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New faculty

Introducing Memorial’s new teachers and researchers




Dr. Rhonda Joy, Faculty of Education
Dr. Rhonda Joy first joined the Faculty of Education as assistant professor in November 2007. Prior to her appointment, she worked for over 20 years in the education system in various positions as a guidance counsellor and educational psychologist.

Dr. Joy holds a B.Sc. (psychology) and a M.Ed. (educational psychology) from Memorial. She completed her EdD in counselling psychology from the University of Toronto. She is a registered psychologist in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In her capacity as counsellor/educational psychologist she had the opportunity to work in rural as well as urban areas of Newfoundland. She feels this experience has made her more aware and in tune with the needs of primary, elementary and high school students throughout the province.

Dr. Joy’s research area focuses on children’s learning in a second language. In particular her doctoral studies at the University of Toronto and current research focuses on predictors of success in reading in early French immersion students. Currently this energetic assistant professor is exploring children’s learning in the Intensive Core French context in the Newfoundland school system. She said she is delighted to have the opportunity to work in the Faculty of Education and looks forward to working with students and faculty in her new role.



Dr. Roger Levy, Department of Political Science
This fall, Dr. Roger Levy joined the Faculty of Arts as head of the Department of Political Science.

Dr. Levy obtained his PhD in Political Science from McGill University in 1984, and is also a graduate of Leicester University and Glasgow University. Prior to coming to Memorial, he was a Visiting Senior Fellow of the Department of Management at the London School of Economics.

Dr. Levy has worked extensively in the university sector in Scotland; he has held positions as director of the Graduate Academy of Business at Glasgow Caledonian University, as well as head of the School of Public Administration and Law at The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.

Over the years, Dr. Levy has specialized in public administration and management with a special research interest in the management and accountability of European Union spending programs. He has published many articles, books, and papers in this area, and has acted as a consultant to the European Commission and special adviser to the U.K. House of Lords European Union Select Committee.



Paul Komiak, Faculty of Business Administration
Paul Komiak has joined the Faculty of Business Administration as an assistant professor in the areas of finance and international business. Prof. Komiak is already a familiar face to many, as he was a sessional instructor in finance for the faculty in 2003-2004.

Since that time, he has worked as a visiting research fellow at Columbia University in the area of international investment. He is currently working towards his PhD in international business administration at Texas A&M International University.

Prof. Komiak’s research is focused on international finance, business and governance. “I’m very interested in the implications of globalization for international investment law and public policy,” he explained. “For example, the popularity of international standards (among other factors) has resulted in massive transfers of legal information, but often the relative ineffectiveness of transplanted legal rules has proven to be a conundrum.”

Before turning to the world of academia, Mr. Komiak worked as a professional financial consultant and business intermediary in the areas of accounting, finance and forensic economics for over 20 years. He holds professional certifications from the American Society of Appraisers in Business Valuation and from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners as a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Becoming a part of Memorial was an easy choice for Prof. Komiak, as his wife, Dr. Sherrie Komiak, is also a professor in the Faculty of Business.



Dr. Victor Maddalena, Community Health and Humanities
Dr. Victor Maddalena is an assistant professor in health policy and health service delivery in the Faculty of Medicine’s Division of Community Health and Humanities. He received all of his academic training at Dalhousie University, including a BN(post-RN), master of health services administration, and PhD.

Dr. Maddalena also completed two postdoctoral fellowships in the areas of innovative interdisciplinary capacity building through the identification, explication, and applications of research for vulnerable populations at end of life; and palliative care in a cross-cultural context. In Halifax, he worked with the African Nova Scotian community and the southeastern Asian community. At
Memorial he is hoping to do research with the deaf community to examine issues of access to health services.

Prior to joining the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Maddalena was an assistant professor in the School of Health Administration at Dalhousie University with a cross-appointment in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. He is also a faculty member in the Atlantic Regional Training Centre, a co-operative master’s degree offered through Memorial, Dalhousie University, the University of New Brunswick and the University of Prince Edward Island. At Memorial he will also be teaching health policy in the new master’s in public health program.



Amanda Bittner, Political Science
At press time, Amanda Bittner was just about to defend her PhD dissertation at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Having been in research mode since she finished her undergraduate degree in 2002, she is thrilled to join the Department of Political Science as an assistant professor.

Ms. Bittner is no stranger to teaching, however. During her time at UBC – where she also completed her master’s – she held a position as teaching assistant for courses in introductory political science and quantitative research methods.

She is the 2008 winner of the prestigious John McMenemy Prize for the best article published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science. Her outstanding research has also been recognized by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; she received the Canada Graduate Scholarship at both the master’s and doctoral levels.

Ms. Bittner is interested in the effects of knowledge and information in voter decision-making, as well as the institutional and structural incentives that affecting voting behaviour. This year, she will be teaching the introductory course in political science (POSC 1000) as well as courses that explore the dynamics of public opinion (POSC 3510) and the role of women in mass politics (POSC 4506).
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