Don Craig - Computer Science
Donald Craig, from St. John's completed his undergraduate and M.Sc. at Memorial in the field of hierarchical logic simulation. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science and his area of specialization is in the formal description of component based software architectures.
"The downturn in the local technology industry prompted me to continue my graduate studies. I found that working in industry can be a bit limiting at times, and I was looking forward to the opportunity to try new things which would be hard to justify from an industrial or commercial perspective but which would be feasible to pursue in an academic environment.
"Around the same time as the technology industry downturn, the School of Graduate Studies at Memorial was offering the Aldrich Fellowship, which I applied for and was fortunate to receive. I also received encouragement from faculty members in the Computer Science department at Memorial to pursue doctoral studies.
"Having previously attended the university, I was already familiar with the faculty and staff in the department. Both faculty and staff are very approachable and helpful. They are also qualified in their respective areas.
"The library resources offered by MUN are exceptional. In addition to an extensive collection of traditional periodicals, they have been making strides in allowing students to freely access electronic journals, as well.
"The university also offers the Graduate Program in Teaching (GPT) which I completed during the second year of my studies. I admit that I was a bit ambivalent about teaching initially, but my research supervisor encouraged me to try the program and I found it to be engaging. This semester, I am currently teaching a three thousand level undergraduate Computer Science course.
"St. John's offers all the advantages and facilities of a large city without the disadvantages of pollution and overcrowding that encumber larger cities. The proximity to the ocean has a moderating effect on the temperatures making our summers and winters relatively comfortable (but some days, especially during winter, can be quite adventurous!).
"During my career, I have been alternating between academia and industry.
After I complete my degree, I may return to the software industry. However, if the local high tech employment situation does not improve by the time I graduate then I'll likely stay on at the university to continue with my research and maybe even some teaching as well.
Donald is the Computer Science representative on the GSU Board of Directors; serves as the graduate student representative on the Departmental Graduate Studies committee; has been a member of the St. John's Linux User's group for nearly 10 years; and is a minor astronomy buff.
Donald received the School of Graduate Studies F.A. Aldrich Fellowship when he started his degree. This year, he was awarded the title of Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies.