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Memorial honours six profs

Six senior faculty members at Memorial have been honoured with the distinction professor emeritus: Drs. Peter Booth, James Greenlee, Carolyn Harley, Andy den Otter, Thakor Patel and Robert Sexty.

The category of professor emeritus is open only to retired members of the faculty. To be eligible, a person must have served at least 10 years as a regular full-time faculty member at Memorial and must have held the rank of professor upon retirement. The prime criterion for nomination is sustained, outstanding scholarly work and/or service to the university.

Dr. Peter Booth completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Hull and has been a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics since 1966. While he retired in 2006, he continues his funded research. In fact, Dr. Booth has been continuously funded by NSERC for 32 years.

Dr. Booth is a topologist and is known internationally for his sustained contributions to homotopy theory.

In addition to his scholarly activities, Dr. Booth has made a significant contribution to popularizing mathematics with young people, including substantial contributions to the NLTA Mathematics League. This outreach work has been widely credited with attracting to Memorial not only the finest mathematical minds in the province but also top students in medicine, engineering, music and other disciplines.

In 1997, Dr. Booth was awarded the Dean of Science Distinguished Scholar Medal.
Dr. James Greenlee, who retired from Historical Studies, Division of Arts, at Grenfell College last year, has served the Memorial University and Grenfell College community for 30 years. Following a BA (honours), MA and PhD in history from McMaster University and faculty stints at McMaster and the University of Windsor, Dr. Greenlee came to Grenfell in 1977. Since then, he has played a large role in the development of Grenfell into a degree-granting institution. He helped develop the historical studies program and served as head of both the Fine Arts Division and the Arts Division.

A specialist in British imperialist history, Dr. Greenlee has published three books and many articles and reviews, and will shortly publish his fourth book on the Great War in global perspective.

His skill and dedication in the classroom earned him Grenfell College’s Principal’s Teaching Award in 2005.

With a distinguished academic career that spans more than three decades and internationally-recognized studies focused on brain research, Dr. Carolyn Harley has made important contributions to collaborative efforts with colleagues and in the fields of both psychology and medicine. Educated at the Sorbonne, San Francisco State University and the University of Oregon, where she obtained her doctor of philosophy degree, Dr. Harley joined Memorial’s Department of Psychology in 1971 before retiring in October 2007.

She made an outstanding contribution to mentoring and supervising students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including 50 honours, 22 master of science and eight PhD students – four of whom have become Canada Research Chairs. She also has an impressive record of service with groups such as the Canadian Association of Brian Behaviour and Cognitive Science.

As author of dozens of articles and award-winning books, as well as the recipient of nearly $250,000 in research grants, Dr. Andy den Otter has become one of this country’s foremost scholars in the field of Western Canadian history. He began his academic career at the University of Alberta and Red Deer College before being appointed to Memorial’s Department of History in 1972. Over the 35 years, led an active research, academic and service career.

Additionally, his scholarship has received national kudos, and he was an active member of the Canadian Historical Association and an international ambassador for his church.

A former head of Memorial’s History Department, Dr. den Otter has contributed more than a dozen chapters in academic publications and has presented 40 scholarly papers through the course of his career. He was educated at Dordt College in Iowa, Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and the University of Alberta where he obtained his PhD. Since retiring from Memorial in 2007, Dr. den Otter has delved even further into his research with the goals of publishing a new scholarly book.

For 26 years the departments of Biology and Biochemistry, as well as the school of Nursing and Engineering Sciences have benefitted from Dr. Thakor Patel’s contributions. He was instrumental in introducing the food microbiology program in biochemistry. Dr. Patel has supervised graduate students from biology, biochemistry and environmental science. He is also actively involved with a food safety program at the University of Moi in Kenya.

Dr. Patel is a graduate of Maharaja Sayajirao University in India and the University of Texas at Austin. He came to Memorial in 1977.

Known principally for his presentation of microbiology, environmental biology and food microbiology courses, he has taught at a variety of levels and a wide range of sub-disciplines.

Dr. Patel enjoys international recognition in several biological sciences subdisciplines and has been published over 90 times.

A national expert in the area of corporate social responsibility, Dr. Robert Sexty has been the champion for business ethics at Memorial University for more than 30 years. He developed and taught the undergraduate course Business and Society in 1975 and is considered a pioneer among academics in this area. First appointed to Memorial in July 1968, Dr. Sexty served the Faculty of Business Administration for 39 years before retiring in the fall of 2007.

Dr. Sexty studied at the University of Alberta, Queen’s University and the University of Colorado, where he obtained his doctor of philosophy in business administration. He has been recognized for his efforts with numerous teaching awards from students, with a dean’s award for both teaching and service, and with a Leaders in Management Education Award from PriceWaterhouseCoopers for his contributions to the practice of management.

Dr. Sexty is the first professor from the Faculty of Business Administration to be named professor emeritus

Those honoured with the distinction professor emeritus are typically recognized during convocation ceremonies, scheduled this fall for Oct. 3 in Corner Brook and Oct. 17 in St. John’s.