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Grenfell Matters

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We are pleased to announce Grenfell Matters Online! Join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 p.m. (NST) on Facebook Live as faculty, staff and students highlight some of the work they have been doing.

Life on the Energetic Edge: Accounting for Energy Flows in Microbes to Predict Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Whether it be an elephant or a single bacterium, central to all life is the ability to turn energy into biological work. Microbial bioenergetics accounts for energy creation and use with the goal of predicting: 1) which microbes are present, 2) their growth rate, and 3) how fast they are producing and/or consuming greenhouse gases.  My research builds upon the assumption that applying microbial bioenergetics should advance our ability to predict the response of microbial communities to dynamic changes in physical and geochemical conditions in the environment. Environmental applications of this research are broad, ranging from predicting oil spill clean up to greenhouse gas emissions. Using the potent greenhouse gas, methane, as an example, I will discuss using bioenergetics to account for the effect of temperature and energy on the different methane production pathways in soils.

Engagement research at the crossroads of learning, research and community

Mery Perez is a postdoctoral research fellow in public engagement at Grenfell Campus working with Dr. Garrett Richards and Dr. Kelly Vodden.  She comes to Grenfell from the University of Guelph where she completed her PhD in Rural Studies with a focus on community capacity building and development through the arts, particularly music.  Her research interests include the relationship between environmental governance and community development, and the role of Indigenous and rural communities in sustainability. Her current research is entitled "The Engaged Campus: Enhancing Public Engagement in Western Newfoundland".  This is a collaborative research project, carried out in partnership with CBDC Nortip and Gros Morne Cooperating Association.  

Social Psychological Interventions: How to Use Psychology to Address Real World Social Challenges

Conspiracy Theory in Pandemic


John Bodner, assistant professor of folklore in the social/cultural studies programme.  Received a PhD. from Memorial University and generally researches and writes on marginal peoples and work/labour.  As part of his research he has published on contemporary legends, space and place and the folklore of crime. The talk will introduce conspiracy theory, how folklorists and others in the social sciences/humanities understand the phenomenon and introduce some of the main theories that have appeared during the pandemic. 

Past Grenfell Matters Online

Subatomic Physics Research in Canada: Strategy to Our Success


In the last five years, Canadians received three Nobel Prizes in Physics, and, for a country with 37M population, we are punching well above our weight in many physics research areas.

What is the strategy to our success? In short, it is to plan long-term and work together. Please join us for a brief talk on how Canadian Subatomic Physics community is jointly training our students and planning our main research projects fifteen years into the future.


Dr. Svetlana Barkanova is a professor at Grenfell Campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland, home to one of the largest campus-based telescopes in Canada and a new BSc program in physics, which explores everything from the smallest particles to the most distant stars and galaxies. An internationally known researcher, she is on a quest to discover and understand the basic laws that govern the Universe. She is also an award-wining teacher and a popular public speaker passionate about science promotion. 

Crime Fiction and Ethics: Reading and Writing About the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly In Our World

Tom Halford has been shortlisted and longlisted for the CBC literary awards. His first novel Deli Meat was published in 2018. He has published scholarly articles on surveillance and on crime fiction. In 2019, he taught a course on Crime Fiction as part of the International Summer Session for Chonnam National University in South Korea.

Why study history and what does it teach us?


Dr. Jeff Keshen is a historian of 20th century Canada, specializing in Canadian War and Society.  He serves as VP of Grenfell Campus.

Dr. Edwin Bezzina is chair of the Historical Studies program at Grenfell Campus.  He teaches mostly European history and is working on a book project on Protestant-Catholic relations in Early Modern France as well as a smaller project on French Protestant refugees in seventeenth-century Amsterdam.

Dr. Rainer Baehre is Professor of Historical Studies, Grenfell Campus. He is primarily a social, cultural, and environmental historian with a focus on Canadian history.  His most recent publication is "Newfoundland's West Coast and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, ca. 1753-83: A Case Study of War, Fish and Empire, in Claire E. Campbell Edward Macdonald and Brian Payne (eds.) The Greater Gulf: Essays on the Environmental History of the Gulf of St Lawrence. Montreal; Kingston; London; Chicago: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019.

Food and agriculture activities at Grenfell Campus


Ken Carter is the Director of Research, Graduate Studies and Engagement at Grenfell Campus. Through the Offices of Research and Engagement, he supports the development of engaged research partnerships with producers and stakeholders in the provincial agriculture sector. Ken is also a member of the Food and Agricultural Working Group on campus and participates in province-wide agriculture networks such as Team Agriculture.

Dr. Mumtaz A. Cheema, is an Associate Professor – Agronomy in Boreal Ecosystems and Agricultural Sciences (BEAS) Program, Grenfell Campus. The focus of his research program is to develop productive and sustainable cropping systems to combat the challenges of climate change and food security. In recent years, he has researched on Integrated Nutrient Management practices to improve soil quality and health to maximize nutrient use efficiency through efficient nutrient cycling and management strategies. 

Will Gill's From the Lion's Den, Memorial University's Art Collection, and Grenfell Art Gallery in a time of Physical Distance


Matthew Hills is Director of the Grenfell Art Gallery and Curator of the Memorial University Art Collection. He was co-curator of the 2019 Bonavista Biennale, and in addition to the Grenfell Art Gallery has curated exhibitions at The Rooms, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and Belkin Satellite, Vancouver. He has worked in a curatorial capacity at the University of Alberta, Vancouver Art Gallery, and Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen's University. His writing has been published in catalogues and periodicals including Border Crossings, Muse, BlackFlash, and Syphon. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, where he received his MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies.

What can we learn from studying the physical mechanics of biological cells?


Dr. Maria Kilfoil is a physicist who has wide-ranging expertise is in the area of biophysics and soft matter. She did NMR microscopy and confocal microscopy on soft materials in her PhD and postdoctoral work, and then ran research groups at McGill University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she developed very novel model systems in biophysics that allowed detailed and quantitative physics-style measurements. These are difficult experiments that have resulted in high-quality publications. She is also now an expert in micro-rheology, which is one of the newest experimental techniques in condensed matter and biophysics, and is passionate about sharing these techniques with others and science promotion.  

A short walk in Bardo - applications of sound as ritual


Pierre LeBlanc (The/La Commission GEDEON Commission) was born in New Brunswick and is an Acadian. He studied at Université de Moncton and Concordia University where he received an M.F.A. in Fine Arts (Photography). For ten years he taught at Université de Moncton until he came to Grenfell in 2001. Pierre's work is motivated by the way currents intersect in culture through series of events. He works in photography, video and sound.

Weaving Transdisciplinarity into Research, Courses and Programs


Dr. Garrett Richards is an assistant professor with the Environmental Policy Institute at Grenfell Campus. Drawing on an interdisciplinary background in biology, environmental studies, and political science, he studies interfaces between science, policy, and community as they related to environmental issues such as energy and climate change. Currently, he coordinates the Environmental Policy Innovation Lab, teaches a CityStudio course on environmental policy processes, and sits on the committee for the emerging PhD program in Transdisciplinary Sustainability.

Lady of the Falls - directing, writing, producing and performing puppet plays


Michael Waller has been a professor in the Grenfell Theatre Department since 2009. In addition, he has been directing, acting and writing professional theatre for over twenty years. He has worked in theatres all over Canada and the United States. Directing highlights include Othello (Dora Mavor Moore Nomination- Outstanding Directing) and Much Ado About Nothing for Shakespeare In The Rough; Eric Wolfe's Dear Boss (Dora Mavor Moore Nomination- Outstanding Direction) Sideshow Of The Damned, Grendelmaus and The Babysitter for Eldritch Theatre;Sean Reycraft's popsong (Chalmers Award Winner) for Theatre Direct and Dave Carley's Walking On Water, Midnight Madness A View from the Roof and Taking Liberties. Michael has a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, an MFA from University of Ottawa and he is a graduate of the Stratford Festival's Birmingham Conservatory.


Tara Manuel is a performer, puppeteer, and writer. Tara is the 12th of 14 children from the western branch of the prolific Manuel family of Newfoundland.  She is a graduate of The National Theatre School of Canada, and worked as an actor in various Theatre, Film, and TV productions in Canada, the US, and Europe before returning to Western NL in 2000. Tara has since created and toured two original puppet theatre plays across the province. The latest, The Lady of the Falls, toured NL Arts and Culture Centres in 2019. 

The Importance of Studying Parent-Child Discussions of Crime


Dr. Kelly Warren is an associate professor in the psychology program with research interests in the intersection between psychology and law. Recognizing the problems that exist for children and those aged 65+ who witness or experience crimes, Kelly's work is dedicated to learning why individuals of these ages struggle remembering their experiences and to developing procedures that can help them testify.

Overview of the Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network (PhiLab) Atlantic Hub based at Grenfell Campus


Brady Reid recently completed the Master of Arts in Environmental Policy program at Grenfell Campus and is a first year PhD in Rural Studies student at the University of Guelph. His research interests intersect between environmental stewardship, rural community development, and the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge in decision-making processes. As a settler scholar with mixed English/Mi'kmaw ancestry, Brady explores the roles and responsibilities of researchers engaging in community-based participatory research including self-reflection and critical thinking throughout the research process. 

Why Indigenize? Reflections on History and Indigenization Efforts at Grenfell Campus


Kelly Anne Butler is the Student Affairs Officer-Indigenous Affairs at Grenfell Campus and an Adjunct Professor with the School of Arts and Social Science.  She is also a co-producer of the documentary, The Country, released in 2018.

Internationalization at Grenfell Campus: Bringing the world to Grenfell Campus and brinnging Grenfell Campus to the world


Melissa Halford oversees the ESL programs at Grenfell Campus, which include the Intensive English Bridge Program, Community ESL Programs, and short-term Language and Culture Programs. Melissa is a member of the Corner Brook WelcomeNL project and the chair of the Grenfell Internationalization Working Group. Melissa's hobbies - at the moment, anyway - include staying home with her husband and two kids, and making sure everyone washes their hands often and well. 

Thomas Young is the international student recruitment officer at Grenfell Campus. A graduate of Grenfell's Historical Studies program himself, Thomas has been working with Grenfell's international student community since 2013 through a variety of departments including ESL, Community Engagement, and Student Housing. In addition to his current position at Grenfell, Thomas is also enrolled in Memorial University's M.Ed. (Post-Secondary Studies) program, in which his research focuses primarily on internationalization and solutions for challenges faced by international students. 

Below is the introduction that appeared in The Western Star newspaper when Grenfell Matters debuted in 2018 and links to the individual stories.

It’s a new page for us here at The Western Star, one that we’re hoping you’ll be as excited about as we are. Today, we begin our “Grenfell Matters” feature, a weekly snippet of the stories and people who inspire them from Corner Brook’s Memorial University campus.

Once a week, we will expand our coverage of the school by having leaders of Grenfell tell the stories that are important to them.

Why is Grenfell so important to us? For starters, if you add the students, staff and faculty, you have a population comparable to the Town of Massey Drive. More importantly, though, the work that’s happening at the institution has the potential to affect one and all in western Newfoundland, from the environmental research, to the deep dive into farming, to the cultural footprint left by its fine arts programs, and hundreds more.

We’re hoping by sharing the stories of Grenfell, we’ll help highlight some of work that many now consider a long climb “up the hill.”

Grenfell is our university.

The students are many of our youth.

The staff and faculty are our family, friends and neighbours.

Let’s all take it a step further and ensure we also celebrate their stories as our own.



GRENFELL MATTERS: Michael Waller3/7/2019
GRENFELL MATTERS: Steven Day2/7/2019
GRENFELL MATTERS: Grenfell Campus to study aging12/12/2018
Grenfell Matters: Mathematicians in Mexico12/6/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Giving the gift of transportation12/6/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Jerry Etienne11/21/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Bonnie White11/14/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Kryston Munnings11/7/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Amna Chohan and Clarisse Uwamahoro10/31/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Ken Carter10/24/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: New partnership, and position, to help newcomers feel welcome10/17/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Craig Brake10/10/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Mallory Snow10/4/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Nicole Miller9/26/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Sonya Corbin-Dwyer9/19/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Stephen Decker9/12/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Patrick Arsenault9/5/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Leah King8/29/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Student Housing8/22/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Bernard Wills8/15/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Rie Croll8/8/2018
Grenfell Matters: Matthew Hills8/2/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Holly Pike7/25/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Ingrid Mary Percy7/18/2018
Grenfell Matters: Revealing the secret lives of bats - flying south for the winter?7/11/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS- Maria Killfoil7/4/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Christine Campbell6/27/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Melissa Halford6/19/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Food security meets climate change6/13/2018
GRENFELL MATTERS: Kelly Anne Butler6/6/2018
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Marketing, Communications and Advancement

Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland
20 University Drive, Corner Brook, NL
A2H 5G4, Canada

Office: AS234
Phone: (709) 637-7329
Email: marcomm@grenfell.mun.ca

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