Dean's update - April 2017


As the spring term begins, the vibrancy we see in nature is also reflected in the many new and rejuvenated academic and research endeavours that flourish at this time of year. With federal and provincial budgets recently announced, and university strategic mandate agreements submitted, I am excited to join other senior leadership at the annual Executive Council retreat later this week to discuss ideas and strategy around the general theme of “Waterloo’s Ambition: Reflecting and Exploring a Way Forward.” As you transition between terms, I thank you for the many contributions you make to the Faculty and wish you a healthy and productive month ahead.

In news this month:

  • A reminder that on Monday, May 8 we will kick off our AHS 50th anniversary year with an afternoon of celebration. Join us for lunch in the AHS Expansion Building, followed by special remarks synthesizing our past, present, and future. I am pleased that former deans Bob Norman and Roger Mannell will join me in providing these remarks. At 2:30 p.m. the School of Public Health and Health Systems will welcome the Hon. Anne Mclellan, former justice minister and chair of the task force on cannabis legalization and regulation for a public lecture. A panel discussion and Q&A will follow. Please register in advance for these events.
  • As a legacy project to commemorate our 50th anniversary, we will be undertaking a special project to rejuvenate the courtyard between our buildings. On June 5, we will host a design charrette to solicit ideas to enhance the landscape. All members of the AHS community will be invited to attend this exercise, which will be led by Professor Rick Haldenby of Waterloo’s School of Architecture. More information, as well as a formal invitation will follow in the coming weeks. I want to extend thanks to RLS Chair Troy Glover for leadership in organizing the charrette process. 
  • I’m pleased to share that Applied Health Sciences has two mentions in the 2017 Maclean’s Universities Guidebook. Kinesiology is recognized as a standout program at Waterloo and our new Foundations of a Healthy Lifestyle course (AHS 100) is one of two “cool courses” featured. This is excellent recognition for our Faculty and will help us continue to attract top students.
  • The second floor renovations of BMH (2301-2326, 2201-2225 and 2116 blocks) will begin this month, with a target completion date of October 30.  Faculty and staff from Recreation and Leisure Studies will be temporarily housed on the first floor of the Mathematics and Computer Building (MC) throughout the construction period. Graduate students will have space on the second floor. A memo went out earlier today to the AHS community with more detail about the process. Thank you to all who are inconvenienced as we work to improve our space.
  • A reminder that the annual graduate student Symposium on Aging Research (SoAR) will be held on May 5 in the Davis Centre. This year’s agenda includes a keynote address by Professor John Lewis from the School of Planning on age-friendly cities.
  • As previously advertised in the Daily Bulletin, tonight Homewood Health Centre will be raising funds to support Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) research with a special one-night performance at the River Run Centre. The originally scheduled showing of Hold Mommy's Cigarette has been replaced with GIRL CRUSH, a musical comedy featuring world-renowned singer Sharron Matthews. Homewood has several ties to the Faculty, including Roy Cameron, distinguished professor emeritus, who now acts as executive director, as well as many ongoing research collaborations that span our academic units. For tickets, visit the River Run Centre box office website.
  • From May 23 to 26, the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies will host the Fifteenth Canadian Congress on Leisure Research. The congress theme, Engaging Legacies, communicates our efforts to co-create histories of inclusive communities through research excellence, knowledge translation, innovation, and action. The two keynote lectures “Sport and resistance in the era of Trump” by Dave Zirin and “How come an old-fashioned childhood sounds so radical?” by Lenore Skenazy are open to all members of the AHS community and the general public.
  • As recently announced, the Faculty recently appointed three new teaching fellows: Zara Rafferty, Elena Neiterman and Chris Vigna. The team is already well underway in their planning and work related to raising the profile of teaching and learning. The fellows are overseeing AHS Teacher Award program to recognize high-quality instruction in the Faculty. This year’s award deadline has been extended until May 21.
  • In consultation with Administrative Council I have appointed Chris Perlman to chair the AHS Advisory Committee on Health and Wellbeing. Chris and I are currently refining the committee terms of reference to coordinate with and complement central initiatives. We are also in the process of appointing a preliminary core group of members to hold an inaugural meeting by the third week in May, cognizant of the fact that the committee’s subsequent work will involve extensive consultation and engagement.

Jim Rush.

All the best,


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

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