Dean's update - June 2016


As Spring term brings its annual bevy of blossoms and geese, it also represents a symbolic “passing of the torch” as we celebrate our newest graduates and usher in the next class.

  • We were blessed with sunny skies for convocation on June 14 with 341 undergraduate degrees, 45 master's degrees and 12 PhDs conferred. Julie-Anne Desrochers of the Dean’s Office opened the ceremony singing the national anthem and James Schembri inspired as the Faculty valedictorian. Student award winners included Shelley Martin (Governor General's Silver Medal), Emily Constanza Brubaker-Zehr (Alumni Gold Medal) and Amy Lynne Hackney (Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies). We welcomed back two outstanding alumni, honouring Kimberly Madden with the AHS Young Alumni Award and Dorothy Dowling with the AHS Alumni Achievement Award. Former Dean, Roger Mannell, was named Distinguished Professor Emeritus and did a stellar job pinch hitting on the delivery of the convocation address as honorary degree candidate Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was unfortunately unable to attend due to a recent injury. We hope to host Dr. Csikszentmihalyi at a future convocation.
  • This month we also confirmed the Class of 2020/2021: 608 students – our largest incoming undergraduate class to-date, with all three units exceeding their targets. This increase brings both opportunities and challenges, and I will be working with the academic units to ensure that the support needed to accommodate this new growth is in place.
  • On Saturday, July 23 the Faculty will host AHS 101: a free program for all incoming AHS students and their parents/family members with insights on how to excel in first year. Students will attend a lecture and program-specific session where they’ll meet upper-year students and key contacts who’ll support them throughout their undergraduate career.
  • Construction of the AHS expansion is proceeding on schedule and the team is working hard to get us into our new space. Exterior work is mostly completed; the lecture hall is being painted and the wall between the addition was removed last week officially connecting the buildings. The new doorways and associated walls are in the process of being completed.


Atrium (early June)

B.C. Matthews Hall wall breakthrough.

BMH wall breakthrough (mid-June)


Lecture theatre.

Lecture theatre (late June)

Lab millwork.

Lab millwork (late June)

  • We are still awaiting the government’s announcement of the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (PSIF) competition results. I hope to have an update in July.
  • I’m pleased to announce that Sherry Dupuis has been selected as one of 15 inaugural College Chairs for CIHR’s College of Reviewers. The College Chairs, which were selected based on diversity of health research and knowledge translation expertise, will enhance peer review quality and provide independent, expert advice to CIHR in the building of the College into an internationally recognized resource.
  • Lastly, next month I look forward to presenting the Faculty’s new impact report: a publication celebrating the achievements of faculty, students and alumni and their invaluable contributions to Applied Health Sciences. It has been both humbling and inspiring to see just a selection of the outstanding work being done here gathered under one cover.

Jim Rush.Wishing you a Happy Canada Day and enjoyable long weekend,


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