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New faculty

Faculty of Education

Dr. Greg Harris has been an assistant professor with Memorial since December 2006, and this semester is teaching graduate and undergraduate courses.

He is also a registered psychologist in Newfoundland and Labrador, and previous to joining Memorial, he taught in the Department of Psychology at Mount Allison University, and completed his pre-doctoral internship at the Moncton Hospital.

After receiving a BA (honours) in psychology and sociology (minor) from Saint Mary’s University in 2001, he continued his studies to obtain a master’s of science (applied psychology) from University of Calgary in 2003, and a doctor of philosophy (counselling psychology) from the University of Alberta in 2007.

His primary research program encompasses several related topic areas within counselling and health psychology, specifically positive psychological principles (e.g., hope, empowerment, inspiration), HIV/AIDS, high-risk behaviours, and community-level research and intervention.

His current research project titles include Examining K-12 HIV/AIDS Curricula in Atlantic Canada, Cannabis Use Amongst an HIV/AIDS Population, School Counsellors’ Perceived Competencies in Dealing with Student/Client High-Risk Behaviours, amongst others. Interested in learning more about Dr. Harris’ work? Visit people/gharris

Department of Classics
Faculty of Arts

Dr. Craig Maynes, the newest addition to the Classics Department, is a Latinist. An Edmonton native, he did his graduate work at the University of Toronto, completing a PhD that looked at, and in, Roman doors.

“Romans were very class conscious and hierarchical; it was extremely important for them to be able to ascertain at a glance what social status someone had,” he explained. Doors played a crucial role in this, as they were the only external architectural feature that belonged to a resident. “The rest was considered public space, so the doors were the only part they could use to make an impression. Doors were often very ornate, and they were left open so you could see inside, and see what great Romans these were.”

Now, Dr. Maynes is studying how hunting images reflect Roman aristocracy, who hunted not to survive but to advertise their wealth – a tradition that continues in some western traditions. He also has an interest in exploring the dynamics of how ancient works were transmitted through the ages, and what factors influenced scholars in the Renaissance age to preserve certain texts, but not others.

Dr. Maynes lectured at Memorial last year, and fell in love with the place: “This is an exciting time here. We’re in the process of renewal – the department’s faculty has already been renewed and we are renewing the graduate program and developing new curriculum. It’s a very vital place.”
He is developing a course on the representations of classics in film, which he hopes will be offered next year.

Clinical epidemiology
School of Pharmacy and Faculty of Medicine

Laurie Twells recently finished writing her PhD thesis on a clinical epidemiology study: the impact of adult obesity on the health system in New-foundland and Labrador. Her skills in research methodology landed her a joint faculty appointment in the School of Pharmacy and Faculty of Medicine.

Ms. Twells earned her first degree in economics at Memorial in 1992. She spent time in Australia, where she met her husband-to-be, who was from England. The couple moved to England where she worked in the financial industry for several years before returning to university at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to do a master’s degree in health policy and epidemiology.

Tired of long commutes from outside London, the lifestyle in Newfoundland eventually attracted the couple to move. Ms. Twells quickly found work co-ordinating a study on health and aging being conducted by Dr. Sharon Buehler in the Division of Community Health and Humanities. She next worked with Dr. Patrick Parfrey and a team on a study on health system regionalization in Newfoundland.

During this time she also worked with the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research, where she organized a forum on obesity that took place in October 2003. That sparked her interest in pursuing further research on the topic of obesity through a PhD, a research interest she hopes to continue in the future.

Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Ann Dorward has joined the Faculty of Medicine as Canada Research Chair in Molecular Signalling in Human Health and Disease.

Her research emphasizes the value of the mouse as a model mammalian system to explore three major themes: cancer risk, cancer progression and new methods for early cancer detection.

Dr. Dorward’s research will focus on basic cancer biology and genetics, encompassing nutrition and pharmacological research in the areas of cancer prevention and therapy.

“Calculating one person’s risk for the development of cancer is not a simple equation, being influenced by both their genes and their environmental exposures over a lifetime,” she explained. “Studying mouse models of human cancers help us determine which genes and which exposures are most important for the risk of developing specific cancers.”

Dr. Dorward’s research uses a classical genetics approach whereby a trait of interest is mapped to the relevant sequence in the DNA responsible for variation of the trait. One of her current projects is looking at female mice that spontaneously develop granulosa cell tumours at an early stage of ovarian maturation, and represent a model for juvenile-onset tumours that appear in infants and young girls.

Dr. Dorward earned her B.Sc and PhD at McMaster University while working at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, investigating mechanisms of drug resistance in human ovarian cancer cells. Her interest in the mouse as a model organism was stimulated by her postdoctoral training and research activities at The Jackson Laboratory, Maine.

English Language and Literature
Faculty of Arts

Established writer Dr. Robert Finley has joined the Department of English Language and Literature.

The Halifax native completed a PhD and held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto. He subsequently taught there, as well as in Nice, France, and for the past 15 years at the Université Ste-Anne, in Pointe de l’Église, N.S.

He is the author of The Accidental Indies, a book of lyrical essays he said “sits on the fiction shelves in bookstores, but gets reviewed as poetry.” It was awarded the Cunard First Book Award in 2001, and has been translated into Spanish and French. The latter, by Ivan Steenhout, won the 2004 Governor General’s Award for Translation. In 2006, Dr. Finley wrote and published A Ragged Pen: Essays on Poetry and Memory along with Patrick Friesen, Aislinn Hunter, Anne Simpson and Jan Zwicky.

His short fiction, poetry and reviews have appeared widely, and he has read throughout North America, as well as in Australia, Spain and France. In 2004, he served as the Markin-Flanagan Writer-in-Residence at the University of Calgary, and more recently was a guest of the Atwood/Roy Chair in Canadian Literature at the University of Mexico, UNAM.

Currently he is working on a series of pieces combining image and text relating to the city of Halifax and voices from its recent past, and he has begun a collaborative translation from the Catalan of Joaquim Amat-Piniella’s 1946 novel KL Reich.

His interests include creative non-fiction, especially links between lyric and the essay, and this winter, Dr. Finley will teach an advanced non-fiction course as part of the Creative Writing program.

Division of BioMedical Sciences

Dr. Rod Russell began his studies at Memorial University, earning a B.Sc. in biochemistry and M.Sc. (medicine) in infectious diseases under the supervision of Dr. Michael Grant. His work in Dr. Grant’s laboratory was focused on HIV and the immune responses to the virus in infected people.

After studying the immunology of HIV, he wanted to know more about the virus itself and how the viruses build themselves in cells and get out of the cell to infect more cells. So he continued his studies through a PhD at McGill University, focusing on the basic functions of how the virus works. His thesis was on RNA and protein elements involved in the assembly of the HIV virus.

On the advice of Dr. Grant, Dr. Russell continued his studies on a different virus, hepatitis C, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md. Hepatitis C is a viral infection of the liver. At the time it was discovered in 1989, the blood supply was contaminated. That is no longer the case and most new infections are from sharing needles in drug use.

Like most young professors, Dr. Russell is busy right now writing grants and setting up his laboratory. He has several projects from his time at NIH that he will continue, and he is expecting to get some students and graduate students to work with him in the laboratory.