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Op-ed Dr. Tana Allen

Research Week celebrates the people leading and supporting Memorial’s dynamic research

By Dr. Tana Allen

As a child, I saw my first big musical at the famous Winter Garden Theatre in New York City.

I vividly recall the excitement of it — music, dance, costumes and the sprawling interior of lights and velvet seats.

To this day, I am still captivated by big productions.

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate once again to be able to attend an in-person conference of the Atlantic Classical Association.

I decided to give a talk on the Tony award-winning musical, Hadestown, after seeing a performance of this stunning show.

Why give a talk about a Broadway show at an academic conference?

Deciding what to engage with in our research can come from a place of commitment and concern. Research often has deeply personal connections.

Undertaking a study of Hadestown, based on a well-known pair of mythic tales — Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as King Hades and his wife, Persephone — forced me to ask questions about identity, voice and authority.

Research comes in all shapes and sizes.

Preparing for the conference let me learn a thing or two that I hadn’t expected.

That is exactly what I invite you to do during Memorial’s Research Week: learn something new.

Our fifth annual Research Week celebrations take place Nov. 21–25.

What we do matters

All members of the university community are invited to open their doors, figuratively and literally, so others can learn about the research that goes on at Memorial.

I encourage you to have conversations with as many people as you can. Attend an event in another department or faculty.

Have a coffee with a graduate student. Log into a virtual session and share your ideas.

“Research Week is a great opportunity for us to learn about each other.”

In every building, on every campus and behind every door, there are researchers who are dedicating their careers to making our world a better place.

Research Week is a great opportunity for us to learn about each other and why what we do matters.

I am delighted to see so many events on this year’s schedule — everything from guest lectures and networking sessions to receptions and lab tours, plus much more.

Special thanks to everyone organizing a session!

I am really looking forward to connecting with colleagues throughout the week.

30 years of impact

On Monday, Nov. 21, from 10-11 a.m., my office is hosting an informal celebratory kick-off to Research Week with Get the Scoop on Research: 30 Years of Impact.

Did you know that it has been three decades since the creation of the Office of the Vice-President (Research)?

In that time, Memorial’s total research impact has grown significantly.

“Find time to be inspired, meet our research community and learn something new!”

Members of the university community are invited to drop by our office, room IIC-3003 in the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation on the St. John’s campus, and meet some of the employees who champion and support Memorial’s research activities.

There’ll even be ice cream treats.

Later that day, join me at the ongoing MUNalum 101 series, where I’ll present a session called Demystifying University Research.

I’ll share my own research journey as a classical archaeologist and social historian to highlight what skills make a successful researcher.

Since April 2020, the Office of Alumni Engagement has hosted multiple virtual events exploring a range of topics and themes and featuring faculty and staff members in their field of expertise that have helped broaden the minds of viewers and participants.

Federal collaboration

I encourage you to check out many of the other events taking place throughout the week.

Here are two that caught my eye.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 2 p.m., students, faculty, staff and post-doctoral fellows are invited to the virtual session, National Research Council-Memorial Karluk Collaboration Space: Working Together to Advance Research Excellence.

Colleagues from the National Research Council will provide an overview of the Karluk Collaboration Space, a special partnership with Memorial.

To learn more about the Karluk Collaboration Space, how you can be a part of this community and how to connect to this session, please get in touch via email.

Lessons learned

On Friday, Nov. 25, from 2-4 p.m., the Faculty of Medicine is hosting, Reflecting on COVID-19 and Preparing for the Next Pandemic.

You’ll hear from a group of Canadian virologists who have been actively involved in many aspects of the pandemic. The log-in instructions for this virtual presentation are available here.

I am just skimming the surface.

There are so many other events and I hope you can take a few minutes to check out what’s happening this year. Our calendar of events is available here.

During Research Week 2022, find time to be inspired, meet our research community and learn something new!


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