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Faculty unite

Old tradition returns: Faculty Club resumes with a pop-up twist

Campus and Community

By Kathryn Lear

People from different communities with varying perspectives came to the Signal Hill Campus recently for Memorial’s first official Faculty Club since the late ’80s.

The fog that blanketed the view through the windows of the Emera Innovation Exchange conference centre made a nice conversation piece for colleagues, some of whom were meeting for the first time. Conversation progressed – and there was much more to talk about than the weather.

Why Faculty Club?

Faculty Club Pop-up provides a new twist on an old tradition. It’s being piloted by members of the Strategic Operations (Signal Hill Campus) and Conference and Event Services team.

“We wanted to re-imagine what Faculty Club looked like in the past,” said Dr. Rob Greenwood, associate vice-president, public engagement and external relations. “It’s about getting to know the faces outside of your department, potentially discovering overlaps – be it research or areas of interest, and connecting.”

Dr. Greenwood says that during consultations for the development of Signal Hill Campus, academic staff members clearly vocalized that they do not often have regular opportunities to learn about research or activities in other disciplines that can literally be happening around the corner from them.

“This club allows for networking and knowledge-sharing and is intended to provide a support to further strengthen faculty engagement within the university community,” said Dr. Greenwood.

The next pop-up

The Faculty Club Pop-up at Signal Hill Campus is a casual, collegial format. The upcoming event is the second in a pilot series of four. The format is different for each.

The upcoming edition on Thursday, Feb. 20, is being co-hosted by the Office of Public Engagement, which invited Dr. Lisa Rankin and Dr. Shannon Lewis Simpson to speak.

“I am really looking forward to sharing stories over a beer with colleagues at the Faculty Club.” — Dr. Lisa Rankin

Dr. Rankin is Memorial University Research Chair, Northern Indigenous Community Archaeology, and principal investigator on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council-funded Tradition and Transition partnership with the Nunatsiavut Government. In 2016, with the community of Rigolet, she received the President’s Award for Public Engagement Partnerships.

Dr. Simpson is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Archaeology, as well as the experiential learning co-ordinator, Student Life.

The two will discuss their experience incorporating public engagement into teaching and learning, field research and how and why students benefit from the approach.

Dr. Rankin with students during a field school.
Photo: Submitted

“I am really looking forward to sharing stories over a beer with colleagues at the Faculty Club,” said Dr. Rankin, who spent the last 18 summers doing field work with students in remote locations, including an island off the coast of Labrador.

“In situations like these, everyone gets to know each other very well, and that kind of comfort makes it easier to ask questions about the discipline or their research that might not take place in a more formal campus setting” she continued. “Sort of like what I hope the pop-up will be!”

Thursday, Feb. 20

The next Faculty Club Pop-up will take place on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 5-7 p.m. at the Emera Innovation Exchange conference centre, Signal Hill Campus, room B 2007A.

There will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Faculty members have the option of bringing graduate students.

The event is free with complimentary parking; registration is required and can be done online. A shuttle runs from St. John’s campus to Signal Hill Campus several times a day. The schedule can be found here.


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