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Outstanding in her field

Dean of graduate studies recognized for leadership

Campus and Community

By Kelly Foss

Dr. Aimée Surprenant is being recognized for her outstanding leadership.

In July, the professor of psychology and dean of the School of Graduate Studies at Memorial will receive the 2018 Richard Tees Distinguished Leadership Award from the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science (CSBBCS) at their annual meeting.

The award recognizes extraordinary leadership to the CSBBC community and other factors, such as contributions to the training of students and technical staff, advancement of research and scholarship, and contributions to Canadian journals of psychology.

‘Deeply honoured’

“I want to thank the society and its members for this recognition,” said Dr. Surprenant. “Canadian cognitive scientists are a welcoming and inclusive group of individuals who work together to advance Canadian research in experimental psychology and behavioural neuroscience. It is always a pleasure to contribute to their activities. I am deeply honoured to receive this award.”

An outstanding researcher, Dr. Surprenant was selected for her important contributions to our understanding of human memory and for her exemplary service to the CSBBCS.

Her citation notes that she has been a highly effective co-organizer of two major annual meetings for the society: the 2009 meeting in York, U.K., and the 2018 meeting in St. John’s N.L.

“Remarkably, these have both been joint meetings with the Experimental Psychology Society, which presents extra organizational and logistical challenges,” it reads. “These joint meetings are important to our community and Aimée’s leadership is an important element in their success.”

Above and beyond

Dr. Surprenant is also considered an outstanding supervisor, having mentored dozens of highly successful graduate and undergraduate thesis students in her laboratory.

As dean of graduate studies, she plays an important role in the success of hundreds of graduate students. In 2012 she was honoured with the Memorial University Outstanding Contribution to Student Life Award. The award recognizes faculty and staff members who go above and beyond the call of duty in helping their students achieve both inside and outside the classroom.

She has also played key roles at important funding agencies and professional and scientific organizations. From 2011-14, she served as a member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Life Sciences (1502) Grants Adjudication committee. From 2009-14, she held the seat on the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) board of directors and, since 2016, she has been chair of the CPA’s Brain and Cognitive Science Section.


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