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New performance space blend of art and technology

One of the most advanced rehearsal and performance facilities in the city of St. John's opened this past year, thanks to $1.2 million in support provided by Petro-Canada, operator of the Terra Nova offshore oil development and participant in the White Rose and Hibernia projects. [Read more…]

Memorial enters a new era of innovation

In recognition of Inco’s contribution to building Memorial’s new Inco Innovation Centre, President Axel Meisen (L) presented Inco CEO Scott Hand with a plaque. Designed by Helen Houston of Marketing and Communications and crafted by Jason Miller and Jason Barrett at Technical Services, the plaque is stainless steel mounted with a piece of the main ore body from Voisey’s Bay, Labrador.

It's a gleaming piece of modern architecture shining out of the centre of the St. John's campus of Memorial University. It represents the university's commitment to innovation in research and teaching and will also enhance Memorial's community-oriented focus.

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, representatives of Memorial University, the provincial and federal governments and Inco Ltd. officially opened the Inco Innovation Centre (IIC), a new $17.3 million research and innovation facility located on the university's St. John's campus. [Read more…]

Memorial's many connections to the SeaRose

The SeaRose Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel (FPSO). Photo courtesy of Husky Energy

When the Husky Energy SeaRose sailed from Cow Head in Mortier Bay near Marystown in the summer of 2005, President Axel Meisen reflected on the deep ties Husky and the project have had with Memorial University. [Read more…]

Memorial reflected in new appointments to Order of Canada

Memorial University was well represented when Governor General Adrienne Clarkson announced 74 new appointments to the Order of Canada in February 2005.

Dr. Max House was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, joining luminaries Susan Aglukark, Paul Anka, and Jane Urquhart. As well, Ann Hart was named a member of the Order of Canada.

Throughout a lifetime of service, Max House has been a model of duty, leadership and outstanding achievement. A neurologist and recognized world leader in telemedicine and distance education, Dr. House founded the Telemedicine Centre at Memorial University in 1976. He went on to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland, performing in that role with grace, energy and inclusiveness, and actively supporting charitable and community groups such as the School Lunch Program and local literacy initiatives.

With creativity and vision, Anne Hart has made lasting contributions to the cultural life of her province. As head of the Memorial University Libraries' Centre for Newfoundland Studies from 1976 to 1997, she was instrumental in building a priceless and internationally renowned collection of Newfoundlandia. These heritage books and documents will provide generations of students, scholars and the public with a record of the history of Newfoundland and Labrador. A highly regarded author and poet, she has been a tireless champion of the literary community, supporting and promoting her fellow writers. Her leadership has also benefited local, provincial and national organizations working in the areas of heritage, literacy, feminism and human rights.

Becoming involved highlights:

More Memorial students staying in province

The number of Memorial University graduates leaving the province dropped significantly according to CareerSearch 2004, released by the provincial department of education in November. Out-migration of Memorial undergraduates dropped from 28 per cent of graduates of 2000 to 22 per cent of graduates from 2002. According to the report, roughly 75 per cent of graduates from most programs found their first full-time job prior to graduation or within three months of graduating. The report was based on the results of a telephone survey of graduates of 2002 one year after their graduation. Nearly 7,600 students graduated at that time and approximately 66 per cent responded to the survey which can be found online at www.gov.nl.ca/careersearch

Faster route to education degree

On May 9, 80 students started the new fast-track delivery bachelor of education (primary/elementary) degree program which was offered at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook and the St. John's campus. Forty students were accepted at each site.

Dr. Alice Collins, dean of Education, said the fast-track delivery was developed in response to a number of identified needs. Many students who apply to the B.Ed. (primary/elementary) program are already fairly well along in their academic programs, but under the regular program it can take up to three years more years to earn the education degree. The fast-track delivery enables students with at least 78 credits to complete the program in four consecutive semesters.

The group who started in May will finish in August 2006. If they had started the regular program in September 2005 it could take them up to three years to finish.

By starting the fast-track delivery program at a different time of year, it allows faculty to teach in the summer if they choose as well as tapping into the pool of available sessional instructors.

"And most importantly, by expanding the program to the west coast at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, we are able to work closely with the college and to access excellent instructors on the west coast as well as schools for interships," said Dr. Collins. "And by admitting students at different times of the year it means the fast-track students in the St. John's area will be doing their internships at different times than those in the regular program and that means better use of resources."

Dr. Collins said the Faculty of Education views its expansion of the B.Ed to Grenfell and the implementation of the fast-track program as fulfilling Memorial's mission of being responsive to the needs of the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Preserving our musical past

Dr. Beverley Diamond, director of Memorial University's Research Centre for the study of Music, Media and Place (MMAP) and a Canada Research Chair in Traditional Music, Ethnomusicology, produced It's Time for Another One: Folksongs from the South Coast of Newfoundland this past year. The CD is a collection of archival recordings made by Jesse Fudge in the late 1960s in the communities of Ramea and Grole. In addition to the old recordings, the recording includes some spoken word (interview excerpts) and three new arrangements commissioned from St. John's producers/musicians Jim Payne, Pamela Morgan and Glen Collins. The CD is packaged with a 40-page booklet of documentation. Selections from the CD are available online.

Music to our ears

Memorial University teamed up with the popular St. John's-based FESTIVAL 500 organization to produce a special recording of 38 choirs from nine countries around the world this past year. FESTIVAL 500: Choral Performances 2003 contains selected highlights, special concerts and interviews with participants of the festival including Grammy award-winning composer Bobby McFerrin, who performed at the event. The CD was released in February and produced by Dr. Douglas Dunsmore, a professor of choral and voice at Memorial and Artistic Co-director of FESTIVAL 500, along with Memorial University of Newfoundland and FESTIVAL 500 Corporation. Selections from the CD are available online.

Memorial's School of Music commissions special music

Memorial University's School of Music commissioned a major new work for concert band from Newfoundland composer Michael Snelgrove this past year. The work, titled The Pensive Veteran, made its debut on Thurs. March. 31 in the D.F. Cook Recital Hall.

The piece was written in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, a subject of particular resonance to Memorial University, itself a living memorial to this province's war dead. The idea for the piece was conceived by Douglas Vaughan, a Memorial graduate student in conducting, and School of Music faculty member Dr. Kjellrun Hestekin. Dr. Tom Gordon, the director of the School of Music welcomed a new work by a local composer. "New works by Newfoundland composers are rarities," he said of The Pensive Veteran. "New works of this magnitude and with timeliness are even more infrequent. We are very pleased that the school - in collaboration with musicians of the calibre of Mike Snelgrove, Douglas Vaughan and Kjellrun Hestekin, can participate in a tribute to our veterans in this way."

Globe columnist sets sight on health funding

Veteran Globe and Mail political reporter Jeffrey Simpson delivered the Galbraith Lecture on Memorial's St. John's campus on Oct. 20. His topic was Health vs. Higher Education: Must Higher Education Lose Out? The thesis of his talk 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.

Mr. Simpson said that leaders in postsecondary education have resisted pointing out that this spending is taking money away from higher education.

A former member of Queen's Board of Trustees, Mr. Simpson also had some pointed comments about tuition fees. He said he's long argued for higher fees as a way of ensuring the excellence of Canadian colleges and universities. He said increases across most of the country in the last decade are likely sufficient, however, he thinks tuition fees in this province could rise. While at Memorial, Mr. Simpson also spoke to history and political science students on the U.S. election and delivered two other public lectures.

Provincial environmental winners

Officials with the MUN Botanical Garden were all smiles this past year. Not only did they host hundreds of visitors - from seniors to pre-schoolers - and implement a highly successful composting awareness and education program for schools and camps, but the Garden captured a top provincial award. At the 16th Annual Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Awards ceremony, held during Environment Week in June - the Garden won in the Educational Institution category. The awards honoured individuals and groups who make exceptional efforts to create a healthier environment and who help promote environmentally friendly practices. They are presented annually by the provincial government in partnership with the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board. Since its inception in 1971, thousands of students have taken part in curriculum-based school programs at the Botanical Garden, including the popular Junior Naturalist camps and weekend Parents and Tots. It has also hosted groups such as brownies and scouts. Adults even come to the Garden learn how to become more environmentally-friendly attending workshops during National Compost Week and during the Healthy Garden Series of evening classes.

Greening up Granite Canal

The Botanical Garden undertook a partnership with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro this past year to try to create a suitable riparian habitat for fish. The site is 80 kilometres south of Millertown in central Newfoundland. The goal is to develop ecologically appropriate bio-diversity and healthy fish stocks in a newly created series of streams following the construction of a hydro dam.

Fish need water to survive but fish habitat is more than just water; it encompasses water, stream-bed, shoreline (riparian), shade, fallen leaves, branches and the myriad organisms that live on, in and around the water.

The Garden is hoping to learn more about native plant species, their growth, cultivation and performance in a restoration site. The partnership has spawned a Masters project, sponsorship of the Garden's education programs and a great relationship between MUN Botanical Garden and Hydro.

C-CORE and The Oryx Quest Yacht Race

Word of C-CORE's expertise in satellite surveillance continued to spread this past year thanks to the work that has been conducted by The Northern View consortium. And with the advent of its name change to The Polar View, the scope of this consortium's work has truly become an exercise in global monitoring. Earlier this year, C-CORE made its first foray into monitoring the southern Pacific by supplying satellite iceberg surveillance services to a group of yachter's racing around the globe. The Oryx Quest Race (www.oryxquest.com) began on Feb. 5, 2005 in Doha, capital of the Gulf State of Qatar, and concluded at the same location, with the participants having to pass through the Southern Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn before returning to the Gulf of Arabia.

For this race, C-CORE used two satellite radars to monitor the southern extent of the race route to ensure both a safe and expedient journey for all racers.

As well, C-CORE continued to perform its iceberg surveillance services to the Canadian Ice Service and International Ice Patrol through the Northern View consortium. In addition to the Southern Hemisphere, C-CORE will also be expanding these services to east Coast Oil and Gas sector and the Department of National Defence through a new program with the Canadian Space Agency. The service is expected to continue its expansion into new markets for the next three years.