial

This past year, Memorial University reported an increase in enrolment numbers despite declining provincial demographics. Memorial was up by 1.9 per cent in full-time undergraduate enrolment, a respectable increase when compared to the 1.1 per cent average in Maritime universities noted in the 2004-2005 preliminary survey of enrolments by the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU). Full-time graduate enrolment at Memorial showed even greater growth at 7.6 per cent compared to the Maritime average of 1.4 per cent.

Topsides model donated to Marine Institute

Dr. Axel Meisen (L) accepts the SeaRose FPSO topsides model along with Ryan St. John, AMKC project director Pierre Jérôme, MI executive director Leslie O'Reilly, Ray Burry, Paul Cooper and Sebastien Halliday. St. John, Burry, Cooper and Halliday are MUN engineering students who assisted with the model construction.

In December, Aker Maritime Kiewit Contractors (AMKC) donated their topside model of White Rose's SeaRose FPSO, valued at approximately $1 million. The custom built, plastic model of the SeaRose FPSO topsides, consisting of 16 topside modules and the ship deck, was built by AMKC in parallel with their detailed engineering effort in St. John's and their module fabrication work in Marystown. The model will give offshore training clients and ship design students at Memorial University a unique learning tool at their disposal.

President renewed for second term

Dr. Axel Meisen

In December, Dr. Axel Meisen's was appointment as the university's president and vice-chancellor for a three-year term, effective Sept. 1, 2005. Dr. Meisen was appointed in September 1999 for a six-year term, renewable for a further three years. Members of the Board of Regents were impressed with Dr. Meisen's strong leadership and communications skills during the past five years. The board also noted that Dr. Meisen has worked effectively to broaden the university's horizons. In addition to the Oil and Gas Development Partnership, an initiative aimed at making Memorial an international centre of research and teaching related to oil and gas, the university has embarked on a concerted international student recruitment campaign and has completely revamped its European campus in Harlow, England. Internally, the university has seen the renewal of several collective agreements, including two contracts with its faculty union which have helped Memorial University position its faculty salaries at much more competitive levels with universities across Canada.

Grenfell College, Waterford Institute sign MOU

Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Principal John Ashton (L) and Dr. John Ennis, head of the Waterford Institute of Technology’s School of Humanities and director of the Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador Studies, signed a memorandum of understanding.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell College signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Waterford Institute of Technology in April which augers well for students, faculty and staff at both institutions. The document signed in Ireland will also open the doors to new initiatives that will further strengthen the long-standing ties between Newfoundland and Labrador and Ireland. During the summer of 2005, a delegation of WIT visual arts faculty interested in developing joint projects and student exchanges visited the School of Fine Arts to meet with faculty and staff to become familiar with Grenfell's facilities. As well, Grenfell and WIT incorporated a student exchange component into their new tourism studies degree programs. Two Grenfell faculty members will attend WIT as visiting professors during the 2005-06 academic year.

Memorial celebrates the phenomenon of singing

La Camerata De la Neuva España from Mexico is one of the choirs taking part in Festival 500.

Memorial University St. John's campus was alive with music this past summer as it hosted The Phenomenon of Singing: International Symposium V. The event was an integral component of the Festival 500: Sharing the Voices celebration which ran from July 3-10 in the capital city. The symposium, sponsored by Memorial University and under the guidance of co-directors Dr. Andrea Rose, Faculty of Education and Ki Adams, Faculty of Music, gathered clinicians and performers from all over the world along with international experts in the field of singing. It featured 80 presentations from Argentina, Australia, Congo, Finland, Hong Kong, Lebanon and many more.

New housing option for students

In June, Memorial University announced it found a small solution to the bed crunch it currently faces on its St. John's campus. A pilot project was signed with Northern Properties, owners of the Hillview Terrace Complex on Torbay Road, to provide 32 fully-furnished apartments to students currently waiting for accommodations in one of the dormitories on campus. The 700 square foot, two-bedroom apartments have been rented for $1,025 per month based on a nine-month lease. The price includes heat, light and high-speed Internet access. Community coordinators were also hired to live in the building and will be available for advice or counseling.

Former media moguls find a home for family business issues at Memorial: Learning from a family vocation

Dr. Axel Meisen (centre) discussed the proposed expansion of the Faculty of Business Administration with Philippe and Nan-b de Gaspé Beaubien. The de Gaspé Beaubiens, former owners of Telemedia Inc. and founders of the Business Families Foundation, were in St. John’s to help launch Memorial’s Business Families Centre, an initiative of the P.J. Gardiner Institute. The de Gaspé Beaubiens gave $75,000 to Memorial to help establish the centre which is the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada.

Well-known Canadian entrepreneurs Philippe and Nan-b de Gaspé Beaubien were at Memorial in June for the launch P. J. Gardiner Institute's Business Families Centre. For more than 40 years, the couple has been travelling the world learning from business families. Over the years, the de Gaspé Beaubiens have had a significant impact on the way family business is perceived and taught. The former owners of Telemedia Inc. and founders of the Business Families Foundation hope this new centre, the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada, will increase awareness of family business issues in the region.

New scholarship will benefit students and province

Frank Fry, executive director of the Fry Family Foundation, reviews Memorial’s MBA program brochure with Lesley Parrott, a Memorial employee and alumna. Ms. Parrott received the inaugural Fry Family Foundation Graduate Leadership Scholarship valued at $25,000 and will join the MBA program in September.

Lesley Parrott, an analyst with Memorial's Enterprise Risk Management office, was awarded the Fry Family Foundation Graduate Leadership Scholarship in July. Ms. Parrott, B.Comm. (Co-op) (Hons) '04, is the first person to receive the newly established scholarship. The Memorial alumna and employee will use the $25,000 award to pursue graduate studies in business administration. In June 2006, she will participate in the Global Village for Future Leaders in Business and Industry, a six-week program at the Iacocca Institute at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, USA.

Rothermere offers freedom to learn

Donna Fagan will use the Rothermere Fellowship to study obesity in Newfoundland and Labrador.

St. John's native Donna Fagan is this year's winner of the prestigious Rothermere Fellowship. She will study obesity this fall at a university in the United Kingdom. Memorial's Rothermere Foundation fellowships include an annual grant of approximately $15,500, plus college fees. It was established to aid and encourage students who obtained their first degree at Memorial to further their education in the UK.

Concert hall getting tune up

Performing at the Canadian Heritage announcement on Oct. 1 were School of Music students (L-R) Sean Rice, Rebecca Brown and Andrea Lodge.

The popular D.F. Cook Recital Hall in Memorial's School of Music got a tune-up this year after 18 years of near continuous use thanks to an award from the Cultural Spaces Canada Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage, with matching funds from Memorial University and from friends and benefactors of the School of Music. The renovations for the Hall, the busiest recital venue in Atlantic Canada, promised a new standard of acoustic excellence in Atlantic Canada's premier recital venue. Included in the upgrades were: a new stage floor; a new state-of-the-art lighting system; a custom-designed acoustic shell which will take the form of a floating sculptural back wall to provide an optimal acoustic zone for ensembles from two to 82 players; the re-engineering of the retractable sound baffles around the hall's perimeter; a new sound system; paint; and a number of invisible but essential upgrades. Along with these transformations, the magnificent three-manual pneumatic organ, which was a silent centre-piece in Cook Hall, was restored.

Community joins tsunami relief

Members of the local Sri Lankan community joined the effort to provide aid to tsunami-ravaged countries in South Asia. Janaka Deepakumara (L) and Terrence Madhujith helped organize a fund-raiser in early 2005.

Students, faculty and staff joined the effort to help those whose lived were devastated by the tsunami in South East Asia in late 2004. Sri Lankan students at Memorial University began a fund-raising campaign to assist in the lengthy rehabilitation effort. The Sri Lankan students volunteered for Oxfam and set up stalls in the University Centre to collect donations from the university community. The Muslim Students' Association also raised funds for the relief effort. Meanwhile, Dr. Doug Dunsmore of the School of Music helped co-ordinate a tsunami relief benefit concert at the Gower Street United Church in St. John's in early January. And, the Graduate Students' Union held a fund-raiser on New Year's Eve at Bitters Pub in Field Hall, with Bitters matching donations received that evening. A $1,200 donation was made to the Red Cross relief fund.

Bowing out in style

Three players who defined Memorial basketball in the 21st century reached the end of stellar five year stints with the Sea-Hawks this past year. Amy Dalton, Jenine Browne and Jeff Saxby bit farewell after games in March. Last season, Ms. Browne led the conference in scoring with an average of 22.5 points per game. She became only the second player in Canadian university history to score over 2,000 points. During the regular season, Ms. Dalton led the country in assists with an average of 7.5 per game. She holds Memorial records for most assists in a game (14), and most assists in a single season (150). Mr. Saxby, led the team with 15 points per game, and was named second team all-star. Mr. Saxby finished his career as MUN's all-time leading scorer.

Responding to Internet-savvy students

In response to the needs of Internet-savvy students, Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT) introduced a new tool this year to enhance distance course delivery - the software Elluminate Live. Memorial is one of only three Canadian universities to purchase licenses in this voice over Internet protocol application, developed by an Alberta firm. Elluminate Live uses a whiteboard, an instant messaging system, application sharing and virtual "break out" rooms to support its audio conferencing capability. The audio system is similar to short wave or CB radio in that speakers have to relinquish the microphone to allow others to reply. Teaching sessions are aided by a number of other features. For example, students can "raise their hands" virtually and the software tracks this activity. In addition, instructors can ask multiple-choice questions, survey students and take quick polls. Students respond using the software's icon-activated features.

Relationship building boosts registration

Memorial University's reputation for going the extra mile to ensure its applicants immediately feel like part of the family resulted in very positive results this year. Registration numbers increased. The key objective of the university's Establishing Student Relationships Project, an initiative of the Application to Registration Working Group, was to help increase the number of applicants that become registrants all the while building a relationship with students and the general community. MUCEP students were trained as peer advisors and assigned to provincial, national and international applicants based on similarities such as program of study and/or their city, province and country of origin. They contacted applicants via telephone, e-mail or postcard, to touch base, answer questions and, in particular, alleviate the anxieties of applicants who may be unfamiliar with the workings of a post-secondary institution. The program sends the message that Memorial University is a caring institution.

Students share perspectives on university life

Sir Wilfred Grenfell College students Shane Hiscock (L) and Ashley Dawe talk to new applicants about what they can expect during their first year on campus.

Sir Grenfell College in Corner Brook continued its unique recruitment initiative this year designed to turn applicants into registrants. In April, current students were hired to place a series of telephone calls to all new applicants. The initial conversation welcomes the applicant to the university and opens the lines of communication for any questions they might have. The second call, placed later in the spring, focuses on registration. The third, in August, is Grenfell's way of touching base just before the student arrives on campus.

National camp draw top talent to Memorial

Members of the P.J. Gardiner Institute welcomed this year's Shad Valley participants to Memorial. (L-R) Susan Gardiner, Jill Robinson, Gwen Mahaney and Nick Lane.

Fifty of Canada's brightest and most enterprising senior high school students got a taste of university life and local culture during the 2005 Shad Memorial program which took place on the St. John's campus from July 3-28. The intense summer camp is designed to spark students' creativity and encourage careers in science, technology, engineering and entrepreneurship and has proven to be a life-changing experience for senior high school students. The Shad Memorial program is delivered through the P. J. Gardiner Institute for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship located in the Faculty of Business Administration building. This was the third year Memorial hosted the program.

University teams up with IBM

Memorial University of Newfoundland and IBM Canada Ltd. announced a five-year strategic relationship this year to update and streamline the university's technology systems and to install a campus-wide voice-over-IP (VoIP) system. The technology will help Memorial operate more efficiently and effectively.

Globe columnist delivers pointed lecture

Veteran Globe and Mail political reporter Jeffrey Simpson delivered the Galbraith Lecture on Memorial's St. John's campus in late October. His topic was titled Health vs. Higher Education: Must Higher Education Lose Out? Mr. Simpson's thesis was that the insistence on increased health care spending - calls governments have been answering with growing health budgets - is leaving precious little new revenue for other government services, including postsecondary education. While at Memorial, Mr. Simpson also spoke to history and political science students on the U.S. election and delivered two other public lectures.

Early Final Admission

In light of the highly successful pilot project introduced for the fall 2004 semester, a policy to formalize early offers of final admission to students who have demonstrated high academic achievement to date was formally accepted by Senate in December 2004. With the adoption of this new policy, early offers of final admission are now extended to selected foreign applicants and those from other Canadian provinces as well. Ongoing analysis and monitoring of the performance of students admitted under this category will be carried out in conjunction with the development of self-admission.

Streamlining Faculty/School Admission and Promotion Processes

This past year enhancements were made to BANNER Student functionality for faculties and schools to support and streamline admission and promotion processes. To date, work has been completed for Education, Social Work, Nursing and Business.

Enhancement of Web-based Application to Graduate

In the spirit of keeping our systems the best they can be for our students, the Office of the Registrar implemented a Web-based Application to Graduates in "Student Self-Service," on Jan. 14. Undergraduate and graduate students may now complete their application for graduation online from practically anywhere in the world.

New director for Marine Institute

Glenn Blackwood

Leslie O’Reilly stepped down after 13 years at the helm of the Marine Institute.

Glenn Blackwood was appointed as the new executive director of the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) this past year. The appointment was confirmed by the university's Board of Regents at its July 21 meeting and announced by Dr. Axel Meisen, president of Memorial University. Mr. Blackwood took up his new position on Sept. 1, 2005.

In this executive position, Mr. Blackwood reports directly to the vice-president (academic) and works collaboratively with other members of the senior administration of the university in promoting student services, fisheries and marine-related training, education, applied research and technology transfer. He is also overseeing all operations of the Marine Institute including strategic planning, student support, program development, industrial liaison, government relations, financial planning and human resource development. Mr. Blackwood will represent the Marine Institute on a variety on provincial, national and international organizations.

He replaced Leslie O'Reilly who stepped down as executive director after 13 years. Mr. O'Reilly was with MI since 1981, when the then College of Fisheries was housed in the former Memorial University campus on Parade Street. He was vice-president in 1985 when MI moved to its new location on Ridge Road. And in 1992, when the institute became affiliated with Memorial, he stepped into his role as executive director.

In that time Mr. O'Reilly has seen a robust strengthening of the MI program base, to include, among other things, its degree-granting status at the baccalaureate and master's levels. He has watched MI's unique brand of applied “problem resolution” research break new ground industry-wide. He has steadily guided MI's international outreach work as it crossed countless borders to secure a global reputation for the institute, its faculty and students.

Former player to lead women’s volleyball program

Mellissa Oates.

Memorial University Athletics appointed Mellissa Oates as head coach of the women's volleyball program in August. A former Sea-Hawk, Ms. Oates spent the past number of years building her coaching resumé and invested a great deal of time and energy developing her skills and techniques. She has worked tirelessly with both school and Newfoundland and Labrador Volleyball Association (NLVA) affiliated programs to grow through the coaching ranks. Most recently, Ms. Oates was assistant coach of the 2005 Canada Games team, and shared responsibility for identifying and selecting the team that represented the province at the games in Regina.

She is also Technical Director with the NLVA, working administratively to promote and support volleyball on the provincial scene. She was previously involved as an assistant coach with the Sea-Hawks during the 2003-04 season.

Geography student wins the prize

Dana Rebello with her winning map.

What began as a term project for fourth year Geography student Dana Rebello led to the President's Prize from the Canadian Cartographic Association (CCA) in the à la carte category for university-level students. The prize, which recognizes excellence in student map design and production, was given to Ms. Rebello during the CCA conference in July.

Ms. Rebello's map showed hurricane Fabian, a category 3 hurricane that hit the island of Bermuda on September 5, 2003. It was reported to be the worst to hit the small island in 50 years. Using data on the wind speed of hurricane Fabian from the National Hurricane Centre, Ms. Rebello was able to show the progression of the different stages of the hurricane as it approached and passed over Bermuda.

Blundon Centre provides invaluable service

Ruth North, student affairs officer at the Blundon Centre.

Memorial University's Glenn Roy Blundon Centre for Students with Disabilities continued to improve its services to help students succeed academically this past year. Named in honour of the late Glenn Blundon, a former Memorial student originally from Bay de Verde who died in 1984, the centre offers a long list of services to students with short- and long-term disabilities associated with learning, vision, hearing, mobility, chronic illnesses and psychiatric conditions.

Other services offered through the centre include note-taking assistance, keys for wheelchair-accessible elevators, access to TTY and a telephone with amplification, orientation of new students and on-campus transportation. For the most part, the centre relies on other students who are hired throughout the year to help provide services.

Ruth North, the centre's student affairs officer since it opened in 1992, said the programs and services offered by the centre are essential. Now more than ever those services are in high demand. During the winter 2005 semester, officials assisted 150 students compared to just 46 students when they opened more than a decade ago. That number was expected to increase again during the 2005-06 academic year. One of the biggest demands is for academic accommodations when students are writing tests or exams. Since September 2004, the centre assisted with 1,500 tests compared to just six during the winter semester of 1992.