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Leadership shift

Grenfell Campus announces deans of three schools

Campus and Community

By Melanie Callahan

A  significant announcement about Grenfell Campus’s academic restructuring took place at Memorial’s Board of Regents’ meeting May 19: successful candidates for new deans were named.

Prof. Todd Hennessey was named dean, School of Fine Arts; Dr. Laura Robinson was named dean, School of Arts and Social Science; and Dr. Michele Piercey-Normore was named dean, School of the Science and Environment. Prof Hennessey will begin his duties on July 1, 2016, while Drs. Robinson and Piercey-Normore will assume their new roles on Aug. 1, 2016.

‘Expertise and passion’

“After a thorough search, we are confident that we have selected deans that will lead us with expertise and passion as Grenfell makes this major shift in academic leadership,” said Dr. Mary Bluechardt, vice-president (Grenfell Campus). “I feel that the hiring of these individuals as deans will help us reach our goals of employee and student satisfaction, expanded programming, research capacity and community engagement.”

Prof. Todd Hennessey

Prof. Hennessy is no stranger to Grenfell Campus, having graduated with a bachelor of fine arts from Grenfell and joined the faculty of the Fine Arts Division in 2000. Prof. Hennessey is nearing completion of a PhD from the University of Birmingham and has a master of fine arts from the University of Calgary. While at Grenfell, Prof. Hennessey has overseen collaborative efforts to raise the fine arts profile in Western Newfoundland, led the development of articulation agreements and worked to ensure fine arts students have access to a high-quality education that prepares them for their careers.

Dr. Laura Robinson

Dr. Robinson comes to Grenfell Campus from The Royal Military College of Canada where she held the position of dean of arts (interim) responsible for several graduate and undergraduate programs. She is an accomplished scholar of children’s literature, with an emphasis on Anne of Green Gables. She is an award-winning teacher and researcher and prides herself on creative, inclusive teaching techniques. She holds a bachelor of arts from Acadia University, a master of arts from the University of Manitoba and a PhD from Queen’s University.

Dr. Michele Piercey-Normore

Dr. Piercey-Normore brings excellence in leadership from her previous positions as associate dean (Faculty of Science) and department graduate chair at Memorial, and currently as associate head (Department of Biological Sciences) at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Piercey-Normore’s research on lichen systematics, secondary metabolite production and symbiont interactions has provided her opportunities to share this research around the world. As a professor, she developed innovative teaching strategies, fostered articulation and co-operative education programs, contributed to experiential education initiatives and fostered engagement through partnerships and public programs. Dr. Piercey-Normore received a B.Sc. (Hons.), M.Sc. and PhD from Memorial University and two post-doctoral fellowships at Duke University and the Smithsonian Institution.

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