President's Report 2006 | People

People in the news

Dr. Ian Bowmer, past dean of the Faculty of Medicine, has been appointed executive director of the Medical Council of Canada, effective Jan. 1, 2007. Dr. Bowmer is a professor of Medicine at Memorial University and served as dean of Medicine from 1996-2003, following appointments as assistant dean for Postgraduate Medical Education from 1985-88 and chair of the Discipline of Medicine from 1988-95. Dr. Bowmer is one of 13 non-government expert representatives on the 25 member council and chairs the primary health care working group and the health outcomes committee.

Dr. Jean Briggs, professor emeritus, Department of Anthropology, was awarded the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Psychological Anthropology, a division of the American Anthropological Association.

The Woman Who Mapped Labrador: The Life and Expedition Diary of Mina Hubbard was shortlisted for the prestigious Winterset Award. The three co-authors all have strong ties with Memorial: Dr. Roberta Buchanan is professor emerita in the English Department; Bryan Greene is an alumnus, graduating in Geology. They were responsible for editing Mina Hubbard's diary, annotating it, and writing the introduction to it. Anne Hart, former head of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies and now Library Research Professor, wrote the biography of Mina Hubbard. The Winterset Award, given for excellence in Newfoundland and Labrador writing, was established in memory of Sandra Fraser Gwyn. The winner was Memorial honorary graduate Joan Clark for her novel An Audience of Chairs.

Mary Dalton, English, had her book of poems Merrybegot shortlisted for the Heritage and History Award, an annual award given by the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador to a book in any genre which exemplifies excellence in the interpretation of the history and heritage of the province. Prof. Dalton also received a 2006 Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Award for Poetry. The winning poem, a sequence titled I'm Bursting To Tell, will appear in her new book, Red Ledger, released in October, 2006.

Both undergraduate and graduate students from the Faculty of Business Administration competed at the University of New Brunswick CIBC Business Plan Competition held in Fredericton, NB in December, 2005. The undergraduate team comprised of Maria Edwards, Sheri Gillingham, Melissa Smallwood, and Stephanie Smith (and coached by Prof. Wayne King) won first place and a $5,000 award for their concept It Fits Me Inc., a Newfoundland-based clothing retailer specializing in larger sizes for children aged three to 13 years. At the same competition, the MBA team consisting of Keith Bailey and Kevin Kelly (and coached by Dr. Dennis Hanlon) won the Best Financials Award, a category that was open to undergraduate and graduate students and private sector entries. Their venture, Rx Atlantic, was based on selling generic pharmaceuticals to the Canadian market through non-traditional outlets such as convenience stores and dollar stores.

Dr. James Feehan, professor of economics, was re-appointed to the National Statistics Council of Canada. The Council advises the Chief Statistician of Canada on the full range of Statistics Canada's activities, particularly on overall program priorities. This will be Dr. Feehan's third term. Meanwhile, Dr. Feehan was also appointed interim director, Institute of Social and Economic Research, effective Nov. 1, 2005 to Aug. 31, 2007. He was one of seven economists invited from across Canada by the Expert Panel on Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing to a consultation on the treatment of provincial natural resource revenues in the Equalization program. The meeting was held in Montreal on Sept. 9.

Dr. Lawrence Felt, Sociology, has been presented a 2006 Recreational Fisheries Awards by federal fisheries minister Loyola Hearn. The awards recognize hard work and dedication in promoting and further developing the recreational fishing experience throughout Canada. Dr. Felt is the retired president of the Salmonid Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dr. Lewis (Skip) Fischer, professor of history, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Liverpool in December. The award recognized Dr. Fischer's significant contribution to maritime history through publications, management of the Maritime History Archive here on campus, and as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Maritime History. According to the University of Liverpool, Dr. Fischer has longstanding ties with that institution, where he has been an Honorary Research Fellow since 1997.

Jeff Green, communications co-ordinator with Marketing and Communications, was named a finalist for the 2006 Atlantic Journalism Awards. Mr. Green was nominated in the Arts and Entertainment Reporting category for a piece on Otto Kelland titled Striking a Chord, which appeared in Saltscapes magazine.

The Canada Council for the Arts announced that the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, in Kingston, Ont., is the recipient of the 2005 York Wilson Endowment Award, for the purchase of antipersonnel, by Newfoundland contemporary artist and Grenfell College professor Barb Hunt. antipersonnel is a 50-part sculptural installation of full-scale replicas of land mines, hand-knit in various hues of pink wool. This ongoing project begun in 1998 and will ultimately yield representation of some 250 types of land mines. antipersonnel is meant as a continuing act of protest: by rendering land mines as knitted objects, Ms. Hunt makes them harmless, and in doing so pays homage to efforts to rid the globe of these pernicious weapons.

Dr. Tahir Husain, director of Continuing Engineering Education in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, has received more than $600,000 over three years. Dr. Husain and his team will develop improved modeling tools to monitor and assess risk of the environmental impact of discharged produced water from offshore platforms. The grant includes $382,000 in cash and $300,000 in-kind support from Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, SNC-Lavelin and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Dr. Ian Jordaan, university research professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, received grants worth $300,000 for experimental fracture testing of ice. The funding for the research project, titled Experimental Study of Ice Failure Processes for Design Load Estimation, comes from Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada and National Research Council of Canada, which both contributed $50,000 each year for three years. The project is aimed at exploring more cost-effective designs of offshore structures for ice loads and will be done in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada's Institute for Ocean Technology (IOT) and industry partners. The project builds on a related undertaking Ice Data Analysis and Mechanics for Design Load Estimation funded by industry (Husky Energy, Petro-Canada, and Chevron Canada Resources), NRC, and NSERC.

Monica Kidd, a second-year medical student at Memorial, won a 2006 Gracie Allen Award from the American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) for her hour-long radio documentary A Map of the Body.

Memorial's Counselling Centre was re-accredited by the International Association of Counselling Services (IACS), Inc., an organization of United States, Canadian and Australian counselling agencies. The University Counselling Centre was evaluated by IACS against high standards of counselling practice and was found to offer competent and reliable professional services to its clientele. Approval by IACS is also dependent upon evidence of continuing professional development as well as demonstration of excellence of counselling performance. The University Counselling Centre is directed by Dr. Peter Cornish and offers personal, academic support and career planning counselling. It serves registered students of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Michelle Murdoch, a graduate student in Women's Studies, was awarded The Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres (CALIC) John Lord Award for her research project titled Women with Disabilities and Adaptive Technology in the Workplace: Participatory Action Research and Applied Principles of Independent Living. The research represents collaboration between the Independent Living Resource Centre - St. John's and Memorial University of Newfoundland with primary investigation by Michelle Murdoch and secondary investigators, Dr. Diana Gustafson of Memorial University and The Independent Living Resource Centre-St. John's. The John Lord Award recognizes excellence in research that reflects an accurate analysis of the social realities facing persons with disabilities and promotes participatory action research. The award values qualitative and quantitative research, academic and community research, and research that reflects the cross-disability community.

In the spring, Dr. Walter C. Okshevsky, Faculty of Education and Department of Philosophy, was re-elected as president of CPES Canadian Philosophy of Education Society (Canadian Society for Studies in Education) at the annual general meeting held at York University, Toronto, 2006, for a second consecutive two-year term. He was also appointed to the consulting editorial board for the publication of Philosophy of Education 2005.

Dr. Robert Paine, professor emeritus, Department of Anthropology, was recently awarded the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences Commission on Nomadic Peoples.

In April, Reginald Shepherd & Helen Parson Shepherd: A Life Composed, edited by Dr. Ron Rompkey, University Research Professor of English, won the Best Atlantic Published Book Award at the Atlantic Book Awards in Dartmouth, NS.

Dr. Yvan Rose, Linguistics Department, received a $25,000 Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award to complete the design, refinement and implementation of the Phon software, which will make possible a powerful open-source database for those working in language acquisition and speech disorders around the world.

Dr. Messod Salama, French and Spanish, gave a paper at the XIVth World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and was elected national officer of the newly created Canadian Association of Jewish Studies as well as the Association of Canadian Jewish Studies this academic year. He was awarded a grant from the University of Houston to complete an annotated Catalogue Bibliography on the paraliturgical folk poetry of the Judeo-Spanish Sephardim in the United States. This is the second research grant obtained from the same institution for A Comprehensive Bibliography of the Judeo-Spanish ballad or Romancero in the United States 1860-1992. (University of Houston)

Three professors from two departments attended a seminar organized by the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at York University. The CCGES, established by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) as a centre of excellence, is the only centre for German and European studies in Canada. The theme of the seminar was Germany's Grand Coalitions Past and Present. Dr. Osvaldo Croci, Political Science, and Drs. Richard Ilgner and Robert Lawson, German and Russian Department, attended the seminar along with nine other candidates from across Canada and Germany.

Dr. Peter Sinclair, Department of Sociology, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association. Dr. Sinclair was named University Research Professor in 1992.

Dr. Brajendra Sutradhar, Mathematics and Statistics, was recognized as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) during the annual awards ceremony at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Seattle on Aug. 8. This title is awarded by the ASA to its members in recognition of outstanding professional contributions to and leadership in the field of statistical science. Dr. Sutradhar is a University Research Professor and is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.

Poetry by Patrick Warner, Queen Elizabeth II Library, has been selected for inclusion in a new national anthology of poetry, The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry, published by Vehicule Press (December 2005). Concentrating on poets who have launched innovative attacks on traditional verse modes, The New Canon offers readers a reliable, if often risk-taking, guide to the last two decades of contemporary Canadian poetry. It is the first book to survey the territory since Dennis Lee's landmark The New Canadian Poets was published in 1985.