for excellence recognize top faculty
27, 2000, Gazette)
Awards for Distinguished Teaching recognize the teaching excellence
in the university community. Each winner of the teaching award
receives a $5,000 grant contributed by the Memorial University
Be it teaching,
research, or administration, the hallmark of Dr. Phyllis Artiss
style can be summarized in one word: collaborative. An associate
professor in the Department of English and a teacher for 35 years,
it was her interest in people, her enjoyment of listening to
and learning from others, that led Dr. Artiss to develop a particular
interest in collaborative classes.
to go into the class with the awareness that I need to learn
from the students, she said. Without that, the class
is flat. Of course, I take responsibility for the learning environment,
but, ultimately, we share and we learn from each other.
to discuss her own merits, Dr. Artiss veers to discussions of
the contributions of others, including English department colleagues
Bill Kirwin, Roberta Buchanan, Jean Guthrie, Bill Barker, and
Valerie Legge. Dr. Artiss said she likes to share opportunities,
and is donating her $5,000 honorarium from this award to the
Opportunity Fund, to initiate a new scholarship enabling graduate
students to pursue learning about teaching and pedagogy.
of Nova Scotia, Dr. Artiss has a MA in English from the University
of Edinburgh and a doctorate from the University of Texas. She
has designed and taught courses in composition, rhetoric, linguistics,
critical theory, and feminist theory, served as coordinator of
the Womens Studies Program, and was recently appointed
to the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women. Currently,
she is working with Education faculty members Dr. Roberta Hammett
and Dr. Barry Barrell on a SSHRC grant studying the interaction
between literacy and computer skills.
closest to her heart is the passion to teach what else?
how to teach.
was helpful to me to discover there is so much to learn about
teaching and pedagogy; that its not just a question of
youre born a teacher, but that there really
is an intellectually-challenging area of research and theory
nominated for this award, Dr. Artiss was called by former students
Janice Lockyer and Win Mellor-Hay the kind of professor
you meet once in your life and wish youd met in your first
year and the best embodiment of teaching through
doing versus telling that I have ever come across.
and one-time colleague Jacqueline Howse writes: She is
one of those rare friends whose constant enthusiasm and curiosity
regarding my thinking continues to stimulate my learning. In
my own teaching, at my best moments, I hope my students see a
teacher similar to the one she has been to me.
And how does
Dr. Artiss feel?
best thing about this award is getting all these wonderful letters
from students and colleagues! Thats the real award.
in Biochemistry will be surprised to learn that Dr. Martin Mulligan
was nominated to receive the Distinguished Teaching Award. Combining
technology and traditional teaching methods, Dr. Mulligan uses
computers and the Web to bring molecular biology and genetics
to life for his students.
was the first professor in the Biochemistry department to use
the Web as a teaching aid. He keeps a complete set of course
notes and relevant links to useful molecular biology Web sites
on his course home page. These are easily accessible by his students,
who are encouraged to visit the site regularly.
1991 I attended a conference ... where I saw a professor using
computer animations. One of the animations showed rather clearly
a concept that I had struggled to teach in a course the year
He soon began using those animations as teaching aids, a highly
successful program that culminated in his utilization of the
Web. Yet, Dr. Mulligan realizes that using new technology by
itself is simply not adequate for his students to learn molecular
biology. He instead uses teaching aids only as a supplement to
class work and laboratories.
challenge for us is to understand the technology and use it for
our advantage in teaching.
being an exceptional teacher, Dr. Mulligan is also a noted researcher.
He has received a number of research grants since coming to Memorial
in 1988, and his laboratory was the first to discover genes
for a particular type of RNA-binding protein in cyanobacteria
dedication to students does not end with teaching and research.
As the undergraduate deputy head of Biochemistry, he spends a
great deal of time helping students with academic concerns and
to students has earned him the Biochemistry Society Award for
Dedication in Teaching in 1997 and the Biochemistry Society Prof
of the Year Award in 1999. The fact that these awards are given
by the undergraduate student society shows just how much he is
respected by the students of the department.
being awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award, Dr. Mulligan
stated that he was thrilled really.
quite believe that I have been given it or that I deserve it,
but having been told that one has been awarded it, I feel very
honoured that people feel well enough about me to nominate me.
I would like to thank those who nominated me for the award.
Way believes in spending a lot of time with her students, and
that means involving them in her research. As a teaching method,
she is pleased with the results.
are participating, they are part of the team. It means they get
a lot more out of the experience.
a technique that works. For her skill in teaching, this year
Dr. Way received the Distinguished Teaching Award.
teaches only graduate students, although in past years she spent
a lot of time setting up and teaching the post-RN course in research
by distance. Her primary responsibility has been to develop students
awareness and knowledge of research in nursing, and to enable
graduate students to conduct research.
extensive expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodology
underlies her teaching success. She received her PhD from the
University of Virginia, an M.Sc. from McGill University, and
BN and BA (Political Science) from Memorial.
joint appointments with the School of Nursing and the Clinical
Epidemiology Unit, Medicine. In 1995 she received the Association
of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland Award for Excellence in
Dr. Way is involved with three major research projects and is
currently the supervisor for eight graduate students and a member
of the supervising committee for another two.
time consuming, having students work with you on projects, but
it gives the most satisfaction you can see them developing.
Fitzpatrick, Social Work, nominated Dr. Way for the Distinguished
Teaching Award. Dr. Way helped supervise her thesis, and Dr.
Fitzpatrick was extremely impressed with the dedication and amount
of time she put into one-on-one teaching.
never had such an excellent teaching/learning experience
it was empowering. What impressed me most was her vigour, attention
to detail, and her unwavering commitment to a standard of excellence
for her students.
said she was particularly motivated to nominate Dr. Way because
the amount of time put into one-on-one teaching is often invisible
and doesnt get a lot of profile.
of support that accompanied Dr. Fitzpatricks nomination
underlined the value to their own development that many other
students have gained from Dr. Ways commitment to teaching.
Research Professors have acquired a designation above the rank
of professor. The title is the most prestigious award the university
gives for research, and goes to faculty who have demonstrated
a consistently high level of scholarship and whose research is
of truly international stature. The designation carries with
it a $4,000 research grant and a reduced teaching schedule.
Dr. Sandra Clarke
Sandra Clarke is, naturally,
extremely proud to be designated University Research Professor.
But Dr. Clarkes appreciation extends beyond simply receiving
the honour for herself.
Im the second woman
and I believe just the second (native-born) Newfoundlander to
become University Research Professor, she said. Both groups,
and the university as a whole, can consider themselves well-represented.
Dr. Clarke is a sociolinguist,
studying the social patterns of language. In 1982 she wrote a
grammar on Innu-aimun, but is best known in her field today for
her studies of Canadian (and particularly Newfoundland) English.
In 1993, she edited Focus on
Canada, described by her colleagues as a welcome addition
to the literature on a surprisingly underdescribed variety of
In more recent years, she has
been examining Newfoundland English; her current work in progress
is a book about St. Johns English. She told the Gazette
she has been identifying word uses that differ among social classes
in the capital city.
She maintains an interest as
well in a broader social area, that of gender differences in
language use, regularly teaching Language, Sex and Gender, a
third-year linguistics course, described in the calendar as A
survey of language and gender issues, including (i) the representation
of males and females in English and other languages; (ii) stereotypes
associated with male and female speech; and (iii) sex differences
in language production.
Four of 11 names listed on
the Department of Linguistics home page are designated
University Research Professor. Asked about this, Dr. Clarke was
enthusiastic about her colleagues.
Its an outstanding
department, she said. Theres a lot of important
and varied work going on here.
Memorial is one of only a few
Canadian universities to grant bachelor degrees in linguistics,
and also attracts top graduate students from across the country
In addition to the scholarly
work for which she is being recognized, Dr. Clarke has been active
in professional organizations. She has served as president of
the Canadian Linguistics Association, and its Atlantic counterpart.
She is also a former head of the linguistics department.
Dr. Richard Haedrich
Dr. Richard Haedrich wasnt
around to celebrate receiving his University Research Professor
designation with the other honoured faculty.
Hes on sabbatical at
Middlesbury College in Vermont. But when contacted by the Gazette,
Dr. Haedrich was quick to credit his colleagues for the award.
I was more pleased than
I thought I would be, he said. While these things
are directed towards me, its a nice reflection on the whole
university. You dont do the kind of research that you do
in a complete vacuum.
You need nice colleagues,
good students and the time to perceive some of your ideas, and
all those things are things which Memorial University has made
available to me.
Dr. Haedrich is a biological
oceanographer and ichthyologist with broad research experience
in the systematics and biology of fish and is well known for
his work on the biogeography of deep-sea fishes and their relationships
with their environment.
Dr. Haedrich came to Memorial
20 years ago where he turned his attention to Newfoundlands
ocean ecosystems, very large areas about which relatively little
is known. His overall goal has been to understand how large marine
ecosystems are constituted and how they function.
The work Ive been
able to do with my students has shown the importance of taking
a broad view and looking at Newfoundlands marine environment
as a fishery ecosystem ... and trying to understand the dynamics
of that whole system instead of just studying one or the other
of the key fishery species.
Dr. Haedrich is currently the
leading researcher on a project on deep ocean biological oceanography
in collaboration with Texas A & M University. The four-year
study in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the biggest deep sea research
projects of its kind ever launched.
The study will provide a framework
to determine the ecological effects current and future oil and
gas exploration could have on the deep continental slope at depths
of 300 to 3,000 metres.
Award for Outstanding Research
Presidents Award for Outstanding Research recognizes researchers
who have made outstanding contributions to their scholarly
disciplines. Each award includes a $5,000 research grant.
Dr. Clark Ross
Dr. Clark Ross is a little
unsure about his qualifications for the Presidents Award
for Outstanding Research. Although not thought of as typical
research projects, his numerous compositions have qualified for
and earned him one of the universitys most prestigious
Sometimes I wonder if a mistake has been made, said
Dr. Ross. However, the university recognizes that the School
of Musics only composer is indeed an outstanding researcher.
Since joining Memorial in 1992,
Dr. Ross has been commissioned numerous times for his pieces
and awarded grants by the Canada Council, the CBC, and the NSO.
His Interlude for String Orchestra,
premiered in 1995 by the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, was
recorded by the Memorial University Chamber Orchestra. In addition,
Fanfare for a New-Found Land, commissioned by the Royal Bank
in honour of Newfoundlands Cabot 500 celebrations, was
performed at major NSO concerts throughout 1997. His two most
recent works, Last Dance and The Misty Mall of Avalon, were both
supported by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council.
When composing, Dr. Ross always
remains conscious of his audience, his peers, and himself.
As a composer I try to
write music that expresses something personal to me, yet expresses
universal emotions, said Dr. Ross of the writing and composition
process. Ultimately, a composer must write music that he
or she wants to hear.
A self-proclaimed late bloomer
in music, Dr. Ross first completed his BA in humanities before
taking a career turn into the world of music. After finishing
eight years at the Royal Conservatory of Music, he was accepted
into the masters program at the University of Toronto.
Upon completing his Mus.Doc. in composition, Dr. Ross joined
Memorials School of Music where he teaches composition,
theory, electronic music, orchestration and classical guitar.
As the only composer at the
music school, he views this award as an affirmation of his choice
to pursue a career in music.
This award means a tremendous
amount to me, noted Dr. Ross. Being a late starter,
there was always a sense of having to catch up with my field.
This award is a recognition, an affirmation, that I have made
the right choices.
Being located in Newfoundland
has been a very positive experience for Dr. Ross. He believes
that the university and the music community allow him a certain
freedom that other composers in larger centres are not privilege
In the larger centres
it is easier to become self-conscious when there are others in
your field, but here at the university, there is a tremendous
freedom to do and express what you want.
On a much-earned sabbatical,
Dr. Ross is taking the time to relax and continue his research.
He has completed two-and-a-half compositions and will begin work
shortly on a viola concerto for Rivka Golani and the Winnipeg
Symphony, one of his most prestigious commissions to date.