Memorial University was recognized on the global stage this month for excellence in marketing and communications programs.
The global-wide Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has awarded Memorial with the 2009 Grand Gold Medal for best institutional relations publication in its international Circle of Excellence Awards program.
Memorial’s Novel Ideas: President’s Report 2008 beat out 118 entries from around the world to receive this singular distinction.
“We are very pleased to see this international recognition of how Memorial University holds its own on the world stage,” said acting president Dr. Eddy Campbell, in learning of the award.
“Every university in the world publishes an annual report of some kind. The challenge to Memorial was to develop our annual report in a way that would shine out among the scores of international submissions and that would draw special attention to the hard work and tremendous accomplishments of our students, staff and faculty. We chose an unusual and edgy approach that creatively and accurately reflected who we are as a university and this unique place that we call home, Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Dr. Campbell.
“The CASE award recognizes Novel Ideas as the best university report in the world this year, and confirms that Memorial is a place full of innovative and creative ideas. We are an institution that produces work that is genuinely world class. This award and the other international awards we have received recently, serve notice that our university has taken its place among Canada’s best,” he said.
In addition winning the Grand Gold Medal, Novel Ideas was honoured with a bronze medal in CASE’s 2009 Excellence in Design Awards.
Novel Ideas will be on display during CASE’s leaders’ summit in San Francisco in early July. Later this year, CASE will post the publication online internationally as a model program. In addition, it will be featured in the November-December issue of CASE’s Currents magazine which is distributed across six continents.
Novel Ideas was developed in-house at Memorial as both a 48-page brochure and a website. It tells the story of the university’s major accomplishments over the past year. Both the web version and the highlights brochure contain the university’s financial statements and an array of statistical information on the province’s only university, the largest post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada.
Novel Ideas follows a conceptual theme that includes a number of stories – covering research, teaching and community involvement activities – that draw their titles from famous novels. Dr. Campbell’s message – named after the novel Life of Pi – evokes his background as a mathematics professor and researcher. Other famous novels cited include:
• The Tell-Tale Heart – Medical researcher Dr. Terry-Lynn Young’s discovery of the arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) gene is the focus. ARVC occurs in some families in Newfoundland and Labrador and can cause sudden death.
• The Snows of Kilimanjaro – Human Kinetics professor Dr. TA Loeffler led a group of women to summit Mount Kilimanjaro this past year. She also received a major national teaching award. Dr. Loeffler was one of just 10 Canadian university professors to receive the 2008 3M National Teaching Fellowship, the only one of its kind in Canada, which goes to those who exemplify the very best in innovative teaching at the post-secondary level.
• Sense and Sensibility – Engineers at Memorial worked towards creating a form of gasoline that has no harmful inhalants. Opal gasoline was first developed in Australia to combat substance abuse. Andy Fisher and Drs. Kelly Hawboldt and Faisal Khan of Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science are preparing to release their work on a similar product that can function in the cold climate of Labrador, where gas sniffing remains a problem.
• The Colony of Unrequited Dreams – In keeping with the book-based creative concept, the report has a dedication to Dr. Leslie Harris, who served as Memorial’s president from 1981-90, and who was himself an author and a person who appreciated novel ideas and books.
CASE is an international membership association that advances and supports educational institutions by providing knowledge, standards, advocacy and training designed to strengthen the combined efforts of alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and allied professionals. For more information, please visit www.case.org/.