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Memorial University names honorary degree recipients

Ref. No. 126

DATE:     April 19, 2002
SUBJECT:     Memorial University names honorary degree recipients

Several hundred future leaders will get their degrees at Memorial University of Newfoundland's spring convocation ceremonies, being held on May 10 at Grenfell College in Corner Brook, and from May 29-31 at the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre. Over 2,000 degrees will be awarded during eight sessions of convocation. Fittingly, Memorial will also recognize the achievements of a number of today's outstanding leaders with honorary degrees. The following people, drawn from a range of areas, will be honoured during the ceremonies in May: Sister Elizabeth Davis, educator, executive and community leader; Dr. Sandra Djwa, professor, editor and E.J. Pratt scholar; Ron Hynes, singer, songwriter and actor; James Igloliorte, judge and community leader; Dr. Brenda Milner, pioneering neuropsychologist and professor; Dr. Henry Mintzberg, professor and renowned management expert; and Right Rev. Marion Pardy, United Church leader.

Editors please note: Biographical notes on the honorary degree recipients (in alphabetical order) and a schedule of spring convocation follow - this release is six pages in total. Photos of honorary recipients are available at www.mun.ca/univrel/photos.html.

Sister Elizabeth M. Davis

Elizabeth M. Davis is a member of the congregation of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland and Labrador. She is presently a doctoral student in scripture at the Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto. She has a BA and a B.Ed. from Memorial, an MA (theology) from the University of Notre Dame and a M.H.Sc. (administration) from the University of Toronto.

Prior to 1982 Sr. Davis was a high school teacher in several communities in Newfoundland, teaching mathematics, English and religious studies. From 1986 to 1994 she served as executive director of St. Clare's Mercy Hospital in St. John's. In 1994 she became the first president and chief executive officer of the Health Care Corporation of St. John's, a post she held until 2000.

Sr. Davis has been an active participant on board and system-wide committees and task forces in both the health and education systems. She is presently a member of the Medical Council of Canada, the National Board of Medical Examiners of the United States, the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, the editorial advisory board of Hospital Quarterly, and the advisory committee on advocacy for the Catholic Health Association of Canada. She is an adjunct professor at Memorial University.

Among her recent awards are the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Red Cross, the 2001 Performance Citation Award from the Catholic Health Association of Canada, the 2001 Award for Excellence in Distinguished Service from the Canadian Healthcare Association and the Alpha Sigma Nu Entrance Scholarship from Regis College, Toronto School of Theology.

She will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the 10 a.m. session of convocation on May 30.

Sandra Djwa

A former editor of the annual review of Canadian poetry for the University of Toronto Quarterly, Dr. Sandra Djwa is best known as a poetry critic and a biographer of Canadian poets. She is the author of numerous articles on E. J. Pratt, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence, F. R. Scott and A. J. M. Smith, and has written or co-edited 10 books including E. J. Pratt, the Evolutionary Vision, (1974); the Complete Poems of E. J. Pratt, Vol. I and II, (1989); and more recently, the Selected Poems of E. J. Pratt, (1999) co-edited with Zailig Pollock and W. J. Keith.

A faculty member of Simon Fraser University's English Department since 1968, Dr. Djwa has also written several cultural biographies including a study of the poet, lawyer and political activist, F. R. Scott, The Politics of the Imagination (1987), which was recently translated and republished by Editions du Boréal as F. R. Scott: Une vie (2001). Her most recent biography is Professing English: A Life of Roy Daniells and she is currently working on a biography of the poet, artist and writer, P. K. Page. Dr. Djwa also serves on several committees at Simon Fraser University and is actively involved in the national academic community.

Dr. Djwa was born in Newfoundland and educated at Memorial University and the University of British Columbia. She was a co-founder of the Association of Canadian and Québec Literatures in 1973-74, chair of the English department at Simon Fraser from 1986-1994 and president of the Canadian Association of Chairs and Heads of English from 1989-90. In 1994, Dr. Djwa was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She gave the Garnett Gladwin Sedgewick Memorial Lecture marking the 60th anniversary of the UBC English Department in 1999. Also in 1999, she won the first national Trimark Award for mentoring young women in the humanities.

Dr. Djwa will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree during the 3 p.m. session of convocation on May 29.

Ron Hynes

Ron Hynes began his musical career in his hometown of St. John's, first touring the local venues and then venturing abroad to play throughout the Maritimes and Ontario. In 1976 he composed a song that would go on to become a folk classic and forever place him in the minds of folk music lovers - Sonny's Dream. Mr. Hynes was a founding member of the Wonderful Grand Band, a six-piece band composed of various members of the comedy troupe Codco, among others. The band produced two albums and 41 half-hour television shows during its six-year life. Over his career, Mr. Hynes has recorded three albums, Cryer's Paradise, Face to the Gale and Standing in Line in the Rain. He has won a Genie Award for best song, The Final Breath, numerous Peoples Choice awards, East Coast Music Awards and a Music Industry Association (MIA) song of the year award for Godspeed and best new album, Standing in Line in the Rain.

And his talent does not stop there. He is also an accomplished actor, starring in The Bard of Prescott Street, Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave, Secret Nation, Dooley Gardens and The Bingo Robbers. He was recently the subject of a documentary film titled Ron Hynes: The Irish Tour, directed by Rosemary House of Rinkrat Films.

Mr. Hynes will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree during the 10 a.m. session of convocation on May 29.

Judge James Igloliorte

James Igloliorte has been a lay magistrate since 1980 and a provincial court judge since 1981. In 1999 he was awarded a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the field of law. Judge Igloliorte has been involved in Boy Scouts of Canada, as well as other community volunteer committees. He recently taught a preliminary course in legal process with the Inuit-only Akitsiraq Law School, affiliated with the University of Victoria, in Iqualuit, Nunavut. He is a deputy judge of the Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories and director with the International Grenfell Association. He was honorary colonel of 5 Wing Goose Bay for a year, and has recently stepped down as a Labrador director from the Innu Healing Foundation.

Born at Hopedale, Labrador, Judge Igloliorte attended the Moravian-run grade school there and the Yale School in North West River.

In 1980 he was appointed as a lay magistrate in St. John's. In March 1981 he took up duties as a circuit magistrate for Labrador from Mary's Harbour in southern Labrador to Nain on the north coast.

He graduated from Memorial University with a bachelor's degree in science and education in 1974. In 1985 he received his bachelor of law degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax and returned to take up duties in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Judge Igloliorte will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the 3 p.m. session of convocation on May 31.

Dr. Brenda Milner

A pioneer of the discipline of neuropsychology, Dr. Brenda Milner introduced the idea of systematic neuropsychological assessment of surgical patients, studying in detail the effects brain surgery has on short-term memory. Dr. Milner is perhaps best known for her work with "H.M.", an epileptic patient who underwent bilateral hippocampal amputation to control seizures. Though she worked with H.M. for more than 25 years, Dr. Milner was a complete stranger to him. Every time he discovered his favorite uncle died, for instance, he suffered the same grief as if he had just been informed for the first time.

Dr. Milner received her MA from Cambridge University in 1949, her main interest focusing on experimental psychology. She moved to Canada in 1944, and resumed her research in 1950 at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and McGill University. In 1952 she received a PhD for an investigation of the intellectual effects of temporal lobe damage in humans. Dr. Milner's work has been widely recognized by her scientific peers through numerous awards, including the Wilder Penfield Prize for Biomedical Research from the Province of Quebec in 1993, and fellowships in the Royal Society of Canada and theRoyal Society of London.

She has also been honoured with several honorary degrees and was named Officer of the Order of Canada in 1984, and Officier de l'Ordre national du Québec in 1985. Dr. Milner has published over 100 papers and remains involved with many of the major neurological and psychological organizations. Dr, Milner will receive an honorary doctor of science during the May 10 session of convocation being held at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook.

Dr. Henry Mintzberg

Henry Mintzberg has been an academic most of his working life. After graduating from McGill with a degree in mechanical engineering, he received his doctorate from MIT in 1968. He is currently Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University in Montreal. He also holds the title of visiting scholar at INSEAD in Fontainbleau, France.

Dr. Mintzberg devotes himself largely to his writing and research in the areas of managerial work, strategy formation and forms of organizing. He is completing a book called Developing Managers, Not MBAs, and preparing a series of essays to be published under the title Managing Quietly, also a short political pamphlet called Getting Past Smith and Marx: Toward a Balanced Society.

Dr. Mintzberg has worked for much of the past seven years in collaboration with colleagues from Canada, England, France, India and Japan, to develop new approaches to management education. He recently completed a book called Why I Hate Flying, a spoof of all the foibles of flying, and of managing.

In all, Dr. Mintzberg has written about 120 articles and about 10 books. Honours have included election as an Officer of the Order of Canada and l'Ordre national du Quebec, and selection as Distinguished Scholar for the Year 2000 by the Academy of Management. Dr. Mintzberg will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree during the 10 a.m. session of convocation on May 31.

Right Rev. Marion Pardy

Marion Pardy is well-known within the United Church - and beyond - for her interest in Christian education. Her MA thesis, Models of Biblical Authority, explored the authority of scripture in the United Church of Canada and the use of the Bible in Christian education, particularly with children. The thesis was published in 1988 under the title, Teaching Children the Bible. Her D.Min. thesis, Biblical Understanding in the Local Congregation, focused on narrowing the gap between theological education and biblical education in the congregation. Other publications include two volumes of Joy Learning Activities for Children in the United Church of Canada, one for children in grades one to three, the other for kids in grades four to six.

In 2000, after several ballots at the national meeting, she was elected moderator of the United Church of Canada, becoming the first Newfoundlander to hold this position. She will serve in this role until 2003. As moderator, Dr. Pardy has travelled extensively both within Canada and to other countries. A 2001 visit to the Middle East with other Canadian church leaders "gave my companions and me a chilling reality check for the need to find peaceful solutions,"as she wrote in a recent message to church members.

She holds BA (Hons.) and MA degrees from York University and a doctor of ministry degree (1997) from Boston University School of Theology

Dr. Pardy will receive a honorary doctor of laws degree at the 3 p.m. session of convocation on May 30.

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