Dean's Update - March 2021

Lili Liu.Dear colleagues,

I hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy as we move toward the end of the winter term. Plans for a “return to campus” in the fall continue to follow regional and provincial public health guidelines. As more people receive vaccinations, it becomes safer for staff, faculty and students to return to campus and travel.
However, it is not realistic to plan for a complete return to campus for several reasons, including: (1) not all members of the campus community will be vaccinated by September; (2) some students and staff do not yet feel safe to return to campus, and our international students may not arrive in time due to long visa processes; and (3) some students may be unable to or choose not to return to campus due to other factors.
The University is following some principles for the fall, while monitoring public health guidance. These include: (1) all students will be able to access classes and support required for their academic progression, and (2) in-person classes are currently set to be at 50 per cent occupancy. Ventilation is adequate for this level of occupancy, and all individuals must continue to wear masks. There is no plan to limit the duration of time students spend in one room, and there will no longer be breaks between classes.
In the Faculty of Health, the departments and school are working with the associate deans to identify course content, if any, that should use in-person instruction. Such plans would include the ability to return back to online instruction if restrictions are imposed by public health.
As we transition back to campus over the next year, I encourage everyone to remain vigilant and continue to practice safety precautions.

Stay safe,
Lili Liu

This monthEvents I Tips and reminders


Paul Stolee recognized for excellence in graduate supervision

Paul Stolee.Paul Stolee from the School of Public Health and Health Systems will receive a 2020-21 University of Waterloo Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision. His contributions in graduate training, research, service and advocacy were praised in 31 personal letters that supported his nomination for the award. This achievement will be recognized at convocation in spring.

Robin Duncan receiving 2021 Distinguished Teacher Award

Robin Duncan.Robin Duncan from the Department of Kinesiology will receive a 2021 Distinguished Teacher Award. Duncan has been praised by both students and colleagues for her exemplary efforts in the Kinesiology courses she teaches, and commitment to student endeavours both inside and outside the classroom.

Student wins Alumni Athletic Excellence Award

Megan Dyck.Megan Dyck, a first-year Health Studies student and Varsity Women’s Hockey player, has been awarded the Dr. Douglas Snyder Alumni Athletic Excellence Award, valued at $2,000. This fund is supported by University of Waterloo alumnus Doug Snyder and recognizes one exceptional student athlete from a health-related program during the fall term.

Researchers secure global funding for elder care

As part of the 2020 Horizon Global Platform Competition, professors John Hirdes and George Heckman from the School of Public Health and Health Systems secured four years of research funding valued at $500,000 from the New Frontiers Research Fund. Their research will focus on the care of older adults in long-term care, and the project is integrated into an interdisciplinary research team of senior investigators, mid-career researchers and young investigators from 10 countries.

Recruitment of graduate students

Graduate Studies Newsletter.Faculty members: The February 1 grad program application deadline has passed, but grad student inquiries are likely still coming into your inboxes. Consider sending grad student prospects to our newsletter sign-up page when you respond to their emails. They can sign up for this newsletter to receive updates on the research our grad students are doing, alumni career stories, tips on how to apply and more. Questions? Reach out to Jasmin English, Grad Studies Marketing and Recruitment Specialist.


Please note that all in-person events have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.

East Asian Solidarity Healing Space: April 1

East Asian Solidarity Healing Space.The Equity Office is supporting an East Asian Solidarity Healing Space on April 1 for Waterloo students, faculty and staff of East Asian and South East Asian heritage. The session is on Zoom and has a capacity of 500 people. It will be led by Janice Jo Lee. Please register here for the East Asian Healing Space.

Praxis Ideation Challenge deadline: April 5

Ideation Clinic.Do you have an idea that can improve the quality of life for people living with spinal cord injury? The Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, in association with the Faculties of Health and Engineering, has partnered with the Praxis Spinal Cord Institute for this Ideation Challenge. It is open to graduate students and faculty members, in teams or as individuals. Winners will be eligible for up to $3,000 to help develop their idea. Submit your Ideation Challenge pitch by April 5.

Planning your research trajectory: April 15

Person's feet and white arrows on floor.Faculty members are invited to an online workshop that is suited to early career researchers, but open to any member who would like to learn new skills and strategies for planning a research trajectory and increasing funding. It is hosted by the Office of Research. Please register to take part in the online event at 9 a.m. or to receive recorded sessions.


New Dean's Office staff member

Megan Muir.Welcome to Megan (Meg) Muir, a Recreation and Leisure Studies alumnus who steps in as the new Advancement Coordinator on the Health Advancement Team. She is replacing Clare Stevens, who is on secondment as the Health Undergraduate Recruitment Co-ordinator.

What to do in urgent situations

The Dean’s Advisory Committee on Health and Well-being would like to remind you that resources and an infographic reference are posted in case they are in touch with a university member who needs any type of support. This resource applies to all faculty, staff and students and exists as a printable PDF.

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