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Dean appointed

Faculty of Science's Dr. Aimée Surprenant appointed in Graduate Studies

Teaching and Learning

By Jennifer Batten

The search committee for the dean of the School of Graduate Studies has completed its work and has recommended Dr. Aimée Surprenant for the position.

President Kachanoski has accepted the recommendation. The Board of Regents approved the appointment on May 19; Dr. Surprenant will begin a five-year term on June 1, 2016.

‘Fitting addition’

Dr. Surprenant has held increasingly senior academic positions at Memorial since 2006. She comes to the School of Graduate Studies from Memorial’s Faculty of Science, where she held the position of professor in the Department of Psychology. She also recently completed a one-year term as acting associate dean (administration and undergraduate) in the Faculty of Science.

“Dr. Surprenant is an accomplished educator, researcher and author, lauded among her peers and among students for her commitment to student success and teaching excellence,” said Dr. Noreen Golfman, provost and vice-president (academic). “She is a fitting addition to Memorial’s academic leadership team and I’m confident that the School of Graduate Studies will continue to thrive under her leadership.”

Perception and memory expert

Prior to arriving at Memorial, Dr. Surprenant served as director of undergraduate studies and professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. She has also held academic positions at Indiana University, where she was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and a post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences.

Dr. Surprenant holds a BA in psychology from New York University, and a M.Sc., M.Phil. and PhD in psychology from Yale University. An expert in the intersection of auditory perception and memory, Dr. Surpenant is the author of two books; Human Memory: An Introduction to Research, Data, and Theory, and Principles of Memory. She has also authored, edited and contributed to numerous book chapters, papers, publications and other scholarly articles.

She is a member of the Acoustical Society of America, the Canadian Acoustics Association and the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science and is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and the Psychonomic Society. She has also served as chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee for the Canadian Psychological Association and is active in Science Atlantic and the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science.

She has been continuously funded since 1992 by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation (U.S.) and by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and has been the recipient of numerous other grants and engagement awards from provincial and university sources. Dr. Surprenant has served on a grant panel for NSERC and has adjudicated award and funding competitions for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Golfman expresses her thanks to the search committee and recognizes the work of Dr. Faye Murrin, who has served as acting dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

“Dr. Murrin swiftly stepped into this key role during an important transitional period,” said Dr. Golfman.” “I extend my sincere thanks to her for her contributions to advancing the School of Graduates Studies during her time as acting dean.”

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