Science holds annual awards ceremony

Oct 9th, 2012

Kelly Foss

Science holds annual awards ceremony

The Faculty of Science had much to celebrate this week as it recognized the accomplishments of faculty, staff and students. At an awards ceremony on Oct. 4, Dr. Mark Abrahams, dean of science, presented the Dean’s List award, which recognizes the top 10 per cent of students in the Faculty of Science.

“This year it required an average of approximately 83 or higher to reach the dean’s list,” said event host, Dr. Andy Foster, associate dean of science. “That’s quite a significant achievement.”

Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University, attended the ceremony and presented the Dean of Science Book Prize, which is awarded on the basis of academic excellence to a student in each department offering a B.Sc. program.

Dr. David Wardlaw, vice-president (academic) and provost, was also present and handed out the Lou Visintin Award. This award recognizes the outstanding achievements of students graduating with a B.Sc. or B.Sc. (hons.) degree named to the Dean’s List for four consecutive years. It is the highest award for undergraduate academic achievement in the Faculty of Science.

In addition to recognizing student academic achievement, the ceremony also honoured faculty and staff. Dr. Abrahams celebrated the outstanding and sustained contributions, particularly in the areas of teaching and research, of Dr. Jeremy Hall, Department of Earth Sciences.

While presenting him with the 2012 Distinguished Scholar Medal, Dr. Abrahams said Dr. Hall is an international leader in crustal seismology and its application in understanding the tectonic evolution of Canada and other regions globally.

“He is actively involved with research in offshore Newfoundland associated with oil and gas in the Grand Banks, and with collaborative projects in the eastern Mediterranean,” said the dean. “His research contributions have been recognized internationally and Jeremy has also made exceptional contributions to local geoscience in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“A key player in the establishment of the $10 million Johnson GEO Centre, Dr. Hall continues to sit on its board of directors. He has also been instrumental in raising the funding and in the planning of a new $5 million Manuals River Hibernia Interpretation Centre.”

Dr. Abrahams also presented the Distinguished Service award to Linda Gaborko of the Department of Psychology. The award recognizes service superior to that normally expected of staff members.

A staff member in the psychology department for nearly 40 years, Linda Gaborko’s main role is as a laboratory instructor for animal behavior, animal learning and perception labs, and also assists faculty and graduate students with ongoing research.

Reading from her citation, the dean said Ms. Gaborko now spends most of her time as assistant undergraduate officer, assisting the head, deputy head, and the Undergraduate Studies Committee.

“She provides advice to the 150 majors per year for three different degree programs, BA and BSc. in Psychology and BSc. in behavoural neuroscience and has a reputation for being prompt, thorough and knowledgeable,” said Dr. Abrahams. “Her competence, initiative, and compassion – not to mention her positive attitude and energy – enhances the experience of students, faculty, and other staff members, and this award recognizes her exemplary service.”