President's Report 2007

People in the news

Carey Bonnell was appointed managing director of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation. The CCFI is a non-profit organization owned by Memorial University of Newfoundland and funded by Atlantic Innovation Fund. The centre provides the tools of scientific research and technology to the fishing industry. Mr. Bonnell was the centre's industrial liaison officer.

Mary Broderick from Baie Verte was elected vice-chair of the Board of Regents at the March 22 meeting.

Dr. Margaret Brosnan and Dr. John Brosnan, of the Department of Biochemistry, were appointed adjunct professors of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Dr. Ann Colbourne, Faculty of Medicine, was appointed as a specialist expert member to the newly established Canadian Optimal Medication and Utilization Service expert review committee of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). This expert advisory body, through CADTH, makes recommendations related to the identification, evaluation, and promotion of optimal drug prescribing and use in Canada. The approach is evidence-based and the advice will reflect current medical and scientific knowledge, as well as clinical practice in the Canadian health care system.

Dr. Parzival Copes was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Canada for his work in the social sciences. Dr. Copes is long time faculty member at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. In the 1960s he was a faculty member in Memorial'ss Department of Economics. In 2004 Memorial University recognized Dr. Copes's lifetime achievement by presenting him with an honorary degree during fall convocation.

Dr. Ailsa Craig of the Sociology Department was invited to be Visiting Professor in the Department of Language, Culture and Society at the Groupe Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Rouen in Normandy, France. While in Rouen in September 2007, Dr. Craig will be lecturing for a cross-cultural seminar on the globalization of culture, as well as offering a seminar on strategies for publishing in North America.

Dr. Vernon Curran, Faculty of Medicine, was one of three experts from Canada participating in the World Health Organization's study group to examine interprofessional education and collaborative practice. In May 2006 the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution calling for a rapid scaling-up of health workforce production to address an estimated worldwide shortage of almost 4.3 million doctors, midwives, nurses and support workers. The importance of interprofessional education and collaborative practice has been recognized by WHO's Human Resources for Health Department as one of the innovative approaches that can help tackle the global health workforce challenge.

Dr. Peggy Dixon, adjunct professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland and a research scientist with Atlantic Cool Climate Crop Research Station in St. John's, was elected as president of the Canadian Entomological Society. Dr. Dixon began her term in November.

Dr. James Downey was named the first president and chief executive officer of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. That group is an independent agency of the Ontario provincial government. Dr. Downey has a long association with Memorial. In addition to earning his bachelor of arts degree in 1962 and his bachelor of education degree in 1963, he also graduated from the university with his master of arts degree in 1964. As a Rothermere Fellow he studied at the University of London and was awarded his PhD in 1966. A native of Newfoundland, Dr. Downey was also awarded an honorary degree from Memorial in 1991.

Dr. Alex Faseruk, a finance professor within the Faculty of Business, won a number of awards at the 2007 Academy of Finance annual meeting in Chicago. Dr. Faseruk received the Teaching Excellence Award for his exceptional teaching and commitment to students. A paper that Dr. Faseruk co-authored with Dr. Chris Deacon, Department of Physics, titled Enhancing Pedagogy in Teaching Option Strategies Through the Use of Management Science Techniques, won the Best Paper Award in the financial education division.

Dr. James P. Feehan, professor of Economics, was a participant in a roundtable discussion on Restoring Fiscal Balance in Canada. The roundtable meeting, which consisted of about 20 economists and political scientists invited from across Canada, was organized by the Department of Finance Canada and held in Halifax on Sept. 18.

Dr. Laura C. Halfyard, lecturer and researcher at the Marine Institute, was elected as president of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Newfoundland and Labrador. WISE is a non-profit volunteer organization which aims to increase the participation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers, and to provide mentoring/networking opportunities.

Dr. Richard Ilgner, Department of German and Russian, was a moderator and presenter at a Research Symposium held at McGill University last fall on The Reception of Faust in Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese and Japanese Cultures. Dr. Ilgner was one of only two North American and three European scholars representing the West among a host of scholars from Islamic and Asian cultures (Turkey, Egypt, Senegal, India, Thailand, China, Korea, Japan). Goethe's Faust, as the tragedy of the project of modernity, with its dark side of the attendant destruction of indigenous culture and the environment, provided common ground for an East-West dialogue that will now continue with several future conferences to which Dr. Ilgner has been invited (2007 in Bangkok, 2008 in Madras).

Memorial University picked up several awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District I (eastern Canada and New England) at its conference in New York City this year. Memorial won bronze Communications Awards for two of its 2006 publications. Deborah Inkpen, communications co-ordinator (research), collected an award for the annual research report in the annual reports and booklets category and Jill Hunt, communications co-ordinator (student recruitment), claimed an award for the undergraduate student recruitment viewbook in the viewbooks and recruitment packages category. According to Ellen Hardy of Phillips Academy, who co-ordinated the awards program, judges praised the distinctive and innovative concepts and designs of both pieces. At the same event, Victoria Collins, Memorial's executive director of Marketing and Communications, was presented with the Carol and Stephen Hebert Award for distinguished service to CASE District I and extraordinary devotion of time and energy to District I affairs. During her nine years on the district board, she served in several volunteer posts, including chair of the board in 2001-03. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in London and Hong Kong, CASE is the international professional organization for advancement professionals who work in alumni relations, communications, and development. In North America, CASE serves its members through eight regional districts.

Dr. Christopher Kovacs, Endocrinology, gave the State of the Art Lecture entitled Brain, breast and bone circuitry: Interactions of prolactin, PTHrP and calcitonin during lactation on June 23, 2007, at the fourth International Conference on Children's Bone Health, held in Montreal. On June 24, at the workshop on Comparative Endocrinology of Calcium Regulation held in conjunction with the International Bone and Mineral Society Conference, he gave a lecture entitled Regulation of mammalian calcium and bone metabolism during pregnancy and lactation. On July 10th at the 10th International Conference on PTH and PTHrP in Pittsburgh he gave an invited lecture entitled The puzzling role of parathyroid hormone in fetal calcium metabolism.

Dr. TA Loeffler, a professor in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, was the only Newfoundlander and Labradorian - and one of only a handful of recipients from Atlantic Canada - chosen as one of this country's most influential women in sports. Dr. Loeffler is one of 20 women chosen by the Ottawa-based Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity. Other recipients include Olympic medallists Cassie Campbell, Cindy Klassen and Beckie Scott. The awards recognize women who have made a significant impact as athletes, administrators, advocates, board members, coaches, executives, officials, policy makers and volunteers.

Genesis Centre client MedicLINK Systems, a leading developer of eye care professional software, was the winner of the 2006 St. John's Board of Trade New Start-Up award. The award recognizes a business venture that has demonstrated outstanding growth and success in its first three years of operation. The Genesis Centre is Memorial's support network for technology-based ventures which have high growth potential, and are seeking business guidance and capital.

Dr. Penny Moody-Corbett, associate dean of research and graduate studies (medicine), was appointed chair of the ethics committee of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS). The committee was established in 2001 to critically review and interpret existing ethical guidelines, particularly those prepared by the Council of International Organizations of Medical Sciences in view of their implementation in specific areas of physiological research. The ethics committee also serves as a body of reference and reflection to advise the council on the positions IUPS should take in these matters. IUPS meets every four years, and Dr. Moody-Corbett is preparing a symposium on ethics for the 2009 symposium, to be held in Kyoto, Japan.

Dr. Amin A. Muhammad, professor of psychiatry, was selected as a reviewer for the British Medical Journal.

Memorial was recognized by provincial chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in May. The university took home four awards, including the 2007 Communications Professional Award of Excellence which went to Ivan Muzychka, associate director (communications) with the Division of Marketing and Communications. Memorial also won in the Annual Reports category for the 2006 President's Report. A collaboration between Marketing and Communications and the Office of Student Recruitment won in the Brochures/Special Publications category for Student Recruitment's Viewbook 2007. And, the Communicator, Memorial's employee newsletter, won an award of merit in the Newsletters category.

English professor Dr. Don Nichol's 2006 publication The New Foundling Hospital for Wit was reviewed in a July 2007 issue of the Times Literary Supplement by Prof. Claude Rawson, professor of English at Yale University and one of the top 18th-century scholars in the world.

Shannon Obradovich, a master's student with the Fisheries Conservation Group, won the 2007 National Let's Talk Science Site Co-ordinator Award, for her work with the Let's Talk Science Partnership Program.

Dr. David Pike, Mathematics and Statistics, spent the week of Feb 12-16 as an invited scholar-in-residence in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne (IPFW), Indiana. While there, Dr. Pike engaged in collaborative research with IPFW faculty, gave a colloquium and a talk to the IPFW Pi Math Club, both of which he based on research he conducted with past undergraduate students at Memorial.

Dr. Paul Sachdev, professor emeritus in Social Work, was appointed by the Governing Council of Memorial's Centre for Collaborative Health Professional Education as a Scholar of the centre. The appointment is for a two-year renewable term.

Brendan Sheehan, a second-year medical student at Memorial, was the first winner of the Young Humanitarian Award, presented by the New Brunswick Red Cross Nov. 15. He was nominated by his home town of Grand Bay-Westfield. Mr. Sheehan has a long list of accomplishments, including taking an aid trip to West Africa and leading a group to raising $27,000 for cystic fibrosis. The Young Humanitarian Award was introduced as part of the Red Cross' 10th anniversary of the Humanitarian Dinner in New Brunswick.

Gordon Slade was inducted into the Order or Canada. Mr. Slade is the executive director of One Ocean, the agency headquartered at the Marine Institute with a mandate to serve as a liaison between the fishing and offshore petroleum industry. He has also served as the executive director of the International Centre and chair of MUN's Opportunity Fund.

James Stacey, an MBA student, won Best Student Paper in Finance for the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada (ASAC) conference. Mr. Stacey received an award for his paper, which the judges termed "outstanding" at the conference in Ottawa in June.

Cheryl Staubitzer, an honours student in the Department of Biochemistry and volunteer with the Let's Talk Science Partnership Program at Memorial, was selected as one of the five finalists in Canada for the 2007 National Let's Talk Science Volunteer Award for her outstanding contribution to science outreach with youth in Newfoundland and Labrador.

According to an issue this past year of American Scientist, the magazine of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, a Memorial university research professor was among the 15 scholars appointed to Sigma Xi's Distinguished Lecturer panel for 2007-08. Dr. Roger White in the Geography Department was the only researcher from a Canadian institution to be chosen for this prestigious panel, which facilitates visiting lectureships. The listed topics to which Dr. White can speak include Living in Nature: Integrating the Social and Environmental Sciences in Computer-based Models; Cities and Regions as Complex Self-Organizing Entities: From Dynamic Theory to Planning and Policy Support Tools with Cellular Automata Based Urban Models; and High-Resolution Prediction of Growth and Change in Urban Regions: Exploding Grid Cellular Automata with Power-Law Spatial Interaction. Sigma Xi is a multidisciplinary research society with over 65,000 members in over 100 countries. Its aim is to promote the health of the research enterprise and to foster public understanding of science.

Dr. Chris Youé, head of the Department of History, was appointed to the editorial advisory board of the International History Review (see Dr. Youé was also invited to serve as an appraisal consultant for the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies for the proposed MA in History at Trent University.

Dr. Lynda Younghusband, assistant professor in the Counselling Centre, addressed the Calgary Teachers' Association conference, attended by 10,000 teachers, on Feb. 16, 2007. Her address was titled The Teacher is Not the Problem: The Workplace Environment is the Problem. Meanwhile, Dr. Younghusband was presented with the Canadian Counselling Association Doctoral Dissertation Award at an awards ceremony on May 24 in Vancouver. The Canadian Counselling Association (CCA) is a national association of professionally trained counsellors. Her doctoral dissertation was titled High School Teachers' Perceptions of Their Working Environment: A Grounded Theory Study.