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2018 year in review

Looking back on Memorial's top news stories of the year

Campus and Community

By Memorial University

As 2018 draws to close, it’s time to look back on the past 12 months at Memorial University.

The Gazette published just over 400 stories in 2018, highlighting the people, places, discoveries and initiatives that make this university a vibrant community.

We’ve checked the stats to bring you the most popular stories from each month of the last year.

Enjoy the review and see you back in 2019!

January: Honouring passion

David Collins

The late pharmacist, David Collins, was recognized as the honorary white coat recipient during the School of Pharmacy’s annual White Coat Ceremony.

February: Op-ed by Catharyn Andersen and Dr. Julia Christensen

From left are Catharyn Andersen and Dr. Julia Christensen.

On Feb. 9, 2018, a jury in Battleford, Sask., found farmer Gerald Stanley not guilty in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man from Red Pheasant First Nation.

Op-ed columnists Catharyn Andersen and Julia Christensen say Colten’s death should be a call to action to everyone at Memorial University.

March: Save the bees

Neonicotinoids are now recognized as a major cause of bee colony collapse, yet Canada has no federal regulations regarding their use.

Jeremy Gauthier, a master’s student in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, says one of the primary factors holding up more regulation in Canada is the inability to sample neonicotinoid pesticides effectively.

He is part of a Memorial team that has developed “intelligent” material to test for this harmful insecticide.

April: Remembering Brendan

From left are Mike Maher, Sheila Kelly, Thomas O’Brien and Kim Kelly.
Photo: Submitted

Kim Kelly believes that the best way to remember a loved one you’ve lost is to say their name and to keep the best qualities of that person alive.

The tragic loss of her brother Brendan to suicide in 2000 profoundly affected her life and the lives of all those who knew him.

In 2015 Ms. Kelly decided to create a student award in memory of Brendan, to honour him through Memorial – a place close to her heart that is also Brendan’s alma mater.

May: From chemotherapy to convocation

Brean Marshall crossed the stage at convocation in St. John’s and officially received her bachelor of arts degree.

Along the way, she earned Dean’s List standing, was accepted into law school and successfully battled stage three Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Her story was part of a special feature on the success of Memorial’s spring graduates.

June: All-star alum

Claire Skanes (centre).
Photo: Memorial Athletics

Claire Skanes, a newly minted engineering graduate and Sea-Hawks standout, took her place among Memorial’s class of 2018 thanks to incredible perseverance, a tremendous amount of hard work and a helping hand.

Ms. Skanes received The Warren and Catherine Ball Memorial Entrance Scholarship in 2013, the 2017 Atlantic University Sports Conference Community Service Award and the Erin Bursey Memorial Leadership Award in 2018.

July: High impact

Improving access to primary health care, a better understanding of the hepatitis C virus and enhancing access to mental health programming within Indigenous communities: three projects that received a funding boost in July from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

August: The new view

The New View: Signal Hill Campus opening this fall.
The view from Signal Hill Campus.

As the Signal Hill Campus prepared to open in late September, the unveiling of the new name (formerly called the Battery Facility) and additional information about the tenants, programming and partnerships based at Memorial’s iconic new location became the most read Gazette story in August.

September: Inspiring investment

The Emera Innovation Exchange at Memorial’s Signal Hill Campus.

A $7-million contribution from Emera Inc. to Memorial University to  support innovation and entrepreneurship programming in Newfoundland and Labrador was announced in September.

In recognition, the public engagement and innovation space at Memorial University’s new Signal Hill Campus was officially named the Emera Innovation Exchange.

October: The doctor is in 

The Faculty of Medicine has the best track record in Canada for training doctors for careers in rural areas.

Recently, and for the sixth time, the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada recognized the faculty with its Keith Award, given annually to a Canadian postgraduate medical program that has excelled in producing rural doctors.

November: Law proposal endorsed

A proposal for a Faculty of Law at Memorial University was endorsed by the university’s Senate in November. The concept will now proceed for further assessment and consultation.

It is anticipated that Memorial law students would have the opportunity to specialize in two areas of legal expertise: sustainable northern resource development and social justice. Both specializations would include a focus on Indigenous topics.

December: Hallowed halls

Matthew Downer is the 2019 Oxford Scholar.

Medical student and Science alumnus Matthew Downer is Newfoundland and Labrador’s 2019 Rhodes Scholar.

The scholarship means the St. John’s native gets the opportunity to join other outstanding young people from around the world for full-time postgraduate study at the University of Oxford.


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