News Release

REF NO.: 186

SUBJECT: Professores emeriti recognized

DATE: July 8, 2015

Seven Memorial University professors have been accorded the distinction professor emeritus, an honour reserved for highly distinguished faculty members.

They will be publicly recognized at a future session of convocation.

Dr. Georg Gunther, Division of Science, Grenfell Campus; Dr. Jeremy Hall, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science; Dr. Penny Hansen, Faculty of Medicine; Dr. Sandra LeFort, School of Nursing; Dr. Christopher Sharpe, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts; Dr. Shirley Solberg, School of Nursing; and Dr. Paul Wilson, Counselling Services, Grenfell Campus, have been awarded the title.

A professor emeritus is a retired member of the faculty who has served at least 10 years as a regular full-time faculty member and held the rank of professor upon retirement. The prime criterion for nomination is a sustained and superlative record as a scholar, as a teacher, or as an academic administrator or any combination of these.

Candidates for the rank of professor emeritus are nominated by their academic units and, as with candidates for honorary degrees, the nominations are then reviewed by the Senate’s Committee on Honorary Degrees and Ceremonial. The candidates are approved by Senate and the Board of Regents.

Biographies of all seven professores emeriti follow below.

Dr. Georg Gunther

Dr. Georg Gunther holds a bachelor of science, master of science and a PhD from the University of Toronto. Dr. Gunther has served on virtually every committee at Grenfell Campus, including the committee that reviewed the standard curriculum that is known as “the Grenfell core." Dr. Gunther served as one of the team leaders of the Canadian team to the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and as chair of the IMO committee of the Canadian Mathematical Society. His pedagogical innovation is evidenced by his involvement with math clubs and competitions for junior high and high school students and in the development of enrichment materials for the secondary school system. Dr. Gunther was awarded Memorial’s 1994 President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Award, the 1994 Atlantic Association of Universities Distinguished Teaching Award and a national 3M Teaching Fellowship in 2005.

Dr. Jeremy Hall

Dr. Jeremy Hall is a geophysicist who makes and interprets seismological images of the deep continental crust and its oceanic margins off Newfoundland and in the Eastern Mediterranean. He received his first degree in physics at Oxford, a diploma in geophysics from Imperial College, London, and a PhD at Glasgow. Dr. Hall was appointed in 1987 to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council/Petro-Canada Industrial Research Chair in Crustal Seismology at Memorial University. He was director of the university’s Centre for Earth Resources Research from 1990-94, and awarded the title of University Research Professor in 2003. He has served on many professional committees, especially with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and is a former president of the Canadian Geoscience Council. His contributions to public awareness of geology include the development and operation of the Johnson GEO CENTRE and the Manuels River Hibernia Interpretation Centre.

Dr. Penny Hansen

Dr. Penny Hansen earned a bachelor of science in chemistry and a master of science in biochemistry at the University of Akron, Ohio, and a PhD in physiology at Memorial University. Over the years, Dr. Hansen’s academic focus shifted from researching the control of compensatory renal growth and renal production of erythropoietin to teaching physiology and conducting research on biomedical curricula, the scholarship of teaching and interprofessional education. She was the founding director of Memorial’s Centre for Collaborative Health Professional Education, and assistant dean for undergraduate medical studies. She received an APS Arthur Guyton Educator of the Year Award, and was awarded an APS Claude Bernard Distinguished Lectureship, a Harvard-Macy Fellowship in Medical Education Reform and a national 3M Teaching Fellowship. Dr. Hansen is currently a vice-president of the International Union of Physiological Sciences and a part-time professor at the American University of Antigua’s School of Medicine.

Dr. Sandra LeFort

A faculty member and researcher at Memorial University’s School of Nursing since 1995, Dr. Sandra LeFort holds a bachelor of arts degree from Trent University, a master of nursing degree from Memorial University and a PhD from McGill University. She is a pioneering voice in the field of chronic pain research and has presented at international conferences and published extensively. Dr. LeFort created the gold standard in patient education programs on chronic pain, and her Chronic Pain Self-Management Program has been adopted by institutions such as Stanford University. Dr. LeFort’s most recent book is Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain.

Dr. Christopher Sharpe

Dr. Christopher Sharpe completed his bachelor of arts (honours) degree in geography at Carleton University. He then did graduate work at the University of Toronto, receiving his master of arts and his PhD there. In the fall of 1975 he joined the Department of Geography at Memorial University and remained for the following 40 years. Dr. Sharpe has taught courses at the St. John’s campus at every level, from first-year undergraduate to PhD. He has also regularly taught the English Cultural Landscape summer program at the Harlow Campus for many years. His research interests lie in three areas: post-war suburban development in St. John’s, focusing on Churchill Park; issues relating to heritage conservation; and the cultural landscape of wartime St. John's.

Dr. Shirley M. Solberg

Dr. Shirley Solberg was a member of the School of Nursing from 1976-2014. She has a PhD from the University of Alberta and has held numerous administrative appointments from acting director to associate director (undergraduate programs) to associate dean (graduate programs and research). Under her leadership, the PhD program in Memorial’s School of Nursing was established. She has supervised or co-supervised more than 80 master of nursing theses or projects and was an active researcher in a number of Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded national projects. She has presented at a number of regional, national and international conferences and is widely published. Currently she is on the editorial boards of the Qualitative Health Research Journal and Global Qualitative Nursing Research Journal.

Dr. Paul Wilson

Dr. Paul Wilson holds a bachelor of arts, bachelor of education and a master of education from Memorial University, and a doctor of education from the University of Toronto. Dr. Wilson’s research focused on institutional analysis, and on studies of how Memorial University performs its academic functions. His career included time as assistant to the dean of Junior Division on the St. John’s campus and director of administration and finance at Grenfell Campus. As a Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty Association representative, he was a key player in contract negotiations, and as university senator, he brought a Grenfell Campus perspective to the workings of Senate while embracing broader pan-university concerns. His commitment to Senate gave rise to his performing as a marshal of convocation in the university’s convocation ceremonies. Dr. Wilson’s roles as Corner Brook branch president and national president of Memorial University alumni demonstrate his commitment to the university as an ambassador in the community.

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