Dean's update - February 2016


In addition to several upcoming events, there are some key news items I wanted to share with you this month:

Firstly, as we continue to renew and grow, each academic unit is in the midst of recruiting for new faculty.

  • The School of Public Health and Health Systems is seeking a Tier II Canada Research Chair in the area of mental health, as well as a J.W. Graham Information Technology Emerging Leader Chair in applied health informatics.
  • In Kinesiology, plans are underway to hire two clinically-oriented faculty members specializing in biomechanics/neuroscience and exercise.  The department, along with the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging, is also looking to add an exceptional scholar for a tenure-track position as the Schlegel Research Chair in Mobility and Aging.  
  • Recreation and Leisure Studies is seeking two new tenure-track faculty members in the area of Recreation and Sport Business.

Earlier this month I announced the appointment of Troy Glover as Chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, for a four-year term beginning July 1, 2016, and Leeann Ferries as Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies for a five-year term, also beginning July 1, 2016. I would like to thank both Mark Havitz and Ron McCarville for their outstanding work in these roles, and their assistance during the ongoing transition period.

As you may know, AHS and the Faculty of Math were part of a pilot project to achieve bronze certification from Excellence Canada, an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing standards and recognizing organizational excellence. The program supports Waterloo’s strategic plan theme of a “robust employer-employee relationship.”  

Substantial progress continues on AHS expansion building. All curtainwall frames are now installed and elevator installation is underway. The dining area, which will house a Starbucks, is starting to take shape. Next week, contractors will begin work on the lecture hall staging.

View of east elevation.

View of east elevation.

Future site of Starbucks under construction.

Future site of Starbucks.

The University of Waterloo is once again offering media training and op-ed writing workshops for researchers. Scheduled for March 4, the upcoming workshops aim to provide attendees with practical tools to enhance their capacity to turn media interviews or op-ed submissions into education or advocacy opportunities. In support of Waterloo's HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative, the next media training workshop is for women only. The op-ed workshop is open to all.

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 4, the University of Waterloo is hosting a dinner at Federation Hall. I encourage all of you to consider attending this event to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women, and help accelerate gender equity both on campus, and around the world. I will be attending this event, as will several other members of the AHS community including the AHS Faculty Advocate for HeForShe IMPACT initiatives, Corey Johnson, AHS students and faculty.

A reminder that the next AHS HeForShe meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 1 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. in BMH 3119. All students, staff and faculty members are invited to attend and help shape the AHS HeForShe initiatives.

On Saturday, the University will host the third annual Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research student forum. The event, focused around the theme “Innovative Approaches and Solutions to Global Health Challenges,” will include interactive workshops, poster presentations, an expert panel discussion featuring AHS alumnus Rohit Ramchandani and a keynote address by Lucie Edwards, National Chair of Partners in Health Canada, and former high commissioner to Kenya, South Africa and India. Craig Janes and SPHHS graduate student Lesley Johnston will lead a workshop called Health Impact Assessments: Addressing Human-Environment Interactions.  Waterloo’s Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research Student Chapter has been instrumental in organizing and bringing this event to campus.

Network for Aging Research (NAR) will be hosting a winter networking event on March 10 from 1 to 2 p.m. in Davis Centre 1301. This is an opportunity for students and faculty to meet the recipients of the NAR seed grants and hear updates on their projects.

This year's AHS 3MT competition will be held on March 11 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. in LHI 1621. Also on this date, the Faculty will be welcoming prospective graduate students from across the province for the first AHS Graduate Student Visitors’ Day. The event is designed to attract our top Master’s and Doctoral applicants with a tailored schedule that allows them to meet potential supervisors, chat with current students and connect with key staff.  The afternoon will tie into the 3MT competition and department presentations that will give our visitors a snapshot of research areas.

Finally, on March 22 please join me in wishing our undergraduate class of 2016 well at Grad Class Send Off. Please stop by the University Club between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. to congratulate our students and hear talks by AHS alumni Rohit Ramchandani, Principal Investigator at ColaLife, and Charlie Johnstone, CEO of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Light refreshments will be offered.

Jim Rush.All the best,


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