Notice of Election, and Acclaimed 2023-24 MUNFA Executive Committee and Nominating & Balloting Committee Members

The following is the list of candidates who have been elected by acclamation to the 2023-2024 MUNFA Executive Committee and the list of  candidates who have been elected by acclamation to the 2023-2024 MUNFA Nominating & Balloting Committee. Please note that there has been an addition to the list of candidates elected by acclamation to the Nominating & Balloting Committee. One candidate was erroneously left off the original IB list; MUNFA regrets the error.

The list of candidates to be elected for the Executive Committee Member-at-Large positions follows below.


  • Vice-President External / President-Elect (1-year term)
  • Ashrafee Hossain, Associate Professor, Business Administration
  • Secretary (2-year term)
  • William Schipper, Professor, English
  • Member-at-Large, Grenfell Campus (2 year-term)
  • Rachel Jekanowski, Assistant Professor, English Programme, Grenfell Campus


FOUR Members to be Elected

  • Kirk Anderson, Professor, Education — Elected by Acclamation
  • Sébastien Rossignol, Associate Professor, Department of History — Elected by Acclamation
  • Lisa-Jo Van Den Scott, Associate Professor, Sociology — Elected by Acclamation
  • Joel Deshaye, Associate Professor, English — Elected by Acclamation



There are three Members-at-Large (1-year term) and one Member-at-Large (2-year term) positions to be elected for the 2023-2024 Executive Committee.  There will be an election via electronic voting to fill these positions. Voting will take place on Tuesday, April 11, from 8 am to 4 pm.

The following is the list of candidates received for the positions of Member-at-Large (1-year term) and Member-at-Large (2-year term). Statements from each candidate are included at the end of this document.

THREE Members-at-Large (1-year term) to be elected

  • Kirk Anderson, Professor, Education (1-year term Member-at-Large)
  • David Gill, Associate Professor, Education (1-year term Member-at-Large)
  • Derek Messacar, Associate Professor, Economics (1-year term Member-at-Large)
  • Lisa Moores, Associate Professor, Student Wellness & Counselling (1-year term Member-at-Large)
  • John Sandlos, Professor, History (1-year term Member-at-Large)

ONE Member-at-Large (2-year term) to be elected

  • Sevtap Savas, Professor, Medicine (2-year term Member-at-Large)
  • Yolanda Wiersma, Professor, Biology (2-year term Member-at-Large)


Member-At-Large 1-year term

Kirk Anderson, Education

Kirk Anderson is a member of the Education Faculty, a member of the Mekap’sk (Northern Peninsula) Mi’kmaq Band, a teacher, and professor. He served as part of NLTA Collective Bargaining Team. In 2017 he served on the NLTA Panel of Public Education. He was a professor at three universities before joining MUN. In 2007 he received the teaching award from the UCalgary Graduate Studies’ Association. Kirk is a former VP of the Canadian Society for Studies in Education, and served as Dean of Education (2011-2019). In 2012 he was appointed to the UArctic Indigenous Issues Committee. He was a member of the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (Re)Conciliation Task Force. In 2022 he was appointed as Research Chair with the UArctic. His commitment to professional associations/unions are long standing and the honour of being a strike captain during the recent strike has heightened his desire to serve you on MUNFA’s executive.


David Gill, Education

“Hi everybody, Hi Dr. Gill!” If you get that reference then a vote for me might be the right prescription for you. On a serious note, my name is David Gill and prior to joining the Faculty of Education in 2015 I was a K-12 Technology Education teacher with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District. During that time I was an active NLTA member, Member at Large and Vice President of the Bay Roberts Branch and a Member at Large and Vice President of the NLTA’s Technology Education Special Interest Council. In those roles I had the opportunity to advocate on behalf of our members with multiple levels of administration at the District and Departmental level. During our MUNFA strike I volunteered to be a picket line captain and I would like to extend my involvement into a more formal position at this time. Solidarity forever!


Statement from Derek Messacar, Economics

Dr. Derek Messacar is an Associate Professor of Economics, with a cross-appointment in the Faculty of Education. He also holds external affiliations as Senior Research Analyst at Statistics Canada, Research Fellow of the Retirement and Savings Institute at HEC Montréal, and Board Member of the Canadian Labour Economics Forum. Derek joined Memorial University as an academic staff member in 2022. Prior to this, he taught courses in economics and education on a per-course basis since 2018.

Derek is a labour economist who studies faculty pay, gender inequality and unions within the Canadian university sector. He is author of the Faculty Salaries at Memorial blog post that circulated ahead of MUNFA’s January 2022 strike vote. Derek is seeking an appointment to the MUNFA Executive Committee so that he may begin applying his experience as a contract instructor and knowledge of the university sector in this leadership capacity to support evidence-based decision-making.


Statement from Lisa Moores, Student Wellness & Counselling Centre

I’m an Associate Professor and Clinical Psychologist at the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre (SWCC). My advocacy experience has included service on MUNFA committees, as President of NL’s Association of Psychologists, and in various professional organizations, but my decision to run for executive is as much personal as professional. I want a better Memorial University, the one that came to life on those picket lines, and I know you do too. That requires real collegial governance, investment in faculty complements over precarity, a healthy workplace, and I’m willing to fight for it. I hope to represent ASMs in non-traditional units, like those responsible for clinical practice and training NL’s much-needed healthcare professionals. Our strike fostered genuine connection with one another, understanding of our common struggles, and appreciation of our complementary skills and collective strengths. The solidarity we built offers unprecedented opportunity to create meaningful change, but only if we refuse to let up. I’m all in and I thank you for your consideration.


Statement from John Sandlos, History

John Sandlos teaches in the History Department and conducts research on the intersections between labour and environment in the mining industry.

He has served on many committees in the university, and was the founding Director of the Nexus Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences. Sandlos also has served on the boards of several community organizations (the Toronto Storytellers School, Avalon Nordic Ski Club, MDJH School Council) and was a member of the shop stewards’ council and flying picket squad of CUPE 3903 at York University. As a member of the MUNFA Executive, Sandlos is committed to core issues such as academic freedom, collegial governance, and Indigenization, but also furthering links among MUNFA, the wider labour movement, and social justice/activist groups. Sandlos is interested in how MUNFA might work to improve the learning conditions (and hence our working conditions) for neurodiverse students and also improve mental health supports on campus.


Member-At-Large 2-year term 

Statement from Yolanda Wiersma, Biology

I am a Professor in the Department of Biology, where I currently also serve as Deputy Head (Undergraduate). I have been at Memorial since 2016. I am originally from Ontario, and am a first-generation university student. My research is in landscape ecology, and for most of my career, I have focused my research projects on the island of Newfoundland, often in partnership with various government and non-government organizations.

For me, the recent faculty strike re-kindled a sense of common purpose amongst MUNFA members and a realization that there are fantastic people across our campuses working to do the best possible job (despite ongoing challenges) to achieve our core mission of teaching and research. I would like to join MUNFA’s executive to help our union keep the positive energy and momentum we achieved this past February going in the coming years.