Dean's update - July 2018

Paul StoleeIt’s summer.

This can be an interesting time in the academic world. I’m regularly entertained by friends and family asking me, “So, are you off for the summer?” I guess the thinking is: If there are no classes scheduled, what could you possibly be doing? I sometimes just answer no, not off for the summer, and sometimes I try to explain (to little effect, usually) that work goes on for 12 months of the year, and that even if I’m not teaching at the moment, there is still lots going on.

As faculty, we are working with grad students, ongoing research, writing grants, trying to get papers written and published, preparing courses for the fall, committee work, and maybe, just maybe, taking some time to catch up on the literature in our field. If you wish to apply for a CIHR Project Grant this fall, your registration deadline is August 15, and the submission deadline is September 12 – so it’s pretty clear what you’ll be working on through July and August. Grad students wishing to convocate in the fall need to defend and submit their theses before the end of summer. And there’s little let-up for staff, either. 

So again, no, it doesn’t look like many of us are “off” for the summer. But what should we make of that?

Tranquil beachMaybe our work doesn’t slow down in the summer, but perhaps summer is a time when can start putting our work into perspective. George Heckman drew my attention to an article in JAMA, which, in part, reflects on how we think about burnout and work-life balance. As a Faculty, we are showing leadership in our University’s efforts to support student mental health. It’s worthwhile to remember that to do so, we need to be concerned about the mental health of all of us in the Faculty, and of our families. So, this summer, I hope we can all find some time to take care of ourselves, and each other.

All the best,

Paul Stolee, PhD
Professor and Interim Dean 
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

Highlights I Events I Nominations and more

Some highlights from this month

Number one in ARWU (Shanghai) subject rankings

ARWU logoThe Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies has clinched the top spot in Canada for Hospitality and Leisure Management in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai) subject rankings, which were released mid-July. The Department held the same spot last year and remained at number 23 in the world for the second year in a row. You'll recall they also came in first in the Quaquarelli Symonds subject rankings earlier this year. The ARWU subject rankings use bibliometric measures and a selection of discipline-relevant awards, not reputational indicators, which should reduce subjectivity.

Courtyard construction starting

The AHS courtyard upgrade is slated to begin August 13 and should take only three weeks. Access to the courtyard will be closed until August 31 while the work is being done. Thank you for your patience while this green space is made accessible.

Provide feedback on Tri-Agency data management policy

The three federal research funding agencies have developed a draft “Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy,” outlining proposed institutional data management practices. The agencies are asking institutions to review the policy and provide feedback. Researchers are encouraged to review the draft policy, and provide feedback by:

  1. Sending an email to Bruce Muirhead in the Office of Research by July 31. The feedback will be compiled and submitted as an institutional response, or 
  2. Sending an email to SSHRCNSERC, OR CIHR by August 31, 2018.

Once the feedback is compiled, the agencies will develop a final policy that will be implemented incrementally. The policy aims to foster a culture of data management benefitting researchers across the country, and internationally.  

Nello Pace Award given to Kinesiology prof

Richard HughsonCongratulations to Richard Hughson, who received the Nello Pace Award for his contributions to gravitational physiology. Hughson is the principal investigator of the Canadian Space Agency's Vascular Series, which groups three Canadian science experiments. Nello Pace was the scientist who climbed Himalayan peaks to find out how the body reacts to high altitude.

Health Studies student recognized at Academic Challenge

Arlene Oetomo, who just graduated with a BSc in Health Studies and is starting her MSc in Public Health and Health Systems in the fall, received a wonderful write-up from the CSA Group (a standards organization formerly known as the Canadian Standards Association) for being an outstanding finalist in their 2018 Academic Challenge. "Arlene's excellent presentation on Public Health and Surveillance and Remote Monitoring Data Standards inspired us all," the letter to Faculty reads. "Arlene's presentation was relevant, timely and was conducted with extreme professionalism." The Challenge is a highlight of the CSA's annual conference, which drew more than 700 industry experts on safety, performance and sustainability standards from across the world. 

Boy Story project still on tour

AHS grad students continue to visit local daycare facilities with Boy Story dolls for an AHS HeForShe initiative. Boy Story dolls are a line of dolls with boy characteristics and stories of having overcome adversity. The grad students let the children play with the dolls, facilitate discussion, then leave two dolls behind. The students are also collecting anecdotal data from the children, parents and teachers on their response to the dolls and will report back at the end of the initiative on key themes and findings.

Upcoming events

Kinesiology MSc Capstone Colloquium: August 22

All are welcome – and encouraged – to come out to support students, learn about their experiential placements, ask questions, and engage in discussion at the Kinesiology MSc Coursework Capstone Colloquium. Student presentations and posters will take place in the first half of the day in the AHS Expansion; the colloquium will run from approximately 9 a.m to 4 p.m. If you have questions, please contact Leanne Varey.

Save the date for Reunion: September 22

Reunion logoIt's not too early to register for 2018 Reunion activities. Visit the Reunion website to reserve a spot in the Fun Run (the longest-running Reunion tradition), the VIP tent at the Warriors football game and more! 

Write for The Conversation: September 27

The Conversation logoThe Conversation is a platform for academics to write thought-provoking, informative pieces in their area of expertise and improve public understanding of complex issues. All of The Conversation’s copy is shared with Canadian Press news outlets across the country, further expanding your potential audience. Editor Scott White will be on campus from 1-3 p.m. to speak with current researchers and academics interested in learning more about what editors look for in their content. Space is limited. Please register for a spot with Pamela Smyth, university media relations manager.

Nominations, awards and more

Nominate your outstanding TAs

As the Spring term draws to an end, the AHS Teaching Fellows encourage you to reflect on the TAs who assisted you this past term. If you worked with an exceptional TA in the Spring 2018 term, you may nominate them for the AHS Teaching Assistant Award by going to the Teaching Fellows website and completing a nomination form.

Funding available for innovation in teaching

Are you teaching in the fall and have been considering a new and innovative teaching and learning approach or activity? Has cost been the factor prohibiting you from trying this novel technique? The AHS Teaching Excellence Fund is designed to provide financial support to kickstart innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Instructors may request up to $300 per course. To learn more or to apply, go to the AHS Teaching Excellence Fund website.