Firstly, thank you to all of you who completed the internal communications survey. A total of 106 individuals responded, including 42 faculty, 32 staff, and 32 graduate students.

While the communications team works to analyze the information collected in more depth, I can report that the majority— 81 percent— of you identified email as the most useful vehicle for regular AHS updates.

As such, I will continue to provide monthly updates, like this one, with the full survey results informing how we improve content and enhance information flow to better meet your needs. We look forward to sharing the full survey results with you in November.

In Faculty news

  • Professor Corey Johnson has been appointed the Faculty Advocate for AHS-specific HeForShe IMPACT initiatives. In this role he will engage with students, faculty, staff, and alumni around gender equity issues within AHS and work with stakeholders to address those concerns. To support this work, Corey will receive $5,000 per year for five years from the Provost. If you would like to get involved, or have initiative ideas please contact him at
  • After meeting earlier this month, the search committee for the next Chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies is now in the consultation phase. Mark Havitz’s successor will be named early in 2016 to take up the Chair on July 1, 2016.
  • Last week 202 AHS students graduated as part of the fall convocation ceremony. During the ceremony, AHS awarded the Honourable Roy Romanow, former premier of Saskatchewan and a foundational leader for the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, an honorary doctorate.
  • Our expansion building is still progressing on schedule. The brick is going on, and the siding will be arriving on-site soon.  The south walkway and fireplace lounge patio paving has been completed.  A visit to what was the exit door from BMH closest to the fireplace lounge lets you look at how the new building will connect to our existing facility.  Inside the AHS expansion itself, all of the stairwells have been installed, the lecture hall continues to take shape and the HVAC equipment installation on the fourth floor is almost complete.
  • This winter AHS will be offering a new first-year course for students outside of the Faculty. Taught by Wade Wilson, AHS 100 will focus on the basics of health, wellness, and disease prevention. Equal parts theory and practice, students will learn how to cope with stress, improve their diet, and be wise consumers of health.

AHS event highlights

  • On Tuesday, the Network for Aging Research, led by Steve Mock, hosted Donald Stuss, president & scientific director of the Ontario Brain Institute, at a symposium showcasing the latest advances in aging research. The day-long event included presentations by Waterloo researchers from across campus with established portfolios in aging, as well as more junior researchers who are conducting new projects with NAR seed grant funding. Approximately 20 graduate students also participated in the event with poster presentations.
  • This year’s Reunion weekend Fun Run was the largest ever. Despite the rain and cold, more than 400 participants came out to race around Ring Road. Photos from the event can be found on the AHS alumni Facebook page. Thank you again to all the volunteers who made this event possible.
  • The Hack4Health event, organized by Lisa Loiselle and Karla Boluk, was an outstanding success. More than 70 hackers spent two days at the Accelerator Centre developing new apps for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.  Details on some of the prize-winning ideas are posted on the event page.
  • On November 10, the 2015 Shaw-Mannell Award winner, Simone Fullagar, will be giving a public lecture on leisure practices as sites of social transformation. Individuals interested in attending can register online.

In University news

  • The University has released its 2015-2016 State of the University Report, Defining Innovation. You should receive a mini version of this report— Facts and Figures— in your mailbox soon.
  • Senate approved a fall break for undergraduate and graduate students, starting in October 2016. The 2 day break, which will always follow Thanksgiving Monday, is set to be piloted for three years. In order to facilitate the change in schedule, classes will start two days earlier than usual on the Thursday of Orientation Week.
  • Tomorrow, the Governor General will open the new Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging on north campus. The two-facility centre is home to the Village at University Gates, a 192-bed long-term care home, and a new 30,000-square-foot research facility for the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA). Several AHS researchers, including our three Schlegel Research Chairs, have lab space in the new facility. The centre is purpose-built for cross-system collaboration between older adults, health care professionals, researchers and educators.
  • The President will be hosting a Town Hall on November 3 from 10:30 to 12 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre. Questions can be submitted by email or via Twitter with #UWth.  If you are unable to attend in person, you can watch a live stream of the event online

Don’t forget to join us tomorrow, Friday, October 30, for a pancake breakfast and silent auction in support of United Way. Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. in the BMH foyer.

Jim Rush.

Wishing you a productive rest of the week and happy Halloween,


James W.E. Rush, PhD
Professor and Dean 
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences