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  • Sustained and superlative: Memorial University announces professores emeriti

    Friday, October 16, 2020
    News Releases

    Three Grenfell faculty are among sixteen Memorial University professors have been accorded the designation professor emeritus/emerita, an honour reserved for highly distinguished faculty members.


    The new professores emeriti are Dr. Margaret E. Brosnan, Faculty of Science; Dr. Leslie Cake, School of Arts and Social Science; Dr. Mary Courage, Faculty of Science; Dr. Jane Green, Faculty of Medicine; Dr. Donald McKay, Faculty of Medicine; Dr. Michael Newton, School of Arts and Social Science; Dr. Donald Nichol, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; Dr. Peter Pickup, Faculty of Science; Dr. John Quaicoe, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science; Dr. Geoff Rayner-Canham, School of Science and the Environment; Dr. Paul Rice, School of Music; Dr. James Rourke, Faculty of Medicine; Dr. Kenneth Stevens, Faculty of Education; Dr. Stephen Tomblin, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; Dr. Maureen Volk, School of Music; and Dr. Wlodek Zuberek, Faculty of Science.


    A professor emeritus or emerita is a retired member of the faculty who has served at least 10 years as a regular full-time faculty member and held the rank of professor upon retirement. The prime criterion for nomination is a sustained and superlative record as a scholar, as a teacher or as an academic administrator or any combination of these.


    Candidates for the rank of professor emeritus/emerita are nominated by their academic units and, as with candidates for honorary degrees, the nominations are then reviewed by the Senate’s Committee on Honorary Degrees and Ceremonial. The candidates must then be approved by the university’s Senate and Board of Regents.


    Typically, professores emeriti are presented at the university’s fall convocation ceremonies. However, as fall convocation 2020 is postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual event will be held to honour those receiving this distinction.


    To see and hear more about these distinguished professors, watch the event airing on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 10 a.m. (NDT).


    Biographies of the Grenfell professores emeriti follow below.

    Dr. Leslie Cake

    School of Arts and Social Science

    During his nearly 30-year career at Grenfell Campus and well into his retirement, Dr. Leslie Cake has distinguished himself in teaching, scholarship and service.


    He holds a BA (Hons.) and PhD (Queen’s University), and an M.Sc. (Memorial). He began teaching at Grenfell Campus in 1980 and was promoted to full professor in 1994.


    Dr. Cake’s research accomplishments are significant. He has written or co-authored refereed journal articles, book chapters, articles in professional publications, government agency reports, and more. Upon his retirement in 2009, Dr. Cake was appointed Honorary Research Professor. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Aging Research Centre-N.L.; prior to the centre’s establishment, Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province in Canada without a centre for aging research.


    His teaching and service records are also significant. A key institutional influencer, he helped developed Grenfell’s flagship psychology programs. Dr. Cake’s dedication to mentoring students is well-attested by alumni and colleagues. He has had a powerful and lasting impact as an educator and researcher at Memorial University.


    Dr. Michael Newton

    School of Arts and Social Science

    Dr. Michael Newton boasts a highly distinguished scholarly record with numerous and substantial publications, peer-reviewed books and journal articles.


    He has distinguished himself as a versatile scholar demonstrating expertise in a wide range of areas within the broad scope of religious studies at Grenfell Campus, having taught more than 25 different courses. His expertise in the study and practice of mindfulness has been recognized by more than 500 students and several community partners, and through an adjunct professorship with the Faculty of Medicine.


    He was instrumental in building a relationship between Grenfell Campus and the people of Belize, having received grants to expand internationalization there, establishing a field course in Belize, successfully recruited Belizean students to Grenfell and negotiating a memorandum of understanding with Galen University.


    Dr. Newton received a certificate of education in divinity at King Alfred’s College, U.K., and a BA (Hons.), MA and PhD from McMaster University. His first appointment at Memorial University was in 1978.


    Dr. Geoff Rayner-Canham

    School of Science and the Environment, Grenfell Campus

    During his 44-year career at Grenfell Campus, Dr. Geoff Rayner-Canham was recognized with distinguished awards, including the 3M Teaching Fellowship Award, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Award for Science Promotion, Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Award of Merit, a CIC Chemical Education Award and, most recently, an appointment as fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.


    Throughout his career, Dr. Rayner-Canham has taught 88 courses, received 48 grants, published four books (later translated into seven different languages) and close to 200 articles, and gave 150 scholarly presentations.


    Perhaps his most notable accomplishment is the delivery of Science is Everywhere! Program, visiting 20,000 students in remote Northern communities over a 30-year span. He has researched and published on the links between chemistry and Inuit culture, earning him national acclaim.


    Dr. Rayner-Canham attended the University of London, earning both a B.Sc. and PhD.





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