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Grenfell’s second- and third-year students will bring one of Shakespeare’s most popular tragedies – Macbeth - to the stage.

The show will run at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre from March 5-7, 2020.

“We’ve been working hard to bring this important play to life,” said Prof. Jerry Etienne, director, of the notoriously complex play. “There are many components, including violence and encounters with the supernatural, that adds to the complexity and level of difficulty of this play. We’re hopeful it will also contribute to the enjoyment of the audience.

“The characters are also complex and multi-layered. Macbeth himself is not only a great warrior and a man of blood but he is also a man of immense imagination and conscience. He is at once dangerous and vulnerable, sensitive and cold blooded. What makes this play so riveting and timeless is the way that we can identify through Macbeth our own potential for evil. But this is so much more than a play about good and evil. The play immerses us into the lengths to which we might go to in order to appease our ambitions.. The question Macbeth poses is, “How much are you willing to pay for that gold medal or an appearance on the six o’clock news?”  Grenfell’s Macbeth is not a one-dimensional evil man. He's a man of conscience and of great courage and resolve who takes on the very fates in a bloody battle to the death.”

Performing Shakespeare is a challenge to actors whether they are young or they have years of experience, said Prof. Etienne.

“ ‘They’ say if you can play Shakespeare well, you can play anything. Shakespeare, more than any other playwright, explores so many shades of the human condition that it would take a lifetime to absorb everything in his work. The quality of his language is remarkable. The scale of emotion is huge. Most of Shakespeare’s characters are larger than life but they are real, and by knowing them, we understand a little more about ourselves.”

The play is being directed by theatre program chair and professor, Jerry Etienne and includes the talents of Julia Quinton, assistant director, and main cast: Christian House, Bailey Jackson, Luke Rowe, Ryan Andrews, Lauren Gillingham and Gina Hrachy. Lighting and set designer Renate Pohl will delight the audience, sound will be in the hands of technician Louis McDonald, and roy Hansen-robistchek will enrich the story with his costume design.


News Releases2/27/2020No HomepageYes

Indigenous People’s Week events will kick off on Monday, March 2 at Grenfell Campus.


“The week-long series of events is part of the long-term project of indigenization, which seeks to re-centre Indigenous ways of being, knowing, and doing so they are woven throughout the fabric of the institution,” said Kelly Anne Butler, student affairs officer, Indigenous Affairs.


The public events scheduled for the week is as follows:


Monday, Mar 2

3:30- 4:30 p.m.  AS 378

Labrador Institute Field School in Community:  Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management

Scott Nielsen will present an overview of the Labrador Institute field school and their plans for the Summer 2020 offering.  Following the presentation, Mr. Nielsen will answer questions related to the field school and archaeological practice in general.


Wednesday, Mar 4

11 a.m.- 4 p.m. AS atrium

Indigenous Arts/Crafts Fair

Indigenous artists and craftspeople will set up as vendors all day with traditional works.


10:30- 11:30 a.m., AS 2011

Indigenous Reads Book Club

Gather with others who have read Jesse Thistle’s memoir From the Ashes, for our inaugural meeting reading works from Indigenous authors.


Thursday, Mar 5

2:30- 3:30 p.m.

Reflections on an Indigenous faculty hire: Navigating the need for change.

Jay White was an Indigenous-specific hire at Emily Car University. He will reflect on his experiences and discuss how institutional commitments to change correlate with what’s actually happening.


Friday, Mar 6

11 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Help us complete the Wampum Belt

Stop by the AS Atrium between 11a.m. and 4 p.m. to help complete the Grenfell Campus Wampum Belt. The wampum belt is a traditional Indigenous craft and story-telling device that uses thousands of white and purple beads to create images. All are welcome. No beading experience necessary. 



For more information on any of these events, please click here.



News Releases2/28/2020No HomepageYes

In 2011 Memorial adopted a smoking policy to align with its commitment to provide a safe, smoke-free environment for students, faculty and staff.

The university adopted a path to a smoke-free campus with a phased-in approach to banning smoking on all campuses that came fully into effect in 2013. However, a smoke-free campus has not been achieved.

In the spring of 2019, Memorial surveyed the university community to explore individual experiences and suggestions for improvements related to the smoking policy. The survey results were used to inform the revised policy draft.

As examples, of the 2,888 responses received, 97 per cent of respondents say they have seen someone smoke on campuses; 61 per cent feel they have been affected by second-hand smoke exposure; and more than 650 survey responses suggested a designated smoking area as something to consider.

Considering designated areas

Based on survey feedback, observations since the policy was implemented and a review of provincial legislation, the revised policy draft considers the concept of designated smoking areas, while committing to a smoke-free campus in all other areas.

In accordance with the university’s policy framework, a revised smoking policy is available for consultation. Members of the university community are invited to review the documents and forward comments to the Office of the Chief Risk Officer by April 15, 2020.

After consultation concludes, a recommendation for any required amendments to the policy will go to the Board of Regents later in 2020.

The draft policy can be found here: Draft Smoking Policy.

News Releases3/4/2020No HomepageYes

Please see message below from Dr. Jeff Keshen, vice-president, Grenfell Campus

Dear all,

The last week has been an extraordinary one for Grenfell and all Memorial University Campuses, just as it has been for everyone across the province, and far more broadly.

I want to express profound appreciation to everyone on Campus for the way that you've responded during this very difficult and stressful time. I know that for many, your concerns extend beyond your studies to the health and well-being of family and friends. I hope that you are all coping well; the support you are providing to one another has been extremely helpful.

As our students know, professors have demonstrated tremendous flexibility, innovation and support to help those they teach successfully complete the academic term. All our staff, in every capacity, have contributed in innumerable ways to make this unprecedented transition work in a timely and effective manner.

Students, if any of you require help, please reach out to your professors, to those running our academic schools, to our campus counsellor, to those managing our various departments, or to me – we are all here ready to provide the support you need. You can find a list of contacts at

I also want to express particular appreciation to our students for adjusting, both quickly and in so many ways, to this new, and extraordinary, reality. In the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to you to provide – depending on your circumstances - information on admissions, registration, and graduation.

At Grenfell, we pride ourselves on being a supportive, tight-knit community, and, as such, we will be in contact and available to you.

We can all take tremendous pride in the way in which everyone at Grenfell has responded. I look forward to the time when I can welcome everyone back to Campus and to express my gratitude in person.

Take care, be well, and I look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Yours sincerely

Jeff Keshen

Vice-President, Grenfell Campus 

News Releases3/26/2020No HomepageYesLori Lee Pike photo

These past three weeks have been an unprecedented time for our university and our communities.


I hope you are each taking care of yourselves, practising social distancing and hand washing and doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19.


I want to extend my sincere thanks to the many people who are working across all our campuses to keep critical university functions operating during this period.


I know this is a stressful time and your dedication to our community is evident. Working together, while standing safely apart, we will get through this.


An amazing 10 years

As I prepare to finish my appointment as president and vice-chancellor, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for an amazing 10 years.


When I accepted the offer to become Memorial's president in 2010, I said it was a life-changing decision, and each and every day after it has been a privilege and honour to serve as president and vice-chancellor.


As my wife Teresa and I reflect back on the past decade, we are amazed at, and so thankful for, the incredible people we've met, both at the university and throughout the province we now call home. It's been an extraordinary experience.

Ten years ago when I walked into the Senior Common Room to meet members of the Memorial community, I knew next to no one.


Now, I walk through any room and talk to friends, colleagues and acquaintances about shared experiences and the many successes we've accomplished together over the past decade.


It's the dedicated and talented people here at our university that make this such a tremendous place.


Collaboratively, we have achieved so much and I thank every one of you for what you have done to ensure Memorial thrives.


What the future holds

Ten years have gone by lightning fast.


Time goes by so quickly, so I want to encourage you to think about what you want to accomplish.


Think about the things the university has done, can do and all the things that are necessary to still do.


Think about how this incredible institution can continue to contribute to this wonderful province and its people, our country and beyond.


After I finish my appointment as president, I will continue to be part of this institution and this province and I hope to be part of the many future successes of both.

I look forward to celebrating the future accomplishments of Memorial's students, faculty, staff, retirees, and alumni . . . and also doing more fishing!

Thank you all.

To read a salute to Dr. Kachanoski from Iris Petten, chair of the Board of Regents, please visit here.

News Releases3/31/2020No HomepageYes

I am honoured and excited to join Memorial University as president and vice-chancellor, and I am looking forward to meeting as many members of the university community as possible in the very near future. Covid 19 and me
The COVID-19 pandemic – to which the Memorial community has responded with such dedication and creativity – will delay those meetings for a while, however.

I had hoped to be officially on-site for the start of my tenure as president, but when I learned on March 20 that the provincial government required people to self-isolate after inter-provincial travel, I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

I needed to arrive in St. John’s as quickly as possible, so I flew here a week before my original travel date to begin self-isolation right away.

Two of my daughters – Kelly and Taylor – arrived a few days later. We’re currently self-isolating (on separate floors of our accommodation!), and I will be able to venture out to campus a few days after my April 1 start date.

In the meantime, my husband Stuart is finishing packing in Regina, and he and our two dogs will arrive here later in April, at which time we’ll begin the process of fully moving into our house – once his period of self-isolation ends.

Since arriving

Since my arrival here, I have been working remotely for two universities, which has been an interesting experience, to say the least.

I have been completing a number of things as president of the University of Regina, while at the same time preparing to take over as Memorial’s president.

Life will be a bit simpler when I am at last in my office at Memorial’s St. John’s campus, with only one email address to monitor!

Since December I have remained in close contact with Memorial’s leaders, the presidential transition team and the staff in the Office of the President, learning as much as I can about the university and getting briefed appropriately so I can get to work as quickly as possible.

In those briefings, I have heard a great deal about the tremendous job everyone at Memorial has done to plan and implement measures for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am particularly grateful to the Emergency Operations Centre group and the many Memorial people who are keeping the university’s critical functions running.

I also want to thank the faculty and support staff who have worked intensively to prepare course content for remote delivery.

That extraordinary commitment to preserving the semester for our students in this unsettling time speaks highly of the calibre of Newfoundland and Labrador’s university system.

Just as importantly, I want to express my appreciation to our students who are being so patient and understanding while all of this work is being undertaken. I know this has not been an easy time for you.

My plan

While I am no stranger to this province, having been raised in Labrador, I have not lived here for many years.

My plan is to get reacquainted with the province and to get acquainted with Memorial University itself as quickly as possible when the COVID-19 situation improves and I am able to meet people face-to-face.

As I noted when my appointment was announced in December, I want to take time to learn from the people who make up the Memorial community and the wider community of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I want to hear your perspectives and learn about your vision for Memorial and for this province.

In the meantime, I do come with some priorities in mind, specifically:

  • Strategic planning to continue to deliver on the university’s frameworks for teaching and learning, research and public engagement;
  • The promotion of equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • Strengthening communities and relationships, particularly among the multiple campuses;
  • Continuing the Indigenization work already underway;
  • The continued promotion and growth of Memorial’s research capacity; and,
  • The development of leaders throughout the organization.

My commitment

We will build on this list together with each conversation, balancing the need to respect tradition with the need to innovate and look to the future.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this incredible institution, and I commit to bringing my 12 years of experience as president of the University of Regina – with my passion for community building in all its forms – to this place.

I would like to thank the presidential search committee and the Board of Regents for the faith and trust you are placing in me.

Over the next five years I will do my very best to justify it, and at the same time earn the faith and trust of the members of the university community and the people of this wonderful province.

I have often said that universities should not reflect the world in which we live; rather, they should reflect the world in which we want to live.

I believe that together, we can help Memorial live up to that ideal in the years to come.

For now, separated as we may be from each other due to necessary social distancing measures, we must find creative ways to work together to provide our students with the best possible education in the face of this global health crisis.

But, I look forward to the time when we can literally work shoulder-to-shoulder together, fully united in our efforts to make Memorial University of Newfoundland the best institution it can be for our students, our province and our world.

I hope to meet as many of you as possible in the months to come.

Visit Dr. Timmons’ website here.

Dr. Timmons’ biography

Dr. Vianne Timmons is the 13th president and vice-chancellor of Memorial, coming from the University of Regina where she served as president since 2008. During her tenure there, the university attained its highest-ever enrolment and diversity, greater recognition for faculty work and increased levels of external research funding.

Dr. Timmons grew up in Labrador City as one of six children and moved to Nova Scotia during high school. She holds a BA (Mount Allison), B.Ed. (Acadia), M.Ed. (Gonzaga), and PhD (Calgary).

A teacher by training, she maintains a wide-ranging research program emphasizing family literacy and inclusive education. Her credits include nine books, 12 book chapters, 40 peer-reviewed articles, 30-plus funded research projects (as principal or co-investigator) and more than 200 invited lectures.

Her many awards include Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (WXN), a National Inclusive Education Award, a Humanitarian Award (Red Cross), a Community Literacy Award (Canada Post) and the first Gender and Leadership in Higher Education Award (EMULIES). In 2019 she received the Indspire Award for Education. In 2017 she was named an officer of the Order of Canada for her lifetime contributions to inclusive education, family literacy, Indigenous post-secondary education and women’s leadership.

An active volunteer, Dr. Timmons has served various post-secondary and other organizations, including as president, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; chair, Universities Canada’s Standing Committee on International Relations; and member, Canada Foundation for Innovation.

News Releases4/1/2020No HomepageYes

As the effects of the COVID-19 crisis continue to ripple across the globe, students at Memorial are experiencing many of the same emergencies as other global citizens.

Student parents are unable to support their families due to job loss. Individuals are dealing with extenuating medical conditions. Housing and/or food insecurities are prevalent.

In response, funds are in place to support the spectrum of stressful situations. The Undergraduate Student Emergency Fund and the SGS Graduate Student Emergency Fund are available to both undergraduate and graduate students on any of Memorial’s campuses.

Dr. Vianne Timmons, Memorial’s new president and vice-chancellor, recently acknowledged in a video message that Memorial is doing everything in its power to put the needs of the students above all else.

“The people of this province are known for banding together as a community, and that is exactly what the Memorial family has done during this recent crisis,” Dr. Timmons said. “As you very well may anticipate, many of our students are experiencing hardships. In addition to adjusting to the cancellation of all in-person classes, an unexpected shift away from on-campus learning, being directed to quickly vacate university residences, many of our students have also lost badly needed income from on-campus employment. Some are unable to return home, and many are without the necessary equipment to complete their coursework remotely.

“These students are in sudden need of emergency funding,” continued Dr. Timmons, encouraging people to contribute as they are able, adding that she herself has contributed to the funds.

Hear more from Dr. Timmons here.

‘Little margin for error’

Dr. Aimée Surprenant, dean of the School of Graduate Studies, doesn’t want students to have to worry about their future.

“The constantly moving situation created by the current crisis leaves graduate students apprehensive about how they will complete their research and programs as well as being deeply concerned about their futures,” said Dr. Surprenant. “Many students have carefully budgeted for their education, leaving little margin for error along the way. The hope is that these funds can, in some small way, help students at a critical time and help to ease the immediate financial worries arising from events outside of their control.”

Over $40,000 raised

Since the fund has been established, many faculty, staff and alumni of Memorial have enthusiastically made contributions.

Dr. Donna Hardy Cox, associate vice-president (academic), says it’s heartening to see the positive response from across the university community.


“These two funds will help Memorial students find themselves in extremely vulnerable situations because of COVID-19 – those who are currently struggling to pay rent, to buy groceries, to meet basic, critical needs,” said Dr. Hardy Cox. “We recognized a need early on and the undergraduate and graduate student support teams came together to make this happen, working with the Office of Development. It is heartening and not at all surprising to see the positive response from across the Memorial community and beyond.”

Undergraduate students wishing to apply for funding should email Graduate students should contact

For those who wish to contribute, visit here .


News Releases4/13/2020No HomepageYes
When the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of campus in March, all instructors had to come up with creative ways to complete the term's course work remotely. For some, this was a little easier than others. 

Grenfell Campus’s fourth-year theatre production of The Tempest was set to take the stage in early April. Theatre students had been preparing for months to present their graduating show. Given the new situation, the performance would have to look different  but everyone agreed that there needed to be some sort of performance. No one wanted to see the show be canceled, said Prof. Alex Fallis, the show’s director.

“The theatre program builds to the final term- it is the students' opportunity to visit and study at the Harlow Campus, and then have a 'final bow' on the Fine Arts Theatre stage,” said Prof. Fallis. 

“Luckily, we were finished our studies at the Harlow Campus before the pandemic, so the students had that full experience. However, I felt it was extremely important to find a way to let them have that 'final bow'- and while it is hard to say 'good-bye' to the large community of the theatre program from your self-isolated house, this did give the whole community a chance to check in and support the graduates.”

Students only had about a week to move from their original stage interpretation of the play to an on-line live video version. The Tempest was presented through Zoom, via Grenfell’s Facebook page a few weeks ago. 

This new media did not come without challenge. 

“I think this is perhaps where the theatre idea that 'the show must go on' comes in- we all just recognized that we were in very new territory and tried to learn and make the best of it,” said Prof. Fallis.

Because the students couldn't use the costumes, props and lights they had planned, the students had to find their own costume pieces and props to use. 

Students were also challenged with understanding the platform in a very short time, said Beth Bradbury, technical director, School of Fine Arts.  Thankfully, these students were adaptable, flexible and enthusiastic. 

“I think the most challenging thing from my perspective was finding a platform and understanding the functionality of it to a level that we knew would be useful as quickly as possible so that the students and stage manager Susan Jennings could start working with it right away after we made the decision to do a live stream,” said Ms. Bradbury.”We had an idea of what we wanted the thing to look like, and then we needed to find the option that checked the most boxes.  After that, it was really up to our stage manger to act as the gate keeper to manage who the audience was seeing and hearing.”

The event was a success and provided  students the opportunity to perform in a new way.

“The work with difficult but Shakespearean language was excellent, and that made the story very clear and powerful,” said Prof. Fallis. “This showed that the work we had put in early in the term was really retained, and I thought that was extremely positive. It is also important for the students to get a chance to work with these new technologies and platforms, as they are inevitably going to become more prevalent and important to artistic work.”

A live stream of The Tempest is still available for viewing on Grenfell Campus’s Facebook page. 

News Releases4/21/2020No HomepageYes

Psychology student Blair Curtis was part of a group asked to bridge sociological theory to real life. As a transgender person, Mr. Curtis saw this as an opportunity to allow the voices of gender-diverse people of the province to be documented.


Mr. Curtis was a student of social/cultural studies professor Dr. Rie Croll's sociology course. He, together with the rest of class, developed the Gender Fluidity Care Guide - a zine (on-line, accessible, publishing platform) manual that will help educate health care professionals and first responders on gender diverse identities.


"In my section of the manual I helped to create an anonymous and voluntary questionnaire that asked gender diverse folks questions such as: how can health care professionals comfortably ask someone about their name and pronouns, and how can health care professionals best help a gender diverse person with their experience of gender dysphoria?" he said. "Responses to these questions might allow health care professionals to gain knowledge directly from the gender fluid community. As well, it allows gender diverse folks ease of mind knowing that the education health care professionals receive on their identity is accurate, and is grounded in their lived experiences."

The goal was to get the guide into the hands of as many people as possible.

Mr. Curtis forwarded the link to some of the top brass at Western Health, numerous doctor/dentist/optometry offices, St. John's Pride, Pflag, Parents of Gender Diverse Kids Western NL, and Quadrangle.

The manual was received positively by many people including a local physician who forwarded it to Memorial University's School of Medicine as a potential resource to help medical students understand the needs and circumstances of this population.


"My hope for this resource is that if anyone has questions – even people not in the health care field – regarding the gender diverse community that they know this manual is a resource they can turn to," said Mr. Blair. "I hope that it encourages conversation with the gender diverse community so that their identities are better understood. As well, I hope that it ensures gender diverse folks are able to receive the care they need in an environment that understands them."

News Releases4/28/2020No HomepageYesBlair Curits and Dr. Rie Croll

Grenfell Campus alumni Jason Carmichael is on the ground in Kenya, working to facilitate accessible, accurate COVID-19 testing to residents.

Mr. Carmichael, an Ottawa resident, graduated from Grenfell  Campus in 2012 with a degree in sustainable resource management. Following this, he pursued a master in public health, University of British Columbia.

For the last five years, he has been with the World Health Organization in over 20 countries on the continent of Africa, primarily with the emergency response team but most recently as a program manager in the Democratic Republic of Congo. From there, he became part of a company TIBU that has been carrying out the primary research and building the model and tech for business in Kenya (TIBU).

His business was created to bridge gaps in Kenyan health care including the underemployment of healthcare workers and the challenges of patients in accessing quality, private healthcare. They saw the solution was a technology platform (the TIBU app) and medical kits that reflect the capabilities of a typical outpatient clinic (including lab capabilities).

"This project provides unemployed healthcare workers the opportunity to run their own medical practices without the costly barriers of entry and provide people the opportunity to get a healthcare worker on demand wherever and whenever they need them," said Mr. Carmichael.

The focus of the business has changed with the recent COVID-19 global pandemic. The main problem faced, as in many countries, is inadequate testing.

TIBU partnered with a laboratory Lancet Pathologist Kenya to decentralized COVID19 testing throughout Kenya.

"TIBU is the technology platform that enables triage, registration, payment and link between the patient and the lab, whereas Lancet collects and tests samples for COVID. Our technology powers this decentralized model for testing. Such a home-based model has not yet been done in Africa and we are excited to get this off the ground next Tuesday.

"We are equally looking at a number of ways to hold "medical camps" for COVID testing whereby we create a safe place where people can come and get tested easily and for free. "


One of the main challenges Mr. Carmichael and this colleagues would like to address through this partnership, and hopefully with the support of institutions outside of Kenya, is increasing testing among vulnerable groups (chronic illness patients, the elderly, pregnant and urban poor).

"The price-point for voluntary COVID19 testing currently puts it out of reach of most and we would like to change this."

The system can triage and identify those high-risk or vulnerable patients but financial support to offer COVID-19 testing to these groups free of charge. For more information about the project, Mr. Carmichael can be reached at

News Releases5/4/2020No HomepageYes