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Outstanding faculty and staff members recognized

Memorial University recognized the efforts of some of its best educators, researchers and staff members during a special ceremony Nov. 25 at the Fluvarium in St. John’s.

Twelve faculty and staff members were honoured at the reception, hosted by Dr. Eddy Campbell, acting president and vice-chancellor of Memorial.

“Our 2008 award winners are dedicated teachers, researchers and employees nominated by their peers,” said Dr. Campbell. “They’ve helped their students to discover their own ingenuity, they’ve carried out important and groundbreaking research, and inspired their co-workers as a consequence of their dedication to their work and to Memorial.

“We’ve built a reputation as one of the best universities for its size in Canada, and I want to thank each of you for contributing to our growth and development.”

During the ceremony, Memorial presented three awards for outstanding research, two for distinguished teaching, one for exceptional community service, and five for exemplary service, and recognized the efforts of one professor who received a national award.

Dr. Anand Yethiraj, Physics and Physical Oceanography, is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Research, while Dr. Peter Pope, Anthropology and Archaeology, and Dr. Xiaoqiang Zhao, Mathematics and Statistics, each received the distinction of University Research Professor.

Dr. Valerie Legge, English, and Dr. Maureen Volk, Music, were presented with the President’s Awards for Distinguished Teaching, while Dr. Wade Locke, Economics, was honoured with the President’s Award for Exceptional Community Service.

Five Memorial employees received the President’s Awards for Exemplary Service. They included: Judy Casey, Student Affairs and Services; Moya Crocker, Engineering and Applied Science; Debbie Earles, Atlantic Computational Excellence Network (ACEnet); Denise Hooper, Student Affairs and Services; and Ginny Ryan, The Writing Centre.

Meanwhile, Dr. TA Loeffler, a professor in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, was recognized at the ceremony for her achievement in being named a 3M Teaching Fellow, recognizing her as one of the top university teachers in the country.

Memorial began its annual presentation of the University Research Professor designations and the Awards for Outstanding Research in 1984, and the Distinguished Teaching Awards in 1988, as ways of singling out particularly distinguished contributions within its academic community. Exemplary Service Awards were introduced in 1995.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Research recognizes researchers who have made outstanding contributions to their scholarly disciplines. Each award includes a $5,000 research grant.

University 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 a truly international stature. The designation carries with it a $4,000 research grant (each year for five years) and a reduced teaching schedule.

President’s 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 Alumni Association, Office of the President, and Instructional Development Office/Distance Education and Learning Technologies.

The President’s Award for Exceptional Community Service and the President’s Award for Exemplary Service each carry a $1,000 award, respectively.