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Engaged citizen

Dr. Steven Wolinetz's contributions recognized by pensioners' association

Campus and Community

By Catherine Dutton

What does a political science professor do when he retires?

On Dec. 5, at an event hosted by Dr. Neil Bose, we found out.

It was at that event that the Memorial University of Newfoundland Pensioners’ Association (MUNPA) honoured Dr. Steven Wolinetz with the Tribute Award for 2023.

The MUNPA Tribute Awards recognize the importance of the ongoing contributions of Memorial University retirees to the university or the community.

Involved and generous

Dr. Wolinetz has an impressive resumé as a scholar, an engaged citizen of the community and as a member of MUNPA.

He joined the Department of Political Science at Memorial University in 1971 and served the department for 38 years before retiring in 2009. He was awarded the title of professor emeritus in 2013.

In his retirement, Dr. Wolinetz has been especially generous with his time, organizing and serving with a host of community organizations and events.

He and his wife, Karen Lippold, contribute to several community organizations including the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, the Tuckamore Festival, the LSPU Hall Seat Campaign and the Home Again Furniture Bank.

Five people stand together for a group photo.
From left are Catherine Dutton, Dr. Steven Wolinetz, Karen Lippold, President Neil Bose and MUNPA president, Sheila Singleton.
Photo: Submitted

Dr. Wolinetz has played an especially important and longtime leadership role in the Jewish community in Newfoundland and Labrador.

He was vice-president of the Jewish community Havurah from 2015–17 and president from 2017–23. In this role, he worked for a rapprochement between Havurah and Beth El Synagogue.

He was co-director of the Religious Social Action Coalition, a coalition of faith communities working for the introduction of a guaranteed basic income and the eventual elimination of poverty.

As president of Havurah, Dr. Wolinetz helped organize the yearly commemoration of the Shoah (Holocaust) every April, attended by hundreds from the community including members of municipal and provincial governments.

In May 2023 Dr. Wolinetz helped organize a memorial service where the invited speaker and Holocaust survivor, Pinchas Gutter, recalled some of the atrocities he witnessed during the Nazi reign.

Interviewed by CBC news, Dr. Wolinetz was quoted: “It is a way of remembering the victims of the Holocaust and saying they haven’t been forgotten. But above all, it’s a way of saying never again.”

MUNPA activities

 Dr. Wolinetz has been very active in MUNPA.

He served on its program committee from 2013–17, a period in which the association ramped up its number of groups and clubs.

He joined the board of directors where he served as both vice-president and then as president from 2019–21.

He guided MUNPA through the first years of the pandemic, insisting that we take whatever activities we could online.

Dr. Wolinetz also served as editor of MUNPA’s Your Voice newsletter for two years, turning it into a mini-magazine.

He has also been an active member of several MUNPA clubs: he has been a member of the Memoir Group and is also an active member of the Outing Club, the Health and Aging group, and the Shutterbug Club.

Dr. Wolinetz is a truly deserving recipient of a MUNPA Tribute Award.

We all congratulate him on this latest achievement.

It is evident that a retired political science professor does quite a lot in retirement. We look forward to hearing about other Memorial University retirees who are deserving of this award.

For more information on the MUNPA Tribute Awards, please visit here.

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