Memorial University Professors receive high honour
Two Memorial University professors who were recently accorded the designation professor emeritus will be presented to convocation during the 7:30 p.m. session in St. John’s on Friday, Oct. 21.
Those being honoured are Dr. Vit Bubenik, Linguistics, Faculty of Arts; and Dr. Robert Lucas, Chemistry, Faculty of Science.
Two other professors who are unable to attend the ceremony but who have also been accorded the designation are Dr. Mahmoud Haddara, Engineering and Applied Science; and Dr. Marilyn Porter, Sociology, Faculty of Arts.
To be eligible for the title professor emeritus, a person must have served at least 10 years as a regular full-time faculty member at Memorial and must have held the rank of professor upon retirement.
The prime criteria for nomination are sustained, outstanding scholarly work and/or service to the university.
Dr. Vit Bubenik is an internationally-known scholar in the field of historical linguistics with a focus on Indo-European and Semitic languages, modern and ancient. His academic work includes 14 books, 76 articles and many more book chapters, book reviews and presentations.
He holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Prague and the University of Brno, as well as a master of arts and PhD from the University of Brno.
Dr. Bubenik joined the Department of Linguistics in 1973, and achieved the rank of professor in 1984. In 1996 he was appointed University Research Professor and was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2007. He will retire on Dec. 31, 2011.
Dr. Mahmoud Haddara has made sustained and outstanding contributions to the university in the areas of research, teaching and leadership.
Since joining the university in 1986, Dr. Haddara has supervised some 30 graduate students. His primary area of research has been the study of ship motion and stability. He has published more than 70 refereed journal papers. He has received the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador Award of Merit, the Ocean Engineering Research Award and, recently, the President’s Award for Distinguished Community Service.
He has a B.Sc. from Ain-Shams University in Cairo, and a master’s and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Haddara was chair of the ocean and naval architecture program from 1993-98 and was appointed associate dean of graduate studies and research from 1998-2003.
Later, Dr. Haddara would serve as acting dean of the faculty.
Despite his success at the university, Dr. Haddara is perhaps better known in the community, where he served as imam of the mosque in St. John’s for more than 20 years.
Dr. Robert Lucas has served the university and the Department of Chemistry for more than 35 years as a researcher, scholar and administrator.
He received a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. from Acadia University and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford.
Dr. Lucas has been a faculty member since 1974. He was appointed head of the Department of Chemistry in 1997 and served as dean of the Faculty of Science from 1999-2008, the longest tenure at this position in Memorial’s history. In 2009, he was named Honorary Research Professor.
Dr. Lucas has served as president of the National Council of Deans of Science. In 1984, he was elected to the fellowship of the Canadian Chemical Institute.
Dr. Marilyn Porter’s record as a scholar and administrator has been sustained and superlative, and she has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally. When she joined the Department of Sociology, she initially distinguished herself as a writer and researcher about the lives of women in rural and coastal Newfoundland and Labrador. Since then, her research has expanded to include gender and development issues with an international focus.
She has more than 50 single or co-authored articles in peer-reviewed and international journals and some 70 academic conference presentations.
Dr. Porter earned an honours degree from Trinity College, Dublin, a diploma in education from Oxford, a diploma in social science from Bristol university, an MA from Trinity College, and a PhD from the University of Bristol.
Appointed as a faculty member in 1984, she was named University Research Professor in 2003. In 1992 Dr. Porter was elected president of the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association.