Dean's Update - April 2021

Lili Liu.Dear faculty, staff and graduate students,
By now, many of you will have been vaccinated or are scheduled to be. Some of us are happy to be a “little older” than others; some are wishing they were just old enough to qualify. Over the course of the summer, we hope that our younger populations will also be protected so that we can begin to return to campus. Meanwhile, public health directives are that we continue to wear masks, wash our hands and keep our physical distance.
Many of you are asking what the plans are for the spring and fall. The spring semester is starting one week later on May 10 and programs within our Faculty continue to be online. For the fall, associate deans across campus are working with their respective academic units (departments and schools) to determine what is feasible with respect to classroom capacity, technology requirements and pedagogical needs. Keeping in mind that not all students, staff and faculty will be able to return to campus physically, the narrative for our plans is to “return to campus” gradually rather than “work from home.” More guidelines and directions will be forthcoming by the middle of May.

Meanwhile, stay safe and keep well,
Lili Liu

This monthEvents I Tips and reminders


Academic unit name changes passed

Proposed name changes for the Department of Kinesiology and the School of Public Health and Health Systems passed unanimously at this month's Senate meeting, and will become effective September 1. However, some elements, like the School's website, will begin the changeover sooner (June launch) because of capacity and logistics. Guidance on when to begin using the new names will be shared in the coming weeks, but if you are planning to print material for the fall term, please use the new names. They are: the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, and the School of Public Health Sciences.

John Garcia receives Honorary Member title

John GarciaJohn Garcia (School of Public Health and Health Systems), who retired last September, has received the title 'Honorary Member of the University' in recognition of his significant contributions to the University and broader community. John was recognized for the knowledge and experience he brought to the University following a career in senior public health leadership in Canada and the U.S. Garcia was responsible for making the Master of Public Health program the go-to online/distance program in Canada and was instrumental in growing the School’s three professional master’s degree programs.

Corey Johnson named distinguished researcher

Corey JohnsonCorey Johnson (Recreation and Leisure Studies) received the 2021 Distinguished Researcher Award from the Academy of Leisure Sciences in February. It is the organization's highest research honour. "I am so honoured by this recognition from my peers on research that wasn't even socially acceptable 20 years ago," Johnson said. He researches power relations between dominant and non-dominant populations in the cultural contexts of leisure.

Mark Dolson receives WUSA teaching award

The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) recognized Mark Dolson with a 2020 Undergraduate Teaching Award. Dolson is a part-time lecturer in the School of Public Health and Health Systems and adjunct in Anthropology. Read what he had to say about the honour on the WUSA site.

Faculty promotions as of July

The following faculty members will receive tenure and be promoted to Associate Professor as of July 1: Sean Meehan (Kinesiology), Kelly Skinner (SPHHS), Plinio Morita (SPHHS), Laura Wood (RLS) and Ryan Snelgrove (RLS). Congratulations to our newly tenured faculty!

Health Hub magazine now online

Illustration of globe with corona spike rising behind itEarlier this term, our Advancement office invited alumni and future alumni to participate in a contest to rename the alumni magazine, formerly called News to You. With 236 submissions and careful consideration, the magazine has been named the “Health Hub.” The inaugural issue was distributed to alumni on April 6 and features alumni in action, class notes, upcoming events, network opportunities and more. Health Hub is available online now. Check it out!


Please note that all in-person events have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.

Special meeting with Charmaine Dean: April 30

Charmaine Dean, vice-president, research, and a leader of the President's Anti-Racism Taskforce (PART), will be joining the Faculty at 2:30 p.m. to provide an update on anti-racism activities and everyone is encouraged to attend. Faculty Council (for members only) will begin immediately afterward. Please check your inboxes for the Webex links, which were sent April 27 by Julie Cassaubon.

GARLS Symposium: May 6

GARLS logoThe annual Graduate Association of Leisure Studies (GARLS) Symposium's theme is “a space for (re)connection after a year of (dis)connection.” The keynote speaker is Fenton Litwiller from the University of Manitoba, with support from the Hallman Lecture Series. The one-day event will be hosted on Webex.

Remote Teaching Support drop-in: May 6

Faculty members are invited to attend the Faculty of Health remote teaching support drop-in session on Thursday, May 6 from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. There is no agenda for this session and you are welcome to join at any time and stay as long as you like. If you cannot attend the Faculty of Health session, feel free to join another. If you have questions, please contact Natalie Chow.

COVID-19 and Indigenous communities: May 19

Perry BellegardeJoin the School of Public Health and Health Systems for a Hallman lecture and panel discussion on COVID-19 and Indigenous Communities, with keynote speaker Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Panelists include Elder Myeengun Henry, Chantelle Richmond (Western University) and Lori Campbell (University of Regina, formerly director of the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre). Please register on the COVID-19 and Indigenous Communities event page.

You @ Waterloo Day: May 25

Admitted undergraduate students have been invited to participate in the last recruitment activity of the year as they need to finalize their decision by June 1. The event is virtual. If you have questions about this year's open house, please contact Clare Stevens, undergraduate recruitment co-ordinator.

Find Meaning in Movement: May 26

Laura MiddletonLaura Middleton (Kinesiology) will be speaking at an Ontario Brain Institute event called Find Meaning in Movement on May 26 at 6 p.m. The event will focus on the impact of movement on our brain across the lifespan, from improving mental health to reducing risk of dementia and more. Register for this Ontario Brain Institute public talk here.


Decade of Impact website

As we approach Feridun Hamdullahpur’s final months as president and vice-chancellor, faculty, staff and students are invited to leave a kind tribute on his Decade of Impact website. You can do this through the “Submit a Tribute” webpage that supports word, photo and video submissions. Please note that after review, your tribute may appear publicly on various University channels.

Do you have a news item to share? Please email it to Eugenia Xenos Anderson.