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In Brief

Grant cleaning up

English Department instructor Jessica Grant is racking up the literary awards this season for her novel Come Thou Tortoise.
In addition to winning the 2009 Winterset Award in March, in Toronto on April 27 she was presented with the prestigious First Novel Award.
Come, Thou Tortoise is about a woman who moves from Oregon to her old family home in St. John's. Much of the novel is told from the perspective of a pet tortoise named Winnifred.
The novel was hailed by jury member Stuart Woods of Quill and Quire magazine as “a heartfelt tale full to the brim with warm sentiment and the gentle absurdities of contemporary life.”
Past winners of the $7,500 prize, first awarded in 1976 and originally known as the Books in Canada First Novel Award, include Michael Ondaatje, Joseph Boyden, Anne Michaels and last year’s winner, Joan Thomas.

Coup for political science

Dr. Kelly Blidook and Dr. Matthew Kerby of the Department of Political Science have been shortlisted for the John McMenemy Prize for the best article published in the 2009 volume of the Canadian Journal of Political Science.
Dr. Blidook's article, co-authored with Stuart Soroka and Erin Penner, titled Constituency Influence in Parliament, was published in September 2009, and Dr. Kerby's article, Worth the Wait: Determinants of Ministerial Appointments in Canada, 1935-2008, was published in the same volume. 

This prestigious nomination is a special coup for the political science department which has now had at least one faculty member with an article in the running for the last three consecutive years.
Dr. Amanda Bittner won the 2008 award for her paper entitled The Effects of Information and Social Cleavages: Explaining Issue Attitudes and Vote Choice in Canada.
Dr. Blidook was shortlisted for the 2009 award for his article, Media, Public Opinion and Healthcare in Canada: How the media affect ‘the way things are.’
The winner will be announced at this year's annual conference of the Canadian Political Science Association which will take place at Concordia University June 1-3.

Memorial hosts Shad Valley

Memorial University welcomed faculty, members of the provincial government, corporate representatives and a number of alumni from the Shad Valley program at a special dinner at R. Gushue Hall Tuesday, May 11.
At this year’s event, Derrick Dalley, parliamentary secretary to the minister of the provincial Department of Education, announced a funding contribution to the Shad Valley program. The funds will enhance the Shad Valley experience for the 13 outstanding high school students from across Newfoundland accepted to the highly competitive program this year.
Of the 13 participants for Shad Valley 2010, six are from St. John’s, four are from Corner Brook, one is from Gander, one is from Fogo Island and one is from Logy Bay. In total, 286 Shad alumni have come from Newfoundland since the Shad Valley program was launched.
Shad Valley is a not-for-profit based in Waterloo, Ontario focused on identifying high potential future achievers both nationally and abroad and unleashing the entrepreneurial and innovative potential of these exceptional youth.
For more information about Shad Valley, please visit