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New award recognizes excellence

A portrait of founding Memorial University College president John Lewis Paton.

 

By Meaghan Whelan

The John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship was unveiled at a special event at Memorial's St. John's campus on Dec. 13. This award, named after the founding president of Memorial University College, recognizes those who distinguish themselves across the continuum of teaching and learning, research and public engagement.

"At Memorial, our mission is not merely a statement on paper. It is a mindset and commitment embodied daily in the research, teaching and engagement activities of our faculty," explained Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research). "We created this award to recognize those who go beyond what is normally expected and who, by virtue of their exceptional efforts, continue to make rich and meaningful contributions to the university, their community and the wider world. It is the highest honour that Memorial can bestow on its faculty."

The Distinguished University Professorship is a lifetime designation. It includes a one-time, $20,000 unrestricted grant to support future research, teaching and/or public engagement activities at Memorial University.

Nominees for this award must have a strong and consistent record of research that is outstanding and recognized both nationally and internationally; exceptional teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level; training graduate students and other highly qualified personnel; public engagement related to their disciplinary expertise including, but not limited to, contributions to local, national and international organizations; and mentorship to new faculty.

"The creation of this award is a significant step for Memorial. It recognizes the critical intersection of teaching and learning, research and public engagement, and speaks to the very heart of our university," said Dr. David Wardlaw, provost and vice-president (academic). "It bridges the three frameworks we are using to guide Memorial's future, and it is a tangible expression of the importance we place on celebrating significant and sustained contributions by our faculty."

Nominations for the award will be accepted until March 1, 2013. For more information, visit www.mun.ca/jlp or contact Ellen Steinhauer, co-ordinator of institutional nominations and awards, ellens@mun.ca or 709-864-2651.

John Lewis Paton, the first president of Memorial University College, was a keen scholar and a dedicated and passionate teacher with a deep sense of community. This award was named in his honour in light of the tremendous impact his vision has had on Memorial.

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