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Manchester or Cambridge?

By Janet Harron

An alumni of Memorial's anthropology department has been named the recipient of this year's Rothermere Fellowship, one of the most prestigious and lucrative scholarships offered by Memorial.

Daniel Banoub is currently deciding between doctoral studies in human geography at Manchester University or the social anthropology program at Cambridge.

"I'm just trying to figure out what would be the best fit," said Mr. Banoub, who has been based in Toronto since 2009 when he left Newfoundland to begin his master's program at York University. In addition to his academic work on culture, Mr. Banoub is a musician with the band Gramercy Riffs and has toured Canada extensively, from St. John's, N.L., to Victoria, B.C.

Established by Memorial University's first chancellor, Lord Rothermere, this generous trust will fund the full cost of Mr. Banoub's studies in the United Kingdom, and provides a yearly stipend and airfare to and from Newfoundland and Labrador. This annual award is currently valued at about £15,000 per year, plus tuition fees. It is given to an exceptional scholar who has completed a first degree at Memorial.

Mr. Banoub's undergraduate thesis focused on Fogo Island and how people in rural Newfoundland produce a sense of community. His work as a master's student centred on privatization in fisheries policy.

A major part of the Rothermere Fellowship is to reward students who are committed to Newfoundland and Labrador. Applicants must provide a written letter on that theme and how this commitment is reflected in their research.

In his letter Mr. Banoub cited the example of Dr. Rex Clark of Memorial's anthropology department. Dr. Clark was a Rothermere Fellow in the late 1960s and his research has also used outport village culture to understand anthropology.

For his part, Dr. Clark, who served as Mr. Banoub's honours thesis supervisor, said: "Daniel is quite simply the most intellectually gifted student that I have taught in more than 30 years of tutoring at Cambridge and lecturing at Memorial."

Mr. Banoub ultimately hopes to one day become a member of Memorial's Department of Anthropology, seeking to continue the department's rich history of producing and teaching the ethnography of Newfoundland and Labrador.