Dean's update - February 2018


As we enter the home stretch for the winter term, it is once again apparent that March and April are vibrant with activity and opportunities of all kinds.

Please mark your calendars for Thursday, April 19 to celebrate the close of the Faculty’s 50th Anniversary year. Details will follow through separate communications, but the April 19 events will include a social and a reveal of the courtyard renovation legacy project plans.   

Even though we are wrapping up Faculty-level celebrations this spring, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Recreation and Leisure Studies and the 40th anniversary of the School of Public Health and Health Systems. On February 15, the School continued their celebrations, hosting Professor Alfgeir Kristjansson for a Hallman Lecture on how Iceland has dramatically transformed rates of adolescent substance use.

In addition to their open house being held today, the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies will be celebrating with the Graduate Association of Recreation and Leisure Studies (GARLS) Symposium on April 26 and 27. Check the site later in March for keynote announcements, schedule, and registration.

And a reminder that Kinesiology will be hosting a special two-day conference, KIN@50: Looking Back, Moving Forward, on April 27 and 28. Conference website with details will launch next week; monitor KIN@50 for details.

In news this month:

  • Congratulations to all of those who participated in this year’s AHS Heat of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition on February 16. The diversity of topics reflect the breadth of our Faculty and are an excellent example of the exciting research happening under our roof. Special congratulations to the Faculty’s winner Tina Chan, who presented on improving online peer-to-peer support with gamification techniques, and runner up Iman M’Hiri, who presented on fatty kidneys causing Type II Diabetes. Tina will represent AHS in the University-level competition on March 21 at 3 p.m. in the Modern Languages Theatre of the Arts. Please consider attending the event to support Tina and help represent the Faculty.
  • Thursday, March 8 is International Women’s Day. On March 2, I along with colleagues, friends and partners of AHS, will represent the Faculty at the annual International Women’s Day Dinner at Fed Hall to help recognize women’s achievements and to acknowledge the ongoing challenges as we Press for Progress towards gender parity.
  • A reminder that students should submit their abstracts by March 7 for the Symposium on Aging Research (SoAR), taking place April 25. Faculty and staff are invited to attend; registration is free and lunch is provided.
  • I invite all faculty and staff to support our undergraduate students by attending this year’s Grad Formal on Friday, March 9 at 7 p.m. in Fed Hall. A number of complimentary tickets (valued at $50) have been set aside for faculty and staff who would like to attend. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be requested by contacting Becca Lintaman by end of day on March 2.
  • On Saturday, March 10, UWaterloo will host its March Break Open House for applicants, including tours and information sessions. Thanks to all who are representing AHS. 
  • Celebrations for graduating undergrads continue with Grad Class Send-Off on Friday, March 16, featuring AHS alumni speakers Janette Smith (Health Studies ’87) and Jeff Payne (Recreation and Sport Business ’06). Faculty or staff attending are asked to RSVP using this form by Friday, March 9. AHS has always connected students with alumni and continues to find new ways of doing so to further strengthen the student-alumni bridge. Educating students on what it means to be alumni before they graduate is an important component of AHS’ overall Advancement program. Karry Kwan welcomes your feedback and questions as AHS Advancement further considers approaches for connecting students with alumni and alumni with students.
  • Also on March 16, we celebrate undergraduate and graduate award recipients at the Faculty's Recognition Reception. I am continually impressed with the level of outstanding scholarship in Applied Health Sciences and our students' ability to perform at such levels while balancing the many demands and challenges of post-secondary life.
  • The March Teaching Fellow Monthly Meet-up on Integrating Mental Health and Well-being into Course Work is taking place Thursday, March 29. An online invitation will be distributed in early March. In related news, the Imprint recently highlighted the Faculty’s AHS 100 - Foundations of a Healthy Lifestyle course.
  • The AHS Teaching Fellows recognize that innovative teaching and learning activities that go above and beyond the normal resources of the department may be prohibitive in nature because of an incurred cost to the instructor or class. To this end, the AHS Teaching Fellows have allocated funds in an effort to remove cost as a barrier to trying new, innovative teaching and learning activities. Instructors are invited to apply to the AHS Teaching Excellence fund for winter or spring 2018. Details and the application can be found on the Teaching Fellows website.
  • On April 6, the Network for Aging Research honours the late professor William F. Forbes, founder of Waterloo's gerontology program, with a special lecture by Anne Martin Matthews of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Follow the link for details and registration.

Jim Rush.

Wishing everyone a productive month ahead,


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