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Inaugural presentation of Lien Memorial Scholarship

From left are Dr. Faye Murrin, Chelsey Lawrence and Judy Lien, widow of Dr. Jon Lien.

By Kelly Foss

The inaugural presentation of the Dr. Jon Lien Memorial Scholarship took place recently on the St. John's campus of Memorial University. The award was established to commemorate the lives of Dr. Jon Lien, and his student Dr. Deane Renouf, both formerly with the Department of Psychology at Memorial.

"The award is for an entering full-time graduate student who is entering a program in marine biology or animal behaviour, marine conservation, coastal community revitalization or current fisheries challenges," explained Dr. Faye Murrin, associate dean of graduate studies.

Chelsey Lawrence, a master's student with the Department of Biology, is the first recipient of the award and "is the first of a legacy of talented new students eligible for this scholarship that will embrace the problems and love the questions," according to Ms. Judy Lien, widow of Dr. Lien.

Ms. Lawrence has been a student at Memorial since 2007 and completed her undergraduate studies with an honours in biology.

"My project focuses on the anthropogenic affects of logging and cabin development on the coastal river otter population," she explained. "I have been involved in biology since I was 13 and I've always wanted to do something with otters. When I was told I could do this research project I jumped at the opportunity and I am very honoured to be here today."

Edna Hall, a former Parks Canada employee and colleague of Dr. Lien, said that he was a visionary who realized that life was short and we all have a duty to make the best of it.

"He realized early in his life that we all only have so many years to achieve our goals and dreams, and that the real skill is in developing the talents of others – especially that of youth – to continue making this a better place," she said. "That is why I know he would be so pleased the first awarding of his scholarship was to a youth from this province who is doing work and research at one of his national parks – he used to remind me that these were his national parks and I was just looking after them for him.

"I feel his mentoring now has come full circle and Jon is helping pass on some of his tremendous legacy again to another young person," added Ms. Hall. "I know he is pleased today."