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Award-winning advancement

Memorial takes home hardware for whale interpretation, marine outreach

By Memorial University

Memorial University made a big splash at international and national education advancement awards recently, garnering recognition for community outreach, special events and creativity.

If you’ve been to the Core Science Facility on the St. John’s campus in recent months, then you’ve likely seen Altum, the 75-foot blue whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling in the building’s western atrium.

While naming our blue whale was a university-wide effort and more than 5,000 votes cast by the public, there was also plenty of behind-the-scenes work to invite the community to learn about Altum.

Advancement in education

That work paid off: the educational installation on the Core Science Facility’s fourth-floor mezzanine, titled A Whale’s Tale, combined with the annual Whale of a Day open house event and the merchandise created in partnership with the campus bookstore, caught the eye of numerous national and international educational institutions.

student standing in front of the Blue Whale Skeleton. She is wearing a blue shirt with a an outline of the blue whale skeleton on it and holding stickers with the same image as her shirt.
A student with some of the award-winning blue whale merchandise available at the Memorial University bookstore.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

The Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education awarded Whale of a Day a gold medal for Best Community Outreach Initiative at the organization’s 2024 Prix d’Excellence Awards.

The international Council for the Advancement and Support of Education awarded A Whale’s Tale a silver medal in the Design-Environmental Graphics Category at the organization’s 2024 Circle of Excellence Awards.

Some visitors during a Whale of a Day open house event.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

Marine Institute receives recognition

The Marine Institute also collected hardware at the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education awards, winning a silver medal in the Best Special Event Category for the official opening of The Launch in Holyrood.

The Launch is a state-of-the-art marine living lab that offers a safe, reliable, near-Arctic environment to test new technology, train in harsh conditions and explore the next advancements in ocean research in, on and under the water.

The opening brought together government, industry and the Town of Holyrood in the newly named Dr. Arthur May Building to showcase the new facility in May 2023.

The celebrations continued for the Marine Institute, as its WaveCast podcast’s inaugural season won a bronze medal in the Best Podcast Category.

The Marine Institute’s team didn’t stop there.

At the N.L. chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators Pinnacle Awards Gala at The Rooms in June, the WaveCast podcast received an Award of Merit.

Digital media marketing advisor Kate Saunders and Marine Institute doctoral student Eugenie Jacobsen host and produce the podcast.

3 women standing next to each other, holding small trophies and smiling at the camera
From left are Kate Saunders, Madeline Meadus and Kim Thornhill accepting awards at the IABC-NL awards banquet at The Rooms in St. John’s.
Photo: Submitted

Madeline Meadus, public relations and communications officer at the Marine Institute, also received an Award of Excellence for her Gazette article, Protection for all, and to clew up the evening, The Launch’s opening received an Award of Merit.

See it for yourself

The Marine Institute is holding a Doors Open event at The Launch on Friday, July 19, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Visitors are invited to drop in to enjoy a series of interactive learning exhibitions. It’s a free event, but registration is required.

The first season of the Wavecast podcast is available wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Check out the award-winning A Whale’s Tale installation anytime on the fourth floor of the Core Science Facility on the St. John’s campus or visit the bookstore, located on the second floor of the University Centre, to purchase some whale-themed merchandise.

Blue Whale Facts with images and texted wrapped around a pillar in the Core Science Facility. Behind the pillar you can see the Blue Whale Skeleton hanging from the rafters.
Part of the A Whale’s Tale educational installation in the Core Science Facility.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

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