Dean's Update - March 2019

Paul StoleeColleagues,

We have all heard about the Ontario government’s plans to overhaul the health care system, with the creation of the new ‘super agency’ and the replacement of LHINs with Ontario Health Teams. I’d be interested in hearing thoughts from faculty members about what this might mean for Applied Health Sciences. Many of our faculty members – me included – have research programs that intersect significantly with the health care system. The proposed restructuring may add some uncertainty and challenge to these relationships.

On the other hand, there may be opportunities for new relationships and partnerships, and closer engagement with our regional health care system. We could be part of the teaching and learning component of such a system, allowing us to take a greater leadership role in our communities. This could provide opportunities for research and evaluation, for developing and sharing best practices, and for experiential learning. Also, while not all of our faculty members do health care system research, we are all connected – in one way or another – to health. 

With the broader perspective our faculty has on health, we may be able to lead the conversation toward greater emphasis on prevention, social determinants of health, healthy communities, and technological innovation. If you have ideas or thoughts about any of these possibilities, please let me know.


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

AHS this monthEvents I Tips for you


Remembering Ken Murray 

Ken MurrayKen Murray, founder and patron of the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP), passed away March 2 at the age of 94. He supported initiatives focused at improving the quality of life for those living with Alzheimer's, and the development of meaningful resources for them and their care partners. MAREP is now housed at the Research Institute for Aging, but Ken will be remembered by many in the Faculty as an inspiration and a visionary. He also established other initiatives at the University, including the Susan Pearce and Leslie Harwood Ontario Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology, named for his daughters.

AHS Co-op Students of the Year

Let's congratulate Lauren McLennan (Public Health), winner of the 2018 AHS Co-op Student of the Year award. She travelled to Uganda to work with midwives for FullSoul Canada, a social venture run by AHS grad and former Co-op Student of the Year Christina Hassan. Honourable mention went to Yasmeen Mihad Razvi (Health Studies), for her work with the Odette Cancer Program at Sunnybook Health Sciences Centre. New this year was a Problem Lab award for students who identified and analyzed an important problem affecting their employer, and Taryn Siertsema (Therapeutic Recreation), was one of four recipients.

Professor Mark Havitz retires

Mark HavitzRecreation and Leisure Studies Professor Mark Havitz officially retired this month after nearly 27 years of service at Waterloo and 32 years in academia. He will be honoured at a department reception in April at the University Club.

Updated logos for Faculty and academic units

AHS stacked logoMarketing and Strategic Initiatives has released an update to the University's logo system, which affects Faculty and academic unit logos. The biggest change is the addition of a 'stacked' logo, but other variations exist as well. Visually, they do not deviate too much from the current options. Materials using the old logos may continue to be distributed, but they should be updated with the new versions once they are exhausted. Get the new UWaterloo logos here, by logging in with your WatIAM credentials.

Financial support for CTE conference

CTE logoThe Dean's Office has generously offered to cover the registration costs for all faculty, instructional staff and postdoctoral fellows who would like to attend the University of Waterloo Teaching and Learning Conference: Teaching and Designing for Diverse Learners, to be held on May 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. This conference presents an opportunity to explore exciting and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Please contact Kirstie Slaney for account/payment details so you can register by the April 11 deadline.

Nominate outstanding TAs

Have you worked with a Teaching Assistant who has surpassed your expectations and been a leader in the classroom? Consider nominating them for the AHS Teaching Assistant Award. Use the Teaching Assistant Award nomination form found online.

Nominate outstanding alumni

Krista McKerracherRachel ThompsonAs AHS faculty and staff, you have the opportunity to work with and connect with students and watch them grow as alumni. If you have remained connected to AHS alumni who you believe are inspiring to their peers or to current students, please nominate them for the 2019 Alumni Awards. The AHS advancement team is available to support you in completing the nomination if you are missing any details. Our 2018 award winners were Rachel Thompson (BSc ’15), founder of Marlena Books, and Krista McKerracher (BSc ’84), now with Oncology Global Development at Novartis pharmaceuticals.

Alumni lists to be updated

Advancement is updating alumni lists using LinkedIn and Google. While we are able to update many of our alumni’s work information, we could also use your help. If you have recent contact information on any alumnus or alumna, please inform Ryan McGuinness, Alumni Advancement Officer (ext. 38427). Finally, stay tuned for news about a new Toronto Alumni Chapter to launch on April 30. Details will follow.

Open houses, this year and next

People interacting at open houseThis year's recruitment cycle is in full swing. Earlier this month, AHS hosted more than 500 guests at March Break Open House. They learned about AHS programs and toured our spaces. Sample lectures were a highlight, with prospective students getting an opportunity to experience what it’s like to learn from our engaging professors. There is one more open house scheduled for this year: You @ Waterloo Day on May 25.
Next year's important dates have also been released, so please mark your calendars to avoid any booking conflicts as you organize your events:
Ontario Universities' Fair: September 27-29
Fall Open House: November 2
March Break Open House: March 21, 2020
You @ Waterloo Day: May 23, 2020

RLS program review and planning

A first draft of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies (RLS) augmented program review is scheduled for April, with the final report planned for June. As part of their strategic planning process, RLS is consulting with undergraduates, graduate students and alumni next month. These focus groups will provide feedback on the mission, vision and strategic pillars the department crafted at its last strategic planning meeting.

Calling admitted students

TelephoneCurrent undergraduate students are calling more than 1,000 admitted students over several weeks to congratulate them on their offers and see if they have any questions. Thank you to staff members who let our student volunteers use their workstations after hours to make these important phone calls possible. We could still use some workstations on April 9 from 4:45 - 7 p.m., so contact Pam Hurvid if you are in the Dean's Office and can make your space available.


Citizenship ceremony: March 29

If you've never been to a citizenship ceremony, and your time is flexible this morning, run out to the Student Life Centre. AHS grad and Citizenship Judge Albert Wong will swear in 200 new citizens today, and Julie-Anne Desrochers (Dean's Office) will sing the national anthem. Members of the community are invited to this special event, which takes place between 10:30 a.m. and noon.

UW KINnection: March 30

CCCARE logoThis bone-health outreach event is open to people in the community with osteoarthritis, low bone mineral density or osteoporosis. A kinesiology student will teach new strength and balance exercises over a two-hour period. See the KINnection web page for more information.

Brain Bee competition: April 6

Brain Bee symbolStudents in grades 9 to 12 are invited to compete in this annual neuroscience competition. The event, now in its 11th year, usually attracts more than 100 students. The first-place winner will take home $400 and qualify for the national Canadian Institutes of Health Research Brain Bee, held in the spring at McMaster University. Three years ago, Waterloo student Nooran AbuMazen won second place for Canada at the International Brain Bee in Copenhagen. Let any eligible students know about Brain Bee registration. 

Planning your research trajectory workshop: April 9

Planning your research trajectory bannerThe Office of Research is hosting a workshop for early career researchers in the first three years of a tenure-track appointment, aimed at helping you develop a dynamic research strategy. Get details for Planning your research trajectory: Strategies for Success, and be sure to RSVP since space is limited.

Media training: April 24-25

There are a few spots left if faculty members wish to receive media training by Shari Graydon from Informed Opinions. One session is on interview training, and the second on op-ed writing. A second day is reserved for female faculty members.
April 24, 8:30 am to noon – interview training (mixed)
April 24, 1 pm to 4:30 pm – op-ed writing training (mixed)
April 25, 8:30 am to noon – interview training (women only)
April 25, 1 pm to 4:30 pm – op-ed writing training (women only)
This training has received great reviews in the past. Please contact Matthew Grant to register.

HeForShe meeting: April 26

HeForShe logoMark your calendars for the final meeting of this academic year. Join us on April 26, 9:30 - 11 a.m. in AHS 2677.

GARLS Symposium: April 26

GARLS logoThe Graduate Association of Recreation and Leisure Studies (GARLS) Symposium is a chance for graduate students in the wide-ranging fields of recreation, leisure, tourism studies and therapeutic recreation to come together and share research and ideas. The keynote speaker this year is Erin Sharpe.


Take a six-minute reading break 

Person reading book outdoorsDid you know that reading for as few as six minutes can help reduce stress? That's because the mind has to concentrate on the activity at hand, distracting it from tensions you may be experiencing, according to research from the University of Sussex. Just make sure it's something enjoyable, and not your email!

Do you have a wellness tip or a news item to share? Please email it to Eugenia Xenos Anderson.