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‘Exceptional contributions’

Nominations welcome for John Lewis Paton professorship

Campus and Community

By Jeff Green

Memorial’s top institutional honour is turning 10.

The John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship is presented to a faculty member who embodies Memorial’s mission by demonstrating exceptional teaching, undertaking world-class research and sharing their knowledge and expertise nationally and internationally.

The award was first presented in 2013.

In an effort to encourage a wide representation and the best possible applications, this year’s deadline has been moved from early April to September.

‘Deserving individuals’

“The John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship recognizes outstanding leaders for their exceptional contributions to our university and beyond,” said Dr. Tana Allen, vice-president (research).

“I encourage our community to think about nominating deserving individuals from across our campuses and disciplines. Together, we can applaud their inspiring work.”

Named in honour of Memorial University College’s first president, the John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship comprises the lifetime designation, Distinguished University Professor, and a one-time unrestricted grant ($20,000) to support future research, teaching and/or public engagement activities at Memorial.

Previous recipients include Dr. TA Loeffler, School of Human Kinetics and Recreation; Dr. Nancy Dahn and Prof. Timothy Steeves, School of Music; Dr. Ursula Kelly, Faculty of Education; Dr. William Montevecchi, Faculty of Science; Dr. Barbara Neis, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; Dr. Alex Faseruk, Faculty of Business Administration; Dr. John Brosnan, Faculty of Science; and Dr. Patrick Parfrey, Faculty of Medicine.

Recent honoree

The most recent recipient, Dr. TA Loeffler, is a globally recognized expert in gender, inclusion and accessibility in outdoor education.

She is a prolific educator who has received prestigious international and national honours for teaching excellence.

Dr. TA Loeffler wears a red hat, along with green and yellow jackets.
Dr. TA Loeffler
Photo: RICH BLENKINSOPP

She was the first in the world to use visually based methods in outdoor education research. This groundbreaking approach has furthered the understanding of the phenomenon of the outdoor experience.

A fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Dr. Loeffler has presented at 80 research conferences, authored or co-authored more than 50 influential publications and supervised or mentored 30 graduate and honours students.

A celebrated adventurer, Dr. Loeffler has shared her message of the importance of physical activity and healthy active living through nearly 500 community engagement presentations.

She says receiving the John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship was a “profound” honour that recognizes the totality of her academic career at Memorial.

“For me, having the Memorial community celebrate my contributions to outdoor recreation and education delivered through my teaching, research and community engagement was an unforgettable moment attenuated by the joy of hearing from current and former students, colleagues, and others about how this “hat trick” body of work influenced and changed many lives,” Dr. Loeffler told the Gazette.

Sept. 22 deadline

More details about the John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship are available online, including the award’s terms of reference and information on materials required for nomination packages.

Graphic featuring the text: Do you know a phenomenal professor? Nominate them for the John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship. The President's Awards 2023, along with a trophy, star and leaves.

Those considering applying should contact their unit’s grants facilitator (or, if the unit has no grants facilitator, the person with signing authority for your unit) to confirm if there are earlier, internal deadlines. Internal deadlines must be factored into the timing of the development and submission of applications.

Please submit nomination packages electronically by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22.

The John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship is presented during the President’s Awards reception.


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