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(October 18, 2001, Gazette)

Chemist receives award for bravery
Memorial chemist Dr. Jean Burnell was one of four people recognized by the province for acts of bravery.

On Aug. 22, 1989, Dr. Burnell crawled through smoke and flames in a Memorial University chemistry lab to reach a graduate student, Pei-Ying Liu, whose experiment had exploded. Dr. Burnell extinguished the fire in Ms. Liu’s hair and clothes and pulled her to safety. While Ms. Liu’s colleagues took her for medical aid, Dr. Burnell returned to the lab to put out the blaze.

Premier Roger Grimes and Lieutenant-Governor A. M. House presented the Newfoundland and Labrador Award for Bravery in a special ceremony at Government House Oct. 9. The Bravery Award recognizes Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have risked their lives to save, protect or render assistance to another human being.

“Acts of bravery such as those recognized and celebrated today,” said Dr. House, “reflect the inherent good in individuals and the great impact that selfless and timely action can have on the lives of individuals in their communities.”

As the ceremony concluded, Premier Grimes expressed the province’s pride in the recipients: “These individuals are heroes,” he said. “They embody the spirit of our great province and of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. They inspire each and every one of us with their courage and their selflessness. I’m proud to have been here to honour them.”

Justin Boyd, Christopher Hindy and George Pastitshi were also recognized by the province.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Bravery Award was established in 1984 under the authority of the Bravery Award Act, to recognize citizens of the province who have risked their lives and safety to render aid to another person. Since its inception, the award has been presented to six people.

MUN runner tops in nation
Cross-country runner Trevor O’Brien not only finished in first place at a meet in Nova Scotia, but his exploits were recognized in the region and across the country. The fourth-year kinesiology student from Paradise was named both the Atlantic University Sport and the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Male Athlete of the Week for the week ending Oct. 7.

In his first meet of the season at Dalhousie University, Mr. O’Brien edged 2000 First-Team CIS All-Canadian Eric Gillis of St. Francis Xavier by one second to finish in first place. His time of 32:34 over the challenging 10k course also helped Memorial finish in second place in the team competition. Mr. O’Brien also won the Atlantic University Sport Men’s Championship in 2000 and was selected as a Second-Team CIS All-Canadian.

Panel discussion on tragedy
At a panel discussion titled The Day that Shook the World, Eric Mintz, a professor of political science at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, presented his views of the tragic events that took place in the United States on Sept. 11. The panel, held Oct. 4, also included Grenfell professors Dr. Jim Greenlee, History, Dr. Dave Peddle, Philosophy, Dr. Stephanie McKenzie, English, and Katharine King, Sociology. The event was hosted by the Grenfell College Philosophy Society and organized by Benedict Pittman, a member of the society and a humanities student at Grenfell.

Internship program acknowledged
On Sept. 25, about 50 people gathered in the University Club in an afternoon of appreciation for donors, employers and interns involved in an internship program jointly operated by the Faculty of Arts and the Centre for Career Development.

The project coordinator, Lisa Russell, is herself an intern in the program. So far she’s placed or helped to place about 20 interns with community organizations, governments, advocacy groups and research units for six-month, matching-fund internships, using money supplied by the provincial Department of Human Resources and Employment.

Allison Earle, the assistant deputy minister from HRE, spoke about the importance of partnerships. Ms. Earle has been responsible for securing the funding for this program for the last two years. In its initial year the program was given a grant of $100,000 and in its second year its funding amount was increased to $150,000.

Dr. Lilly Walker spoke about the valuable opportunity that this program presents to recent graduates and what a marvellous opportunity the interns are having, as well as the valuable role the employers play in participating in this initiative. Memorial’s intern with the City of St. John’s, Stephen Byrne, spoke about how his internship experience has changed the way he looks at his education and himself. Dr. Jim Black acted as emcee and acknowledged the important role of Dr. Terry Murphy in creating the program.