Dean's update - August 2017


For me, the arrival of September is accompanied by intense feelings of anticipation and transition. Next week, while welcoming a new class of students to AHS, I will also be sending one of my own children off to University; a bittersweet transition I’m sure many of you can relate to. As we all enter this phase of new and continuing opportunities and challenges together, I wish you happiness and fulfillment in all you do, and offer sincere thanks for your contributions to AHS.

In news this month:

  • Reunion 2017 is just a month away. This year’s celebration takes place September 29 and 30 and will be extra special as we recognize two very important milestones: AHS’ 50th anniversary and the University’s 60th anniversary. We have a number of exciting events planned and hope you will join us for the festivities. Bob Hunter (BSc ’76, KIN), Executive Vice President, Venues & Entertainment at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, will be speaking at the AHS Fun Run – the largest and longest-standing Reunion tradition. Online registration for Reunion is now open.
  • The University's media relations team is once again partnering with Shari Graydon of Informed Opinions to offer Waterloo researchers coaching sessions on media interviews and writing op-ed pieces. The sessions are 3.5 hours in length and there is no fee to attend. Space is limited to 10 participants per session. To register, please click on the session that interests you and use the password Media. As noted below, some sessions are designed for women only.
  • The Hallman Undergraduate Research Fellowship will be running for the winter term, this time offering $50,000 in funding to coincide with the 50th anniversary of AHS. Awards for up to $10,000 per student are available for the term. Open to AHS faculty members, this fellowship provides funding for projects that focus on health promotion and education, and that offer experiences to steward students toward graduate studies. Applications are being accepted beginning today, Thursday, August 17 until Wednesday, September 13, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact Catherine Maine.
  • I am pleased to announce that next week AHS will welcome the largest incoming class ever for Orientation, which runs from Sunday, September 3 to Saturday, September 9. To help in welcoming our newest students to campus, I will again be hosting a Dean’s Lunch in the Expansion Building. Please consider volunteering at this event or engaging in some of the other opportunities listed in the Daily Bulletin.
  • With students returning to campus for another academic year, mental health is a topic that should remain top of mind. This month, the AHS Advisory on Health and Well-Being will be reaching out to students to better understand their perceptions of the AHS community as well as their needs and use of various University services. They will also review strategies for enhancing a supportive culture in AHS to promote mental wellness.
  • The 2017 Waterloo Innovation Summit will run from Wednesday, September 13 to Friday, September 15. This year’s theme, Hacking the Future, will bring together influential speakers from a wide range of sectors for forward-thinking discussions and interactive conversations. For students interested in attending the event, the University is making 200 free seats available on a first-come, first-serve basis (use code UWaterlooWINS17). Complimentary seats are available to faculty and staff on Thursday, September 14 in the upper seating by email request. Also of note: as part of the Summit, I will be co-hosting a breakfast with the Dean of Science featuring a keynote address by Jared Cohen, President of Jigsaw (formerly Google Ideas). The breakfast will allow us to connect with key supporters and discuss how complex problems require innovative, multidisciplinary approaches and solutions for best impact; one of the great strengths of AHS.
  • The Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Rankings) have been released for 2017. Waterloo ranked in the 206th spot— the same bracket (201-300) as Queen’s and Western University. Waterloo’s score improved in the highly cited researcher indicator, thanks to three researchers making the most highly cited list; including our own David Hammond.
  • The AHS Teaching Fellows have developed several instructor-focused events for the fall term called, “Teaching Fellow Monthly Meet-ups.” These events are aimed at addressing some of the key instructional needs identified in the AHS Faculty Teaching Survey. Please visit their website for event information and mark Wednesday, September 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in your calendar if you’re interested in participating in the September Meet-up: Engagement in Large Classes. Lunch will be served at the event, and an online invitation will follow.
  • On the construction front: Asbestos removal is complete on the second floor of BMH and all walls have been removed (see picture below). Contractors are now making progress on the electrical and mechanical work.Construction zone with walls removed on second floor of BMH
  • The AHS HeForShe working group is looking for new members and welcoming back those who have been involved as we seek to shape the agenda for the 2017/2018 academic year. Initiatives on the horizon include strengthening the gender equity component in AHS 107, improving health services for trans individuals on campus and a campaign that highlights the importance of playing with dolls for boys. The first meeting will be held on September 15 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in BMH 3119. Questions can be directed to Corey Johnson.
  • Finally, as we mark the start of a new semester, all students are invited to the President and Senior Staff Luncheon, held on the Davis Centre Green on Monday, September 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m. I will be joining President Feridun Hamdullahpur other members of Executive Council behind the barbecue grill as we serve lunch to all students in attendance. Come enjoy this free meal in appreciation of your studies here at Waterloo. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Jim Rush.

Best wishes,


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

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