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Presidential accolades

Memorial honours exceptional faculty and staff at special ceremony 

Campus and Community


Dr. Gary Kachanoski has presented the President’s Awards for 2017, honouring outstanding educators, researchers, staff members and community partners.

Recipients of the President’s Awards gathered following the ceremony on Dec. 13.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

The president’s awards recognize excellence in public engagement, teaching, research, service to Memorial and community service. The awards were formally presented at a special ceremony on the St. John’s campus on Dec. 13.

“Excellence, leadership and dedication are transformative for an organization — and that’s why it’s important that we celebrate your contributions and achievements and, most importantly, to say thank you,” said Dr. Kachanoski at the ceremony.

“Thank you for everything you do.”

Paton Award

Dr. Barbara Neis, a University Research Professor in the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and senior research associate in the SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research, was presented the John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professorship.

The award, named for the first president of Memorial University College, recognizes faculty who embody the university’s mission by demonstrating exceptional teaching, undertaking world-class research and sharing their knowledge and expertise widely.

The award is comprised of 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 University.


Dr. John Hanchar, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, was named University Research Professor. The title University Research Professor is a designation above the rank of professor and goes to a faculty member who has demonstrated a consistently high level of scholarship and whose research is of a truly international stature.

President’s Award for Outstanding Research recipients are Dr. Amanda Bittner, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Dr. Guangju Zhai, Faculty of Medicine. The President’s Award for Outstanding Research recognizes young researchers who have made significant contributions to their scholarly disciplines.


The President’s Award for Outstanding Graduate and Postgraduate Supervision was presented to Dr. Brian Veitch, Department of Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. This award recognizes exemplary efforts to foster success in the research and scholarship of their graduate or postgraduate students and to advance their students’ success in their profession.


The President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, recognizing teaching excellence in the university community, was presented to Dr. Valerie Burton, Department of History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Other teaching awards — for outstanding teaching — recognize remarkable efforts in the classroom by faculty members with 5-10 years of service to the university, and lecturers and instructional staff with a minimum of five course sections taught.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching (Faculty) has been awarded to Dr. Caroline Porr, School of Nursing.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Teaching (Lecturers and Instructional Staff) has been awarded to Dr. Meghan Forsyth, School of Music.

Public engagement

The President’s Awards for Public Engagement Partnerships celebrate exemplary community-university collaborations that are in keeping with the goals of Memorial’s Public Engagement Framework. Up to two awards are offered annually for partnerships between one or more students, staff and/or faculty members and an organization or group from outside Memorial.

This year, awards have been presented to Project Sucseed, a partnership between Enactus and Choices for Youth, and the Colony of Avalon project, a project of the Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Colony of Avalon Foundation.


The President’s Award for Exceptional Community Service has been awarded to Lori Pike, Budgets Office, Administration and Finance. This award is presented in recognition of employees (faculty or staff) who have demonstrated outstanding community service.

The President’s Awards for Exemplary Service have been awarded to five Memorial community members. They are Dan Dillon, Student Life; Caroline Koenig, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science; Barbara Morrissey, Faculty of Medicine; Keith Small, Facilities Management; and Carol Sullivan, School of Graduate Studies.

The President’s Award for Exemplary Service is presented to employees who have demonstrated outstanding service and/or who have made significant contributions to the university community beyond that normally expected for their positions.

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