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News in brief

New dean of arts appointed

Dr. David Graham, recently appointed dean of arts, assumed his new post in July 2002. Dr. Graham has been a faculty member at Memorial in the Department of French and Spanish since 1979, after teaching for eight years at the Royal Military College in Kingston, ON. There are several key challenges that need to be addressed in his new role, and Dr. Graham feels that faculty renewal is a main priority. While noting the university's more experienced faculty members are a great asset, he said "it is critically important for us as a faculty to find ways to make good appointments of junior faculty."

Business school earns international distinction

The Faculty of Business Administration became the first in Atlantic Canada and one of only eight business schools in Canada to be accredited by AACSB International - the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB International is one of higher education's most prestigious and rigorous accrediting bodies, stressing academic excellence and dedication to continuous improvement. To achieve AACSB International accreditation, business programs must satisfy a wide range of quality standards relating to curriculum, faculty resources, admissions, degree requirements, library and computer facilities, financial resources and research contributions. There are only 424 AACSB accredited members worldwide, of which only 30 are outside the United States.

Family medicine is tops

The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC) judged Memorial University the overall winner for family medicine training in the country. This is the second time the society has awarded its prestigious Keith Award to Memorial - the inaugural awards in 2000 also went to Memorial, and last year Memorial placed second.

Business professor receives national award

Dr. Robert Sexty was one of three Canadian professors to receive this year's Leaders in Management Education awards. The awards honour outstanding business and management professors and are sponsored by the National Post and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. "Being recognized for my efforts in management education is appreciated," said Dr. Sexty. "I enjoy the classroom teaching and the challenges of developing new content and integrating innovative teaching approaches in management education." Dr. Sexty's award makes Memorial the first business school in Canada to have three of its faculty members receive these awards since the program started in 1996. The other two were Dr. Jim Barnes and Dr. Alex Faseruk in 1997 and 1999 respectively.

Linking with IBM

IBM Canada's ThinkPad University Program will be introduced into Memorial's post-baccalaureate diploma in information technology in the fall 2002 semester. Under the program, full-time IT students will be provided with an IBM ThinkPad notebook computer for the duration of their program, including the work term. The ThinkPad program will offer students a standardized platform, a library of IBM software and 24-hour access to the learning resources of the IT program.

A leader among us

Dr. Mary Williams, NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (Atlantic Region) and professor of engineering and physics, was appointed as director general of the National Research Council of Canada's Institute for Marine Dynamics (IMD). In her role as NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, she has had great success in promoting science and engineering and when asked about her new appointment, Dr. Williams said, "I will still be a part of the Memorial community. I plan to use this connection to encourage more extensive collaboration between Memorial University and the Institute for Marine Dynamics."

Inco Innovation Centre for Memorial

It was announced that the Inco Innovation Centre will be established on the St. John's campus. Inco will spend $10 million on the facility and provide operating support of $1 million over 10 years. The centre will address the scientific, technical and human resource needs of the Voisey's Bay project and will focus on education and research in mining, exploration, metallurgical processing techniques as well as other innovative activities. The Innovation Centre will be located in the former Thomson Student Centre building. Renovations and modifications are set to begin in late fall 2002, with a target completion in 2004.

Memorial innovators receive almost $22 million

Four Memorial University-led projects received the nod from the Federal Government to the tune of almost $22 million as the first round of the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) was announced at a news conference July 2, 2002. Memorial will receive $21.6 million to undertake four projects and C-CORE located on the St. John's campus will receive $6 million. The $300-million Atlantic Innovation Fund is a five-year Government of Canada initiative that is administered by ACOA.

CFI grants for new researchers

The Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is investing $256,734 for cutting-edge infrastructure support to three newly recruited faculty members: Dr. Todd Andrews, Physics and Physical Oceanography; Dr. Anthony Gamperl, Ocean Sciences Centre; Dr. Lisa Rankin, Anthropology. The July 4, 2002 announcement brought to 1,389 the number of recipients of the New Opportunities Fund nationwide since the inception of the program in 1997.

Success guide for women in science and engineering

The NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) and WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Newfoundland and Labrador officially launched Becoming Leaders: A Handbook for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology. Written by Dr. Mary Williams, NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) and recently named director general of the National Research Council's (NRC) Institute for Marine Dynamics (IMD), and Carolyn J. Emerson, Engineering, the handbook is a unique and practical resource designed to help women in engineering, science, and technology, advance their careers and develop their leadership style.

Dracula hits the small screen

Dr. Elizabeth Miller, professor of English (retired), participated in four separate television documentaries. All four converged on her visit to Romania to present a paper at a colloquium and to visit the proposed site of the controversial Dracula Park. The visit was arranged by a Winnipeg company which is filming a 30-minute documentary on Dr. Miller and her work for an upcoming series entitled Magnificent Obsessions (to be aired later on the Life Network). Three other enterprises took advantage of her availability and conducted interviews for documentaries of their own: the U.S. History Channel for Bats, the Learning Channel for Vampires and National Geographic for Dracula Unearthed.

Senior businessman named

Dr. Gary Gorman has become Memorial University's senior businessman. Dr. Evan Simpson, vice-president (academic), announced the appointment of Dr. Gorman as the new dean of business administration. Dr. Gorman, who is succeeding Dr. Bill Blake, was appointed by the Board of Regents and took up the senior post effective Aug.1, 2002, for a five-year term.

MUN students win minerals medals

Dianne E. Mitchinson, a graduate of the Department of Earth Sciences, has been awarded the President's Medal of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, (CIM) Canada's largest professional minerals industry organization.

This award is presented annually to the student who has submitted the best student thesis, in both undergraduate and graduate levels, from entries received from all across Canada.

Ms. Mitchinson submitted her B.Sc. (Hons.) thesis, titled Petrography and Geochemistry of the Caribou Hill Intrusion, Central Newfoundland, and its Discordant Pegmatites.

CIM recognized her excellence with the President's Medal, a cheque for $1,000 and an all expense-paid trip to Vancouver to receive the award at the CIM annual general meeting held on April 29, 2002.

As well, Trevor McHattie has been awarded the Gelinas Award of the Geological Association of Canada for the best M.Sc. thesis.

The Volcanology and Igneous Petrology Division of the Geological Association of Canada annually presents three medals for the most outstanding theses, written by Canadians or submitted to Canadian universities, which comprise material at least 50 per cent related to volcanology and igneous petrology.

Nominated theses are evaluated on the basis or originality, validity of concepts, organization and presentation of data, understanding of volcanology and depth of research. Mr. McHattie's M.Sc. thesis is entitled Petrogenesis of the Wathaman Batholith and La Ronge Domain plutons in the Reindeer Lake Area, Trans-Hudson Orogn, Saskatchewan.

The Geological Association of Canada recognized the excellence of Mr. McHattie's thesis with a Silver Medal.

Microarray facility now available

A new powerful technology called microarrays allows researchers to analyze tens of thousands of genes and hundreds of proteins in a single experiment. This state-of-the-art $100,000 facility, purchased with funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, is now available in the Faculty of Medicine.

Dr. Guang Sun, in the Division of Genetics, said collaborations are welcome and service in scanning of slides using the Packard BioScience ScanArray Express is now available. Future services will include preparation of fluorescently labelled DNA from total RNA, hybridization of labelled DNA to microchips, and data analysis. For further details contact Dr. Sun at 777-6474 or by e-mail gsun@mun.ca.

Researchers on research

The first University Assembly on Research was held on April 25. The assembly is a significant first step towards the development of a broad University Strategic Research Plan. A full house of researchers representing practically all fields of research at Memorial turned out to discuss a wide range of issues including: the relationship between basic and applied research, technology transfer, allocation of resources, research excellence, role of graduate students, the integrity of research, and research partnerships to name just a few. A process similar to the planning and priorities discussions that culminated in the Strategic Framework is envisaged for the University Strategic Research Plan. That process involved a series of local debates, university assemblies, external consultations and ultimately consideration by the Senate and Board of Regents. Dr. Axel Meisen, Memorial's president, opened the assembly and Drs. Evan Simpson, vice-president (academic), and Chris Loomis, vice-president (research) also made some opening remarks. Drs. Faye Murrin, Biology, and Bill Barker, English, moderated the meeting. For further information on the development of the University Strategic Research Plan please see www.mun.ca/ciap/planning/assembly.html

Warm reception to an icy event

Memorial was the site for the 10th International Conference on the Physics and Chemistry of Ice. The conference, held July 14-19, 2002, was sponsored by the NRC and Memorial University. This year's organizing committee chair, Dr. Stephen Jones, IMD, said about 120 scientists are expected to attend from 18 countries including Russia, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Argentina and the United States.

For participants, the ice conference provides a rare forum for sharing the results of both basic research and more practically oriented studies on topics such as remote sensing of ice, anti-icing/de-icing methods, sea ice dynamics, and the role of ice chemistry in ozone depletion. Approximately one-quarter of this year's papers concern clathrate hydrates - a family of natural crystalline structures in which water molecules surround `guest molecule' impurities.

{Memorial University of Newfoundland}