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Nationally renowned academic and researcher selected vice-president of Grenfell Campus

Feb. 11, 2011

The Board of Regents of Memorial University of Newfoundland met today and approved the selection of Dr. Mary Bluechardt as the next vice-president for Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook. Dr. Bluechardt is an award winning, nationally renowned educator, health and sport researcher, and experienced academic administrator.  

The appointment was announced today by Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, who chaired the search committee. 

Dr. Bluechardt will assume the position on July 1, 2011. She succeeds Dr. Holly Pike, who has served as vice-president at Grenfell Campus in an acting capacity since 2007.

“After an extensive process, which involved significant consultations, the search committee unanimously recommended Dr. Bluechardt’s appointment,” said Dr. Kachanoski. “The committee was impressed with the quality of applications and candidates for this position. We developed a superb short list and from that we arrived at the unanimous choice of Dr. Bluechardt. We’re confident that she will provide visible, intelligent and visionary leadership and administration to Grenfell Campus, specifically, and to the entire university.”

Dr. Bluechart has an extensive background in applied health research and education, and comes to Grenfell Campus from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa. She currently serves as the dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at UOIT, which includes the Departments of Nursing, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Health Sciences, and Applied Health Sciences. In the past she has served as director of the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at Memorial University, as national director for coach development at Special Olympics Canada and as a professor at the University of Regina (Saskatchewan) in both the Faculties of Kinesiology and Health Studies, and Education, among other professional activities

Throughout Dr. Bluechardt's career, her academic and research focus has been on advancing the lives of people with disabilities and she has been a leader in the Special Olympics movement. She was recognized for her contributions by twice being named an honorary member of Team Canada to the Special Olympics.  

Dr. Bluechardt has been the recipient of many other national awards and honours. She was named Most Influential Woman by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Activity, was the winner of the YWCA Woman of Distinction (Health and Wellness) Award, and the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association Access Innovation Award and Award of Merit. She has also been nominated for the Canadian Women’s Mentor Award (2000) and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award (1999).

Dr. Bluechardt’s career has involved working with the community outside the university environment, resulting in partnerships and practical experiences/placements for literally thousands of students. She was specifically recognized for community work with the University of Regina's Alumni Award of Excellence in Public Service.

Dr. Bluechardt holds a bachelor of physical and health education degree and a master's of science degree from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., and a PhD in exercise science from the University of Toronto. In addition to her other scholarly and professional activities, Dr. Bluechardt was also professionally trained in mediation, negotiation and resolving conflict at the Justice Institute of British Columbia Centre for Conflict Resolution in Canada.

“I want to thank the Grenfell Campus community for its participation in this search,” said Dr. Kachanoski. “The committee received significant input from faculty, staff, students and alumni, both in writing and through the open portion of the search, which was invaluable. The community’s passion for Grenfell was welcome and will serve us well as we work together to build on the campus’ successes.”

Memorial University is Atlantic Canada’s largest university. Grenfell Campus, located in the City of Corner Brook, focuses on liberal arts and science with specialized programming in fine arts and environmental disciplines. Sixteen degree programs are offered in arts, business, education, fine arts, nursing, resource management and science in Grenfell’s small campus setting. The campus has about 1,250 students and 275 faculty and staff. Through the provision of high-quality educational experiences for students, and through its growing focus on research and development, Memorial’s Grenfell Campus contributes to the social, cultural and economic well-being of the province, particularly the western region of Newfoundland.


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