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Sustained and superlative

Memorial University announces professores emeriti

Campus and Community

By Memorial University

Sixteen Memorial University professors have been accorded the designation professor emeritus/emerita, an honour reserved for highly distinguished faculty members.

The new professores emeriti are Dr. Margaret E. Brosnan, Faculty of Science; Dr. Leslie Cake, School of Arts and Social Science; Dr. Mary Courage, Faculty of Science; Dr. Jane Green, Faculty of Medicine; Dr. Donald McKay, Faculty of Medicine; Dr. Michael Newton, School of Arts and Social Science; Dr. Donald Nichol, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; Dr. Peter Pickup, Faculty of Science; Dr. John Quaicoe, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science; Dr. Geoff Rayner-Canham, School of Science and the Environment; Dr. Paul Rice, School of Music; Dr. James Rourke, Faculty of Medicine; Dr. Kenneth Stevens, Faculty of Education; Dr. Stephen Tomblin, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; Dr. Maureen Volk, School of Music; and Dr. Wlodek Zuberek, Faculty of Science.

A professor emeritus or emerita is a retired member of the faculty who has served at least 10 years as a regular full-time faculty member and held the rank of professor upon retirement. The prime criterion for nomination is a sustained and superlative record as a scholar, as a teacher or as an academic administrator or any combination of these.

Candidates for the rank of professor emeritus/emerita are nominated by their academic units and, as with candidates for honorary degrees, the nominations are then reviewed by the Senate’s Committee on Honorary Degrees and Ceremonial. The candidates must then be approved by the university’s Senate and Board of Regents.

Typically, professores emeriti are presented at the university’s fall convocation ceremonies. However, as fall convocation 2020 is postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual event will be held to honour those receiving this distinction.

To see and hear more about these distinguished professors, watch the event airing on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 10 a.m. (NDT).

Biographies of the professores emeriti follow below.

Dr. Margaret Brosnan
Faculty of Science

Dr. Margaret Brosnan was one of Memorial’s first female faculty members to be promoted to full professor, a rank she achieved in 1985.

A leader in the Canadian nutrition community, she has received near continuous funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and its predecessor, the Medical Research Council, as a principal investigator during her 45-year career. The only two years in which this was not the case, she was a co-principal investigator with funding from other sources.

A highly sought-after collaborator and speaker at international conferences, Dr. Brosnan has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer reviewed articles, 11 invited reviews and 10 book chapters. She has received numerous awards at the university, national and international level, and was the first recipient of the Dean of Science Distinguished Scholar Medal in 1993.

Dr. Brosnan was the driving force behind the development and implementation of the Department of Biochemistry’s (nutrition) degree and the dietetics program jointly offered with Acadia University. She has supervised nearly 50 undergraduate and graduate students, with many of her trainees gone on to become academic leaders in their own right.

Dr. Leslie Cake
School of Arts and Social Science

During his nearly 30-year career at Grenfell Campus and well into his retirement, Dr. Leslie Cake has distinguished himself in teaching, scholarship and service.

He holds a BA (Hons.) and PhD (Queen’s University), and an M.Sc. (Memorial). He began teaching at Grenfell Campus in 1980 and was promoted to full professor in 1994.

Dr. Cake’s research accomplishments are significant. He has written or co-authored refereed journal articles, book chapters, articles in professional publications, government agency reports, and more. Upon his retirement in 2009, Dr. Cake was appointed Honorary Research Professor. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Aging Research Centre-N.L.; prior to the centre’s establishment, Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province in Canada without a centre for aging research.

His teaching and service records are also significant. A key institutional influencer, he helped developed Grenfell’s flagship psychology programs. Dr. Cake’s dedication to mentoring students is well-attested by alumni and colleagues. He has had a powerful and lasting impact as an educator and researcher at Memorial University.

Dr. Mary Courage
Faculty of Science

Dr. Mary Courage began her academic career in the Department of Psychology at Memorial University in the 1970s and held several cross-appointments with the Discipline of Pediatrics in the Faculty of Medicine.

She was promoted to professor in 1999 and awarded University Research Professor status in 2010. Named a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science in 2009, Dr. Courage retired in 2019. Prior to that, she served as associate dean of Science for six years and subsequently as dean of Science (pro tempore) from 2017-18.

During her career, Dr. Courage published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and edited six books and journal special issues. Her research has contributed to the scholarship of attention, learning and memory in infants and young children with emphasis on applications of basic science to the real world. She taught and supervised many students in developmental psychology from first year to the graduate level.

Dr. Jane Green
Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Jane Green moved to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1978 to start a ground-breaking career in genetics research that spans more than four decades. She joined Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine as lecturer in 1988, completed her PhD in medical genetics at Memorial in 1995 and became full professor by 2002. In 2016 she retired and was appointed Honorary Research Professor.

She discovered how founder populations of Newfoundland and Labrador could provide insight into hereditary diseases. She travelled the province, recruiting patients and mapping comprehensive family trees and partnering with specialized laboratories around the world to identify the underlying genetic cause at the DNA level. Her work resulted in improved screening methods, treatments and health outcomes for patients with rare genetic disorders and hereditary ocular and cancer syndromes.

Dr. Green has published more than 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts and supervised more than 50 students during her career at Memorial. Her honours and awards include officer, Order of Canada; member, Order of Newfoundland and Labrador; and fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Dr. Donald McKay
Faculty of Medicine

Following completion of a PhD in physiology at Michigan State University (1974) and a post-doctoral fellowship at Memorial University (1981-83), Dr. Donald McKay joined the Faculty of Medicine as a lecturer of physiology in 1983. He was promoted to professor in 1998. As an active member of Senate at Memorial University, he was an enthusiastic contributor to university ceremonies, delivering 15 convocation orations from 2004-19.

The Honorary Research Professor retired in 2019, having served the faculty as assistant dean of graduate studies from 2010-11 and associate dean of undergraduate medical education (UGME) from 2011-17.

Dr. McKay established an international reputation for his scholarship in blood pressure measurement, revealing a lack of standardized methods and appropriate equipment use among Canadian physicians, and hypertension prevention. He was one of the first educators to introduce new blood pressure standards and protocols to a Canadian undergraduate medical education program and through his leadership, Memorial University was one of the first Canadian medical schools to introduce competency based medical education to UGME curriculum.

Dr. Michael Newton
School of Arts and Social Science

Dr. Michael Newton boasts a highly distinguished scholarly record with numerous and substantial publications, peer-reviewed books and journal articles.

He has distinguished himself as a versatile scholar demonstrating expertise in a wide range of areas within the broad scope of religious studies at Grenfell Campus, having taught more than 25 different courses. His expertise in the study and practice of mindfulness has been recognized by more than 500 students and several community partners, and through an adjunct professorship with the Faculty of Medicine.

He was instrumental in building a relationship between Grenfell Campus and the people of Belize, having received grants to expand internationalization there, establishing a field course in Belize, successfully recruited Belizean students to Grenfell and negotiating a memorandum of understanding with Galen University.

Dr. Newton received a certificate of education in divinity at King Alfred’s College, U.K., and a BA (Hons.), MA and PhD from McMaster University. His first appointment at Memorial University was in 1978.

Dr. Donald Nichol
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

A retired member of the Department of English, Dr. Donald Nichol has made highly distinguished contributions in research and teaching, with a particular expertise in 18th-century English literature.

An internationally recognized expert on the writer Alexander Pope and on the 18th-century English book trade, he has published seven books and proceedings along with articles, book chapters, reviews and conference presentations.

Among Dr. Nichol’s awards are the President’s Award for Outstanding Research (1993), the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Scholarship (2013) and the Canada Prize from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program for his book, Anniversary Essays on Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock (2017).

In addition to his research accomplishments, Dr. Nichol was a popular teacher and supervisor who made important contributions to curriculum design at Memorial. He designed a popular and innovative course on song writing and made strong contributions to the link between the St. John’s and Harlow campuses.

Dr. Nichol received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Carleton University and a PhD from Edinburgh University.

Dr. Peter Pickup
Faculty of Science

Dr. Peter Pickup joined the Department of Chemistry in 1986 and has been one of the department’s most accomplished scholars. His deep understanding of fundamental and applied science, along with his creative approach to research, have made him one of the leading innovators in his field.

He has been recognized by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada with continuous funding since 1987, including five Strategic Project Grants. He has published 189 research papers, three reviews and three book chapters. In 2005 he was designated University Research Professor, a five-year distinction, and in 2018 he received the Faculty of Science Distinguished Scholar Medal. He served as department head for six years.

He has taught courses ranging from first-year introductory chemistry to advanced graduate courses. He has supervised 26 PhD students and 23 M.Sc. students and continues to supervise graduate students as an Honorary Research Professor.

Dr. Pickup received his BA and D.Phil. from the University of Oxford.

Dr. John Quaicoe
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

A professor of electrical and computer engineering at Memorial from 1982 until his retirement in 2018, Dr. John Quaicoe earned the respect of colleagues, alumni and students.

During his 36-year career at Memorial, Dr. Quaicoe earned a reputation as an outstanding teacher, scholar and academic administrator.

His academic service in the faculty included chair of the electrical engineering discipline; interim associate dean, graduate studies and research; associate dean, undergraduate studies; and dean, pro tempore.

Dr. Quaicoe has made outstanding research contributions in the field of power electronics and power systems, including more than 100 publications in journals and conferences.

His tremendous impact on student success at Memorial earned him the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and the IEEE Canada Outstanding Educator Medal. In addition, he received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Academic Service and fellow of Engineers Canada.

Dr. Quaicoe received a B.Eng. in electrical engineering from the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, and M.Sc. and PhD degrees in power electronics from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Geoff Rayner-Canham
School of Science and the Environment, Grenfell Campus

During his 44-year career at Grenfell Campus, Dr. Geoff Rayner-Canham was recognized with distinguished awards, including the 3M Teaching Fellowship Award, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Award for Science Promotion, Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Award of Merit, a CIC Chemical Education Award and, most recently, an appointment as fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Throughout his career, Dr. Rayner-Canham has taught 88 courses, received 48 grants, published four books (later translated into seven different languages) and close to 200 articles, and gave 150 scholarly presentations.

Perhaps his most notable accomplishment is the delivery of Science is Everywhere! Program, visiting 20,000 students in remote Northern communities over a 30-year span. He has researched and published on the links between chemistry and Inuit culture, earning him national acclaim.

Dr. Rayner-Canham attended the University of London, earning both a B.Sc. and PhD.

Dr. Paul Rice
School of Music

Dr. Paul Rice is an internationally acclaimed expert in the field of 18th-century music, theatre and art. His research output includes five sole-authored books, three anthologies, nine peer-reviewed journal articles and 38 peer-reviewed conference presentations. His research has been supported by 22 different research grants, including several multi-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council awards.

During his 31 years at Memorial, Dr. Rice has taught almost every musicology course offered at the university, supported designs and revisions to core musicology curriculum for the bachelor of music degree, created and implemented many of the elective courses in the degree and helped design the musicology curriculum of the master of music program.

Outside the university, Dr. Rice spent 15 years as an on-air commentator for CBC Radio’s flagship program, Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. Internationally, he has provided program notes for prestigious performances and venues, including Wigmore Hall (London), the Queen’s Consort (New York City) and published liner notes for 13 different recorded albums.

Dr. Rice received his bachelor of music from McMaster, and an MA and PhD from the university of Victoria.

Dr. James Rourke
Faculty of Medicine

Dr. James Rourke completed his MD and postgraduate training in family medicine at the University of Western Ontario. He and his wife and practice partner, Dr. Leslie Rourke (professor emerita, Memorial University), were rural family doctors in Ontario for 25 years and Western University medical faculty for 20 years before moving to St. John’s.

Dr. Rourke joined the Faculty of Medicine in 2004, serving as dean until 2016 and professor of family medicine until 2019. He oversaw expansion of the undergraduate medical education program and construction of the Faculty of Medicine building expansion.

While dean, Memorial University received the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada’s Keith Award for having the most graduates practising in rural areas three times and the Rural Medicine Award for the most postgraduates choosing family medicine.

An Honorary Research Professor, Dr. Rourke has more than 100 publications. He has received national and international recognition for the Rourke Baby Record, a guide for physicians in the care of infants and children, with Dr. Leslie Rourke.

Dr. Kenneth Stevens
Faculty of Education

Dr. Kenneth Stevens, BA (University of Waikato), Dip.Ed.St. (University of Waikato), M.Soc.Sc. (University of Waikato), PhD (James Cook University), was appointed to Memorial University in 1997 as chair of TeleLearning (e-Learning) and Rural Education, after an impressive career throughout New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

He has made a number of significant contributions to the education field, including his well-known work in the area of e-learning and rural communities. Dr. Stevens is best known within Newfoundland and Labrador for his idea of digitally networking classes between small rural schools in the province within intranets.

During his nearly 20 years at Memorial University, Dr. Stevens produced an impressive number of valued publications, many of which have been re-printed and translated into other languages. He now resides in his birth country of New Zealand and is working as an adjunct professor of education at Victoria University of Wellington.

Dr. Stephen Tomblin
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

A retired member of the Department of Political Science, Dr. Stephen Tomblin is a nationally recognized expert on Canadian politics and public policy.

His 1996 book, Ottawa and the Outer Provinces, has had a lasting impact on understandings of Canadian federalism, regionalism and intergovernmental relations. He has authored or co-authored eight major reports and commissioned studies for a wide variety of organizations in Canada and internationally.

Dr. Tomblin has also made an impact in academic service and public engagement. He has served in various positions inside and outside Memorial, makes frequent media and panel appearances and hosts the popular podcast, PODCO.

He was a popular instructor for a wide variety of courses, served as the co-ordinator of the certificate in public policy program, and developed and led semester-abroad programs at Memorial’s Harlow Campus. Each year, a student who excels in the study of the province’s public policy receives a scholarship in his name.

Dr. Tomblin earned a bachelor of arts from the University of Calgary, a master’s degree from Dalhousie and a PhD from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Maureen Volk
School of Music

Across her 39 years at Memorial University, Dr. Maureen Volk developed an exceptional record in creative-scholarly work, teaching, service and academic leadership.

Dr. Volk is a celebrated pianist and pedagogue. Along with her three recorded albums, Dr. Volk has been awarded 26 scholarly-creative grants and delivered more than 100 solo and chamber music performances locally, nationally and internationally.

A graduate of the Juilliard School, the University of Regina and Indiana University, Dr. Volk has concertized and recorded across Canada, the United States and Europe.

Additionally, she has developed substantive work in pedagogical research.

The professor was awarded the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2008, the Association of Atlantic Universities Distinguished Teaching Award in 2011 and was named a 3M National Teaching Fellow in 2014.

Dr. Volk has held every leadership position within the School of Music, including director from 1990-2000, associate dean and dean pro tempore.

Dr. Wlodek Zuberek
Faculty of Science

Dr. Wlodek Zuberek served in the Department of Computer Science for 34 years, during which he was an excellent researcher, well-regarded teacher and colleague.

He came to Memorial in 1984 as a visiting faculty member, later becoming an associate professor and professor of computer science. Dr. Zuberek holds an M.Sc. (with distinction) in electronic engineering as well as a PhD (with distinction) and D.Sc., both in computer science, all from the Warsaw University of Technology.

His research was continuously supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) research grants from 1987-2016, and he received NSERC equipment grants and an NSERC International Collaborative Research Grant.

Dr. Zuberek’s scholarship includes 16 book chapters, 31 journal papers and 120 refereed conference papers. His paper, co-authored by Donald Craig and presented at the International Conference on Digital Telecommunications in Silicon Valley, Calif., in 2007, received the Best Paper Award. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Dean of Science Distinguished Scholar Medal.


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