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Dean’s awards

Students, staff and faculty honoured at Faculty of Science awards

Student Life

By Kelly Foss

The annual Faculty of Science Dean’s Awards ceremony was held on Memorial’s St. John’s campus and saw Dr. Mary Courage, dean of the Faculty of Science, recognize 271 students representing the top 10 per cent in the faculty.

During the Sept. 21 event, Dr. Courage also presented the Dean of Science Book Prize, awarded annually to one student in each department offering a B.Sc. program. It is awarded based on the recommendation of the head of the department on the basis of demonstrated academic excellence in the declared major.

Dean of Science Book Prize winners.
Photo: Chris Deacon

The recipients for the 2016-17 academic year are Anton Afanassiev, Department of Mathematics and Statistics; Leah Burrows, Department of Biology; Hilary Chang, Department of Earth Sciences; Nathan Cluett, Department of Geography; Marisa Dusseault, Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography; Kyle Hall, Department of Computer Science; Sajid Kamadia, Department of Economics; Elly Kuhne, Department of Chemistry; James Lau, Department of Biochemistry; and Lauren Winsor, Department of Psychology.

Dr. Mark Abrahams, vice-president (research), pro tempore, also attended and presented the Lou Visentin Award, the highest award for undergraduate achievement in the Faculty of Science. It recognizes students who have held a place on the dean’s list for four consecutive years. This year, 32 students were recognized for this accomplishment.

Co-op Student of the Year

Sam Bromley, Whitecap Scientific
Alexander Brandt received the Science Co-op Student of the Year award. It was picked up by Sam Bromley of Whitecap Scientific, where Mr. Brandt completed his work term.
Photo: Chris Deacon

Alexander Brandt was the inaugural recipient of the Science Co-op Student of the Year Award. The award recognizes a full-time undergraduate co-operative education student who has demonstrated exceptionality in all aspects of his or her academic program and work term performance.

Mr. Brandt completed an eight-month computer industry internship option with Whitecap Scientific and completed his B.Sc. degree in computer science in April 2017 with a 4.0 GPA.

Distinguished Service

Bonnie Smith
Bonita (Bonnie) Smith (with certificate) with (from left) Dr. Andy Foster, Dr. Mary Courage and Dr. Mark Abrahams
Photo: Chris Deacon

Dr. Courage also honoured Bonita (Bonnie) Smith, an employee with the Faculty of Science’s procurement services group, with the Dean of Science Distinguished Service Award.

It recognizes service to the Faculty of Science superior to the normal expectations of the position. This includes maintaining high standards of performance on the job; facilitating students, faculty and colleagues in doing their work; helping make Memorial a welcoming place for everyone; and supporting outreach and community activities.

“Bonnie is not with one of our nine departments, but with a pan-faculty unit called Supply Chain Management,” said Dr. Courage. “This group ensures the materials and service needs within the Faculty of Science are met in a timely manner. As these often involve hazardous products such as chemicals and biological samples, Bonnie must ensure these are acquired and transported in full compliance with university and government regulations for such substances. It’s safe to say that she plays a central and critical role in the safe and effective operation of all our labs in the Faculty of Science.

“Ms. Smith’s nomination for the award was signed by 26 faculty, staff and students who described her as consistently reliable, a fabulous resource and extremely knowledgeable,” Dr. Courage continued. “In addition, as if that was not enough, she is a truly a lovely person and occasionally a supplier of homemade cookies!”

Distinguished Scholar

Aimée Surprenant
From left are Dr. Aimée Surprenant, Dr. Mary Courage and Dr. Mark Abrahams.
Photo: Chris Deacon

The Dean of Science Distinguished Scholar Medal recognizes an individual with a sustained, outstanding record of both research and teaching at Memorial.

The recommendation of the selection committee for the 2017 award is Dr. Aimée Surprenant, a professor in the Department of Psychology and dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

“Aimée is an expert in the study of human memory,” said Dr. Courage. “She has published over 60 articles and book chapters and co-authored and co-edited four books. Aimée is also an outstanding teacher and mentor. She has supervised many undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral theses and her student ratings have been consistently very high.

“Her approach to student supervision is to help them develop skills that are meaningful in academia but that are also applicable in the real world — in business, industry, and government,” she continued. “Indeed, her students have successfully moved on to careers in a variety of academic and professional domains.”

Distinguished Teacher

Travis Fridgen
From left are Dr. Travis Fridgen, Dr. Mary Courage and Dr. Mark Abrahams.
Photo: Chris Deacon

This year, the dean of science added a new award to recognize faculty members with an extended record of excellence, creativity and commitment to teaching and learning in the Faculty of Science.

The inaugural award was presented to Dr. Travis Fridgen, the head of the Department of Chemistry.

“Travis is tireless in the pursuit of novel and creative approaches to making his teaching shine,” said Dr. Courage. “He enthusiastically adopts new and innovative strategies to engage students and to improve their learning experiences. He believes strongly in active participation in the learning process.

“Although he is head of the Department of Chemistry and maintains an active research program, he continues to teach more than is required because of his love of teaching and his commitment to developing and growing the first-year curriculum,” she added. “As head, he initiated a revision and modernization of the chemistry department programs and the development of new programs.”

A full list of student award winners is available here.

Photos from the ceremony can also be found on the Faculty of Science Facebook page.

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